What Affects Blood Sugar Levels
Getting blood glucose levels right can prove to be difficult at times. Just when you think you've factored everything in, a high or low blood glucose level can arrive out of nowhere and really throw your confidence.
These things happen to everyone with diabetes.
Factoring in food, activity and medication
You’ll no doubt be aware that food, activity and the medication you take play a significant role in your blood sugar levels but there can be a number of other variables at work at the same time.
What can affect my blood sugar levels?
Get an idea of the things that can lead to surprising sugar levels using the list below.
Exercise or just increasing exertion can lead to altering blood glucose levels:
- Physical activity can affect insulin sensitivity for up to 48 hours - which can lead to lower blood sugars over this time
- Sugar levels can initially rise following a short burst of activity. If you usually are active most days, not doing activity could lead to higher blood sugars than usual
- If you exercise a muscle near where you last injected, it could cause your insulin to be absorbed more quickly
Food, drink and illness
Food, alcohol, tiredness and stress can all impact blood glucose levels.
Many people are surprised to know that protein can affect blood sugar levels, too.
- Proteins affect sugar levels as well as carbohydrates, but to less of an extent and more slowly than carbs
- Alcohol can affect sugar levels for up to several hours after stopping drinking
- Stress and illness can also significantly affect sugar levels
Where do you inject?
Where you inject can affect how quickly insulin is absorbed:
- Your insulin may get absorbed faster in different parts of your body
- Injecting into lumpy skin affects how insulin is absorbed
Medication and conditions
Taking different medications and certain health conditions can affect blood glucose levels:
- For women, your menstrual cycle can influence your sugar levels
- Pregnancy can affect blood glucose level range targets
- Other medications you take may also affect your sugar levels
- If you suffer from gastroparesis, delayed emptying of the stomach, this can also lead to less predictable sugar levels
- Missing out on a medication dose or injecting at irregular times can also lead to fluctuating sugar levels