What Affects Blood Sugar Levels

Food, exercise and medication all affect blood sugar levels
Food, exercise and medication all affect 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.

Physical activity

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.

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: