As soon as you know that someone in your family has diabetes, you become conscious of their diet and lifestyle factors. These can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Blood sugar or blood glucose is the main sugar found in the blood. Due to several factors, these can be high or low – referred to as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively. These sudden blood sugar swings can have a significant impact on health and need to be managed carefully.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Aniket Mule, consultant, internal medicine, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, to understand the causes that can contribute to both low and high blood sugar levels. He says, “Understanding the factors that can affect your blood sugar levels can help you manage the conditions and maintain your overall health.”
First, take a look at the symptoms of high and low blood sugar levels.
Common symptoms of high blood sugar levels:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Fatigue and weakness
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Unexplained weight loss
- Slow wound healing
- Frequent infections
Common symptoms of low blood sugar levels:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Irritability or mood changes
- Shakiness or trembling
- Weakness and fatigue
- Pale skin
- Blurred vision
Causes of sudden low and high blood sugar levels
Here are 10 factors that can suddenly cause high and low blood sugar levels:
When you are dehydrated, the concentration of glucose in your blood can rise. As a result, blood sugar levels may increase. On the other hand, insufficient fluid intake can make it more challenging for the body to maintain stable blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of developing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
2. Stress and emotional factors
Emotional stress and psychological factors can affect blood sugar levels through the release of stress hormones. These hormones can raise blood sugar levels. Additionally, stress may affect eating patterns or the ability to manage diabetes effectively. Destress yourself by doing yoga and meditation.
3. Consuming artificial sweeteners
Do you drink colas and juices loaded with artificial sweeteners? If so, you should stop doing that on an immediate basis. These artificial sweeteners can impact one’s blood sugar levels and raise the risk of heart disease or stroke.
4. Hormonal changes
Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during menstruation, menopause, or pregnancy, can impact blood sugar levels. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone can affect insulin sensitivity and how the body uses glucose, potentially leading to fluctuations.
Also read: Diabetes can increase high blood pressure, heart disease risk: 10 tips to manage your blood sugar levels
5. Illness or infection
Various illnesses, infections, or other medical conditions can impact blood sugar levels. Infections can cause stress responses and release hormones that raise blood sugar levels. On the other hand, some illnesses can lead to reduced food intake or altered medication absorption, potentially causing low blood sugar levels.
Smoking takes a toll on one’s overall well-being. It is not only dangerous for your lungs or heart but it can even disrupt your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and you smoke then you will be unable to control your blood sugar levels. Only quitting smoking can help you manage diabetes.
7. Lack of physical activity
It is a known fact that exercise offers a wide range of benefits. Exercise can help one to lower blood pressure by keeping heart problems at bay, making the bones stronger, and even maintaining blood sugar levels in the normal range. But when one fails to exercise on a daily basis then the blood sugar level rises. Also, intense exercise without proper adjustments to diabetes medication or food intake can result in low blood sugar.
8. Medications and other substances
Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, diuretics, or some psychiatric medications, can affect blood sugar levels. Additionally, substance abuse, including alcohol or drug use, can lead to blood sugar imbalances.
9. Diabetes management issues
Both high and low blood sugar levels can be a result of improper diabetes management. Skipping or taking incorrect doses of diabetes medications, not following a recommended meal plan, or not monitoring blood sugar levels regularly can lead to blood sugar imbalances.
10. Insufficient or excessive carbohydrate intake
Consuming too few carbohydrates can lead to low blood sugar levels while consuming too many carbohydrates can cause high blood sugar levels. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet and ensure appropriate carbohydrate intake based on individual needs and medication requirements.
So ladies, keep a check on these factors to manage your blood sugar levels!