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5 Reasons for Blood Sugar Swings

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5 Reasons for Blood Sugar Swings

5 Reasons for Blood Sugar Swings

Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is a constant battle for individuals with diabetes. Most diabetics who take their illness seriously quickly create a diet and testing regimen that helps them to control wildly fluctuating glucose levels.

Unfortunately, a few other factors that are more difficult to manage can cause unexpected blood sugar changes.

Reasons for Blood Sugar Swings

Fluid Depletion

An inadequate intake of fluids causes a spike in blood sugar, because a smaller blood volume creates a higher concentrated level of glucose. Keeping hydrated with water and other fluids that don’t add extra calories is essential to keeping blood sugar diluted.


Diabetics need to be sure to check with their physician before taking any medications, because some may alter blood sugar levels. Preparations that have a hormone base such as steroidal preparations and oral contraceptives can conflict with the body’s insulin uptake capacity. Other treatments that work by decreasing the body’s fluid levels can result in a higher blood glucose reading due to a higher concentration.

A few culprits include:

Birth control pills

Asthma preparations




The body’s level of hormones, including insulin, varies throughout the day in a pattern that can be quantified in individuals who maintain reasonably stable waking, eating and sleeping patterns. Any deviation in a diabetic person’s normal routine can cause an unstable disruption of blood glucose levels. A vacation can disrupt a good diet and medication regimen because of several reasons including:

An altered sleep schedule

Different food and meal times

Global time changes that interrupt meals and medications


Chemicals added to drinks and food such as artificial sweeteners and caffeine can cause a spike in blood sugar. Recent studies have found that consuming drinks with artificial sweeteners caused an elevation in blood glucose in overweight women, but researchers have yet to find a definitive reason. Caffeine accelerates the body’s response to dietary sugar, so testing shortly after caffeine consumption can show a temporarily elevated level.

Altered Body Rhythms

Changes such as menstruation, menopause and insomnia can cause blood glucose fluctuations. Research has shown that diabetics who chronically lose sleep begin to develop a resistance to insulin and subsequent elevated blood sugars. Menstruation and menopause alter the body’s hormone balance and can cause fluctuations in insulin that disrupt glucose levels.

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