Ever since you got to know that your loved one has diabetes, you must be making changes in their diet and lifestyle in general. You must be keeping them away from all things sweet. You might think that you know it all since you have been making them healthy meals and encouraging them to stay fit. But there are surprising triggers that can either spike blood sugar levels or make them drop down. Read on to find out what all things can make blood sugar levels fluctuate.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 422 million people across the globe have diabetes. In the last 30 years, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has gone up dramatically. But don’t get scared by the statistics. HealthShots connected with Dr Shahid Shafi Bhat, Consultant Internal Medicine, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals Moradabad to know about the things that can make blood sugar levels swing.
He says that diabetes mellitus is a group of chronic metabolic conditions that is characterised by high blood glucose levels. It results from the body’s inability to produce insulin or resistance to insulin action, or both.
Unexpected triggers that can cause blood sugar to fluctuate
Making changes in diet and including exercises in daily routine are crucial in controlling and preventing diabetes. To manage diabetes, certain dietary guidelines need to be followed. You can’t completely shun carbohydrates from their diet. But the majority of it should be in the form of starch such as maize, rice and beans. Here are things that can make blood sugar levels swing:
1. Extreme heat
Whether they are using hot water while bathing or are in hot tubs or are having sunburns, extreme heat can cause blood vessels to dilate. The expert says this makes insulin absorb more quickly and could lead to low blood sugar.
2. Refined sugars
Sugars such as glucose and sucrose, and their products like soft drinks and sweets should be avoided, except during severe illness or episodes of hypoglycemia. These foods contain simple sugar, which is easily absorbed, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar, says Dr Bhat.
3. Losing sleep
When the body doesn’t get enough sleep, it leads to stress on the body. And stress can make people with diabetes have higher blood sugar levels.
Less fluid intake can lead to hyperglycemia, as the sugar in their circulation gets more concentrated. Also, high blood sugar can cause them to pee more. That means they will get even more dehydrated.
5. Skipping breakfast
You must always begin your day with healthy breakfast. And if you are looking after a loved one with diabetes, make sure they don’t go without the morning meal. If they skip breakfast, it can increase blood sugar after lunch as well as dinner.
It is best to check blood glucose levels before and after having new foods or engaging in activities to monitor how their body responds.
Some of the foods that they can consume without thinking much include green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, onions and cucumber, suggests the expert.
It’s summer now, so you can make a vegetable salad for them. But don’t add cream to it if you don’t want their blood sugar levels to fluctuate. If they are treated with insulin or certain oral hypoglycemic agents like sulfonylureas, they must eat regularly to prevent hypoglycemia. They should have three meals a day plus healthy snacks in between.