Common Causes of Blood Sugar Fluctuation
The primary and preferred source of blood glucose is digested food. As such, skipping a meal or eating too infrequently will result in an inadequate supply of glucose and will eventually cause blood sugar to drop. In contrast, the consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates can easily cause blood sugar to rise because of how quickly they’re digested into a large amount of glucose.
Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, soda and energy drinks, provide their energy boost by forcefully stimulating the adrenal glands. Because the adrenal glands are responsible for raising low levels of blood sugar, this direct stimulation will typically cause an increase in blood sugar regardless of how much glucose is currently in circulation. Furthermore, caffeinated beverages are typically high in sugar which significantly increases their potential to cause a dramatic increase in blood sugar.
Alcohol is a significant source of blood sugar fluctuation as well. Because it prevents the liver from producing glucose, it contributes to hypoglycemia by inhibiting the body’s ability to raise blood sugar. This problem is made worse by the large amounts of sugar that most alcoholic beverages contain. The sugar causes blood glucose to rise, but when the insulin response brings it too far down, the alcohol inhibits production of the glucose that is needed to lift blood sugar to an adequate level.
Some Other Factors to Consider
Exercise is essential for diabetics who are working to manage their blood sugar. When you exercise, your body uses sugar for energy and the more you exercise the lower your blood sugar levels become. Keeping a regular exercise schedule is essential so you can work to balance your blood sugar levels throughout the day and eat according to the energy you put out. At the same time, unscheduled exercise or strenuous activity can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate and drop lower than normal. Having extra food and staying hydrated will help with this fluctuation.
When you are sick, your body produces more hormones that are designed to help it fight the illness. Unfortunately, these hormones also work to raise the blood sugar in your body, according to the Mayo Clinic. When you are sick, your activity level tends to decrease and, depending on the illness, your appetite may also be affected. Both of these play a big role in the regulation of your blood sugar and can create fluctuations.