High Blood Sugar: 13 Reasons Your Glucose Levels Are Rising - Nutrisense Journal (2023)

It’s a fact of life that blood sugar fluctuates throughout the day. These ups and downs depend on a handful of factors, like when you wake up, what you eat, the medications you take, and how you manage stress. So, some variation is normal, to the point that you might not even notice it.

Ignoring blood sugar level changes altogether, though, means you’re ignoring a valuable marker of your health. Especially if you start to have new or unfamiliar symptoms like fatigue, thirst, or brain fog (to name a few). Learning these symptoms and their causes will give you the tools to better understand your own body, then take the right actions for better long-term metabolic health.

What is high blood glucose (aka “hyperglycemia”)?

To fully understand your blood glucose levels, it’s important to know: a) what values are actually considered high, and b) factors that can cause your elevated reading in the first place.

High blood glucose, also known as hyperglycemia, occurs when there is too much sugar in the bloodstream. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is the result of too little glucose in the bloodstream. Hyperglycemia usually occurs because your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t properly use the available insulin to remove the glucose from the bloodstream.

Using milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) for measurement, high blood glucose readings after a meal indicating prediabetes can fall between 140 and 199 mg/dL. Levels reaching 200 mg/dL two hours after eating indicate you may already be insulin resistant or diabetic, though that diagnosis will need to come from your doctor. By comparison, the typical standard for normal glucose readings is to remain under 140 mg/dL throughout the day and under 100 mg/dL after eight hours of fasting.

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A range of lifestyle factors, habits, and health conditions can cause high blood sugar. To debunk common hyperglycemia myths, review causes and symptoms, and discuss the best ways to address them, we spoke with two experts on high blood sugar levels: registered dietitian and For The Love of Diabetes creator Lori Zanini and registered dietitian nutritionist and diabetes management expert Mary Ellen Phipps.

Myths about high blood glucose

There are a handful of misconceptions surrounding high blood glucose. Some you might have heard before, some you may not even know are myths.

“Only diabetics get high glucose values”

While a high glucose value can indicate diabetes, nondiabetics can also have higher values than normal. When researchers studied people wearing a continuous glucose monitor who did not have a diabetes diagnosis, they found 93% of individuals reached glucose levels that are considered dangerous, with 10% spending over 2 hours per day in these dangerous levels. Traditional glucose measurements, like a single point in time blood glucose value, are unable to capture these abnormalities.

There are actually several causes of high blood sugar unrelated to diabetes that the CDC recognizes. These include certain foods, like artificial sweeteners and coffee. Other factors like stress can do it, too. If you live with an endocrine or pancreatic condition, had surgery recently, or are experiencing intense physical stress (say, from a sunburn), you may also see your glucose value rise.

“All carbs are created equal”

Phipps explains that, despite containing similar amounts of carbohydrates, one serving of pasta could have a hugely different effect on your blood glucose levels than one serving of rice. Likewise, that serving of pasta may have an entirely different effect on your blood glucose levels than your friends’ or even family members’. “We’re all unique,” Phipps says.

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“I feel fine, so I don’t need to test my levels”

Zanini points out that having high blood glucose can come as a surprise to anyone. “It's possible they didn't notice any symptoms or were simply feeling 'more tired than usual,’” she says. “It's easy to attribute being tired to many other things. . .so this is why regular physicals with your healthcare provider are important.” The bottom line? Listen to your body, take note of symptoms as they arise, and consider monitoring your continuous glucose values.

(Video) Master Your Blood Sugar with a Continuous Glucose Monitor | w/ Kara Collier from Nutrisense

“High glucose isn’t preventable”

According to the CDC, managing stress, staying active, and maintaining a balanced diet of fiber, protein, and fat, can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. You can also work with your doctor and a registered dietitian to devise a routine that's both preventative and sustainable.

“If my A1C is normal, my glucose is good”

An A1C result that’s below 5.7% is normal by the CDC’s standards, but having a result below that number isn’t the end of the story. Pregnancy, hemoglobin variants, anemia, liver disease, and certain medications can cause inaccurate A1C results.

Additionally, the A1C test is measuring your average glucose value over the past 3 months, but averages inherently do not capture highs and lows. So, you could have a normal average while also having abnormal glucose spikes. The A1C test should only supplement your regular blood sugar testing, not replace it completely.

Is having high blood glucose dangerous?

In short, it can be. Zanini says that untreated high blood glucose can lead to a wide range of health issues—some of the most common being chronic inflammation, heart disease, vision impairment, kidney disease, nerve damage, tooth decay, damaged blood vessels, and periodontal disease.

Having high blood glucose also puts us at risk of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. The former is a condition in which mitochondria fail to produce energy for cells. The latter occurs when free radicals outnumber antioxidants in the body and increase the risk of disease and other damage.

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Phipps notes to avoid these risks, catching high blood glucose early on, then taking action to treat it is extremely important.

What causes high blood glucose?

Experts are still learning about all the factors that can contribute to high blood glucose. With that in mind, these are the main known causes of high blood glucose.

Causes related to personal health

Insulin resistance

This condition occurs when the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver are unable to use the glucose in your bloodstream for energy. Your pancreas responds to this increase in glucose by producing more insulin to help your body process it. This excess amount of insulin in the bloodstream can eventually cause your body to lose insulin sensitivity or build resistance to it, leading to higher blood glucose levels.

Bodyweight and body fat

Research connects being overweight and having a higher body fat percentage with high blood glucose levels. In fact, a high body fat percentage might be a clearer indicator of high blood sugar and diabetes than weight or body mass index (BMI).

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Other health conditions

Certain conditions could make you more likely to have high blood glucose. These include Cushing’s disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and gestational diabetes. Blood glucose may also rise as the result of common illnesses like a head cold or the flu.

Hormonal changes

It isn’t just stress and sleep that can cause fluctuations in hormones. Illness, physical pain and trauma, menopause or menstruation can as well. In any of these instances, your blood glucose levels may rise due to the changes in your hormone levels.

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Certain medications, including steroids and beta-blockers, can disrupt insulin’s effectiveness. Others, like second-generation antipsychotics and certain antibiotics, may contribute to high blood sugar. However, research to learn why this happens is ongoing.

Gut issues

A growing body of research links imbalances in the microbiota living in our guts to an inability to regulate glucose levels in the blood. This is sometimes due to antibiotic use or infection.


A family history of high blood sugar and specific genes may increase a person’s chances of having high blood glucose and developing diabetes. People with African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic heritage may face greater risks.

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Causes related to diet

Processed foods and sugar

Diet and how it relates to blood glucose values can vary immensely from person to person. But, research suggests that eating processed foods (particularly ones high in sugar and fat) can increase blood glucose.

Overeating or grazing

It’s a common belief that snacking throughout the day (a.k.a. “grazing”) will keep blood glucose levels steady. But, a 2013 study found that eating two large meals per day helped reduce blood glucose more effectively than six small meals per day. It’s also important to keep our meals to the right proportions, as overeating can raise blood glucose levels as well.


Some research has found a connection between low water intake and a greater risk of hyperglycemia. This is most likely because less water in the body means the concentration of glucose in the blood is higher.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Research into this cause is ongoing. Yet, studies suggest diets lacking micronutrients like chromium, magnesium, or vitamin D may contribute to high blood glucose.

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Causes related to lifestyle

Physical inactivity

Exercising prompts your body to burn more energy than usual, and, as a result, consume more glucose. Maintaining a low level of physical activity, on the other hand, means more glucose will remain in the bloodstream. This raises your overall blood glucose values in the process.

Exercise also makes our body more insulin sensitive, which means we will require less insulin for the rest of the day to control glucose levels.


Part of the body’s fight-or-flight response to stress is to produce additional glucose. Another facet of that response is an increase in the hormone cortisol. High cortisol can reduce the body’s sensitivity to insulin. As a result, blood glucose levels may also increase.

Poor sleep

A lack of quality sleep can inhibit how much insulin your body can release. It can also cause the production of cortisol, which makes it harder for insulin to work. When your body’s insulin cannot properly metabolize the glucose in your blood, the glucose remains there and your glucose levels rise.

(Video) Nutrition For Runners, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) & Optimizing Health | Kara Collier

10 main symptoms of high blood glucose

While an individual can have no noticeable symptoms and still have high blood glucose, knowing what kinds of symptoms tend to accompany high blood glucose helps us take the right action before things get worse. If for no other reason, keeping these markers of high blood glucose in mind can help you identify it more quickly in yourself.

The most common symptoms to be aware of are:

  1. Thirst
  2. Frequent urination
  3. Blurry vision
  4. Headaches and brain fog
  5. Increased cravings for carbs and sweets
  6. “Hanger”
  7. Poor energy levels or midday crashes
  8. Fatigue
  9. Unintentional weight loss
  10. Slow-healing cuts

How to diagnose high blood glucose

Doctors use four main tests to gauge patients’ blood glucose levels:

1. Fasting blood glucose test

Conducted after fasting for eight hours; a reading of 100 mg/dL or more is considered high or a sign of prediabetes, while a reading of at least 126 mg/dL indicates type 2 diabetes. However, for optimal health, we recommend aiming for a fasting glucose value below 90 mg/dL.

2. Oral glucose tolerance test

Conducted after fasting for eight hours, drinking a high-sugar glucose solution, and waiting two more hours; a reading of at least 140 mg/dL is considered a sign of prediabetes. A reading of 200 mg/dL or higher is type 2 diabetes. For optimal health, you want to aim for a two-hour glucose of 110 mg/dL or lower.

3. Random blood glucose test

Conducted at any time throughout the day; a reading of at least 200 mg/dL indicates type 2 diabetes.

4. A1c test

Conducted at any time throughout the day; a result below 5.7% is considered normal. A result greater than 5.7% is considered an indication of prediabetes, and a result of 6.5% or higher indicates type 2 diabetes.

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How to treat high blood glucose

Zanini says high blood glucose treatment is a hyper-individualized process based on several personal details. These include age, pre-existing conditions, current medications, and current blood glucose value. But, several overarching lifestyle changes can help reduce high blood glucose.

Address a poor diet

Everyone can benefit from consuming a diet rich in whole foods. It’s further beneficial to minimize intake of processed foods, such as foods containing sugar, flour, and vegetable seed oil. While there is no “best” diet for everyone, this golden rule of nutrition can help any person get more from their meals.

Personalized nutrition makes room for your unique differences and takes your individuality into account. The best way to find your perfect diet is to test different approaches, experiment, work with a dietitian, and use data such as glucose monitoring to assess if something is working or not.

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Maintain an active lifestyle

Take breaks during a sedentary workday, add a walk around the block to your morning routine, or try a new form of exercise. These activities bring great benefit in both the short and long term while helping reduce your overall stress. Including regular strength training and aerobic exercise will help to lower glucose values, as well.

(Video) What should your glucose levels be? Here’s the ultimate guide to healthy blood sugar ranges

Manage stress

Make stress-relieving practices like reframing your thoughts and soothing breathing exercises part of your daily routine. Doing so will reduce your overall stress and, in turn, help prevent spikes in cortisol.

Get adequate sleep

Getting good rest will help regulate your hormones and reduce unwanted spikes in your blood glucose levels.

Maintain a healthy weight

According to the American Diabetes Association, maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of developing high blood glucose and diabetes. If you’re working toward a healthy weight, the ADA recommends creating a sustainable routine you can stick with and focusing your efforts toward realistic goals.

Take medication as prescribed by your doctor

A doctor may prescribe anti-diabetes medication like metformin to help lower your blood glucose levels. If you’re at high risk of developing diabetes, taking this medication is crucial for lowering high glucose levels.

High Blood Sugar: 13 Reasons Your Glucose Levels Are Rising - Nutrisense Journal (9)

When should you see a doctor?

Your yearly doctor’s appointment is an excellent time to check in on your blood glucose levels. This is especially true if your age (over 45 years old), weight, or family history put you at higher risk for developing diabetes in general.

If you suspect you may have high blood glucose already, Zanini says that any changes in your health count as cause to see your doctor. Make an appointment to undergo the diagnostic tests listed above and to discuss treatment options with your provider. If you have high blood glucose and experience trouble breathing, vomiting, confusion, extremely high thirst, or other symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, seek medical attention right away. This condition occurs when your body burns fat too quickly and converts it into ketones, which make your blood acidic. It can be life-threatening if left untreated.

How to tell if your blood glucose levels are high?

When learning more about your overall health and how your body responds to your routines, staying informed about your blood glucose levels should be a top priority. The following glucose monitoring options can help you get a better picture of your health:

Blood tests

As previously described, your doctor can conduct a series of blood tests to determine your blood glucose level. These may include a fasting blood glucose test or a random blood glucose test.

Oral glucose tolerance test

Your doctor may also conduct an oral glucose tolerance test. This procedure requires you to fast for eight hours, drink a high-sugar solution, and wait two more hours before your doctor tests your blood. From that test, they can identify your blood glucose level.

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Also known as a glucose meter, this device tests your blood glucose level with a finger prick. It can provide you with on-demand readings of your blood glucose levels.

Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)

This option measures your levels through a small, painless device on the back of your arm, keeping you updated on your blood glucose 24/7 and showing your responses to food, exercise, and other routines in real time.

(Video) How to Lower Blood Sugars Immediately | The Ultimate Guide

Prioritizing sleep, nutrition, and regular doctor’s visits are key for maintaining a healthy blood glucose level. They're also highly effective preventative measures. Keeping track of new symptoms or changes in your health, like weight loss, fatigue, or increased thirst and urination is also important.


Is 13 high for blood sugar? ›

Recommended Blood Sugar Targets

Before meals, your blood sugar should be: From 90 to 130 mg/dL (5.0 to 7.2 mmol/L) for adults. From 90 to 130 mg/dL (5.0 to 7.2 mmol/L) for children, 13 to 19 years old.

What causes blood sugar to rise all of a sudden? ›

Coffee—even without sweetener. Some people's blood sugar is extra-sensitive to caffeine. Losing sleep—even just one night of too little sleep can make your body use insulin less well. Skipping breakfast—going without that morning meal can increase blood sugar after both lunch and dinner.

What happens when blood glucose levels rise too high? ›

Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can cause serious health problems if it's not treated. Hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems.

Why does my blood sugar go up without eating? ›

Physical or emotional stress triggers the release of hormones that can cause high blood sugar levels. Menstrual periods and menopause also cause changes in the hormones that affect blood sugar levels. Regular blood sugar testing can uncover patterns. This can help you and your health care team control your diabetes.

Is blood sugar of 12.5 high? ›

Hyperglycemia, the term for expressing high blood sugar, has been defined by the World Health Organisation as: Blood glucose levels greater than 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dl) when fasting. Blood glucose levels greater than 11.0 mmol/L (200 mg/dl) 2 hours after meals.

Can stress cause your blood sugar to rise? ›

If stress doesn't go away, it can keep your blood sugar levels high and put you at higher risk of diabetes complications. It can also affect your mood and how you look after yourself, which can start to affect your emotional health. But there are things you can do to take the pressure off.

Does coffee increase blood sugar? ›

For most young, healthy adults, caffeine doesn't appear to noticeably affect blood sugar (glucose) levels, and having up to 400 milligrams a day appears to be safe.

What foods cause blood sugar to rise quickly? ›

In general, foods that cause blood sugar level to rise the most are those that are high in carbohydrates, which are quickly converted into energy, such as rice, bread, fruits and sugar. Next are foods high in protein, such as meats, fish eggs, milk and dairy products, and oily foods.

What is the normal blood sugar level for a 70 year old chart? ›

Normal ranges of blood sugar levels are between 70 and 130 mg/dL before eating meals. The American Diabetes Association recommends seniors have blood glucose levels of less than 180 mg/dL two hours after eating. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don't all need the same type of at-home care.

What affects blood sugar levels besides food? ›

Six factors that affect glucose besides food
  • Exercise. Exercise provides both short-term and long-term metabolic health benefits. ...
  • Stress. Stress prompts a hormonal response that increases glucose levels. ...
  • Sleep. ...
  • Microbiome. ...
  • Light. ...
  • Environmental toxins.
1 Jul 2022

Is 12 high for blood sugar level? ›

Mild high blood sugar

If your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than your target range (usually 11 mmol/L to 20 mmol/L, and 11 mmol/L to 14 mmol/L in children), you may have mild symptoms of high blood sugar. You may urinate more than usual if you are drinking plenty of liquids.

Why is my blood sugar rising 3 hours after eating? ›

Foods that are rich in fiber and slowly digesting (low-glycemic-index) carbs, such as legumes, dairy products and fresh vegetables, tend to cause a gradual/delayed rise in blood sugar. Instead of seeing a rapid spike, your blood sugar rises modestly a few hours after you eat.

How can I stabilize my blood sugar overnight? ›

Try one the following healthful snacks before bed to help manage blood sugar levels and satisfy nighttime hunger:
  1. A handful of nuts. ...
  2. A hard-boiled egg. ...
  3. Low-fat cheese and whole-wheat crackers. ...
  4. Baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, or cucumber slices. ...
  5. Celery sticks with hummus. ...
  6. Air-popped popcorn. ...
  7. Roasted chickpeas.

What time of day is blood sugar highest? ›

The dawn phenomenon is an early-morning rise in blood sugar, also called blood glucose, in people with diabetes. The dawn phenomenon leads to high levels of blood sugar, a condition called hyperglycemia. It usually happens between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Can drinking a lot of water lower your blood sugar? ›

Drinking water regularly may rehydrate the blood, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce diabetes risk ( 20 , 21 ). Keep in mind that water and other zero-calorie drinks are best. Avoid sugar-sweetened options, as these can raise blood glucose, drive weight gain, and increase diabetes risk ( 22 , 23 ).

What brings sugar down? ›

When your blood sugar level gets too high — known as hyperglycemia or high blood glucose — the quickest way to reduce it is to take fast-acting insulin. Exercising is another fast, effective way to lower blood sugar. In some cases, you should go to the hospital instead of handling it at home.

What blood sugar level is alarming? ›

In general, a blood sugar reading of more than 180 mg/dL or any reading above your target range is too high. A blood sugar reading of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. If you have 2 readings in a row of 300 or more, call your doctor.

At what sugar level is diabetic coma? ›

A diabetic coma could happen when your blood sugar gets too high -- 600 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or more -- causing you to become very dehydrated. It usually affects people with type 2 diabetes that isn't well-controlled. It's common among those who are elderly, chronically ill, and disabled.

What is the highest your blood sugar can go? ›

Michael Patrick Buonocore (USA) (b. 19 May 2001), survived a blood sugar level of 147.6 mmol/L (2,656 mg/dl) when admitted to the Pocono Emergency Room in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, USA, on 23 March 2008. The normal blood sugar range is between 4.4 to 6.6 mmol/L (80-120 mg/dl).

Is coffee good for diabetes? ›

Plain coffee does not seem to directly increase levels of blood sugar, or blood glucose. This is good news for people with diabetes who like black coffee. However, some research suggests that the caffeine in coffee could impair insulin sensitivity, which is not ideal for people with diabetes.

How much water should a diabetic drink? ›

8 glasses of water per day add up to about 2 liters of water (67 ounces or just over half a gallon). As people with diabetes, drinking enough water is especially crucial. Even a little dehydration during the day (which is easier than we realize) can impact our blood sugars.

Which sweetener does not spike insulin? ›

Aspartame: The oldest and most studied sweetener, aspartame has zero grams of sugar and won't spike insulin levels after it's consumed.

Is oatmeal good for diabetics? ›

Oatmeal offers a host of health benefits and can be a great go-to food for those with diabetes, as long as the portion is controlled. One cup of cooked oatmeal contains approximately 30 grams of carbs, which can fit into a healthy meal plan for people with diabetes.

Is peanut butter good for diabetics? ›

Peanut butter can definitely be part of a healthy diabetes diet plan. Always look for peanut butter that contains only peanuts and maybe some salt. Avoid peanut butter that includes added sugars and hydrogenated oils.

Are bananas good for diabetics? ›

A person with diabetes should include a variety of fresh, whole foods in their diet, such as nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Bananas are a safe and nutritious fruit for people with diabetes to eat in moderation as part of a balanced, individualized eating plan.

What fruits to avoid if you are diabetic? ›

Diabetics should avoid fruits with a high GI or eat them in moderation so that their blood sugar levels do not spike abruptly. Pineapple, watermelon, mango, lychee, and banana have a high GI, so these are the worst fruits if you are diabetic.

Do bananas raise your blood sugar? ›

A banana's effect on blood sugar depends on its ripeness

Green (unripe) bananas contain resistant starch, which doesn't raise blood sugar levels and may improve long-term blood sugar management. Yellow (ripe) bananas contain more sugar, so they may cause a bigger rise in blood sugar.

What should your A1C be if you are over 65? ›

The key measure of diabetes control is hemoglobin A1c. For healthy over 65ers with long life expectancy, the target should be 7.0 – 7.5%.

What is a good A1C for seniors? ›

For functionally independent older adults, the IDF recommends an A1C goal of 7–7.5%, whereas for functionally dependent, frail patients or patients with dementia, an A1C goal of 7–8% is recommended.

At what A1C level should you start metformin? ›

The ADA also said that health-care professionals could consider metformin for anyone with prediabetes or an HbA1c level (a measure of long-term blood glucose control) between 5.7% and 6.4%.

What foods will stabilize blood sugar? ›

Here are 17 foods that may help regulate your blood sugar.
  • Broccoli and broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane is a type of isothiocyanate that has blood-sugar-reducing properties. ...
  • Seafood. ...
  • Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. ...
  • Nuts and nut butter. ...
  • Okra. ...
  • Flax seeds. ...
  • Beans and lentils. ...
  • Kimchi and sauerkraut.
10 Aug 2020

Does blood sugar spike immediately after eating? ›

After eating, your blood sugar levels begin to rise within 15 to 30 minutes, but only if your meal or snack includes carbohydrates. The speed and level of the increase depend on the type of carbohydrates and other nutrients found in the foods you eat, as well as on your body's ability to manage your blood sugar levels.

How high can blood sugar go 1 hour after eating? ›

Normal Levels

A normal fasting glucose is 60 to 100 milligrams per deciliter; your levels should rise no higher than 200 mg/dl one hour after eating and no more than 140 mg/dl two hours after finishing the snack. Most healthy people without diabetes have two-hour readings below 120 mg/dl.

What can I drink before bed to lower my blood sugar? ›

A: Drinking apple cider vinegar at bedtime can help diabetic people control their blood glucose levels. A diabetic patient should take one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in warm water before sleep. It can also aid in the regulation of fasting blood sugar levels in the morning.

How long does it take cinnamon to lower blood sugar? ›

One study showed that consuming 1 gram (g) of cinnamon extract daily for 12 weeks reduced fasting blood sugar levels and improved markers of oxidative stress in people with type 2 diabetes ( 8 ).

Can lack of sleep cause elevated blood sugar? ›

A: Yes. Multiple studies have shown that repeated awakenings during the night, insufficient sleep, excessive sleep, and irregular sleep all promote glucose intolerance. Furthermore, if a person has prediabetes or diabetes, poor sleep will worsen the condition.

Why is my blood sugar spiking so high? ›

When you eat food, particularly foods high in carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, or pasta, your blood sugar will immediately begin to rise. If your blood sugar is consistently high, you need to talk with a doctor about improving your diabetes management. Blood sugar rises when: you're not taking enough insulin.

What is the root cause of high blood sugar? ›

The exact cause of most types of diabetes is unknown. In all cases, sugar builds up in the bloodstream. This is because the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes may be caused by a combination of genetic or environmental factors.

What does it mean to have an A1C of 13? ›

A high hemoglobin A1c , or A1C, shows your body has difficulty regulating glucose levels. An A1C of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes. Dangerous levels of A1C are 9% and higher. An A1C above 9% increases the risk of long-term diabetes complications like blindness, nerve damage, and kidney failure.

What does a blood sugar level of 14 mean? ›

Blood sugar levels are tested periodically for the next two hours. In general: Less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L ) is normal. 140 to 199 mg/dL (7.8 to 11.0 mmol/L ) is consistent with prediabetes. 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L ) or higher after two hours suggests diabetes.

What sugar level is considered very high? ›

Hyperglycaemia, or a hyper, can happen when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too high – usually above 7mmol/l before a meal and above 8.5mmol/l two hours after a meal.

At what A1C level does damage start? ›

A normal A1C level is below 5.7%, a level of 5.7% to 6.4% indicates prediabetes, and a level of 6.5% or more indicates diabetes. Within the 5.7% to 6.4% prediabetes range, the higher your A1C, the greater your risk is for developing type 2 diabetes.
Your A1C Result.
A1C %eAG mg/dL
2 more rows

What foods to avoid if your A1C is high? ›

Worst Choices
  • Fried meats.
  • Higher-fat cuts of meat, such as ribs.
  • Pork bacon.
  • Regular cheeses.
  • Poultry with skin.
  • Deep-fried fish.
  • Deep-fried tofu.
  • Beans prepared with lard.
6 Dec 2020

How can I lower my A1C 13? ›

7 Ways to Improve Your A1C
  1. Exercise. Physical activity helps your body use insulin more efficiently, so it can better process the glucose in your blood. ...
  2. Eat Right. ...
  3. Take Medications as Prescribed. ...
  4. Manage Your Stress. ...
  5. Stick to a Schedule. ...
  6. Drink in Moderation. ...
  7. Monitor Your Numbers.

How do you bring blood sugar down quickly? ›

When your blood sugar level gets too high — known as hyperglycemia or high blood glucose — the quickest way to reduce it is to take fast-acting insulin. Exercising is another fast, effective way to lower blood sugar.
Eat a consistent diet
  1. whole grains.
  2. fruits.
  3. vegetables.
  4. lean proteins.
12 Aug 2020

At what glucose level does damage occur? ›

First, the numbers. “Post-meal blood sugars of 140 mg/dl [milligrams per deciliter] and higher, and fasting blood sugars over 100 mg/dl [can] cause permanent organ damage and cause diabetes to progress,” Ruhl writes.

How fast can A1C drop in 3 months? ›

Remember what your A1C measures: your average blood sugars over the past three months. The good news is that if your A1C is on the high side, say, 10% or higher, it will likely start to drop within two to three months (in other words, the higher it is, the faster it comes down).

What blood sugar level requires insulin? ›

Insulin is usually recommended as the initial therapy for diabetes if a person's HbA1c level at diagnosis is greater than 10% or if someone's fasting blood glucose level is consistently above 250 mg/dl.

Can stress cause high glucose? ›

If stress doesn't go away, it can keep your blood sugar levels high and put you at higher risk of diabetes complications. It can also affect your mood and how you look after yourself, which can start to affect your emotional health. But there are things you can do to take the pressure off.

What are the 10 signs of high blood sugar? ›

Early signs and symptoms of diabetes
  • Frequent urination. When your blood sugar is high, your kidneys expel the excess blood sugar, causing you to urinate more frequently. ...
  • Increased thirst. ...
  • Fatigue. ...
  • Blurred vision. ...
  • Increased hunger. ...
  • Unexplained weight loss. ...
  • Slow healing cuts and wounds. ...
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet.
24 Jun 2021


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Author information

Name: Dong Thiel

Birthday: 2001-07-14

Address: 2865 Kasha Unions, West Corrinne, AK 05708-1071

Phone: +3512198379449

Job: Design Planner

Hobby: Graffiti, Foreign language learning, Gambling, Metalworking, Rowing, Sculling, Sewing

Introduction: My name is Dong Thiel, I am a brainy, happy, tasty, lively, splendid, talented, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.