What causes blood sugar levels to elevate high and very low?

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Figuring out why drastic changes in blood glucose levels occur takes some doing. Here are some places to start looking for answers:

•  Timing of insulin injections: The action times (onset, peak, duration)
   are important to know when timing your insulin injections.

•  Insulin dose: Are you sure you are measuring your dose accurately?
   Would using an insulin pen or pump help?

•  Injection sites: Are you on a regular rotation schedule? Most insulins
   are absorbed at the most consistent rate from the abdomen.

•  Injection depth: Do you inject your insulin at the same depth each
   time?

•  Blood flow: Do you inject into areas where muscles are at work? Do
   you smoke? Working muscles and warm temperatures speed up
   absorption. Cool temperatures and tobacco slow down absorption.

•  Food intake: Are you able to accurately count the carbohydrates in
   your food? Does your carbohydrate-to-insulin ratio need to be
   adjusted?

•  Hypoglycemia: Do you have frequent bouts of very low blood
   glucose? Your body’s natural defenses to this (glucose release from
   the liver) can be spoiling your insulin’s work.

•  Neuropathy: Do you have nerve damage that affects your absorption
   of food? Nerve damage can slow digestion or can produce unexpected
   bouts of diarrhea.

•  Dehydration: Do you have sustained periods of high blood glucose
   that drain your body of fluids? The less water in your body, the harder
   it is for your insulin to flow into tissues.

Continue Learning about Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.