How to Control Blood Sugar Spikes

Many diabetics struggle to control the sudden blood sugar spikes that can occur after meals. Knowing why blood sugar spikes happen and making small changes to your meals and routine can help you better manage diabetes.

What Causes Spikes?

The blood sugar spikes that you encounter after a meal happen because your body is not completely in sync. When a non-diabetic eats a meal, there is an immediate release of insulin into the bloodstream, and the production of a hormone called amylin occurs. Insulin that is produced by the pancreas does its job in just a few minutes, which is to move glucose obtained from food from the bloodstream into cells throughout the body. The hormone amylin keeps food from reaching the intestines too quickly, which is where the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. When this happens blood sugar rises only a small amount after meals.

For people with diabetes, the process is a bit different and the timing does not work the same. When insulin is injected or infused via a pump into the body it takes approximately 15 minutes to start working. Once insulin begins to work it will take 60 to 90 minutes to peak and four hours or more to finish working. Furthermore, amylin is either produced in insufficient amounts or not at all in people who have diabetes. Due to the insufficient amounts of amylin food is digested even faster than usual. This combination of slower insulin and faster digestion can cause blood sugar levels to rise very high right after a meal.

How to Prevent Spikes

  1. Split your meals. To keep your blood sugar from spiking try saving a portion of your meal for a snack, one or two hours later. You should still take the full mealtime insulin before eating any meal, but try to avoid eating the entire meal at once.
  2. Get moving. Doing a little exercise after eating can reduce post-meal spikes as well. When you take insulin prior to a meal or snack and exercise after, the enhanced blood flow to the skin surface is likely to make the insulin absorb and act more quickly. Ten to fifteen minutes of mild activity will go a long way. The key is to avoid sitting for extended periods of time after a meal.
  3. Understand glycemic load and carbohydrates. Glycemic load (GL) measures how many carbohydrates are in food affects your blood sugar levels. Foods made with refined carbohydrates, like white pasta, are digested quickly and have a higher GL that causes blood sugar levels to rise rapidly, but foods made with complex carbohydrates, such as whole-wheat pasta, have a lower GL that has a much smaller effect on blood sugar.
  4. Control portion size. Keep in mind that a large meal means more sugar enters the bloodstream at one time. Eating smaller portions beefed up by low GL snacks, such as nuts, keeps your blood sugar even throughout the day.
  5. Try different food combinations. Remember that what you eat with your carbohydrates matters as well. Protein and fat slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which will help prevent insulin spikes and drops. Try pairing an apple with peanut butter or serving rice with beans and avocado. These kinds of combinations can lessen the blood-sugar impact of your meal. Simply remember that the less processed your food and the more work your body has to do to digest it, the better it is for your blood sugar.

Sources: Sharecare.com and DiabetesSisters.org
Photo: [SOURCE]

Get Free Diabetic Supplies

Get free diabetic supplies delivered to your door. You will get a free glucose meter, lancing device, 100 test strips, 100 lancets, control solution and carrying case. Just pay shipping.

More Articles

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

There are several misconceptions about Diabetes. Learn more about the top misconceptions vs. facts surrounding Type 2 Diabetes below.

86...

It is estimated that 80,000 children and adolescents each year are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is diagnosed when the body...

As the summer months come to an end, we throw aside our swimsuits and bring out our favorite team jerseys! In America, fall means football, and...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose...

More Articles

It's not uncommon to spend several years living with type 2 diabetes and not even know you have the condition. Despite regular check-ups with your...

Type 2 diabetes has become so common in Western culture and media that this often lifelong, serious condition doesn't really raise an eyebrow...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Lantus is a once a day insulin injection that is taken at the same time every day. It replaces anywhere from the average three to five insulin...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can't help your community by being a blood donor. When persons with diabetes maintain good control...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise...

Having diabetes affects your body’s ability to handle hot, humid weather, and steamy temperatures can degrade diabetes supplies. But all of this...

Fashion and function come together in clothing developed by AnnaPS, making life a bit more comfortable and convenient for insulin users. The...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Financial aid and scholarship money are available for people with diabetes, but acquiring it requires an investment of time and patience. Whether...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

Smoking is a proven health hazard for everyone, but it is an especially dangerous habit for those with diabetes. Research shows that smokers with...