November is National Diabetes Month, and people may be surprised at the factors that can lead to high blood sugar levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control, these surprising triggers can send your blood sugar soaring.
- Sunburn — the pain causes stress, and stress increases blood sugar levels.
- Artificial sweeteners — more research is needed, but some studies show these sweeteners can raise blood sugar.
- 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.
- Time of day — blood sugar can be harder to control the later it gets.
- Dawn phenomenon — people have a surge in hormones early in the morning whether they have diabetes or not. For people with diabetes, blood sugar can spike.
- Dehydration — less water in your body means your blood sugar is more concentrated.
- Nose spray — some have chemicals that trigger their liver to make more blood sugar.
- Gum disease — it’s both a complication of diabetes and a blood sugar spiker.
Several other triggers can make your blood sugar fall. The Centers for Disease Control warns people that extreme heat can cause blood vessels to dilate. That makes insulin absorb more quickly and could lead to low blood sugar. If an activity or food is new, check your blood sugar before and after to see how you respond.