Blood sugar spikes are a result of the glucose buildup in the bloodstream. The body needs it as a fuel for the proper function of the brain, muscles, and organs, and most foods we consume are broken down into glucose.
Yet, it cannot be used as fuel unless it enters the body cells, which is helped by insulin, the hormone released by the pancreas.
Therefore, glucose floats around in the bloodstream and accumulated over time, in case the body lacks insulin. When it buildups up in the bloodstream, it elevates the levels of blood glucose or sugar.
High blood sugar levels do not necessarily mean diabetes, in case the individual recognizes the early signs and treats the issue in order to prevent its aggravation.
Nowadays, numerous people are suffering from high blood sugar, mostly due to the modern lifestyles we lead, being constantly exposed to stress, and eating unhealthy, processed foods, loaded with dangerous chemicals.
High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can be of two main kinds:
- Fasting hyperglycemia- when the blood sugar is higher than 130 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) after not eating or drinking for at least 8 hours.
- Postprandial or after-meal hyperglycemia- when the blood sugar is higher than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after meals.
If left untreated, high blood sugar can lead to severe nerve damage, as well as damage to the blood vessels and organs, and various serious conditions and health issues.
The blood sugar levels can elevate due to various reasons, including:
- If one skips the insulin or oral glucose-lowering medicine
- A diet rich in carbohydrates
- Physical inactivity
- Participating in strenuous physical activity, especially when the blood sugar levels are high and insulin levels are low
Therefore, it is of high importance to learn to spot the early signs of the elevated levels of sugar in the blood:
Excess Abdominal Weight/Fat: The consumed food cannot enter the body cells to nourish them, so you feel constantly hungry and start gaining weight, especially in the belly area.
Nerve Problems: The blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen to the nerves get damaged due to the high blood sugar levels.
Excessive Urination/Urinating During the Night— High blood sugar levels might cause a urinary tract infection which can lead to a frequent urge to urinate.
Blurred Vision: High blood sugar levels can lead to swelling in the lens of the eyes, which can be the reason for the blurred vision.
Stomach Problems: In the case of high blood sugar levels, one faces difficulties to empty the food from the stomach, which leads to pain, nausea, bloating and distention.
Dry and Itchy Skin: The poor blood circulation leads to itchiness, especially in the lower parts of the legs
Difficulty Concentrating: The lack of insulin impedes the removal of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, reducing many bodily functions, and causing tiredness and inability to concentrate.
Dry Mouth: The mouth can feel very dry due to the elevated glucose levels.
Recurrent Infections: Certain recurring infections might also indicate high sugar levels in the blood.
Dysfunction of the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands- These issues, as well as pancreas issues, might be another sign of high glucose levels.
Thirst: The excessive work of the kidneys with the aim to filter and absorb the excess sugar causes thirst as a way for the fluids to eliminate it through the urine.
Slow Healing Wounds: In case the bruises or wounds need much more time to heal than usual, you might suffer from high blood sugar.
Always Hungry: The reduced levels of the hormone incretin, which reduces the flow of sugar from the liver after meals, leads to constant hunger. This can happen shortly after eating, as a way to again increase blood sugar levels.
Constant Fatigue or Extreme Tiredness: If your thyroid level is low, there is a good chance you are going to feel tired, sleepy or depressed. In order to fight infections, it takes energy, which can result in constant fatigue and high blood sugar levels.
Skin Changes: Discolorations, skin growths, and dark, thick skin areas on the hands and neck might indicate this condition too.
Tingling and Numbness: The nerve damage, or neuropathy, that results from the elevated blood sugar also leads to tingling and numbness in certain body areas.
Impotence: If left untreated, this problem might lead to damage to the blood vessels and nerves and cause impotence in men.