Unexpectedly High Glucose Levels - Causes and Prevention

Unexpectedly High Glucose Levels – Causes and Prevention

By NaDica | Articles

Apr 20

Even if you are following your doctor’s recommendation, exercising regularly and eating right, your sugar levels might sometimes increase unexpectedly. The director of the Diabetes Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, Linda M. Siminerio, RD, Ph.D., talks on this topic.

According to Dr. Siminerio, in people without diabetes, blood glucose levels fluctuate constantly. However, if you have diabetes and you wake up with unexpected high blood glucose, you should not ignore it.

In case high blood glucose occurs once in a while and you can get it under control with exercise and insulin, it might be nothing serious.

According to Dr. Siminerio, this might happen due to a big piece of cake you had the previous night or because you weren’t physically active the previous day.

However, if you regularly wake up with high blood glucose and don’t know the reason behind it you need to investigate it. Read on to find out more about unexpectedly high glucose levels.

Causes of Unexpectedly High Glucose Levels

The reason might be the hormones(others than insulin) produced by the body in order to regulate the activity of certain cells and organs.

You should know that hormones are actually bossy substances, exerting an impact on the mood, digestive, growth, metabolic and reproductive functions.

As a matter of fact, when development stages, emotional stress, surgery or illness activate some changes in the hormones, blood glucose might be impacted as well:

When the body is under stress, it readies for action by ensuring that there is sufficient amount of glucose available.

In fact, the insulin levels drop while epinephrine, i.e., adrenaline and glucagon levels increase to make sure that the liver releases more sugar.

Simultaneously, growth hormone and cortisol amounts increase, making our muscle and fat tissues less sensitive to insulin. Insulin requirements for kids increase as the kids grow, mainly during puberty.

This occurs due to fluctuations in a stew of testosterone, estrogen and similar hormones and growth. Growth hormone mainly might lead to muscle and fat cells to resist insulin.

Then the body compensates by making more insulin in kids that don’t have diabetes, but those kids with type 1 diabetes might need notable adjustments of their insulin dose.

Estrogen, testosterone and similar hormones, might start hyperglycemia in some women and girls who have diabetes, by causing temporary insulin resistance.

In fact, 3 to 5 days before their period many women and girls notice increased blood glucose levels. Some of them continue to have increased sugar after their period starts, while others notice a fast decline.

During menopause, women continuously report having less predictable blood glucose numbers.

Preventing Your Blood Sugar From Going Too High

There are ways you can avoid increased blood glucose levels:

Monitor Your Blood Sugar On a Regular Basis

This needs to be a priority for you. Monitor your blood sugar regularly and ensure to keep track of the results. Talk about your blood sugar results with your doctor.

However, in case you are experiencing unexplained and frequent blood glucose spikes, contact your doctor immediately.

By monitoring and keeping track of sugar values, you’ll understand of recurring sugar fluctuations due to periodic hormonal changes, and might accordingly adjust your diabetes management plan.


Exercise might lower your blood glucose because the muscles need to call the sugar stores for power. However, you should not exercise in case you have ketones, a kind of acid, in the urine.

Why? Because exercising with ketones might be risky since it can make your blood glucose go up.

Signs You Have Ketones In Your Urine

  • You are short of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Fruity breath
  • Throwing up
  • Nausea

Also, you can consult your doctor about how to test for ketones in your urine with ketone strips at the comfort of your home.

Take Your Medication As Your Doctor Prescribed

In case your blood glucose fluctuates overnight you might need to adjust your timing or dose or maybe even try another medication.

Also, you should bear in mind that after some time you might need to change your usual medication. That is why it is crucial to visit your doctor.

Lower Stress Levels

Try to do some activities that relax you, mainly before your bedtime so will sleep better. Your diabetes educator or doctor might help you prevent unexpected high blood glucose.