Blood sugar spikes are normally associated with diabetes, but the truth is that anyone can experience high glucose levels after consuming a high carbohydrate meal (5). For most people, your body responds by releasing insulin to turn the glucose into energy (6). Individuals with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin, while those with type 2 diabetes are resistant to the insulin produced. Both of these conditions result in hyperglycemia.
Hyperglycemia occurs when blood sugar remains high over time (not just a short-lived spike after a meal). Causes of hyperglycemia include illness, infection, stress, certain medications, or not taking enough insulin.
On the other hand, symptoms of hyperglycemia include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, and increased thirst. Hyperglycemia is confirmed by a blood test if the glucose level measures over 240 mg/dl.
The Dangers of High Blood Sugar Levels
Hyperglycemia impairs your pancreas’ ability to make insulin. The organ then overcompensates and produces too much of the hormone. Eventually, the pancreas is permanently damaged can can’t produce insulin anymore (7).
Hyperglycemia also contributes to atherosclerosis, which increases your risk of kidney disease, kidney failure, stroke, heart attack, vision loss, weakened immune system, erectile dysfunction, nerve damage (neuropathy), and poor circulation to the legs and feet. Diabetic neuropathy and poor circulation can lead to foot infections that can go unnoticed. This can eventually cause permanent damage and, eventually, foot amputation.
17 Tips To Bring Blood Sugar Down Fast
Here are a few ways to stabilize blood sugar levels and avoid post-meal spikes for diabetics and non-diabetics alike.