How to Manage Blood Glucose Spikes

[Technical note: My doctor considers blood sugar in units of mmol/L. In the US, it is usually measured in mg/dL. The conversion is a factor of 18. So if your doctor talks about blood sugar numbers like 90-120, mine would be talking about numbers like 5-6.7]

The main goal of monitoring blood glucose levels is to make sure that your blood glucose levels remain stable.  It is scary when you realize that your Blood Glucose Levels have spiked beyond the safe levels you where given.  In the beginning, as I was experimenting with my food, I was occasionally getting numbers that were a little over the guidelines I was given.  I was supposed to have 6.7 or below and would get 6.8 occasionally.  That didn't bother me too much, I just knew to have a smaller portion or avoid that food in the future. The first time, I was worried about a number was when it went over 7 for the first time. It was definitely caused by my diet, but my concern was how can I get it down? The second number that scared me was after a dinner out for my birthday. I got a 7.5 after 2 hours.  As mentioned that is quite a bit higher than I am supposed to be. I did a few things to help lower my number and I was feeling off and curious at the 3-hour mark so I went ahead and tested again and got a 9.7! Now that number scared me.  I wasn't expecting anything that high at all.  And of course, at 9:30 pm on a Saturday, I couldn't call my doctor to ask what to do.  I did talk to my team and was told the reason why it would have kept rising was that I had lots of protein and fats with my carbs and it would have slowed down the absorption. It is also important to note that my team is not worried about occasional spikes that happen once or twice a night as long as I know what has caused them. I do like to try and bring my numbers down as soon as I can though. 

After a higher carb meal or any meal you are worried about,  it is recommended that you go for a walk or do some exercise. Drink some water while waiting to test and make sure you have raised your heart rate for a bit and then have let it come back down at least 10 minutes before you start testing.  

After you have tested and found your number too high you should do similar things.  Go for a walk, dance, vacuum, have fun with your partner, anything that gets your heart rate up and gets your muscles moving is really good for your blood glucose levels.  It is also recommended to drink lots of water. This can help flush extra glucose out of your bloodstream.  Drink at least 2 glasses of water. Unlike when you go hypoglycemic you do not need to test again after a while unless you are on insulin and instructed to do so by your doctor.  Just do your best to stay calm and bring your numbers back down.  Eat something protein-based, like an egg or maybe greek yogurt to prevent your numbers from suddenly plummeting too low due to your body overreacting to the numbers.  

The most important thing to remember as you are trying to lower a high blood glucose level is that you are not harming your baby with the occasional high number.  This is why we are diagnosed and are monitoring our blood glucose levels, so we can avoid constant spikes whether it is through diet control or medication. Take a deep breath, and start over at the next meal.  


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