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The Ups and Downs of Blood Sugar

Keep Your Blood Sugar from Fluctuating

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Updated February 02, 2009

The Ups and Downs of Blood Sugar Stockbyte/Getty Images
Blood glucose levels fluctuate all the time, depending on many factors. The trick is to keep them from going too low or too high. If you are aware of the kinds of things that can affect your blood sugar, it's easier to keep it under control.

When you eat, your blood sugar goes up as the food digests and enters the bloodstream. Simple carbohydrates and sweet foods make blood sugar rise higher and faster than complex carbs, proteins and fats.

What you drink matters, too. Alcohol can raise or lower your blood sugar.

Your diabetes medications work to lower your blood sugar. Some kinds of medications can lower it too much sometimes, resulting in hypoglycemia. If the diabetes medication that you're taking isn't lowering your blood glucose effectively, your blood sugar can get too high. This is called hyperglycemia.

Exercise lowers your blood sugar, as your muscles use the glucose for energy.

Hormones can play havoc with your blood sugar, especially during menstruation. Keep a journal, so you know how your blood sugar reacts during this time.

When you are sick with a cold or flu, your blood sugars can go up dangerously high. Make sure to test often during an illness.

Are you stressed? Stress can affect your blood sugar. Excess stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol, which can raise your blood sugar.

Elizabeth Scott, About.com's Guide to Stress Management tells you more...

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