Blood sugar spikes refer to the dramatic rise of blood sugar that tends to occur following the consumption of food that is high in simple carbohydrates, such as sugar. Blood sugar spikes tend to be at their highest an hour or so after eating, so doctors always recommend that diabetics take a blood glucose reading at this time. This is what is known as a postprandial blood glucose test, and it is a vital tool in the battle against diabetes and in the prevention of future complications from the condition.
So, what exactly constitutes a spike in blood pressure? The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics work to keep their blood glucose levels under 160 mg/dL one hour after eating, though there are some practitioners who believe that those numbers can be relaxed a little for children and teenagers. That means that if you eat a meal and your blood sugar reads as 200 mg/dL one hour later, you are experiencing a blood sugar spike.
Blood sugar spikes are important to control because it is the elevated blood glucose that degrades and damages the body of a diabetic over time, causing all manner of complications from blindness through retinopathy to kidney failure to the possible amputation of the lower legs. There remains some debate as to a safe upper limit, but the best way to avoid complications is to ensure that blood sugar spikes do not exceed 140 mg/dL one hour after eating, which is considered to be the upper limit to be considered non-diabetic.
There are many different ways to avoid blood sugar spikes and keep your blood sugar levels normal, and most of them are common sense lifestyle changes that are healthy for anyone, not just diabetics. To put it simply, controlling blood sugar spikes involves a healthy diet that is rich in high-fiber vegetables and lean meats like chicken breast and fish while at the same time being very low in simple carbohydrates, such as the kind found in flour and sugar.
Aside from dietary changes, regular exercise allows you to better control possible blood sugar spikes and improve your overall good health and fitness. As little as fifteen minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day will provide benefit, but you would ideally shoot for thirty to forty-five minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day coupled with two or three strength training sessions throughout the week.
Blood sugar spikes are a common problem facing diabetics, and need to be controlled in order to ensure continued health. Though there may be some mild physical symptoms, the best way to detect spikes in blood sugar involve the regular use of a blood glucose meter. They can be controlled through simple lifestyle changes that, though difficult for many, will go a long way toward ensuring a longer, healthier life.