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Inconsistent blood sugar control in diabetes

03/13/2003 - Questions and Answers

Inconsistent blood sugar control in diabetes

By: Mark Castleden

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Question

I am diabetic. Why is harder to control my blood sugar at some times than at other times ?

Answer

The blood sugar of people with diabetes may alter significantly with diet. Fasting causes low blood sugar, and this may occur sufficiently quickly to be apparent during the night or early morning, after the natural fasting that occurs at night. Reactive low blood sugar may also occur in some people 2-5 hours after a meal. People with diabetes are usually otherwise well in these situations of low blood sugars. Too much insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs (diabetic tablets for lowering the blood sugar) also cause the blood sugar to be too low. The converse is true with too little insulin. Exercise may cause problems if it is varied from day to day, as it decreases the body's insulin requirements. Any injury or infection leads to a stress response from the body that increases the insulin requirements. This may be further complicated by the person decreasing or stopping eating, because they feel unwell, and subsequently thinking that they should decrease their insulin or their diabetic tablets, which they should not do. Even when no food is taken, or the person is vomiting, the need for diabetic treatment is likely to be the same as when they were well. Of course a doctor's opinion should be sought in these situations.

Links

  • Source of various types of information on diabetes, including measuring levels
Created on: 03/30/2000
Reviewed on: 03/13/2003

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