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Blood sugar 101: glucose spikes & crashes

What goes up must come down… Find out how glucose level ups (spikes) & downs (crashes) affect your wellbeing.

When your blood glucose spikes, it’s followed by a dramatic drop.[1] Our bodies don’t like dramatic fluctuations, so when this happens, you probably won’t be feeling your best. Over time, spikes (and consequent crashes) can lead to a number of issues—ranging from sluggishness to chronic inflammation to increased risk of metabolic health issues.

Blood sugar + chronic inflammation

Dietary sugar can cause toxic substances to be created within our tissue or cells, which contributes to inflammation in our body. Inflammation is created by our immune system response—a side effect to fighting something like an irritant, a toxin or injury. It’s our body giving a clear signal that something is going wrong in there. (More info on how inflammation works here.)

Chronic inflammation—lasting months or years—can lead to a whole host of problems, including obesity, glucose imbalance, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic liver disease, cardio-metabolic diseases, and malnutrition.[5,6]

Other potential risks of blood sugar spikes

Continually spiking or elevated blood sugar can cause additional issues, aside from chronic inflammation (though, things tend to go hand in hand).[1,2] These include:

  • Increased insulin production, which can lead to insulin resistance (a state of requiring more insulin in order to transport glucose into cells for energy)
  • Pre-diabetes, diabetes, and other chronic conditions related to your heart, blood sugar, cells, and gut[3]

Monitoring your blood sugar: the first step in preventing spikes & crashes 

New tools in digital health are creating novel and often more effective ways to prevent disease. CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) is shaping up to be one of these.[4] The Veri CGM platform provides a real-time look at your glucose trends as you go about your daily life, opening up a deep understanding of how lifestyle contributors play a vital role in your metabolic response.

Veri’s Meal Scores help you to better understand the effects of what you eat, in a frankly confusing world of labels and names from ‘superfoods’ to ‘natural’ and ‘health’ foods. With Veri you discover how your body is really interacting with the food you give it, in order to optimize your wellbeing.

If you can bio-tune yourself to better avoid these dangerous players that drive high blood sugar and inflammation, then you are proactively protecting your metabolic health, which may help to avoid more serious health issues down the line. Earlier use of CGM technology for at-risk but not yet diagnosed diabetes, may hold the potential to significantly reduce the worldwide medical burden of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

References:

1. Ceriello A, Esposito K, Piconi L, et al. Oscillating Glucose Is More Deleterious to Endothelial Function and Oxidative Stress Than Mean Glucose in Normal and Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Diabetes. 2008;57(5):1349-1354. doi:10.2337/db08-0063

2. O’Keefe JH, Bell DSH. Postprandial Hyperglycemia/Hyperlipidemia (Postprandial Dysmetabolism) Is a Cardiovascular Risk Factor. Am J Cardiol. 2007;100(5):899-904. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2007.03.107

3. Barzegar N, Ramezankhani A, Tohidi M, Azizi F, Hadaegh F. Long-Term Glucose Variability and Incident Cardiovascular Diseases and All-Cause Mortality Events in Subjects with and without Diabetes: Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2021;0(0). doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2021.108942

4. Galindo RJ, Aleppo G. Continuous glucose monitoring: The achievement of 100 years of innovation in diabetes technology. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2020;170:108502. doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2020.108502

5. Peng-Xu Wang, et al. “Gut microbiota and metabolic syndrome”, 2020. Chinese Medicine Journal. URL: ‍https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7147654/  

6. Yong Fan, Oluf Pedersen. “Gut microbiota in human metabolic health and disease”, 2020. URL: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32887946/

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