Blood Sugar Levels

Causes Of High Blood Sugar

What Causes High Blood Sugar? High Blood Sugar, or diabetes, is genetic. Genes are influenced by certain triggers.

For example, the environment, such as food and drink, medicine or stress can all help cause high blood sugar. If you have a family history of any related blood sugar or insulin disorder (diabetes, gestational diabetes, insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome) then you are at more risk for having high blood sugar.

What is important to understand is that genetics and each environmental trigger together cause high blood sugar.

5 Factors As Causes of High Blood Sugar

If you have a blood sugar condition, there are typically 5 main causes high blood sugar occurs:

  1. when the sugar you eat is unable to get into the cell. If it cannot enter the cell it remains in the blood causing high levels of sugar in the blood.
  2. with hormones that fluctuate, for example during menstruation.
  3. under emotional or physical stress raising cortisol levels that will raise blood sugar.
  4. as result of taking certain types of medications (cough medicine or steroids) or skipping blood sugar medication.
  5. when your liver produces blood sugar in response to low (overnight or during the day) blood sugar.

Regardless of the reason, when your body cannot handle carbohydrates or refined sugar normally, it causes high blood sugar.  For others who do not have the combined risk factors, they can handle internal and environmental blood sugar challenges and they maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Ideal Blood Sugar Range

High blood sugar is any blood sugar that does not fall within the normal range. Ideally, blood sugar should be between 70-100 mg/dl and less than 120 mg/dl after meals. These are simple and will help avoid complications from higher than normal blood sugar.



Blood sugar level in mg/dL

Fasting or before meals60 – 90
1 hour after meals100 – 120

While The American Diabetes Association (ADA), Joslin Diabetes Center (JDC), and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) offer separate targets for people living with diabetesI DO NOT Agree.

My clients manage diabetes and follow the same blood sugar guidelines as are recommended for people without diabetes.

Time of check

Blood sugar levels for those without diabetes

Target blood sugar levels for those with diabetes

Fasting (before breakfast)less than 100 mg/dL

80 – 130 mg/dL (ADA)

70-130 mg/dL (JDC)

less than 110 (AACE)

Before mealsless than 110 mg/dL70-130 mg/dL (JDC)

2 hrs after meal

1-2 hrs after meal

less than 140 mg/dL

less than 180 mg/dL (ADA & JDC)

less than 140 (AACE)

Bedtimeless than 120 mg/dLbetween 90 – 150 mg/dL (JDC)
A1C levelsless than 5.7 percentless than 7 percent

Monitor Blood Sugar

Now you know the ideal target blood sugar ranges, you will need to self monitor it. Initially, check blood before and after meals, when you wake-up and go to bed. Once you identify a pattern, you will not need to monitor your blood sugar as often. Then you can identify when high blood sugar occurs.

Once you do this, and blood sugar is consistently in range, you can check less frequently. Finally, you can spot check different times of the day and then weekly, not daily.  The longer your blood sugar is consistently within the normal range, your need for monitoring can even be monthly. 

Causes of High Blood Sugar Wrap up

For the most part, there are various causes of high blood sugar. Blood sugar monitoring is instrumental in giving you valuable information to keep blood sugar in normal ranges.  As a result, you will feel good and be healthy.    

About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.

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