Hidden Reasons for High Blood Sugar

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

a picture of a blood sugar monitor with the reading of 208

As you probably know, when you consume carbohydrates, your blood sugar will go higher in response. So it stands to reason that if you want to lower your blood sugar, you need to reduce your carbs.

Makes sense, right? Lower your carb intake, lower your blood sugar. This is normally what happens, and it’s why I am so passionate about the combination of Healthy KetoTM and intermittent fasting as a way to get and keep your blood sugar at normal, healthy levels.

You may find, much to your surprise and annoyance, that your blood sugar goes up in the morning, without any obvious cause like eating a high-carb breakfast or snack.

Or you worked out before bed, leaving you feeling healthy and energized, only to discover your blood glucose elevated in the morning. What gives? Isn’t exercise supposed to be good for you?

You’re not doing anything wrong. There are some lesser-known causes of high blood sugar that I want to let you know about. In this article, I’ll cover 9 reasons why your blood sugar could be high, including:

  • The delicate hormonal balancing act your body tries to keep your blood sugar normal
  • How low blood sugar can actually result in high blood sugar
  • The surprising effect of eating carbs that can last up to 24 hours
  • How your blood pressure could be affecting your blood sugar

Let’s get going.

9 Reasons For High Blood Sugar That May Surprise You

#1 Cortisol Surge In the Morning

At about 8 am, your body normally will shift its hormones. A stress hormone called cortisol spikes, likely an adaptive trait in response to the anticipated normal stress of going about your day. Rising cortisol mobilizes sugar from your body, resulting in a spike of your blood sugar, especially if you have adrenal problems like adrenal fatigue or Fat Storing Hormone resistance, in which your body has been overwhelmed by chronic high levels of Fat Storing Hormone and can no longer respond to Fat Storing Hormone’s signals.

a hand-lettered sign that reads Stress Response System

#2 Low Blood Sugar

When you have low blood sugar, called hypoglycemia, your body will produce counter-regulatory hormones to try to adjust your blood sugar to normal levels. They are:

Although this list of hormones includes cortisol, the rise in it happens for a different reason than the normal morning surge; it can happen any time during the day to counter your hypoglycemia.

The reason you develop hypoglycemia is because you’re doing something to spike your Fat Storing Hormone, which then pushes down your blood sugar to levels that aren’t healthy. Usually, this happens because you’re eating a lot of carbohydrates, or you’re eating too frequently. Then this counter-hormones surge in an effort to raise your blood sugar to normal levels but in the process push it too high.

#3 Late Night Snacking

If you had a carbohydrate snack late last night, your blood sugar could still be too high this morning. Your body processes haven’t had a chance to get your blood sugar back down. This is especially so when you’re frequently eating high-carb snacks late at night.

#4 You Ate Sugar Yesterday

Eating sugar one day can throw off your blood sugar the next day. Most people are unaware of this; they’re so focused on what they ate an hour ago that they disregard what they ate the day before. So, it’s good to be aware of the ongoing effect of eating a carb snack. Your high blood sugar could be from something you ate 24 hours ago.

#5 Low Blood Pressure

Let’s say you’re taking a lot of blood pressure medication, resulting in your blood pressure being too low. When it’s too low, your body will sound an alarm and activate cortisol to get your pressure to normal. And of course, as we’ve seen, raising cortisol can also raise your blood glucose levels.

#6 Stress

If you’re going through some kind of stress, your blood sugar can rise in response. This effect can also happen with trauma, an infection, or when you’re taking synthetic cortisol such as prednisone or receiving cortisone injections. All of these factors result in stress, which can cause your blood glucose to go too high.

#7 You Forgot To Take Your Medications

If, for example, you’re a diabetic and forgot to take your medications, there’s no mechanism for your body to lower your blood sugar down to normal levels. Your body is simply unable to do its job.

#8 You Exercised Last Night

When you exercise, you burn up the sugar in your body. In response, your body releases those counter-hormones of cortisol, glucagon, and adrenaline in order to bring your blood sugar higher, and sometimes overshoots the mark.

#9 You Consumed Artificial Sweeteners Or Hidden MSG

MSG (monosodium glutamate) can cause a rise in blood sugar. MSG is a common additive use to enhance the flavor of food.

As well, artificial sweeteners will cause your body to detect the presence of something sweet and increase your blood glucose in response.

How To Counter These 9 Causes Of High Blood Sugar

It should come as no surprise to you that the ultimate solution to all 9 of these reasons for high blood sugar is to adopt the Healthy KetoTM way of eating along with intermittent fasting.

Many of my patients have had success bringing down their blood sugar to normal levels by changing their lifestyle to include the low-carb, high-fat keto diet and fasting intermittently. I urge you to do the same, for the sake of your health.

If you’re feeling unsure about how to proceed, please sign up for my free keto and intermittent fasting mini-courses. You don’t have to figure all this out by yourself; I’m here for you! I want you to take charge of your health, and experience the successes so many people have had.

a photo of a healthy smiling woman

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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