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Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up When I Don't Eat?

Why does my blood sugar go up when I don't eat? Diabetes is a complex condition in which blood sugar levels are regulated by a variety of hormones and organs in your body, primarily your pancreas and liver.

When you don’t eat for a long period, your body will still need a steady amount of sugar (glucose) to power cells, especially the brain.

In a well-controlled system, your body keeps blood sugar levels in a specific range through the action of insulin and hormones.

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Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up When I Don't Eat?

Here are some of the reasons your blood sugar could rise when you aren’t eating:

Glycogen Breakdown: Glucose is stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen. When you don’t eat, especially for long periods, your body begins to break down glycogen back into glucose to keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Gluconeogenesis: When you don't have enough carbohydrates in your diet, your body can make glucose from other sources, like amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) or glycerol (the fatty acids found in fats). This is called gluconeogenesis.

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Hormonal Response: Hormones play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. Insulin levels decrease when you don’t eat, while other hormones, such as glucagon and cortisol, increase. These hormones help increase blood sugar levels by increasing the rate at which glucose is released from the liver and blocking the uptake of glucose by cells.

Stress Response: Whether it’s physical stress or emotional stress, your blood sugar levels rise when you’re stressed. When your body senses that you’re about to fast, it releases stress hormones that raise your blood sugar.

It is important to note that different people respond differently to fasting. Factors such as general health, insulin sensitivity, and pre-existing conditions can affect how your body manages your blood sugar levels during fasting periods.

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If you are having persistent or extreme changes in your blood sugar level, it is important to consult with your doctor.

Your doctor can run specific tests, review your medical history, and provide you with personalized advice on how to manage your blood sugar levels to maintain your overall health and well-being.

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