High Blood Glucose

About Insulin and High Blood Glucose

When you eat, your body breaks food down into glucose (sugar) and sends it into the bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps move the glucose from the blood into the cells to be used for energy. Your body usually makes just the right amount of insulin to match the food you eat.

When your body does not use insulin properly, it is called insulin resistance. At first, the beta cells make extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time your pancreas isn't able to keep up and can't make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.

When blood glucose levels are higher than normal it is called high blood glucose (hyperglycemia). If your blood glucose gets too high, you will be diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes.

What Affects My Blood Glucose Levels?

It is important to understand what can make your blood glucose rise or fall, so that you can take steps to stay on target.

Things that can make blood glucose rise:

  • A meal or snack with more food or more carbohydrates than usual
  • Inactivity
  • Side effects of medications
  • Infection or other illness
  • Changes in hormone levels, such as during menstrual periods
  • Stress

Things that can make blood glucose fall:

  • A meal or snack with less food or fewer carbohydrates than usual
  • Extra activity
  • Side effects of other medications
  • Missing a meal or snack
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages (especially on an empty stomach)

Find out about tests for diabetes


Learn more about your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

cua_logo_187_250x95
  • Last Reviewed: October 7, 2009
  • Last Edited: March 10, 2014

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast