Does Gluten Affect Blood Sugar? (Here’s Why You Should Care)

You may have heard about the word gluten, but are you aware if it has an effect on your blood sugar levels?

Do you often struggle to manage your blood sugar levels and have a problem in keeping it within the recommended range?

Are you thinking of going on a diet that contains no gluten at all, but want to know if it will really help you in any way?

Do you have diabetes or celiac disease?

If you are looking for answers to any of the above, we may be able to help you today. In addition to gluten, we also talk of other factors that may be affecting your blood sugar levels, and tell you if there are other components in your food that could be interfering with your blood sugar levels. We also talk about whether or not you really need to go on a gluten-free diet and when you should speak to your doctor.

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Are there a lot of things that can affect blood sugar levels in a person? 

Some of the most common factors that can have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels are the foods that you eat, the amount of physical exercise you have and the medications that you are taking. However, there are other factors too that can have a significant impact on your overall levels of blood sugar.

how gluten affect blood sugar
  • When you are stressed, it can trigger an increase in your blood sugar levels and have a long lasting impact on your overall levels.
  • If you are going through some other health complications or have recently recovered from any illness, or if you are currently on any medication, that can also have an impact on your overall blood sugar levels.
  • If you are usually active and do physical activity or exercise on most days, you may experience a spike in your blood sugar levels on those days when you do less or no physical activity at all.
  • Also, if you inject insulin and end up exercising the muscles near the area where you injected the insulin the last time, it will make your body absorb the insulin faster than it otherwise would, and this can also cause a sudden increase in your overall blood sugar levels.
  • When you eat meals that are very high in their protein content, it can also cause your blood sugar levels to suddenly go up.
  • If you regularly consume alcohol, or if you had alcohol some time back, you may still experience a spike in your blood sugar levels, many hours after you stop drinking.
  • The part of your body where you inject your insulin can also affect your blood sugar levels, and may cause an increase. If you inject in a part of the body that has more lumpy skin, it may make your body absorb the insulin faster which can cause your blood sugar levels to go up.
  • If you are going through your menstrual cycle, that can have an impact on your blood sugar levels and may cause an increase as compared to the other days when you are not on your menstrual cycle.
  • If you are pregnant, you may see a change in your blood sugar levels as well.
  • Not taking your medicines on time, missing out on a dose of a medicine for blood sugar that you are supposed to take or injecting your insulin at irregular times can also have an effect on your blood sugar levels and may make them go up.

Are there those who are more prone to blood sugar spikes from foods than others?

why gluten affect blood sugar

The way eating certain foods affect your blood sugar levels can have different reactions in different people. Medical researchers and scientists carried out a test to see if eating the same foods in the same amounts would have the same effect on the blood sugar levels. However, the results found out that there was a huge difference in how the foods affected the blood sugar levels of different people in different ways.

As a result, the researchers felt that it was best to make sure that those who are prone to high blood sugar levels should get in touch with their respective doctors and dieticians to prepare a personalized meal plan that will help them to take care of their blood sugar levels and manage it in the best possible way.

Is gluten one of those things that can affect blood sugar? Or is it not gluten, specifically, but the carbohydrate content of foods that contain gluten?

can gluten affect blood sugar

Gluten is most commonly found in foods that are high in their carbohydrate content. This is mainly because such foods are made mainly out of grains. When you eat foods that are high in the amount of carbohydrate that they have, it can have a negative impact on your blood sugar levels and make it rise above the normal range that it should be for you.

This essentially means that, more than trying to remove all traces of gluten from your food, you should instead try to cut off foods from your meal plan that are high in their carbohydrate content, as these foods can definitely have a negative impact on your blood sugar levels.

Given all this, is it advisable, or even possible for a diabetic to go gluten-free? Or will it not make any difference at all?

If you are not suffering from any form of celiac disease or if you do not have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, also known as NCGS, you don’t really have to get on a diet that is absolutely free of gluten.

does gluten affect blood sugar
  • At the moment, there are no known benefits for a diabetic person to go on a diet that does not contain any gluten at all, compared to other food items or diet plans that you are following to care for your diabetes.
  • This means that, if you are already in consultation with your doctor and your diabetes health care specialist to follow a diabetes friendly meal plan, that is all you need to stick to, and don’t really have to try and remove all gluten from your diet, unless your doctor tells you to do so.
  • However, according to the American Diabetes Association, if you have recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you should also get yourself screened for celiac disease.
  • Also, if you feel that you are not able to make the best use of the food you are eating, and if your doctor suspects that you are going through some nutritional deficiencies, or if you are not able to manage your blood sugar levels in the best possible way and struggle to keep them within the required range, it is important to get these signs and symptoms tested.
  • Also, if you do have celiac disease, it can damage your intestine and may affect your body’s ability to absorb and make the best use of the nutrients properly, and you may not always notice any symptoms as well.

If you feel you have any of the symptoms, it is very important to speak to your doctor and get the required tests done. Not being able to manage your blood sugar levels can be a serious health problem that can lead to other health complications, so get in touch with your doctor and take the necessary steps as soon as you can.

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