Unravelling the Mystery: Unexpected Causes of High Blood Sugar on a Low-Carb Diet

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For those diligently following a low-carb lifestyle, high blood sugar levels can be a frustrating and confusing experience. You might be keeping your carb intake in check, but several factors beyond food can influence blood sugar levels. In this blog post, we will explore the unexpected culprits that could be causing your blood sugars to rise, even when you are adhering to a low-carb diet.

1. Stress and Cortisol Levels:

Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. When stressed, the body releases cortisol, a hormone that triggers the release of glucose into the bloodstream. This natural response can cause blood sugar levels to rise, even if you have not consumed a significant amount of carbohydrates.

2. Lack of Sleep:

Quality sleep is crucial for overall health, including blood sugar regulation. Poor sleep or inadequate sleep can lead to insulin resistance, making it more challenging for your body to manage blood sugar effectively.

3. Dehydration:

Being well-hydrated is essential for optimal bodily functions, including blood sugar regulation. Dehydration can lead to higher concentrations of glucose in the blood. Ensure you are drinking enough water throughout the day.

4. Medication Side Effects:

Certain medications, including some that are not directly related to diabetes, may impact blood sugar levels. If you are on medication, consult with your healthcare provider to understand any potential side effects.

5. Inactivity:

Physical activity plays a crucial role in insulin sensitivity. Lack of exercise or prolonged periods of inactivity can contribute to elevated blood sugar levels. Regular exercise helps muscles use glucose for energy and improves insulin sensitivity.

6. Hidden Carbohydrates:

Some foods that claim to be low carb may still contain hidden carbohydrates. Check labels carefully and be mindful of ingredients that may impact blood sugar, such as sugar alcohols or high-carb additives.

7. Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol can affect blood sugar levels, especially if consumed without food. It can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) initially but may cause a rebound increase in blood sugar later on.

8. Hormonal Changes:

Hormonal fluctuations, such as those associated with the menstrual cycle or menopause, can influence blood sugar levels. Women may experience changes in insulin sensitivity during different phases of their menstrual cycle.


While a low-carb diet is an effective way to manage blood sugar levels, various factors beyond dietary choices can impact glucose regulation. Understanding these potential culprits is crucial for maintaining stable blood sugar levels. If you find that your blood sugars remain consistently high despite your efforts, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying health concerns and receive personalized guidance on managing your blood sugar effectively.

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