Jet Lag and High Blood Sugar

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I didn’t know jet lag and high blood sugar had such a strong relationship until returning from my wonderful vacation to Cuba, Mexico and Vegas. I’ve travelled long haul before, but this time, since returning, my blood sugar has been insane.

When I landed back in the UK I went straight home to get a shower, then straight to uni and have barely stopped since. A week of juggling jet lag, high blood sugar, dancing, a shit load of theory work, work and life has been a learning curve to say the least. I’ve experienced numbers in the 20mmol range, even with a pretty similar diet to what I am used to. But, because it takes 5 days to recover from jet lag, depending on length of time travelled and number of times zones crossed, I am putting my crazy diabetes down to the fact that I was away for longer and crossed more time zones than usual.

According to the NHS, jet lag not only affects the body clocks sleeping and waking pattern, it also plays with your circadian rhythms too:

  • appetite
  • digestion
  • bowel habits
  • urine production
  • body temperature
  • blood pressure

And in relation to diabetes, the Diabetes Library suggests that “Sleep deprivation and misalignment of the circadian rhythm can cause serious endocrinologic dysregulation, which directly affects the appetite and satiety centres of the brain.”

So it’s confirmed – I can rest. I spoke to my endo and he said it is likely a stress response and that I should use the “sick day” rules to control my insulin. I’ve had a temp basal on +60 and it seems to be doing the trick. I was actually pleased to see a hypo because there were point when I thought my blood sugar would never come down.

Hopefully you can learn from my experience and take a bit of time to adjust to your routine when you get back to your home city. And be sure to monitor your blood sugar closely. If you BG is unusually high, take some extra insulin until you start seeing a healthier trend again.

Have you experienced jet lag and high blood sugar before?

Rowena x

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