Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose, and when glucose builds up in the bloodstream it causes blood glucose spikes. For people with diabetes, this happens because of the body’s inability to properly use glucose.
While our bodies need glucose because it’s the primary fuel that powers our body functions, glucose can’t be used as fuel until it enters our cells. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, unlocks cells so that glucose can enter them. Without insulin, glucose remains in the bloodstream with nowhere to go, becoming increasingly concentrated over time.
Large glucose spikes occur in people with diabetes (or those who are pre-diabetic) because they’re unable to use insulin effectively; this is referred to as insulin resistance. Chronic high blood glucose levels increase the likelihood of serious diabetes complications like heart disease, stroke, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney failure.