Q&A with a Doctor: Start limiting your caffeine if you want better control over your blood sugars

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Doctor's Opinion

Dear Dr. Uppal: "I'm a 'coffeeholic' and I'm diabetic. I need help! Does extra coffee consumption cause my diabetes to worsen?"

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Caffeine affects your blood sugarsHealth Stuff TO Know

This is a great question because many people don't know that too much caffeine in coffee can actually cause your diabetes to worsen.

This is especially true for those struggling with Type-2 diabetes.

It's important for people, who are diabetic, or even prediabetic, to keep a sharp eye on the amount of caffeine they're consuming.

  1. Ideally, you want to consume less than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Also, I'd like you to keep in mind: one average cup of black coffee contains around 100 or so mg of caffeine.
  2. Too much caffeine increases your body's cortisol levels. I'd like you to know that cortisol is a hormone that's released by your adrenal glands during moments of stress.
  3. So, when excess cortisol is released, this, in turn, increases your glucose levels. And, as a diabetic or prediabetic, this is something you don't want!
  4. Rapidly rising blood sugars can become dangerous if you're a diabetic.

Does this mean NO caffeinated coffee ever?

Not really. You can easily consume 2-3 cups of coffee per day and not really see harm from the caffeine. But, keep in mind: this is not your free pass to add sugar to your coffee.

If you're a diabetic or even pre-diabetic, have an a1c that is greater than 5.4--this all means that you should really be restricting your sugars.

So go out and enjoy your life! Just keep the daily amount of caffeine in milligrams as low as possible.

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Health Stuff TO Know provides digestible health & medical news from doctors. Expert information on the day's top health news. Dr. Puja Uppal is a board-certified physician. Dr. Uppal is Chief Medical Officer of Health Stuff TO Know & ThinkHealthy

Michigan State
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