Can Sunburn Raise Blood Sugar?
After doing a bit of research, I discovered that the simple answer is yes, sunburn can raise your blood sugar. Since I’m usually pretty good about applying sunscreen, this was something that hasn’t happened often enough in the nine years that I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic for me to put two and two together. However, since my blood sugar is now under much tighter control than it used to be, it’s easier to recognize any unexpected deviations. Basically, what I discovered is that sunburn can stress your body and in turn raise your blood glucose just like other stresses to your body can. As for how long you can expect your blood glucose to be elevated, some Type 1s have experienced elevated blood sugars for several days after the initial burn, likely depending in part on its severity. I seem to have gotten mine under control within 24 hours, as it has stayed level since this afternoon.
The effects of sunburn on blood glucose should not have come as a surprise to me since the same thing happens when Type 1s get sick, which is another form of stress on the body. Also, remember that while sunburn might eventually raise your blood sugar hours later, being out in the heat can have the opposite effect and lower your blood sugar. Always drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and make certain that you test your blood glucose often.