High Blood sugar levels 3 wks high after back fusion surgery (TLIF)

Posted by nahalmoayer @nahalmoayer, Feb 10, 2022

My mother is post 3 weeks after back surgery. She is a 30+ year diabetic. Her pain is much less and she is no longer on pain medication. We are concerned that her glucose number are much higher than usual. She eats well but still they are much much higher than before. Her PCP modified her 1 week Trulicity to a higher dose starting next week. We need to wait and see if it helps. Has anyone else experienced high glucose levels after surgery over 3 weeks later? If so, when does it start coming down?

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@nahalmoayer Hello. I was looking for some information related to blood sugar levels and surgery, and I found a study that may be of interest to you. I didn't read the entire study, but it explains how stress causes blood sugar levels to change, and major surgery surely would be a huge stress to go through, but also a stress on the body to heal the trauma from surgery itself. Prescribed drugs may also have an effect on blood sugar.

The study recommend working with a diabetologist. Diabetes is a complication for surgery because of fasting required and metabolism of the drugs from anaesthesia. Diabetes also affects how well a patient can heal.

"Position Statement/Recommendations Practical management of diabetes patients before, during and after surgery: A joint French diabetology and anaesthesiology position statement"


Have you asked your pharmacist if any of her other medications could be affecting and contributing to her high blood sugar?


Thank you so much Jennifer for your reply and resource. My moms meds are the same as they were before her procedure. After reviewing the article it seems it is her body still in stress from the surgery. Hopefully time will make things better and she will return to her prior numbers.


The blood sugar level is so sensitive to the level of stress- especially the stress of major surgery or acute illness.
I have had 2 recent hospitalizations because of severe respiratory illness and I was given high dose prednisone. I have type 2 diabetes, well controlled with diet. However, due to the prednisone the blood sugar level got very high and I needed insulin until I was on less prednisone and within 1-2 weeks I was back to normal numbers.


Diabetic for 46 years and I’ve learned that blood sugar is affected by everything else that is going on (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually). It also goes both ways. Blood sugar affects all those areas as well. It is a constant balancing act. Sometimes it feels like a slippery slope.


@nahalmoayer, did you see the responses from other members? How is your mom doing? Have her blood sugar levels returned to her normal?

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