Blood Sugar Level Rises Every Time You Eat
Your blood sugar level rises immediately after eating a meal or snack . In a healthy person, insulin then starts working, and the blood sugar level returns to the pre-meal level 2 hours after eating. In untreated diabetes patients, the blood sugar level does not return to the pre-meal level of its own accord. Some people’s blood sugar level remains high two hours after eating, even though on an empty stomach it would be at a normal level. As a result, the risk of developing diabetes increases as insulin is not properly secreted, or does not work properly in the body. In order to make sure insulin works properly, it is important not to overeat and to avoid becoming obese. Knowing which foods will not cause a sudden and extreme spike in blood sugar level and using this knowledge in your daily life will help you to prevent obesity and diabetes, and maintain good health.
How Is It Determined If The Dawn Phenomenon Or Somogyi Effect Is Causing The High Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor will likely ask you to check your blood sugar levels between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for several nights in a row. If your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, the Somogyi effect is suspected. If the blood sugar is normal during this time period, the dawn phenomenon is more likely to be the cause.
Some additional clues that the Somogyi effect may be the cause include nightmares, restless sleep and overnight sweating as these are all signs of low blood sugar levels.
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Causes Of High Blood Sugar
Common causes of high blood sugar in people with diabetes include:
- being unwell
- eating too much sugary or starchy food
- being less active than usual
- missing doses of diabetes medicine
You can also get high blood sugar if your diabetes medicine is not working well, you’re taking certain medicines or you recently had an operation.
Studies On Blood Sugar And Fasting
Not all studies show that intermittent fasting is a magic wand when it comes to reducing your blood sugar levels. Research indicates daily caloric restriction and diets that mimic fasting also have a positive effect on blood glucose levels.
A 12-month study that compared alternate-day fasting to daily caloric restriction found both methods of calorie reduction lowered fasting glucose levels. Other studies also support the theory that its the caloric restriction that reduces fasting glucose and the risk for atherosclerosis.
However, intermittent fasting may still be among the easiest ways to restrict your caloric intake. You may find its easier to limit your calories for a few hours or a few days per week versus every day.
If you already have insulin resistance, or if your intermittent fasting protocol causes you to stress, fasting can cause an increase in your blood sugar.
A Brazilian study suggests the stress of fasting might increase the production of free radicals. These stress-induced free radicals can harm the cells in your pancreas, which is the organ responsible for insulin production. Damage to your pancreas can inhibit your ability to reduce glucose in your bloodstream and can lead to an increase in your belly fat. The Brazilian study, however, is an outlier.
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What To Know About High Blood Sugar When Living With Diabetes:
What is hyperglycemia?
After eating a meal, the body signals the release of insulin. Insulin is like a key that unlocks the cells in order to store glucose for later use. This process reduces the amount of glucose in your blood stream. In people with diabetes, this process does not work as well because either there isnt enough insulin being produced, or because the body is resistant to the effects of the insulin. As a result, levels of glucose in the blood stream can reach high levels, causing hyperglycemia or high blood sugar.
Scale of normal blood sugar range
- Hyperglycemia occurs when the blood sugar is above 130 mg/dL while fasting, or greater than 180 mg/dL after eating a meal.
- American Diabetes Association Glucose Goals for people with Diabetes:
- Before meals or fasting: 70 to 130 mg/dL
- 1-2 hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL
Hb A1CIf blood glucose is regularly higher than the normal ranges, then this will reflect in the Hemoglobin A1C test that your doctor will run. The Hemoglobin A1C gives your care team an idea of what your blood sugar typically is at.
Symptoms of hyperglycemia
- Illness, colds, infections, injuries, surgeries
- Emotional stress
- Not enough Diabetes Medication, or skipped doses of medication
- Too little exercise
How to treat hyperglycemia
When to call your doctor or seek emergency treatment:
REMEMBER: DO NOT DRIVE yourself if you think you may have very high blood Sugars or Diabetic Ketoacidosis
What Are Normal And High Morning Blood Sugar Levels
The term morning blood sugar describes your blood sugar level after you wake up but before you eat anything. This fasting measurement shows how well your body controlled your blood sugar overnight.
When you eat, it leads to an increase in blood sugar. Insulin lets the sugar leave your blood and enter the cells in your body, converting it into useful energy.
If you dont regularly monitor your blood sugar to manage a condition like diabetes, you may not be aware of your fasting blood sugar level. But you might want to understand what your levels mean if you get a result back from your regular physicians checkup.
Consistently high blood sugar can cause tiredness and mental fogginess and can lead to serious health problems if untreated, but most mild cases cause no noticeable symptoms at all.
Most people learn they have high blood sugar after seeing a doctor about something else.
Know Your Blood Sugar
Blood sugar is the amount of sugar in your blood at a given time. Itâs important to check your blood sugar level, because it will:
- determine if you have a high or low blood sugar level at a given time
- show you how your lifestyle and medication affect your blood sugar levels
- help you and your diabetes health-care team make lifestyle and medication changes to improve your blood sugar levels
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A Warning Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Impaired fasting glycaemia is sometimes called pre-diabetes. This is when blood glucose levels in the body are raised, but are not high enough to mean that the person has diabetes. IFG means that the body isnt able to use glucose as efficiently as it should. This is because a layer of fat around the cells of the body, prevents insulin doing its job and taking the glucose into the cells of the body where its needed for energy. This situation is reversible by losing weight and hence the fat around the cells disappears. If you dont lose weight however, is it unlikely that you wont eventually develop Type 2 Diabetes.
IFG has no symptoms and can often go undiagnosed for years. Although there are no symptoms, many people diagnosed with IFG are overweight. Nine out of 10 people with IFG have high blood pressure, raised cholesterol levels or a family history of the condition.
IFG can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. People with IFG are five to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people with normal glucose levels. However, this isnt inevitable. You can take steps to reduce the chances of this happening. People with IFG also have a slightly increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
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What Is The Dawn Phenomenon
Your body uses glucose for energy and it is important to have enough extra energy to be able to wake up in the morning. So for a period of time in the early morning hours, usually between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body starts churning out stored glucose to prepare for the upcoming day.
At the same time, your body releases hormones that reduce your sensitivity to insulin. In addition, these events may be happening while your diabetes medication doses taken the day before are wearing off.
These events cause your body’s blood sugar levels to rise in the morning .
Why Is My Morning Blood Sugar So High
A complex array of factors affects blood sugar levels, including hormones, diet, and lifestyle.
Q: I have prediabetes and now eat minimal carbs and sugar. My doctor told me to monitor my sugar levels, morning and night. At night, two hours after eating, my sugar levels are between 112 and 130 mg/dL . But in the morning, my fasting sugar level is always higher than the night number. Why is that? What am I doing wrong?
There are a few reasons why your blood sugar may be elevated in the morning. First, its important to understand that certain hormonal changes that occur overnight may lead to high blood sugar levels in the morning.
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Fasting Blood Sugar : Normal Levels And Testing
Fasting blood sugar levels give vital clues about how a person is managing their blood sugar. Blood sugar tends to peak about an hour after eating and declines after that.
Knowing when to test and what to look for can help people stay healthy, especially if they have diabetes or are at risk of developing the condition.
Keep reading to learn more about fasting blood sugar levels, including information on testing and tips for maintaining normal levels.
The body needs glucose for energy, and glucose comes from the food a person eats. However, the body does not use all of this energy at once. Insulin makes it possible to store and release glucose as necessary.
Following a meal, blood sugar levels rise and usually peak about an hour after eating.
How high blood sugar rises and the precise timing of the peak depends on a persons diet.
Food-related factors that can trigger significant rises include:
- eating large meals
- consuming sugary foods and drinks
- eating foods with simple carbohydrates, or carbs, such as bread and sweet snacks
As blood sugar rises, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin lowers blood sugar, breaking it down so the body can use it for energy or store it for later.
However, people who have diabetes have difficulties with insulin in one of two ways:
Not Taking Enough Meal Time Insulin
This is the first thing to look into. Make sure that you correctly determine the number of carbohydrates in your last meal of the day and take the insulin to suit. Be sure to also look out for sources of hidden carbs as well. Our bodies react to food and insulin differently at different times of the day. Many individuals including myself have a different carb to insulin ratio at night. I normally have to take a bit more insulin at night especially if the meal is high in carbohydrates.
Try eating your last meal at least 2 hours before bed so that you can check the 2 hour post dinner blood sugar reading. This will indicate if you are indeed giving the correct amount of insulin. If you have a good reading before bed but its much higher in the morning, then there is definitely another issue.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
It is relatively more challenging for the body to use insulin and manage blood sugar levels with overweight or obesity. The body fails to actively respond to insulin due to extra weight in the body. It results in increased high fasting blood glucose levels and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Insulin insensitivity leads to weight gain, leading to poor insulin sensitivity, creating a loop.
Although the exact mechanisms are unknown, research links fat to insulin resistance and the growth of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of high fasting blood glucose levels and even reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Possible Ways To Try To Lower Fasting Levels
- Go for a walk after your evening meal exercise has a insulin type effect on the bodys cells which can impact many hours after and so may help lower fasting levels
- Eat less carbohydrates in your evening meal although remember that it is important to still eat sufficient carbohydrates to avoid ketosis, so carbs must not be completely cut from the meal
- Drink plenty of water take a glass of water to bed and have a drink when waking in the night
- Eat a bedtime snack eating a snack before bed has been the biggest success with ladies in our support group. A snack which is high in protein and natural fat is believed to work best. Start with something like a couple of oatcakes and cheese, or a Ryvita with peanut butter. If this does not impact fasting levels, then try a high protein snack without the starchy carbohydrates
- Apple cider vinegar drink 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar at bedtime with 1 oz of cheese. A small study9 in type 2 diabetic patients found that drinking 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and eating 1 oz cheese lowered fasting levels by 4%
Some ladies with gestational diabetes have had great success with apple cider vinegar and so its worth trying if you have the stomach for it!
Please note: As vinegar is acidic, it is advisable to dilute it in some water and brush teeth after consuming
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Apple Cider Vinegar Or Lemon
The naturally occurring acids found in apple cider vinegar and citrus fruits, namely acetic and citric acids, are a cheap and powerful way to balance blood sugar . One of the most effective ways to use these is to simply add them to your food and water.
Vinegar and lemon juice go great in many different dishes as a marinade, a dressing, or simply drizzled over top. I will often sprinkle these over a good grass-fed steak or salad to help assist in digestion and absorption as well.
Putting lemon juice and a bit of stevia in your water is another great refreshment to have throughout the day to satisfy your sweet tooth and stabilize blood sugar at the same time.
What Causes High Morning Blood Sugars
Two main culprits prompt morning highs: the dawn phenomenon and waning insulin. A third, much rarer cause, known as the Somogyi effect, may also be to blame.
The occasional morning high will have little impact on your A1C, a measure of your average blood sugar levels over time that indicates how well managed your diabetes is. But if those highs become consistent, they could push your A1C up into dangerous territory.
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Why The Test Is Performed
Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of diabetes . More than likely, the doctor will order a fasting blood sugar test.
The blood glucose test is also used to monitor people who already have diabetes.
The test may also be done if you have:
- An increase in how often you need to urinate
- Recently gained a lot of weight
- Blurred vision
SCREENING FOR DIABETES
This test may also be used to screen a person for diabetes.
High blood sugar and diabetes may not cause symptoms in the early stages. A fasting blood sugar test is almost always done to screen for diabetes.
If you are over age 45, you should be tested every 3 years.
If you’re overweight and have any of the risk factors below, ask your health care provider about getting tested at an earlier age and more often:
- High blood sugar level on a previous test
- Blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher, or unhealthy cholesterol levels
- History of heart disease
- Member of a high-risk ethnic group
- Woman who has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes
- Polycystic ovary disease
- Close relative with diabetes
- Not physically active
Children age 10 and older who are overweight and have at least two of the risk factors listed above should be tested for type 2 diabetes every 3 years, even if they have no symptoms.