Things To Know About High Blood Sugar
- Low high blood sugar is abnormally high blood levels of insulin in the blood. Hyperglycemia is a hallmark sign of diabetes and prediabetes, and diabetes is the most common cause of it. Severely elevated glucose levels can result in a medical emergency like diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome .
- The primary symptom of hyperglycemia is excessive amounts of sugar in the urine. Other symptoms and signs of high blood sugar levels in the blood are blurred vision, hunger , and headaches.
- Other conditions that can cause high blood sugar are pancreatitis, Cushings syndrome, unusual hormone-secreting tumors, pancreatic cancer, certain medications, and severe illnesses.
- Insulin is the treatment for people with type 1 diabetes, and life-threatening increases in glucose levels. People with type 2 diabetes may be managed with a combination of different oral and injectable medications. Hyperglycemia due to medical conditions other than diabetes is generally treated by treating the underlying condition responsible for elevated glucose.
Delayed Effects Of Fatty Foods
Blood sugar levels typically peak within an hour or so after eating. However, a high-fat dinner containing fried foods, pizza, or cheesy casseroles might delay this normal jump in blood sugar until the morning. Why? Large amounts of dietary fat can make it harder for insulin to do its job, explains Scheiner. Plus, fat slows down digestion and absorption, which could cause blood sugar to peak later than usual.
Possible solutions: Opt for fish, skinless poultry, beans, and vegetables sautéed in olive oil over foods high in saturated fat like fried foods and those covered in cheese. Filling up half your plate with vegetables can also help cut portion sizes of other foodsand your fat intake from those foods.
How Are High Blood Sugar Levels Treated
To treat high blood sugar, it helps to know what is causing it. You might need to take more insulin or diabetes pills because youre growing and eating more food, or you might need to get more exercise each day.
Having high blood sugar levels every once in a while isnt a big deal. It happens to everyone with diabetes from time to time. But if your blood sugar levels are high a lot, your diabetes health care team will have to help you figure out how to get them back to a healthy level.
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High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning
People usually have slightly higher blood sugar levels in the morning. However, in some people with diabetes, these levels can be significantly higher.
Diabetes is a condition that impairs the bodys ability to process blood glucose. Without careful management, blood sugar levels can become too high, which is known as hyperglycemia. Long periods of high blood sugar levels can result in health complications.
Even when a person carefully controls the condition, they may notice blood sugar spikes in the morning. There are three main causes of high blood sugar in the morning:
- the Somogyi effect
It is important to note that this article refers to effects experienced in the morning, but these effects may occur anytime a person sleeps for a long period. People who work at night and sleep during the day can also experience these effects.
In this article, we will explore these causes, including what they can mean for a persons health and when to see a doctor.
dawn phenomenon refers to periods of hyperglycemia that occur during the early morning hours. The shift in blood sugar levels happens as a result of hormonal changes in the body.
Hormones, such as cortisol, glucagon, epinephrine, and growth hormone are known as counter-regulatory hormones. They can cause blood sugar levels to rise. The activity of cortisol and growth hormone normally increases each day to stimulate the liver to produce glucose at dawn.
How To Lower Blood Sugar In The Morning
As with any time of the day, lowering blood sugar will usually mean taking medication.
If youre taking other medication for diabetes, just make sure youre taking the right amount at the right time of day. With insulin, you might want to use insulin to lower your blood sugar back to a stable level.
To figure out how much insulin you might need, you can let Hedia assist you in your calculations. Tell Hedia what your blood sugar level is, and the insulin calculator will take your basal insulin into account.
If youll be having breakfast soon after waking, youll probably want to include that in your calculation. If you have a favourite breakfast that you eat most mornings, you can add that to your favourites in Hedias food database for a quick add. Find out more by getting Hedia from the App Store or from !
On the topic of breakfast, it may be worth considering a low-carb breakfast, so as not to push those blood sugar levels even higher.
Regardless of what youre eating, Christel Oerum from Diabetes Strong points out the importance of eating any kind of breakfast. Having regular mealtimes that give you the energy that you need throughout the day ought to allow you more stable blood sugar without the adrenaline swings.
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Target Blood Sugar Levels For Pregnant People With Diabetes
It’s possible for diabetes to cause problems during pregnancy. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who have uncontrolled blood sugar levels could experience an increased risk of having a premature baby, needing a C-section and more.
Gestational diabetes â a type of diabetes that occurs in a pregnant person who has never been diagnosed with diabetes before â can also cause complications. These include giving birth to a baby who is larger than average and an increased risk of needing a C-section. The ADA suggests that pregnant people shoot for a target fasting blood sugar level of 95 mg/dL or less before a meal.
Keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range will help protect you and your baby.
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Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up At Night
There are many factors that can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. For example: what food you ate during the day, how much and when you exercised, whether you ate snacks before bed, the timing of your insulin doses, and your stress level. You can experience different patterns of high blood sugar at night. You may start with high glucose when you go to bed, start the night in range but go high several hours later, or spend most of the night in range until the hours just before you wake up. By identifying your bodys patterns, you can figure out what is causing your high blood sugar and how to address it.
Common causes of a glucose increase at night include:
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Signs Of High Blood Sugar In The Morning
High blood sugar is significant when its too high. Thats when its called hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia is usually defined as above 126 mg/dL or 7.0 mmol/L in a period of fasting . This will be the clearest sign of high blood sugar in the morning.
Before breakfast, you usually would have had a period of at least eight hours without eating . As such, hyperglycemia during a period of fasting is particularly important here: youll know that the high blood sugar wasnt caused by any recent meals.
Other signs of high blood sugar in the morning will be the usual symptoms of hyperglycemia:
- Increased urination
Of course, its normal to feel somewhat groggy and thirsty when waking. Its important to distinguish between hyperglycemia and the I-hate-Mondays morning tiredness. And the best way to do that is to test your blood sugar.
What Is High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar occurs when theres a buildup of excess glucose in the bloodstream. This is more often a concern for someone with diabetes than it is for someone without it. Our bodies are typically pretty great at keeping our blood sugar in perfect balance, Deena Adimoolam, M.D., assistant professor of endocrinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF. But in some situations, like when a person has diabetes, high blood sugar can happen.
Blood sugar is measured in milligrams per deciliter , and a fasting blood sugar of greater than 125 mg/dL is considered hyperglycemic, the Cleveland Clinic says. A person can also be considered to have hyperglycemia if their blood glucose level is higher than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after eating, the Cleveland Clinic says.
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Treating High Morning Blood Sugar
A blood sugar high in the morning “can be tough to treat, acknowledges Amori, but with the help of your medical team, you can try different approaches. Talk with your doctor about these strategies:
Adjust your pump. If youre testing high regularly and you use an insulin pump, you might be able to program it to help manage your morning highs.
Check blood sugar before bed. Granted, many people have morning high blood sugar after an acceptable blood sugar before bedtime. Even so, “don’t go to bed with high blood sugar,” cautions Amori.
Take basal insulin. Taking basal insulin at bedtime could help, but be sure to clear any changes in dosing with your physician before you try it.
Adjust medication. If in fact your high morning blood sugar is a rebound response to a low blood sugar level while youre asleep, you might need to change the dose of any medication you take in the evening that could be causing low blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about whether your medication schedule should be adjusted to treat morning highs.
Have a healthy pre-bed snack. For those experiencing the Somogyi effect, a healthy mixed snack of protein and carbohydrates could help prevent your blood sugar roller coaster at night. Amori advises working with a registered dietitian if youre not sure how to fit a pre-bed snack into your daily diet.
Treating High Blood Sugar Levels In Morning
High blood sugar levels in the morning do not cause high concern. However, if high blood sugar is a recurring problem or you notice other symptoms near your high readings, its important to talk with your doctor about what could be causing high blood sugars throughout the day.
The best way to treat high glucose levels in the morning is to change the dosage and timing of insulin, as well as the manner that a person takes it.
Insulin is the most successful approach to managing blood sugar levels, but each patients therapy plan will be unique. To deliver the required doses at intervals. An insulin pump may be in use.
According to a recent study, adopting these health-related behaviors can also help:
- Increasing insulin sensitivity by exercising in the evenings. Increasing the proportion of protein to carbohydrates in the evening meal
- The doctor may prescribe a different dosage and schedule, depending on how glucose levels change, using some of these techniques to treat the Somogyi effect. The use of a CGM can assist him in making this decision.
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Breakthrough Not Only During Puberty
The phenomenon of belching occurs mainly in patients with type 1 diabetes, especially in adolescents during puberty. It affects 25% to 50% of people with type 1 diabetes and 3% to 50% of type 2 diabetes. It is associated with increased secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland.
However, growth hormones, adrenaline, glucagon, and cortisol are secreted throughout life, so more or less severe belching can occur in all age groups. However, in their case, the usual mechanism of insulin secretion and normal insulin sensitivity of tissues prevents the occurrence of hyperglycemia.
To confirm this disorder, glycemia should be monitored at night on the 24th, 4th, 5th, and 6th morning and upon awakening. Glycemia at 24 should be within the normal range, with a gradual increase starting at 4.
Ketoacidosis: When Hyperglycemia Becomes Severe For People With Type 1 Diabetes
If you have type 1 diabetes, it is important to recognize and treat hyperglycemia because if left untreated it can lead to a dangerous condition called .
This happens because without glucose, the body’s cells must use ketones as a source of energy. Ketoacidosis develops when ketones build up in the blood. It can become serious and lead to diabetic coma or even death.
According to the American Diabetes Association, ketoacidosis affects people with type 1 diabetes, but it rarely affects people with type 2 diabetes.
Many symptoms of ketoacidosis are similar to hyperglycemia. The hallmarks of ketoacidosis are:
High level of ketones in the urine
Shortness of breath
Additionally, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and confusion may accompany ketoacidosis. Immediate medical attention is highly recommended if you have any of these symptoms.
Some people with diabetes are instructed by their doctor to regularly test ketone levels. Ketone testing is performed two ways: using urine or using blood.
For a urine test, you dip a special type of test strip into your urine. For testing blood ketones, a special meter and test strips are used. The test is performed exactly like a blood glucose test.
If ketone testing is part of your self-monitoring of diabetes, your health care professional will provide you with other information including prevention.
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So Why Is The Blood Glucose/sugar High In The Morning Commonly In Diabetics
In most patients suffering from diabetes insulin resistance is the primary reason for elevated blood sugars in the morning. The dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect can also play a role. In addition to that, depending on the type of the patient, insufficient insulin, incorrect medication dosage, carbohydrate snacks before bed are common causes for morning high blood sugars .
The Dawn Phenomenon Or The Somogyi Effect
The only way to be sure what is causing your high blood sugar in the morning is to wake up several nights in a row and check your blood glucose between 2 and 4 o’clock. If the result is normal or high, it may indicate a dawn phenomenon. If it is too low, it can result in a rebound of diabetes.
The most common causes of morning hypoglycemia
- eating a meal rich in fat and protein before bedtime without insulin protection,
- the improperly selected dose of an antidiabetic drug, too low a dose of basal insulin,
- injecting insulin in the wrong place,
- injecting insulin into the hypertrophied subcutaneous tissue,
- inappropriate timing of basal insulin administration,
- unacceptable type of basal insulin,
- inadequate mixing of insulin before injection,
- the dawn phenomenon,
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When To Exercise
Exercise lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. That means your body uses insulin and glucose more effectively.
Studies suggest exercise can lead to optimal insulin regulation. Exercise in the afternoon or after dinner set you up for steady levels the next morning.
You may have heard exercising late in the day can disrupt sleep. Newer research shows it’s fine. Just finish up at least an hour before bedtime.
If morning levels are still high, try adding moderate-intensity aerobic exercise before breakfast. Research suggests that can help counter the dawn phenomenon.
Morning exercise may also improve glucose control throughout the day.
Some good exercises for avoiding morning blood sugar spikes include:
Always talk to your healthcare provider before you start an exercise routine. They can help you devise a safe and effective regimen.
What You Can Do
If the dawn phenomenon affects you, try to:
- Eat dinner earlier in the evening.
- Do something active after dinner, like going for a walk.
- Check with your health care provider about the medicine youâre taking.
- Eat breakfast. It helps bring your blood sugar back to normal, which tells your body that it’s time to rein in the anti-insulin hormones.
- Eat a snack with some carbohydrates and protein before bed.
You’ll also want to avoid all sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, and sweet tea. Just a single serving can raise your blood sugar — and, in some cases, give you hundreds of extra calories.
If you have diabetes, chances are your blood sugar will be higher in the morning from time to time. That may not be something to be overly concerned about. If it happens for several mornings in a row, check it once during the night — around 2 or 3 a.m. — for a few nights. Then, take those numbers to your doctor. They can figure out if you really have the dawn phenomenon, or if something else is causing those higher morning numbers.
Diabetes Stops Here: “Why All the Morning Highs?”
Mayo Clinic: “What is the dawn phenomenon that some people with diabetes experience? Can anything be done about it?”
American Diabetes Association: “Diabetes Myths.”
Diabetes Forecast: “Why Is My Blood Glucose So High in the Morning?”
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It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
Whether you know it or not, every morning you experience a natural biological event called the dawn phenomenon. For most, this passes without health risk. Thats not the case, however, if you have diabetes.
But to ease your concerns, if you do have diabetes, endocrinologist Miguel Parilo, MD, offers advice on ways to control the effects of dawn phenomenon on your health.
Can Drinking A Lot Of Water Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Although feeling very thirsty is a symptom of a hyper, drinking a lot of water will not bring your blood sugar levels down. It will only help to reduce your risk of dehydration.
Its important that you take your diabetes medication to bring your blood sugar levels down. If you have consistently high blood sugar levels, you will need to follow the advice below and speak to your diabetes healthcare team.
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