Techniques To Manage Your Blood Sugar In The Morning
Based on your glucose levels and trends, there are a few things you can do to manage your glucose levels so they dont run high in the morning. Some of these strategies focus on adjusting medications to better suit your needs. Other strategies include adjusting your exercise routine, as well as what and when you are eating before bed.
If your glucose levels are in range before bed, they may rise throughout the night without enough insulin. This can be especially true for people who take long-acting insulin in the morning, since it may be wearing off before your next dose.
Consider changing the time of day when you take your long-acting insulin. You may also benefit from switching to either twice-daily basal insulin or ultra-long-acting insulin, or from starting on an insulin pump. Read our article, Are You on the Right Kind of Insulin, to learn more.
Check your blood glucose during the night between 3 am and 8 am. If you are running high during these hours, you may be experiencing the dawn phenomenon.
Talk with your healthcare team about finding the best nighttime insulin regimen for you. If you take basal insulin, you may need to delay the timing of your dose to as close to bedtime as possible. Another option is to try an insulin pump or automated insulin delivery system. AID systems will automatically adjust your basal insulin doses throughout the night to help keep your glucose levels stable.
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Keep An Eye On Your Carb Intake
Paying attention to carbohydrates is important for people with type 2 diabetes. Carbs are what cause your blood sugars to potentially fluctuate, Crandall Snyder says.
How many carbs per meal is ideal? Its tailored to each individual, says Weisenberger. How much you exercise, your weight, and your age can all affect how long sugars stay in your system, according to the CDC. A typical starting point for people with diabetes is to limit carb intake to 200 to 245 grams per day, which amounts to about one-half of your daily calories coming from carbs, according to the CDC. From there, make adjustments according to your blood glucose readings or as recommended by a dietitian, Crandall Snyder says.
And keep in mind that carbs arent only found in the usual culprits, like bread, potatoes, and pasta. They are also in fruits, vegetables, sweets, and dairy, so you have to take all of those into consideration as well, Crandall Snyder says.
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What Causes High Blood Sugar
To better manage hyperglycemia, its helpful to know potential triggers. Probably the first thing most people think about is foodin particular, carbohydratesand I would say even more specifically, simple carbohydrates would be the most likely culprit, says Dr. Hong. Foods that have a high glycemic index include things like white bread, potatoes, or rice.
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Beyond that, a common cause for a rise in blood sugar is a missed insulin dose, but its not always a matter of forgetting an injection. For example, in patients who are using an insulin pump, if the pump malfunctions or if there is a kink in the tubing or the infusion site is lodged and they are not aware that the insulin is not infusing, then that may happen, says Lorena Wright, M.D., an endocrinologist and the director of the LatinX Diabetes Clinic atUW Medicine. Insulin that is exposed to heat wont work as well either. Its not toxic, but it’s just not as effective, says Dr. Wright. That means your typical dose might not be as potent as youre used to, making the insulin less effective.
How To Lower Glucose Levels
Controlling your glucose is difficult. A few slices of cake can increase your blood sugar level significantly. However, your blood sugar can still increase even after observing all instructions to avoid type 2 diabetes. Food is not the only cause for an increase in blood sugar. Underlying conditions such as a cold and stress can also increase your blood sugar. Therefore it is important to learn the ways to lower your glucose levels and keep it under control.
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Increase Your Fiber Intake
High fiber is key to the foods that lower blood sugar, so increasing your soluble fiber intake will help you lower your blood sugar. Focus on eating foods that stabilize blood sugar such as unrefined carbohydrates like whole grain bread or pasta, sweet potatoes, legumes, lentils, nuts, and non-starchy vegetables.
Another perk? High fiber foods can help you feel fuller. That can help you avoid overeating or craving foods that can negatively affect your blood sugar. Men should aim for 30 to 38 grams daily, and women 21 to 25 grams daily, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Start All Meals With A Glass Of Water
Drinking a glass of water up to 30 minutes before a meal will naturally aid portion control.
Filling up on water will make you feel less hungry. Being well hydrated also helps you distinguish between hunger and thirst.
One study in middle-aged and older adults observed that drinking 17 ounces of water before each meal resulted in a 44% greater decline in weight over 12 weeks, most likely due to reduced food intake .
Similarly, when overweight and obese older adults drank 17 ounces of water 30 minutes before a meal, they consumed 13% fewer calories without trying to make any changes .
In another study in young normal-weight men, drinking a similar amount of water immediately before a meal resulted in greater feelings of fullness and reduced food intake .
Therefore, having a glass of water before each meal can help prevent overeating and aid portion control.
For example, people ate 129% more candies when served from a large container than a small one .
In another study, participants consumed over 180 fewer grams of snacks per week when given 100-gram snack packs than when given snacks in standard-sized packages .
Rather than eating snacks from the original packaging, empty them into a small bowl to prevent eating more than you need.
Summary Eating food from larger packages or containers encourages increased intake. Try re-portioning snacks into individual portions and serving family meals from plates to prevent overeating.
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Which Foods Increase Blood Sugar Levels
Carbohydrates ultimately break down into glucose. Many people believe that carbs are bad for people with diabetes. This is not true. Carbs are fuel for the body, so they have to be eaten. You just need to be smart about which ones you eat and how much you eat of them. Picking foods that are high in carbs but have no other nutrition is not smart. Examples of these foods are:
- Full fat yogurt or milk
Can You Avoid Diabetes If It Runs In Your Family
Yes, your genes dont have to define you! There are genetic factors that can predispose some people to be heavier than others. Yet, your heredity doesnt define your health. Your health is determined by your environment. And, you can control your environment. For example, researchers have noticed stark differences between Pima Indians living in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico eating a traditional diet, and those living in urban areas of Arizona eating a traditional Western diet. The Pima Indians of Arizona are among the most obese groups of people in the world and have a diabetes rate that is 8 times greater than the national average. Their lifestyle is mostly sedentary, and their diet is a typical American diet . Meanwhile, despite their genetic similarities, the Pima Indians of Mexico, weigh an average of 65 pounds less than their Arizona counterparts, and fewer than 4% have type 2 diabetes. The reason is in the stark differences of their lifestyles: the Pima Indians live an active lifestyle working their farms, and eat a diet rich in the whole foods . It is clear that lifestyle has an extremely powerful influence on health. You can adopt a healthy lifestyle, and enjoy a healthy body, irrespective of your genetic heritage.
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Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level
A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. Youâll learn how it makes you feel, although your symptoms may change over time.
Early signs of a low blood sugar level include:
- seizures or fits
- collapsing or passing out
A low blood sugar level, or hypo, can also happen while youâre sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets in the morning.
Preventing High Blood Sugars
Everyone with diabetes experiences high blood sugars sometimes there are simply too many variables in the human body out of your control to prevent them altogether.
That being said, there are a few guidelines we can all follow to minimize the frequency of high blood sugars:
- Avoid full-sugar beverages including soda, juice, coffee drinks, iced tea, etc.
- Choose your carbohydrates carefully starchy carbs from pasta, candy, bread, desserts, etc. will spike your blood sugar the most
- Take your medications as prescribed and contact your healthcare team if you miss a dose to determine if you can take it late
- Exercise daily even a 20-minute walk makes a big difference on a daily basis
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
And of course, if youre experiencing high blood sugars are a daily basis and youre unsure of the cause, talk to your healthcare team about making adjustments in your diabetes management regimen. A slight increase in your medications can have a big impact!
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What Is Hyperglycemia
People with diabetes are considered to have high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, if blood glucose levels are higher than:
- 124 milligrams per deciliter when you haven’t eaten
- 180 milligrams per deciliter one to two hours after eating
While there are other conditions that can cause hyperglycemia, it is most commonly linked to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. That’s why it is important for people with diabetes to check their blood sugar using blood glucose meters with the goal of keeping levels from getting too low or too high.
In addition, there are other signs and symptoms of high blood sugar you might notice.
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When To See A Doctor
According to the University of Michigan, blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. They recommend calling a doctor if you have two readings in a row of 300 or more.
See your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of this include:
- increased thirst
- high levels of sugar in urine
Ask your doctor how often to check your blood sugar and about your ideal blood sugar levels.
If you dont currently see a doctor who specializes in diabetes, known as an endocrinologist, you can find one by searching the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website.
You can find a certified diabetes educator by visiting the American Diabetes Associations website and searching by zip code.
Talk to your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar readings or symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia.
Checking your blood sugar and then treating hyperglycemia early will help prevent any complications.
Health problems can arise when someone has high blood sugar regularly and without treatment.
Examples of complications include:
- nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, that may affect sensations in the feet and hands
- diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the eyes that affects vision
- increased risks for kidney problems
- increased risks for heart problems
Taking steps to keep your blood sugar at target levels can help to minimize the likelihood that these complications will occur.
How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
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What To Know About Diabetic Macular Edema
Fiber plays a preventative role, too. Studies have found that high-fiber diets can reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 15 to 19 percent compared to low-fiber diets, according to a March 2018 study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.
Youll find fiber in plant foods such as raspberries, peas, and whole grains, according to the Mayo Clinic. Beans are another good source of fiber. People with type 2 diabetes who ate at least a cup of legumes daily for three months had lower blood glucose levels as measured by the A1C test, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Beans also are an excellent source of folate, which is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a common diabetes complication, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Men should aim for 30 to 38 g of fiber per day, and women should eat 21 to 25 g per day, according to the Mayo Clinic.
How Can You Tell If Your Blood Sugar Is High
If you dont have a glucometer , there are some physical symptoms that indicate high blood glucose. Usually if blood sugar is very high, the kidney is trying to eliminate all that sugar and in order to eliminate all that sugar, we need water to get rid of things, says Dr. Wright. That causes increased urination. You might also experience thirst as your body gets more dehydrated from the loss of fluid. Other patients, they describe that they might feel dizzy or sometimes they feel like their hands are tingly and that’s when they know that the blood sugars are high, adds Dr. Wright. Unfortunately, diabetes affects nearly every body part so symptoms can vary greatly. Other signs could be fatigue, just really not having the energy that you would expect you should have at that time, says Dr. Hong. And then more severely, things like nausea and vomiting or even abdominal pain can be signs of hyperglycemia.
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When To Lower Blood Sugar
When blood sugar is too high, it is termed hyperglycemia. The World Health Organization recognises hyperglycemia as blood sugar thats above 126 mg/dL or 7.0 mmol/L in a period before eating , or above 200 mg/dL or 11.1 mmol/L two hours after eating.
When blood sugar is at this point, you should take steps to reduce those numbers. It goes without saying that testing blood sugar regularly is ideal, in order to know when youre hyperglycemic.
You may also realise that youre hyperglycemic if youre experiencing some of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating
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According to the American Diabetes Association, when blood sugar levels start teetering towards 250 mg/dL or 13.9 mmol/L is when diabetic ketoacidosis can occur.
Ketoacidosis happens because of the bodys need for fuel. With high blood sugar, the body isnt getting any fuel in the form of glucose. Instead, the body tries to burn fat for fuel, but this process leads to ketones essentially acids building up in the bloodstream.
Symptoms of ketoacidosis can include symptoms of hyperglycemia, along with:
- Vomiting or feeling nauseous
- Pain in the abdomen
To avoid the buildup of ketones , its best to test for ketone levels to know whats going on. Theres no uniform moment to check for ketones: the NHS suggests checking ketone levels from the moment you are hyperglycemic, if you can.