Common Questions About Blood Sugar
How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>
Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)
Hi, I just found this site and would like to participate. I will give my numbers, etc. First, my last A1c was 6.1, the doc said it was Pre-diabetes in January of 2014, OK, I get it that part, but what confuses me is that at home, on my glucometer, all my fastings were “Normal” however, back then, I had not checked after meals, so maybe they were the culprits. Now, I am checking all the time and driving myself crazy. In the morning sometimes fasting is 95 and other times 85, it varies day to day. Usually, after a low carb meal, it drops to the 80’s the first hour and lower the second. On some days, when I am naughty and eat wrong, my b/s sugar is still low, and on other days, I can eat the same thing, and it goes sky high, again, not consistent. Normally, however, since February, my fbs is 90, 1 hour after, 120, 2nd hour, back to 90, but, that changes as well. In February, of 2014, on the 5th, it was horrible. I think I had eaten Lasagne, well, before, my sugars did not change much, but that night, WHAM-O I started at 80 before the meal, I forgot to take it at the one and two hour mark, but did at the 3 hour mark, it was 175, then at four hours, down to 160, then at 5 hours, back to 175. I went to bed, because by that time, it was 2 AM, but when I woke up at 8:00 and took it, it was back to 89!!!! This horrible ordeal has only happened once, but, I have gone up to 178 since, but come down to normal in 2 hours. I don’t know if I was extra stressed that day or what, I am under tons of it, my marriage is not good, my dear dad died 2 years ago and my very best friend died 7 months ago, I live in a strange country, I am from America, but moved to New Zealand last year, and I am soooo unhappy. Anyway, what does confuse me is why the daily differences, even though I may Continue reading >>
Why All The Morning Highs?
Sometimes diabetes doesn’t make a lot of sense. Think of those mornings when you wake up to find your blood glucose looking as if you’ve been up all night eating cookies. What’s up with that? You’d think that not eating for those seven or eight hours would give you lower blood glucose, right? Such morning highs are common in people with diabetes, but one of the reasons has a particular name: the dawn phenomenon. The dawn phenomenon is a natural rise in blood glucose between 4 and 8 a.m., which happens because of hormonal changes in the body. All people have the “dawn phenomenon,” whether they have diabetes or not. People without diabetes would never notice it happening, as a normal body’s insulin response adjusts for this. However, because people with diabetes don’t have normal insulin responses, they may see an increase in their fasting blood glucose. This is primarily because people with diabetes produce less insulin and more glucagon than they need. The less insulin produced by the pancreas, the more glucagon the pancreas makes as a result. Glucagon, in turn, signals the liver to break down its storage supplies of glycogen into glucose. This is why high fasting blood glucose levels are commonly seen in patients with type 2 diabetes. The effects of dawn phenomenon vary in each person, and your blood glucose may be higher on some mornings than on others. But not to worry—there are steps you can take to get those numbers down and start your days more comfortably in your target blood glucose range. Treatment for dawn phenomenon depends on how you treat your diabetes. If you take insulin, you may be able to adjust your dosing so that peak action occurs closer to the morning rise in your blood glucose. If you have type 2, diabetes pills provide options as Continue reading >>
Is Your Fasting Blood Sugar High Every Morning?
I recently had an issue where no matter what I did, my fasting blood sugar levels were always high every morning. They were in the range of between 12 mmol/L to 16 mmol/L. At first I chalked it up to overdoing it around the holiday season. Eating way more carbs than usual, especially late at night and very close to bedtime. I figured that I was off with my bolus for the meals I ate at night. However, after I cut out the extra carbs and still got high readings in the morning, I knew something was off. I realized that every morning religiously, I would wake up between 3 am and 4 am with a high blood sugar. Unfortunately if my blood sugar is above 8 mmol/L I cannot sleep. This problem prevented me from getting good quality sleep. I would often have to correct and monitor before I could go back to bed. I started to analyze my diet and my habits to see where I was going wrong. If you are experiencing a similar issue you can start with the below recommendations. Things to rule out as causes of high fasting blood sugar levels. The main concern is having a high fasting blood sugar for more than 4 or 5 days consecutively. The first step is to eliminate all of the below issues as being the culprit. Sometimes we overlook the simplest or most obvious things. 1. 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(50 gr Continue reading >>
How To Fix High Morning Blood Sugars (dawn Phenomenon)
There are various possible causes of a high blood sugar level in the morning: The Dawn Phenomenon which is a natural rise in blood sugar due to a surge of hormones secreted at night which trigger your liver to dump sugar into your blood to help prepare you for the day. Having high blood sugar from the night before which continue through the night into the morning. Reactive hyperglycemia which is also called the Somogyi Effect. This is when a low blood sugar in the middle of the night triggers your liver to dump sugar into your blood in an attempt to stabilize your blood sugar. Why Are My Blood Sugars High in the Morning? There is a simple strategy for diagnosing the source of high blood sugars in the morning. Test your blood sugar before bed. Test your blood sugar in the middle of the night. Test your blood sugar in the morning. It takes a little bit of effort, but you only need to do it a few times to diagnose the issue. TheSomogyi Effect is less common than the Dawn Phenomenon, according to an article published by The Polish Journal of Endocrinology. To diagnose either of these phenomena, scientists recommend checking blood sugar levels for several nights specifically between 3 a.m and 5 a.m. or using a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM). Many healthcare practitioners are now offering the use of a loan CGM for a few days which can be helpful to observe nighttime blood sugar activity. How to Fix High Blood Sugars in the Morning The Dawn Phenomenon refers to a surge of hormones excreted by your body in the early morning hours. These hormones rise each night around the same time to prepare your body to wake. Basically, your body is starting the engine, releasing some fuel, and prepping to go for the day. The Dawn Phenomenon occurs in all humans regardless of whet Continue reading >>
High Blood Glucose Levels Before Breakfast
Tweet If you are regularly having high sugar levels before breakfast, there are a number of causes which could be the reason for it. Below are some of the more common reasons, including an explanation of how they can cause high sugar levels and what action you may wish to take to tackle the problem. For advice on how to spot high patterns, see our guide to dealing with highs and lows. Too little intermediate or long acting (basal) insulin If you are consistently getting high readings before breakfast, it could be that your long acting (basal) insulin is too low. If you take intermediate insulin (such as NPH insulin), consistently high sugar levels in the morning could be the result of taking too little intermediate insulin at dinner time. Action Consider increasing your dose of long acting or intermediate insulin. If increasing your insulin, do so gradually and test your blood glucose regularly to identify whether your blood glucose is going to low as a result. As always, be prepared to test your blood glucose if you feel the symptoms of hypoglycemia. If you at all unsure of how or whether to adjust your insulin, speak to your diabetes health team who will be able to help you. Be careful if you are considering increasing insulin Make sure your health team are happy for you to adjust your own insulin doses and consult them if you are in any doubt. If you increase your insulin, do so gradually to prevent risking severe hypoglycemia from occurring and test your sugar levels regularly to check low sugar levels are not occurring Having a meal with a delayed spike for dinner Some meals have a delayed spike, that is they can cause a significant rise in blood sugar levels that occurs a number of hours after having eaten. Meals that can typically lead to a delayed increase in bl Continue reading >>
Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)
Untreated, high blood sugar can cause many problems and future complications. Recognizing signs of high blood sugar levels and knowing how to lower them can help you prevent these complications and increase the quality and length of your life. Topics covered (click to jump to specific section) High blood sugar level symptoms and signs Symptoms of high blood sugar include: Increased thirst Tired all the time Irritability Increased hunger Urinating a lot Dry mouth Blurred vision Severe high blood sugar can lead to nausea and fruity smelling breath The signs and symptoms for high blood sugar are the same for both type 1 and type 2. Signs usually show up quicker in those who have type 1 because of the nature of their diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to stop making insulin altogether. Type 2 is caused by lifestyle factors when the body eventually stops responding to insulin, which causes the sugar to increase slowly. People with type 2 can live longer without any symptoms creeping because their body is still making enough insulin to help control it a little bit. What causes the blood sugar levels go to high? Our bodies need sugar to make energy for the cells. Without it, we cannot do basic functions. When we eat foods with glucose, insulin pairs with it to allow it to enter into the cell wall. If the insulin is not there, then the glucose molecule can’t get through the wall and cannot be used. The extra glucose hangs out in the bloodstream which is literally high blood sugar. The lack of insulin can be caused by two different things. First, you can have decreased insulin resistance which means that your insulin doesn’t react the way that it is supposed to. It doesn’t partner with glucose to be used as fuel. Secondly, you can have no insuli Continue reading >>
Why Blood Sugar Levels Rise Overnight
get the scoop When you go to bed, your blood sugar reading is 110, but when you wake up in the morning, it has shot up to 150. Why does this happen? To understand how blood sugar levels can rise overnight without your eating anything, we have to look at where glucose comes from — and where it goes — while we sleep. During the day, the carbohydrates we eat are digested into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. Some of this glucose goes to the liver, where it is stored for later use. At night, while we are asleep, the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream. The liver acts as our glucose warehouse and keeps us supplied until we eat breakfast. The amount of glucose being used is matched by the amount of glucose being released by the liver, so blood sugar levels should remain constant. what is the dawn phenomenon? A rise in blood sugar level between approximately 3 A.M. and the time you wake up is called the “dawn phenomenon.” The liver is supposed to release just enough glucose to replace what is being used, and insulin works as the messenger to tell the liver how much is enough. But if there's not enough insulin (as with type 1 diabetes), or if there's enough insulin but it cannot communicate its message to the liver (as with type 2 diabetes), the liver starts to release glucose much too quickly. In addition, levels of hormones such as cortisol begin to increase in the early morning hours, which can contribute to altered insulin sensitivity. The result? Blood sugar levels rise. This is why blood sugar levels can go up between the time you go to bed and the time you wake up. what can you do about it? You might be able to make changes in the timing of your meals, medications, or insulin injections to help prevent dawn phenomenon. First, keep a detailed rec Continue reading >>
How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar
It seems strange to be able to keep blood sugar levels in control throughout the day and have morning blood sugar high, right? I mean, it doesn't seem logical. After all, you haven't eaten anything so it should be lower shouldn't it? It's a common assumption and it would seem logical, but it is common for people with type 2 diabetes to have high blood sugar in the morning. Why? Because your body continues to produce glucose even when you don't eat. It's called gluconeogenesis. This is a natural process for all of us. But in diabetes many people have increased gluconeogensis. Another reason is that cortisol (our stress hormone) is the hormone that slowly increases in levels from around 3 am onwards to reach it’s peak early in the morning. Cortisol has a direct influence on blood sugar levels too – elevating them. Still, there are practical things you can do to lower morning blood sugar levels, here's how… How to Lower Morning Blood Sugar Lowering morning highs has a lot to do with your overall health, diet, and lifestyle and usually incorporates a number of different factors. Put some of the following things into practice, give it some time, and no doubt you will start seeing an improvement. Just remember, the number you're aiming for with fasting blood sugar is between 90-110 (5-6.1). Try Apple Cider Vinegar & Cheese Before Bed One small study found that having 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1 oz (28 g) cheese (which is just 1 slice cheese) before bed reduced morning glucose by 4% compared to 2% when the participants only had cheese and water. People that had a typical fasting glucose above 130 mg/dl or 7.2 mmol/l had an even better result of 6% decrease in morning blood sugar levels. It’s not fully understood why vinegar has such a beneficial effect Continue reading >>
What Is Ok For A Sugar Level?
Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Levels Your body uses glucose for energy. When you wake up in the morning after fasting for at least eight hours, your blood sugar should fall between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL. Levels between 100 and 120 mg/dL in the morning indicate that you have pre-diabetes, a condition that makes it likely that you'll develop type II diabetes in the future, the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse warns. Blood Sugar After Eating What you eat and how much you eat influences how high your blood sugar level rises after eating. If you have a normal blood sugar level, your level even after eating normally won't rise above 125 mg/dL most of the time, according to MedlinePlus. When testing for diabetes, a level of less than 200 mg/dL one hour after ingesting a high-glucose drink or snack and less than 140 mg/dL two hours after ingestion is considered non-diabetic, MedlinePlus also reports. A blood sugar level that is between 140 to 199 mg/dL zero to two hours after ingestion indicates pre-diabetes, however. Diabetic Fasting Levels The American Diabetes Association says diabetics should maintain a normal fasting blood sugar level between 70 to 130 mg/dL. Some diabetics are prone to hypoglycemia, a condition in which blood glucose levels are less than 70 mg/dL. Hypoglycemia can lead to shakiness, sweating, trouble concentrating and loss of consciousness if not treated. If you have a tendency toward hypoglycemia, your doctor might suggest testing your blood sugar level more frequently or changing your diet. Diabetic Levels After Eating Compared to non-diabetics, blood sugar level in diabetics generally rises higher after a meal. According to the ADA, blood sugar level of diabetics should remain less than 180 mg/dL even after eating. If yo Continue reading >>
Correcting Morning Blood Sugar Highs — Know The Causes Of These Spikes And Ways To Treat Them
Today’s Dietitian Vol. 14 No. 11 P. 18 Jill is frustrated. Her type 1 diabetes seems out of control, and she comes to your office at her wits’ end. She says she’s doing everything right: counting carbs, taking her insulin as prescribed, monitoring her blood glucose levels four times per day. A look at Jill’s testing logs and most recent blood work confirms there’s a problem. She has a hemoglobin A1c of 9.2, and her blood glucose levels are all over the map. Her numbers generally are fine before she goes to bed but incredibly high in the morning. Recently, her physician increased her nighttime basal insulin dose to counteract the morning highs, but things seem worse now than ever. Her breakfast bolus doesn’t seem to be effective, and her high blood glucose levels persist into the afternoon. “Fluctuating blood sugars can be very frustrating,” says Eileen M. Sturner, RD, LDN, CDE, BC-ADM. “RDs can play an important role in helping patients get to the bottom of problems such as morning highs. Working with patients to gather the appropriate data and facilitating the sharing of those data with the healthcare provider that’s managing their diabetes can have life-changing results.” Hyperglycemia In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can no longer provide either the steady drip of basal insulin that keeps blood sugar levels stable between meals or the bolus release of insulin that directs the uptake of glucose after eating. Patients must take basal insulin to keep their fasting blood sugar levels steady and bolus insulin to match their carbohydrate intake and correct highs. The primary cause of hyperglycemia in type 1 diabetes is carbohydrate intake that isn’t matched with bolus insulin dosing. Perhaps Jill is underreporting her carbohydrate intake, administer Continue reading >>
Why Are My Morning Sugars Over 300?
Q: I am 23 years old and I have had insulin dependent diabetes for 9 years. My blood sugars during the day are generally under 150 mg/dl, but no matter what I do my fasting blood sugar before breakfast is always high, often over 300. What is going on? A: The problem described above, fasting hyperglycemia (high blood sugar before breakfast), is a common complaint that vexes both patient and physician. Consistently elevated fasting blood sugars are generally due to one of the following: 1. Insufficient insulin taken the night before. 2. Somogyl Phenomenon: with this theory, it is thought that too much insulin is taken in the evening leading to unrecognized hypoglycemia in the middle of the night. The low blood sugar triggers the release of the counter-regulatory hormones (adrenaline, growth hormone, glucagon, cortisol) that increase blood sugar levels. Paradoxically, high doses of insulin taken at night lead to higher glucoses in the morning and lower doses lead to lower blood sugar levels. Although this theory had been accepted for years, currently it is controversial. Several studies have shown that lower glucoses in the middle of the night are actually associated with low glucoses in the morning and the “rebound” described above rarely occurs. This is important in that “normal” fasting glucoses may be at the expense of unrecognized hypoglycemia which can be potentially dangerous. 3. Insulin Waning: in this situation, the insulin taken the evening before has run out by morning, leading to elevated glucoses. This occurs most commonly when NPH is taken in the early evening, at 5-6 pm. This waning is the reason it is often suggested that the evening NPH be taken later at night, generally around 10 pm. 4. Dawn Phenomenon: in this situation, a predawn surge in growth Continue reading >>
Why Is Blood Sugar Highest In The Morning?
Many people with diabetes find that their fasting blood sugar first thing in the morning is the hardest blood sugar to control. In addition, they find that if they eat the same food for breakfast as they do for lunch or dinner they will see a much higher blood sugar number when testing after breakfast than they see at the other meals. The reason for this is a normal alteration in hormones experienced by many people not just people with diabetes. It is called "Dawn Phenomenon." What Causes Dawn Phenomenon? The body prepares for waking up by secreting several different hormones. First, between 4:00 and 6:30 a.m. it secretes cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. You may recognize these as the hormones involved in the "fight or flight response." In this case, their job is more benign, to give you the energy to get up and moving so you can find the food your body needs for energy. To help you do this, these hormones also raise your blood sugar. After a long night's sleep, the fuel your body turns to to get you going is the glucose stored in the liver. So after these stress hormones are secreted, around 5:30 a.m., plasma glucose rises. In a person with normal blood sugar, insulin will also start to rise at this time but many people with diabetes won't experience the corresponding rise in insulin. So instead of giving their cells a dose of morning energy, all they get is a rise in blood sugar. Not Everyone Experiences Dawn Phenomenon Researchers who have infused different hormones into experimental subjects have found that the trigger for dawn phenomenon is a nocturnal surge in growth hormone. If they block the growth hormone, blood sugars stay flat. This may explain why some people, particularly older people, do not experience a rise in blood sugar first thing in the mor Continue reading >>
High Fasting Levels
High fasting levels are a huge problem for many ladies. Fasting blood sugar levels, levels taken first thing in the morning when you wake up, are the hardest thing to control with gestational diabetes. But why is that? When we're sleeping we are not eating and drinking and we are not active and so the body is left to it's own devices with regards to controlling blood sugar levels. Impacts on fasting blood sugar levels Many things can impact fasting levels: what you've eaten earlier in the evening when you last ate hydration levels how well you've slept the dawn phenomenon the Somogyi effect What you ate earlier in the evening Bearing in mind how much of each food group converts to glucose in the bloodstream and the time taken, your fasting levels may be impacted by this. Too much carbohydrate in your evening meal or as a snack before bed can contribute to high fasting levels, as your body can only produce or use so much insulin, so if you raise your blood sugars too high by eating too much carbohydrate, your body can spend the night battling to try to lower your blood sugar levels. A high fat meal such as takeaway food can also cause higher blood sugar levels and so eating a well paired evening meal is important. When you last ate The key to stabilising blood sugar levels is to eat small amounts, often. We obviously cannot do this throughout the night, but if you eat your evening meal early and do not eat again until breakfast the following day, it can be an extremely long time to go without eating. Likewise, if you eat a large meal just before going to bed, this too can have a detrimental effect on your fasting levels. Hydration levels Dehydration will cause higher blood sugar levels. Water helps to flush excess sugar from the body and so it is important to stay well h Continue reading >>
Why Blood Sugar Can Be High In The Morning
You wouldn’t expect hours of sleep and fasting to leave you with high blood sugar. But elevated morning glucose may be more common than you think. Although it’s not a major problem when it occurs from time to time, consistently high morning levels need your doctor’s attention. Causes of Morning Hyperglycemia High blood glucose in the morning typically occurs due to one of three distinct causes: Dawn Phenomenon The “dawn phenomenon” describes high morning glucose that occurs due to a natural rise in hormone levels. During the early morning hours between about 4 and 8 a.m., your body releases hormones like cortisol and growth hormones to get ready for the day. For reasons experts don’t completely understand, your liver produces extra glucose in response to these hormones. People without diabetes secrete more insulin to handle the extra glucose. But for people with diabetes, blood glucose levels can rise too high. Increased blood sugar due to the dawn phenomenon is usually treated with diabetes medication. If you are on insulin, your insulin levels may need to be changed. The Somogyi Effect It’s possible to experience low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, while sleeping and not even know it. The potentially dangerous problem can occur for a number of different reasons—from not eating enough or taking too much insulin, to drinking too much alcohol. In some people, the body compensates for the hypoglycemia by producing a lot of hormones. This, in turn, causes blood sugar levels to rise. Not everyone wakes in reaction to low blood glucose levels. But being sweaty or having a headache in the morning can be a sign. If you suffer from the Somogyi effect (named after the scientist who first described the condition), your doctor may recommend that you eat a snack befor Continue reading >>