Can Your Blood Sugar Be High If You Havent Eaten
If you have diabetes, you should limit your risk of dangerous blood sugar. The amount of money you lose if you skip a meal is typically not that big. You might be able to avoid potentially dangerous blood sugar levels in people with diabetes if you stay home from work and do not have the proper meal structure.
What Is The A1c Test Measuring
There can be several reasons for a spike in blood sugar levels, and itâs a good idea to know whatâs causing yours. But first, itâs essential to understand what A1C is and what the A1C test measures.
Any sugar that enters your bloodstream attaches itself to your hemoglobin on your red blood cells. The A1C test measures the amount of glucose âstuckâ to the hemoglobin, which provides a good proxy of how much average blood glucose was in your bloodstream over a two to three-month period.
A simple way to remember how to read the results is: the higher the percentage, the higher the risk of diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, under 5.7% is a regular A1C reading. A reading between 5.7% and 6.4% is considered a pre-diabetic range, while values above 6.4% indicate diabetes.
Before you start overanalyzing your results, remember that there are variables at play. For example, the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that adults without a history of diabetes often have A1C levels at 6% or greater. This means not every higher test result is cause for concern. Still, itâs worth checking with a doctor if you see consistently high values. High A1C levels lead to impaired fasting glucose, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
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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You Have A B12 Deficiency
One of the reasons your body needs B12 is because it helps create red blood cells. You already know iron-deficiency anemia is one cause of an elevated A1C test. Since a deficiency in B12 often leads to anemia, itâs no wonder that it leads to high A1C readings as well. Taking B12 vitamins can also affect these levels, producing a falsely low A1C reading.
Controlling Diabetes When Youre Not Hungry
If you find that youre eating less due to an illness or other factors, your medications may need adjusting, so its important to talk to your doctor. Meanwhile, here are some general guidelines:
- Mealtime insulin: For mealtime insulin, if you skip the meal, you should also forego the mealtime insulin.
- Long-acting insulin: The dosage for long-acting insulin is not usually based on food intake, so your doctor will not likely recommend a dose reduction.
- Other medications: There are some diabetes medications that will lower your blood sugar when high, but wont normally cause hypoglycemia. They may or may not need adjustment, depending on how much youre eating. These medications include metformin, SGLT-2 inhibitors and DPP4 inhibitors.
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How Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Your diabetes health care team will give you guidelines for treating low blood sugar levels, depending on your symptoms. If you can, try to test your blood sugar levels to make sure that your symptoms are because of hypoglycemia. If you can’t test blood sugar immediately, don’t delay in treating your symptoms you can always check your blood sugar after you’ve taken steps to get your blood sugar back up into the normal range.
When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. To do that, you should take in sugar or sugary foods, which raise the blood sugar level quickly. Your health care team might suggest that you:
- Eat, drink, or take something that contains sugar that can get into the blood quickly. Your doctor may tell you to have really sugary foods or drinks or might give you glucose tablets or gel to take all of these can help to raise your blood sugar level fast, which is what you need to do when it’s low.
- Wait about 10 minutes to let the sugar work.
- Recheck your blood sugar level with a glucose meter to see if blood sugar levels are back to normal.
- Get a glucagon shot , if your symptoms are severe or get worse after you eat, drink, or take glucose.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels can get so low that you may not be awake enough to eat or drink something to get them back up. When this happens, you may need a glucagon shot.
How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia And Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Testing your blood sugar levels regularly can help you spot the signs of hyperglycaemia. But there are some steps you can take to either prevent a hyper from happening or to bring down your blood sugar levels.
You can start by making sure you are aware of your carbohydrate portions and how they may be affecting your blood sugar levels after eating. Carb countingis one of the ways you can manage this. Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index and choose low GI foods that can help manage your blood sugar levels more effectively. Increase the fibre in your diet. This can help slow down carbohydrate digestion, which can help limit the rise in your blood sugars.
Try to maintain a healthy weight as this promotes regular blood sugar levels in the body. Be as active as possible, regular exercise can help your body process more of the sugar.
Remember to take your insulin and other diabetes medication, and always take them correctly. Continue to take your diabetes medication even if you are ill and not eating.
Concentrate on your emotional wellbeing, get a quality nights sleep and find ways to manage your stress. Stress can cause hormones to be released, which keep your blood sugar levels high.
If your blood sugar levels continue to be high, or youre unsure of what to do, contact your doctor for further guidance.
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Are You Suffering From Untreated Hyperglycemia
Untreated hyperglycemia leads to serious complications. Signs are hard to identify, but self-monitoring and early treatment lowers these risks and improves quality of life.
Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, affects people who have diabetes. Since the symptoms are difficult to feel and easily go unnoticed, the condition often goes untreated. Prolonged hyperglycemia is the main cause of almost all the complications associated with diabetes but good blood sugar control can prevent them. The more you know about high blood sugar, the more likely you are to recognize it, treat it, and hopefully take steps to prevent it.
Is It Safe To Sleep With High Blood Sugar
Glucose levels that are occasionally a little high at night generally dont pose serious, immediate health concerns. Most people with diabetes cannot avoid some high glucose levels. However, frequent or long-term highs particularly extremely high levels can be dangerous. It is important for people with diabetes to reduce high blood sugar as much as possible for two key reasons:
Frequent hyperglycemia can lead to major health complications caused by damage to blood vessels and nerves, which can affect your eyes, heart, kidneys, and other organs. This occurs when glucose levels are too high over a long period of time.
Very high glucose levels can be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis . This occurs mainly in people with type 1 diabetes and can be life-threatening. For more information on DKA, read Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis: Whats the Difference.
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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 healthcare professional will provide you with other information including prevention.
Youre Hungrier Than Usual But Losing Weight
Many people with uncontrolled high blood sugar find that theyre hungrier than usual, which signals a symptom called polyphagia, MedlinePlus notes. And although youre eating more, you may be losing weight for no apparent reason if your blood sugar levels are too high, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Since your body is not getting energy from the preferred source, glucose, it has to turn to muscle and fat, Zanini explains. When your body starts breaking down muscle and fat for energy, you experience unintentional and unhealthy weight loss. In addition to these changes in weight and appetite, you may notice weakness in your muscles and experience more frequent falls, Emanuele adds.
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How To Treat Hyperglycemia
Just as there are immediate complications of hyperglycemia and long-term complications of hyperglycemia, there are also immediate and long-term treatment recommendations.
If you or someone you know are showing signs of either DKA or HHS, emergency treatment is required either via the emergency room or admission into the hospital.
Most instances of hyperglycemia are not emergent, though and can be treated at home in a variety of ways.
- Fast-acting insulin: Individuals with type I diabetes and those with type II diabetes on sliding scale insulin can use a bolus of fast-acting insulin to correct hyperglycemia. Insulin injection is the only way to immediately treat high blood sugar. You should start to see the blood sugar drop within about one hour, but you will not see the full effect for about 3-4 hours after injection. If your blood sugar does not start to come down after 3 hours, consider checking your insulin vile to make sure that it has not passed the expiration date or that there is nothing floating in the bottle that might have contaminated the medication. Contact your doctor if thereâs no improvement in blood sugar. Oral medications work in a variety of ways, but none of them are used to treat high blood sugar in the moment.
A diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start. Take things one step at a time. Set SMART goals and check in with your progress frequently. Treating hyperglycemia is just one part of managing diabetes.
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What You Can Drink With Meals
Add a low-calorie, low-sugar drink or choose water. Proper hydration is essential to helping your body remove excess sugar.
Some drinks that are good for keeping your blood sugar level low include:
- Unsweetened tea
- Unsweetened coffee
- Sparkling water or club soda
- Flavored water or sparkling water without added sugar
- Diet soda or other diet drinks
How Are You Sweetening Your Coffee What You Add To Your Cup May Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels
Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the condition for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled.
Proper blood sugar control is key for warding off potential diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health . Plus, keeping your levels in check on a daily basis can help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood, explains Lisa McDermott, RD, CDCES, a diabetes specialist with the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network.
According to the American Diabetes Association , proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and regular blood sugar checks can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose stay within 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an A1C test, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals.
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Some Medications Such As Opioids Can Cause High A1c Levels
Several different medications can interfere with A1C test results. Some can even cause errors in readings or bring up inaccurate results. Some opiates and even over-the-counter drugs can increase your A1C levels. According to a study by the NIH, common drugs like aspirin also cause high or low A1C levels.
Of course, taking the occasional aspirin wonât affect your levels too much. It usually only starts to skew the results of an A1C test if you are taking these medications at regular, larger doses over a long period. This isnât a one size fits all rule, though. For example, among those with type 2 diabetes, aspirin didnât show any elevated levels at all.
Watching For Symptoms Isnt Enough
Although you may think youll know from experience when your blood sugar is out of whack, regular monitoring is the only way to truly make sure.
Its important to keep in mind that the symptoms of high or low blood sugars may fade away after several years of living with diabetes, especially if your blood sugars havent been well controlled, says Garvey.
Also, some of the symptoms of high blood sugars and low blood sugars are the same, so its important to check your blood sugar first, if possible, before treating it, she says.
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Broccoli Or Broccoli Sprouts
Sulforaphane is a sulfur-containing compound naturally found in cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane can help lower blood sugar by increasing glucose uptake from the bloodstream by regulating signaling proteins that control liver cells and their response to insulin.
Liver cells produce ceramides, fatty lipid molecules that can cause insulin resistance. Sulforaphane has been shown to block an enzyme involved in the synthesis of ceramides. By inhibiting this gene, sulforaphane can decrease ceramide levels and improve insulin sensitivity by decreasing insulin resistance. When insulin sensitivity is increased, the body has an improved ability to release insulin when blood sugar is high to bring levels back down.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli also contain glucosinolates, sulfur, and nitrogen compounds that can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose levels in the blood.
When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
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How Can I Treat And Manage Hyperglycemia
People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can manage hyperglycemia by eating healthy, being active, and managing stress. In addition, insulin is a critical part of managing hyperglycemia for people with type 1 diabetes, while people with type 2 diabetes may need oral medications and eventually insulin to help them manage hyperglycemia.
If you dont have diabetes and have any of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, call your healthcare provider. Together you can work to manage your hyperglycemia.