How To Fix High Blood Sugars In The Morning
The Dawn Phenomenon
More than half of people with diabetes are thought to experience dawn phenomenon, and it can lead to significant increases in HbA1c.
The dawn phenomenon begins when your body secretes a surge of hormones, including growth hormone, cortisol, adrenaline and glucagon. These hormones start working very early each morning 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.
These hormones trigger the conversion of the livers glycogen stores into glucose which is then dumped into the blood in a process called glycogenolysis.
This general process occurs in all humans regardless of whether they have diabetes. In people without diabetes, the bodys natural insulin response prevents the blood sugars from rising. In people with diabetes, though, the body is unable to produce a healthy insulin response, and therefore blood glucose levels spike up.
The Mayo Clinic suggests several strategies you can try to combat the effects of dawn phenomenon:
- Use an insulin pump to administer extra insulin during early-morning hours.
- Avoid carbohydrates at bedtime.
- Adjust your dose of medication or insulin.
- Switch to a different glucose-lowering medication.
- Adjust the time when you take your medication or insulin from dinnertime to bedtime.
What Works for Some People
High Blood Sugars from the Night Before
Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly And Safely
First, if youve missed an insulin dose or your pump is not working, the first thing to do is correct the underlying problem, according to Dr. Wright. Insulin is a normal hormone in our body that’s normally produced by the pancreas and what insulin does is it acts as a shuttle and it shuttles glucose from the blood and into the cells so that it can be used as fuel, explains Dr. Hong. So, for somebody with diabetes, if they have high blood glucoses, by giving themself more insulin they’re essentially helping to facilitate the movement of glucose into the cells so that the blood glucose levels drop and the cells receive more fuel or glucose.
Take missed diabetes medication
I don’t generally recommend that you take it on an as-needed basis, says Dr. Hong. Typically, diabetes medications are meant to be taken on a daily basis or in a scheduled way. If you forget to take your medication, then absolutely, your blood sugars can go up, and then if you take it again, the sugars will certainly come back down, says Dr. Hong. Just keep in mind that medications wont work as quickly as insulin, especially if its been a while since you had your last dose or if you havent been taking it as often as you should.
Go for a walk
High Blood Sugar Symptoms
The most common symptoms of hyperglycemia are:
- Increased thirst and/or hunger
“If someone has hyperglycemia, it would mean they would be very thirsty, tired, they might be urinating more frequently and basically not feeling well,” says Sam Zager, M.D. a family medicine physician in Maine.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels
Signs of high blood sugar levels include:
- Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
- Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isn’t enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
- Feeling tired: Because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water may help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy limits.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out the excess sugar through urine.
One observational study showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk for developing high blood sugar levels (
Its important to monitor your waistline, as its perhaps the most crucial weight-related factor for estimating your diabetes risk.
A measurement of more than 35 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, and type 2 diabetes .
Having a healthy waist measurement may even be more important than your overall weight .
Keeping a moderate weight and waistline will help you maintain normal blood sugar levels and decrease your risk for developing diabetes.
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Normal Blood Sugar Levels In Children
Younger than 6 years old mg/dL
Adults who are 20 years or older will have blood sugar levels that range between less than 100-180 mg/dL over the course of a day. When you wake up in the morning, your fasting blood sugar should be at its lowest because you havent consumed food for about eight hours. If youre an adult and struggling with glucose control, your healthcare provider can help you develop a treatment plan to manage your blood sugar better.
Blood glucose levels outside the ranges listed above are categorized as either high or low blood sugar. Blood sugar levels are considered high if theyre over 130 mg/dL before a meal or 180 mg/dL within one to two hours after a meal. Many people wont start to experience symptoms from high blood sugar until their levels are at 250 mg/dL or higher. The highest blood sugar level thats considered safe will depend on the person and whether they have diabetes, but will typically be between 160 to 240 mg/dL.
What Is High Blood Sugar
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. 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 it’s carried to each cell through the bloodstream.
Hyperglycemia is the medical word for high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels happen when the body either can’t make insulin or can’t respond to insulin properly . The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia.
Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can cause serious health problems if it’s not treated. Hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems. These problems don’t usually show up in kids or teens who have had the disease for only a few years. But they can happen in adulthood in some people with diabetes, particularly if they haven’t managed or controlled their diabetes well.
Blood sugar levels are considered high when they’re above your target range. Your diabetes health care team will let you know what your target blood sugar levels are.
Can Oral Mediations Help A High Blood Sugar
While any oral medications you take to help manage your diabetes do improve your blood sugar levels, they are not something you would take an extra dose off to correct an occasional high blood sugar level.
However, if you realize that you forgot to take your dose of a daily medication, this should be part of the process of bringing your high blood sugar down.
Some medications can be taken late, and some medications may need to wait until your next normally scheduled dose. Contact your healthcare team to determine if the diabetes medication you take can be taken late after missing your usual dose.
If you have been skipping this medication altogether for days or weeks its very likely a significant contributor to the reason your blood sugar is high. These medications are designed to improve your blood sugar levels in a variety of different ways.
Talk to your healthcare team to better understand the medications youve been prescribed and the issues youre having in taking them as directed.
Emergency Ways To Lower Blood Sugar
High blood sugar is usually a diabetic medical condition, where the body cannot regulate its own blood sugar levels. A diabetic must take insulin in order to regulate his or her blood sugar, but if you have type 1 diabetes and there is no insulin available, or the wrong amount of insulin is taken, your blood sugar can shoot up. If you have type 2 diabetes and your body is not processing insulin like it should, your blood sugar levels can also rise. Hyperglycemia, or extremely high blood sugar, can occur in both scenarios 1.
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Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Closely
High blood sugar levels often do not cause symptoms until they run well over 200 mg/dL. As such, it is essential for a person with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar several times a day. Doing so will mean that blood sugar levels never get that high.
A person with diabetes can use a home glucose monitor to check blood sugar levels. These are available for purchase online.
Recommendations for how frequently to check glucose levels during the day will vary from person to person. A doctor can make the best recommendations regarding blood sugar monitoring to a person with diabetes.
Go For Whole Fruit Over Juice
A glass of orange juice is not the same as eating a whole orange. “People generally drink more juice and therefore consume more calories and sugar than they would by just eating fruit,” says Wylie-Rosett. Plus, you get more fiber from the whole fruit. For instance, there’s about 4 grams in a large orange, compared to less than 1 gram in 8 ounces of juice. A small amount of juice is OK, but it shouldn’t be your go-to beverage, she says. When you do drink it, make sure you’re serving it up in an actual juice glass rather than a big cup.
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How Do I Lower My Blood Sugar Level If I Have Gestational Pregnancy
A little more than 9.2% of pregnant women have gestational diabetes. It is very common that all women are tested during their pregnancy. If you havent yet, bring it up to your physicians attention. The cause is really unknown, but doctors believe that it is because the extra hormones that are released during pregnancy hinder the insulin sensitivity and increase the need for more insulin. It is very important to keep blood sugar levels under control because high blood sugars can lead to complications such as:
- Premature labor
- Pre-eclampsia which can lead to seizures
- Increased risk of the mother to develop type 2 diabetes later in life
Lowering blood sugar with gestational diabetes is a lot like the other ways mentioned above.
Breastfeeding after the baby is born is a great way to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life as well as providing many benefits for the baby. Read this article / that I wrote about all of the benefits of breastfeeding.
When To Avoid Exercise
People with blood sugar levels above 240 mg/dL should check their urine for ketones before engaging in physical activity. If ketones are present, do not exercise. Ketones are the result of stored fat being broken down for energy. Your liver starts breaking down fat when theres not enough insulin in your bloodstream to absorb blood sugar into cells. When too many ketones are quickly produced, they can cause DKA. In this state, ketones may actually make your blood sugar level go even higher and you may need intravenous fluids to rebalance.
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Drink Lots And Lots Of Water
Diabetes Daily wrote a great post about how water impacts blood sugar. Their analogy is pretty great too
Picture a glass of water. Mix in a little sugar and stir until it dissolves. Now place it outside on a hot, sunny day. As the water evaporates, the remaining water gets sweeter and sweeter.
The same is true for you blood plasma, which is 92% water . The more dehydrated you are the more saturated your blood gets with sugar.
Whenever my blood sugar is being stubborn I POUND water! Every hour, until my BG gets back into range, I drink about 24 oz of water . And since this makes me pee, a lot, I make sure to add salt and lemon juice to my water to replenish lost electrolytes.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Getting professional medical advice from a healthcare provider like an endocrinologist is the best way to learn more about whether your blood sugar levels are where they should be. Not getting proper treatment for low or high blood sugar levels can be serious and lead to health complications, especially for those with diabetes. Diabetes complications include nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, or heart attacks.
If you see a healthcare provider about your blood sugar levels, be prepared to answer questions about risk factors like what you eat, how much you exercise, and about your family history. Some healthcare providers may want to take a blood sample to test your blood sugar levels. They may also order an A1C test, which is a blood test that measures blood sugar levels over several months. You may have to fast eight hours beforehand to get accurate test results, so its always a good idea to check before your appointment.
If your blood sugar level goes above 250 mg/dL, you should go to the ER for immediate medical attention, says Dr. Tarugu. Emergency rooms are equipped to handle high blood sugar levels and can administer treatments like insulin therapy and fluid or electrolyte replacement.
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What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.
Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:
Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.
Eat The Right Carbohydrates
The two main kinds of carbohydrates simple and complex affect blood sugar levels differently.
Simple carbohydrates are mainly made up of one kind of sugar. They are found in foods, such as white bread, pasta, and candy. The body breaks these carbohydrates down into sugar very quickly, which causes blood sugar levels to rise rapidly.
Complex carbohydrates are made up of three or more sugars that are linked together. Because the chemical makeup of these kinds of carbohydrates is complicated, it takes the body longer to break them down.
As a result, sugar is released into the body more gradually, meaning that blood sugar levels do not rapidly rise after eating them. Examples of complex carbohydrates include whole grain oats and sweet potatoes.
Treating Severely Low Blood Sugar
Blood sugar below 55 mg/dL is considered severely low. You wont be able to treat it using the 15-15 rule. You also may not be able to check your own blood sugar or treat it by yourself, depending on your symptoms. Make sure your family members, friends, and caregivers know your signs of low blood sugar so they can help treat it if needed.
Injectable glucagon is the best way to treat severely low blood sugar. A glucagon kit is available by prescription. Speak with your doctor to see if you should have a kit. Be sure to learn how and when to use it. Let family members and others close to you know where you keep the glucagon kit and make sure theyve been trained in how to use it too.
Its important to contact a doctor for emergency medical treatment immediately after receiving a glucagon injection. If a person faints due to severely low blood sugar, theyll usually wake up within 15 minutes after a glucagon injection. If they dont wake up within 15 minutes after the injection, they should receive one more dose. When the person is awake and able to swallow:
- Feed the person a fast-acting source of sugar .
- Then, have them eat a long-acting source of sugar .
Its also important that friends, family, co-workers, teachers, coaches, and other people you may be around often know how to test your blood sugar and treat severely low blood sugar before it happens.
If any of the following happens, your friend, relative, or helper should call 911:
How Fast Can I Lower My Blood Sugar
It may be faster than you think! Researchers at UCLA tracked over 650 men and women with type 2 diabetes who had attended the Pritikin Longevity Center to determine the effects of the healthy lifestyle change on their health. They found that in you can lower your blood sugar quickly. Of the adults who were new diabetics, their blood sugar levels fell from an average of 164mg/dL to 124 mg/dL within 3 weeks.
Better yet, many cases, adopting a healthy lifestyle is effective at reversing diabetes! The majority of the diabetics taking oral medication lowered their blood sugar to a point in which mediation was no longer needed. Those with advanced stages of diabetes noticed improvements as well. At the Pritikin Center, trained experts, including board certified physicians, registered dieticians and exercise physiologists, work with the adults to help them better understand their health, and how to eat, move, and live healthier.
What is a dangerous level of blood sugar?
Pre-diabetes is defined as having a fasting glucose between 100 and 125. Diabetes is a fasting glucose of 126 or higher. There is significant scientific evidence showing that a healthy lifestyle, such as the Pritikin Plan, can prevent pre-diabetes from developing into full-blown diabetes.
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