Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar In The Morning
Ive been looking after many diabetic patients throughout my career. When it comes to symptoms of a low in the morning, 4 symptoms down below are the most common ones. Here are my four lovely patients whom I cant forget regarding low blood sugar in the morning symptoms. Their names are all pseudonyms for the sake of privacy.
Overdose Of Diabetes Medication
A common cause of hypoglycaemia is taking too much insulin for your current needs. Insulin is a medication that helps control your blood glucose levels. It’s commonly used to treat type 1 diabetes and is also recommended for some people with type 2 diabetes.
A fall in blood glucose levels can also occur after taking too much oral hypoglycaemia medication, such as sulphonylurea, which causes a release of insulin. This medication is often used to lower blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Best Foods For Low Blood Sugar
For patients with diabetes, monitoring blood sugar levels is a part of daily life.
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can occur for many people with diabetes who are on certain medications, including insulin and sulfonylureas. It can occur for a variety of reasons including skipping a meal, exercising strenuously, taking too much insulin or consuming alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.
Low blood sugar can be as minor as a slight inconvenience or as serious as a life-threatening emergency. Thats why it is important to boost blood sugar before it becomes problematic.
Angela Norton, a diabetes educator at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, has diabetes herself, so she knows firsthand the tips and tricks of keeping blood sugar on track. Although blood glucose is considered normal if above 70 mg/dL, Norton says patients with diabetes should not wait until they reach below that threshold to take action.
Treat when you feel the symptoms, even if your blood sugar is not below 70, because as long as it is less than 100, it may be dropping fast, she says.
When it comes to treatment, Norton shares these five foods to help boost low blood sugar.
1. CandyWhen hypoglycemia occurs, patients should follow the 15-15 rule. Consume 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise blood glucose and check your levels again after 15 minutes. When the numbers return to normal, eat a snack to stay on track.
Gummy candies contain carbohydrates, which have a large impact on blood sugar levels.
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How To Prevent High Morning Blood Sugar
Do not fret, friends. There are ways to deal. Here are three simple ways:
1) Take insulin right when you wake up
If its 2 pm and you notice your blood sugar is shooting up for no apparent reason, youd take a correction dose of insulin to prevent that spike, right? .
The same concept applies here.
To determine how much insulin to take, wake up, record blood sugar values at 30 and 60-minute intervals, and record this for a few days . Then, you can use your insulin to carb ratio to determine a correction bolus.
2) Increase your basal rate around your wake up time
If you fight Dawn Phenomenon, whats a common strategy for success? Increasing basal rates in the wee hours of the morning to counteract that hormone-induced spike.
Well, if youre used to a particular morning routine and know itll take you a little while to prepare food and eat, consider increasing that basal rate during that time period. That additional insulin may overcome the liver dumping glucose and blunt your blood sugar spike, or ideally, prevent it in the first place.
3) If you skip breakfast, stop skipping it and EAT SOMETHING
As a registered dietitian, I can regurgitate all the information from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics about why breakfast is important. This isnt about that, but in all honesty here, try eating SOMETHING. Id love if it were healthy, but if youre just DYING to have Cinnamon Toast Crunch, by all means, have at it. If youre about the low-carb life, go for some eggs.
Avoid Alcohol The Night Before And Sugar In Anything The Next Morning
Like to enjoy a tipple the night before you go to bed? Its time to cut down or back on that completely. The alcohol dehydrates the body and will mean your blood glucose level will be more saturated. The smaller amounts of glucose will affect you in bigger ways.
But this doesnt help you on a morning, right? Well, look out for drinking anything sugary on a morning. This includes your glass of orange juice. You may even want to avoid plain water!
You want to drink something that is going to keep your sugar levels to a minimum and not spart the release of insulin. That means looking for something that packs plenty of protein. Remember that protein berry smoothie? Consider that as your morning drink/breakfast. You can follow it with a glass of water if youd like.
A green smoothie would be another excellent option. It packs you full of nutrients, and you can add in the protein to get that filling element.
If you really want water, add a slice or two of lemon. You get some sweetness but without the large amounts of sugar hitting your system causing a problem.
Keeping your morning drink routine perfect will also help you reduce the stress hormones. Coffee is a stimulant and will just make your stress levels even worse. Anything with caffeine will do the same and thats usually what youll add sugar to. Opt for lemon water for a refreshing drink and then a smoothie for a no-caffeine, nutrient packed breakfast.
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What To Expect From Your Blood Sugar In The Morning
After an overnight fast, a normal blood sugar level is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter , according to the American Diabetes Association . But, according to Susan Spratt, MD, an endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, not everyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes has to shoot for “normal” levels.
“If you’re young, the goal may be to get your fasting blood sugar levels to less than 120 mg/dL,” Dr. Spratt says. But if you’re older and have other health conditions, that number may be higher, she says.
The ADA points out that not everyone will have the same blood sugar level goals. Instead, your endocrinologist or doctor will calculate your target number based on your age, how long you’ve had diabetes, whether you have health conditions like heart disease and other factors.
What Is The Somogyi Effect
A second possible cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning is the Somogyi effect, sometimes also called rebound hyperglycemia. It was named after the doctor who first wrote about it.
If your blood sugar drops too low in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, your body will release hormones in an attempt to rescue you from the dangerously low blood sugar. The hormones do this by prompting your liver to release stored glucose in larger amounts than usual. But this system isnt perfect in a person with diabetes, so the liver releases more sugar than needed which leads to a high blood sugar level in the morning. This is the Somogyi effect.
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How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy
Follow these steps:
They may need to go to hospital if they’re being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.
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How To Lower Morning Levels
Gaining tight control over your daily blood sugar levels by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, stressing less and getting good quality sleep, will all help control your morning readings.
But there is one simple trick that may help even more especially with the dawn phenomenon.
In patients with non-insulin dependent type 2 diabetes, researchers managed to reduce morning glucose levels by 4 to 6 percent. That means if your morning glucose is around 130 mg/dl, it would decrease to about 122 mg/dl.
What did they do?
Before bed, they gave patients two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water, along with one ounce of cheese, which is just one slice of cheese.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which is what researchers believe causes most of the effect. Other studies have shown that acetic acid reduces post meal glucose levels and A1c, along with improving insulin sensitivity and the insulin response.
Give this simple bedtime trick a try yourself. Its easy to do and you never know tomorrow you might wake up with lower morning levels, too.
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Don’t Exercise Before Breakfast
Exercise is an important part of blood sugar management, and when done regularly it can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower your A1C levels. How exercise affects your blood sugar depends on how long youre active, and varies from person to person. But generally exercise will lower your blood sugar and make your body more sensitive to insulin for up to 24 hours after a workout, according to the ADA.
If you tend to work out in the morning, its important to test your blood sugar levels before and after your workout to see how your body responds. If your blood sugar tends to quickly drop off after a workout, its smart to have breakfast before you head to the gym to keep you fueled and your blood sugar steady.
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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.
What Causes High Morning Blood Sugars
Two main culprits prompt morning highs: the dawn phenomenon and waning insulin. A third, much rarer cause, known as the Somogyi effect, may also be to blame.
The occasional morning high will have little impact on your A1C, a measure of your average blood sugar levels over time that indicates how well managed your diabetes is. But if those highs become consistent, they could push your A1C up into dangerous territory.
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Eat More Fibre On A Morning
Like protein, fiber is a great way to lower blood sugar levels in a morning /natural way to lower blood sugar. This can be difficult to get, especially without added sugar. Think about the way you eat your oats. There are high chances that you pile on sugar refined or natural or bake it into a bar with dried fruits and other ingredients.
Its time to get your fiber in natural forms and consider low-GI options. That can mean cutting back on the fruit, especially first thing in a morning. Look for fruits that are lower on the glycaemic index to eat with your breakfast, such as apples and pears.
You should also look at enjoying oats with more savoury ingredients. Nuts and seeds are the perfect alternatives, packing your breakfast full of protein and fats, as well as fiber.
When you have these three ingredients working together, they will break down in the body slowly. You will find that they reduce the amount of glucose released into the body, so you dont have the same insulin response.
The extra fiber will also help you feel fuller for longer. This is important in the long term, as it will help you lose weight.
A Low Blood Sugar Level And Driving
You may still be allowed to drive if you have diabetes or you’re at risk of a low blood sugar level for another reason, but you’ll need to do things to reduce the chance of this happening while you’re driving.
You also need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and your car insurance company about your condition.
For more information, see:
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Preventing A Low Blood Sugar Level
If you have diabetes, you can reduce your chance of getting a low blood sugar level if you:
- Check your blood sugar level regularly and be aware of the symptoms of a low blood sugar level so you can treat it quickly.
- Always carry a sugary snack or drink with you, such as glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or some sweets. If you have a glucagon injection kit, always keep it with you.
- Do not skip meals.
- Be careful when drinking alcohol. Do not drink large amounts, check your blood sugar level regularly, and eat a carbohydrate snack afterwards.
- Be careful when exercising eating a carbohydrate snack before exercise can help to reduce the risk of a hypo. If you take some types of diabetes medicine, your doctor may recommend you take a lower dose before or after doing intense exercise.
- Have a carbohydrate snack, such as toast, if your blood sugar level drops too low while you’re asleep
If you keep getting a low blood sugar level, talk to your diabetes care team about things you can do to help prevent it.
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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Treating An Episode Of Hypoglycaemia
The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some sugary food or drink to end the attack.
For example, this could be:
- a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
- between three and five dextrose tablets
- a handful of sweets
At first you should avoid fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk, because they don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they do contain may be absorbed more slowly.
After having something sugary, you should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.
It will usually take around 15 minutes to recover from a mild episode of hypoglycaemia. If you have a blood glucose meter, measure your blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low , you should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing your levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.
When treating someone else with hypoglycaemia, if the above treatment isn’t effective, you may be able to help them by applying glucose gel to the inside of their cheeks, and gently massaging the outside of their cheeks.
It may take 10 to 15 minutes before they feel better. This shouldn’t be done if the person is drowsy or unconscious because of the risk of choking.
How To Treat Low Blood Sugar
If you think you have low blood sugar, be sure to check it.
Keeping your blood sugar levels on target as much as possible can help prevent or delay long-term, serious health problems. While this is important, closely managing your blood sugar levels also increases your chance for low blood sugar . Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low. If you think you have low blood sugar, check it. If you arent able to check it, go ahead and treat it.
Untreated low blood sugar can be dangerous, so its important to know what to do about it and to treat it immediately.