What Is A Severe Low
A severe low is defined as hypoglycemia that a person is unable to treat themselves. That is, they cant recognize that they are low and treat it with a fast-acting carbohydrate. If you sleep alone, and there is no one to help you recognize a low, it is generally recommended that you maintain a higher average blood sugar overnight if severe lows are a risk.
For more information about managing low blood sugars, click here.
For information about recognizing and treating hypoglycemia, click here.
Lows can happen in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The inability to recognize a low is more common if you have longstanding diabetes. For more information about why you should be concerned about low blood sugars, read Lori Berards expert blog.
Why Vinegar Helps Control Blood Sugar
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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.
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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.
What To Eat To Manage Blood Sugar Levels At Night
If you have diabetes, there are several reasons why your blood sugar may be high during the night â and therefore high the next morning. The most common causes are eating too many carbohydrates at bedtime and not taking enough diabetes medication, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
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But morning hyperglycemia can have other causes, including the Somogyi effect, sometimes called rebound hyperglycemia. Managing this effect often requires eating a small evening snack to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the night.
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When To Go To The Er
High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.
This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.
DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.
Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:
- ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.
Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.
High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.
Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level
A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. You’ll learn how it makes you feel, although your symptoms may change over time.
Early signs of a low blood sugar level include:
- a fast or pounding heartbeat
- becoming easily irritated, tearful, anxious or moody
If a low blood sugar level is not treated, you may get other symptoms, such as:
- unusual behaviour, slurred speech or clumsiness
- seizures or fits
- collapsing or passing out
A low blood sugar level, or hypo, can also happen while you’re sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets in the morning.
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What Can I Do At Home To Bring Down My Blood Sugar Quickly
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What Units Are Used For Measuring Blood Sugar Levels
Doctors measure blood sugar differently depending on where you live:
In the U.S., your blood sugar level mostly shows as milligrams of glucose in 1/10th of a liter of blood, also known as milligrams per deciliter .
In the U.K., doctors often measure your blood sugar levels in millimoles of glucose per liter of blood .
Whichever measurement a test uses, its to compare your level to a normal blood sugar range.
If you live with diabetes, youll have higher blood sugar levels than someone who doesnt have diabetes. So, a normal blood glucose level for a person with prediabetes or diabetes is higher.
There are other ways to measure blood sugar, such as a hemoglobin A1C test that estimates the average blood sugar levels over the last 3 months.
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Tips To Prevent Blood Sugar From Dropping At Night
Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar or low blood glucose, occurs when blood glucose levels drop below normalwhich is typically below a level of 70 milligrams per deciliter . With levels more commonly dipping at nighttime, otherwise referred to as nighttime hypoglycemia, this condition affects mostly patients with diabetes.
Use Your Hands As A Serving Guide
Another way to gauge appropriate portion size without any measuring tools is by simply using your hands.
As your hands usually correspond to your body size, bigger people who require more food typically have bigger hands (
If you are eating out, you can always ask for a half portion or a childrens dish.
This will save you a lot of calories and help prevent overeating.
Alternatively, you could share a meal with someone or order a starter and side instead of a main dish.
Other tips include ordering a side salad or vegetables, asking for sauces and dressings to be served separately and avoiding buffet-style, all-you-can-eat restaurants where its very easy to overindulge.
Summary Restaurant portions tend to be at least twice the size of a regular portion. Prevent overeating by asking for a half portion, ordering a starter instead of a main dish and avoiding buffet-style restaurants.
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How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar Without Medication
Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels . Even if you have good control of your levels most of the time, morning blood sugars can be a problem.
But you have options for lowering your morning blood glucose levels. And they don’t involve more medications or insulin.
This article looks at why mornings are a problem and several strategies for starting your day off better.
Verywell / Julie Bang
High morning blood glucose is common. It’s called the dawn phenomenon or dawn effect.
It happens because:
- Your body releases a surge of hormones as it prepares to wake up.
- Those hormones can counter the effects of insulin.
- Insulin regulates blood sugars, so this can make levels rise.
- In people without diabetes, the body naturally releases more insulin to maintain things.
- When you have diabetes, your body may not be able to compensate this way.
You can improve your morning readings despite this. It just takes some work and forethought.
How To Prevent Diabetes Naturally
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How Long Does It Take For Blood Sugar To Go Down
Multiple factors, such as dietary patterns, health, and medications, can influence a persons blood sugar levels. A person can seek a doctors advice on the best strategies to manage their blood glucose. As an individuals blood sugars can fluctuate and go down quickly, it is important to monitor them closely.
Typically, medications such as insulin can help reduce blood sugars quickly. Different types of insulin exist, and each type has a different onset and duration meaning how long it takes to work and how long the effects last, respectively.
For example, rapid-acting insulin typically begins to work within about 15 minutes , has the strongest effect in approximately an hour, and lasts for a few hours.
Other methods, such as exercise, can help lower blood sugars for up to about 24 hours by making the body more sensitive to insulin. Generally, it is advisable to exercise 13 hours after eating, as this is likely when blood sugar levels will be highest. However, it is important to check these levels before exercising and to check them regularly, particularly after any grueling activity.
If a person takes insulin, their risk of experiencing hypoglycemia may be highest 612 hours after exercising. Additionally, it is worth noting that health experts advise caution if exercising with high blood sugars, as physical activity may cause them to rise even higher.
How To Lower High Blood Sugar Level
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How To Minimize The Risk Of Nocturnal Hypoglycemia
Some diabetics set an alarm clock each night to check their blood sugar. Some do this only occasionally, believing that if blood glucose drops excessively during the night, they will wake up anyway. What should you do if you are at risk for nocturnal hypoglycemia? There is no definitive answer. Nocturnal control is most commonly practiced for the youngest diabetics. However, there is no clear guideline on whether it is enough to check sugar once, around the most sensitive hour of 3 a.m. or more often.
What To Eat To Maintain Blood Sugar Levels At Night
If you’re hungry at night, eat a low-carb snack to keep your blood sugar from spiking. If you’re managing the Somogyi effect, you’ll likely need to include some carbohydrates to prevent low blood sugar and the resulting rebound hyperglycemia. Rizzotto says an evening snack should be eaten about two hours before bed.
Protein does not spike blood sugar or insulin levels, making it an ideal bedtime food choice. Protein also slows the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, according to a June 2015 systematic review published in Diabetes Care. The slower the body absorbs carbs, the less your blood sugar levels will rise. Smart high-protein options include a hard-boiled egg, tofu, low-fat yogurt or a few slices of low-fat deli meat, such as turkey.
Fats also play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. According to the National Institute on Aging, they give the body energy without raising blood sugars. They also help the body absorb essential vitamins. Therefore, it’s wise to include a small amount of healthy fat in your evening snack.
Healthy fats are found in low-fat cheeses, seeds, nuts, avocados and olive oil. But though these fat sources are nutritious, it’s important that you enjoy them in moderation so as to avoid consuming too many calories and gaining weight. A healthy serving size for nuts, seeds and cheese is about an ounce, or 1 to 2 tablespoons.
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