When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Two hours after a meal.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
Lifestyle Strategies To Lower Morning Blood Sugar
Managing blood sugar is a challenge for anyone, but there are a few simple lifestyle strategies that can help you do it. Eating a larger meal more often can help you keep your glucose levels more consistent and stabilized throughout the day. You should also be aware of the types of carbohydrates that you consume. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are great choices. You can also talk to a nutritionist about how to plan your meals.
Increasing your physical activity is another effective way to lower morning blood sugar. Adding light exercise, like walking or jogging, to your daily routine can help you manage your morning blood sugar level and prevent spikes. It can also help you manage your insulin dosage. Just make sure not to exercise too close to bedtime, though. It will lower your blood sugar for several hours, and could make you vulnerable to a low overnight.
For people with diabetes, the ideal glucose range is between 70 and 130 mg/dL before breakfast, and 180 mg/dL during the day. However, this range can vary depending on the individual. Older adults and pregnant women should work with their healthcare provider to determine the appropriate range for their needs.
Delayed Effects Of Fatty Foods
Blood sugar levels typically peak within an hour or so after eating. However, a high-fat dinner containing fried foods, pizza, or cheesy casseroles might delay this normal jump in blood sugar until the morning. Why? Large amounts of dietary fat can make it harder for insulin to do its job, explains Scheiner. Plus, fat slows down digestion and absorption, which could cause blood sugar to peak later than usual.
Possible solutions: Opt for fish, skinless poultry, beans, and vegetables sautéed in olive oil over foods high in saturated fat like fried foods and those covered in cheese. Filling up half your plate with vegetables can also help cut portion sizes of other foodsand your fat intake from those foods.
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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 health care professional will provide you with other information including prevention.
How A Continuous Glucose Monitor Can Help Control Morning Levels
Troubleshooting morning glucose levels can be tricky. As we have discussed, there are a lot of factors that influence overall glucose status in the body. Exercise, stress, circadian rhythm, macronutrient composition, nutrient timing, and more are continually affecting glucose management in your body.
If your morning glucose levels are higher than you would like, always start with the four fundamentals:
Of course, it can be difficult to tease out which specific factor is causing your issue, which is why it is crucial to track the data.
The gold standard for tracking glucose levels is with a continuous glucose monitor . When you use a CGM, you can see your glucose values in real time, 24/7. You donât have to wait for an annual blood test to determine whether the changes you made are working. Instead, you can troubleshoot solutions by trying different things out and seeing how they improve the numbers every single day.
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Grams Of Carbs For Hypoglycemia
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How To Lower Your Sugar In The Morning
How we saw the most common cause of excessively high blood sugar levels in the morning is usually the excessive consumption of carbohydrates at dinner therefore the key point to avoiding this problem is to ensure that you control the carbohydrate portions of your meals and ensure that they contain enough fiber. Fiber will help you stay full longer and help keep your blood glucose levels stable.
Also, dinner should contain a moderate amount of fat excess fat can delay the rise in glucose levels from carbohydrate foods, displacing it at night and in the morning. Even more so if these are saturated animal fats instead of unsaturated from vegetable oils.
The second most important factor is exercising regularly. Research shows¹ that exercising just before breakfast helps the body better control blood sugar, reducing the tendency to spike glucose before starting your day. A short walk or a yoga exercise is sufficient.
More tips for lowering blood sugar in the morning if you have diabetes:
The glycemic index measures how we absorb or digest food, which affects the rate at which blood sugar levels rise. Eating low-glycemic foods has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. 4 Examples of foods with a low to moderate glycemic index are: bulgur, oatmeal, yogurt, legumes, durum wheat pasta, non-starchy vegetables.
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Medications That Can Raise Blood Sugar Levels
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Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar In The Morning
If you wear a continuous glucose monitor , or if you routinely check your blood glucose every morning, you can see whether or not you are experiencing early morning hyperglycemia. In addition, you may also experience some of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, which may include:
- Frequent and excessive urination
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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.
What Can I Eat To Keep My Blood Sugar And Cholesterol Low
Cutting out refined carbs and eating whole foods can help you lower these markers at the same time.
Q: My blood test shows prediabetes and a cholesterol score of 208 mg/dl . Im finding it difficult to know what to eat because the recommended diets for these conditions seem contrary. For example, fruit is said to be acceptable on a low-cholesterol diet but not on a low-blood-sugar one, while meat is the opposite. How can I balance this out?
Many people who have high blood sugar also have high cholesterol levels. However, both can be managed with a healthy diet. Whats more, for some, its possible to reverse prediabetes through diet and lifestyle changes .
Its common to see misinformation about what foods are bad for certain conditions, including high cholesterol, prediabetes, and diabetes. Nevertheless, the overall quality of your diet is most important.
The three macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats have different impacts on both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
For example, sources of carbs like bread, pasta, and fruit affect blood sugar more than sources of protein or fat. On the other hand, cholesterol-containing fat sources, such as dairy and meat, have a greater effect on cholesterol than on blood sugar.
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What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Continuous glucose monitoring is another way to check your glucose levels. Most CGM systems use a tiny sensor that you insert under your skin. The sensor measures glucose levels in the fluids between your bodys cells every few minutes and can show changes in your glucose level throughout the day and night. If the CGM system shows that your glucose is too high or too low, you should check your glucose with a blood glucose meter before making any changes to your eating plan, physical activity, or medicines. A CGM system is especially useful for people who use insulin and have problems with low blood glucose.
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Check Your Blood Glucose Levels
For many people with diabetes, checking their blood glucose level each day is an important way to manage their diabetes. Monitoring your blood glucose level is most important if you take insulin. The results of blood glucose monitoring can help you make decisions about food, physical activity, and medicines.
The most common way to check your blood glucose level at home is with a blood glucose meter. You get a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with a lancet. Then you apply the blood to a test strip. The meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment.
Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood glucose levels. Make sure to keep a record of your blood glucose self-checks. You can print copies of this glucose self-check chart. Take these records with you when you visit your health care team.
Natural Ways To Lower Blood Sugar
Whether you have symptoms of high blood sugar or youve been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be wondering how to lower blood sugar naturally. While blood sugar may be improved with home remedies, people with diabetes should not stop taking their medication or change their dosage without talking to their healthcare provider. But in addition to medication, you can try these natural remedies for lowering your blood sugar. Also consider the opposite, if you do not follow these healthful ways to lower blood sugar, the medication that your physician prescribes may never effectively control your blood sugars.
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Why Are My Blood Sugars High In The Morning
Heres a simple plan for diagnosing the source of high blood sugars in the morning.
It takes a little bit of effort, but you probably only need to do it a few times to diagnose the issue.
To diagnose either dawn phenomenon or Somogyi effect, experts recommend checking blood sugar levels for several nights, specifically between 3 a.m and 5 a.m.
Compare these three glucose values and find the pattern:
- If your blood sugar stayed steady overnight, but rose in the morning, you are likely experiencing dawn phenomenon.
- If your blood sugar rose steadily throughout the night, your morning glucose highs may be the result of your diet choices , or a sign that you may want to adjust your insulin and glucose-lowering medication regimen.
- If your blood sugar dipped low in the middle of the night, you may be experiencing Somogyi effect.
The best option is to use a continuous glucose monitoring system . This will give you an entire nights worth of blood sugar values, making it easy to identify what direction your blood sugar moved while you slept, without having to set an alarm in the middle of the night.
How Can I Pay For Tests And Diabetes Supplies
Medicareexternal icon, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and fasting blood sugar test as well as some diabetes supplies. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low-cost or free supplies, and see How to Save Money on Diabetes Care for more resources.
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