What Should Your Blood Sugar Be When You Wake Up
Whenever possible, aim to keep your glucose levels in range between 70 and 130 mg/dL in the morning before you eat breakfast, and between 70 and 180 mg/dL at other times. For some people, including older adults or pregnant women, a slightly looser or tighter glucose range might be best, and you should discuss with your healthcare provider what your goals may be.
Managing your glucose levels is key to preventing short and long-term complications. Though the occasional high blood glucose wont put you in immediate danger consistently high glucose levels over a long period of time are associated with complications of diabetes such as heart disease and stroke, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, eye disease and more.
Additionally, high glucose levels especially in people with type 1 diabetes can put you in immediate danger. These high levels, if combined with high blood ketone levels, can cause diabetic ketoacidosis , a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a person has high blood ketones and not enough insulin. Symptoms of DKA include shortness of breath, fruity-smelling breath, nausea and vomiting, confusion, or loss of consciousness.
Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, is what happens when blood glucose levels drop too low. People who take insulin may have low blood sugar if they take too much insulin or mistime the insulin dose in relation to food, or if they exercise more than usual when there is fast-acting insulin on board .
Your healthcare provider will tell you when and how to check blood sugar, and when and how to treat low blood sugar. A low blood sugar is generally considered to be less than 70 mg/dL. A dangerously low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL.
Low blood sugar can also be caused by many things including certain medications or combinations of medications, alcohol, endocrine disorders, eating disorders, and disorders of the liver, kidneys, or heart.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that someone with low blood sugar might experience:
If your blood sugar is low you might start to feel some of the first signs of hypoglycemia like dizziness, lightheadedness, or sweating. The only way to know for sure if your blood sugar is low is to test it with a glucose meter or monitor it with a continuous glucose monitor such as the Dexcom G6.
If your blood sugar is low , a general rule of thumb is to consume 15 grams of fast-acting carbs to raise your blood sugar levels and avoid further symptoms, according to the American Diabetes Association . Your healthcare provider will give you a plan for what to do in case of low blood sugar that is specifically designed for you.
How Is It Determined If The Dawn Phenomenon Or Somogyi Effect Is Causing The High Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor will likely ask you to check your blood sugar levels between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for several nights in a row. If your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, the Somogyi effect is suspected. If the blood sugar is normal during this time period, the dawn phenomenon is more likely to be the cause.
Some additional clues that the Somogyi effect may be the cause include nightmares, restless sleep and overnight sweating as these are all signs of low blood sugar levels.
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Try Doing More Exercise
Working out uses blood glucose for fuel, moving it from your blood to your muscles. A 2021 review found that exercise helped people living with and without diabetes control their fasting blood glucose.
If you find that you tend to wake up with high blood sugar, try going for a run, following a YouTube workout, or booking yourself into gym classes. This could help you bring down your morning blood sugar spikes.
Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up In The Morning What Is The Dawn Phenomenon
There are a few main reasons why your glucose levels may be higher in the morning. One of these is known as the dawn phenomenon.
The dawn phenomenon occurs early in the morning between 3 am and 8 am while you are still asleep. As morning approaches, the body naturally signals your liver to produce glucose, giving your body the energy it needs for the start of the day. Caused by changes in hormonal levels, the dawn phenomenon happens to all people, with or without diabetes. However, for those without diabetes, insulin levels increase and they do not experience hyperglycemia.
Another reason you may experience higher morning glucose levels is because your injected insulin wears off. If your body has insufficient insulin during the night, your glucose levels may start to rise. To combat this, you may consider trying a new basal insulin, adjusting the timing and amount of your basal dose , or changing your nighttime basal rates .
The last reason you may experience higher morning glucose levels is known as the Somogyi effect. This occurs if your glucose levels fall too low during the night, caused by too much insulin or medication. To respond, your liver produces more glucose to try to maintain your glucose levels, which may result in hyperglycemia. The Somogyi effect is not as common as the other reasons described.
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Should I Force Myself To Eat If I Have No Appetite
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your body when you have no appetite is to eat what you can in the moment. This may not always be a great meal, but not to worry. Once your hunger has dissipated, you can focus on those foods.
If you dont feel like eating right now, its okay to wait a few hours or even a day or two until you feel hungry again. If youre not sure what foods you should be eating, ask your doctor or dietitian to help you figure it out.
What Is The Dawn Phenomenon
Your body uses glucose for energy and it is important to have enough extra energy to be able to wake up in the morning. So for a period of time in the early morning hours, usually between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body starts churning out stored glucose to prepare for the upcoming day.
At the same time, your body releases hormones that reduce your sensitivity to insulin. In addition, these events may be happening while your diabetes medication doses taken the day before are wearing off.
These events cause your body’s blood sugar levels to rise in the morning .
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What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level First Thing In The Morning
It is mandatory to keep track of your blood sugar levels when you are a diabetic. It is prudent to check for your blood sugar levels at least four times in a day. The sugar levels of a person is generally the lowest first thing in the morning. An obvious question may come into your mind as to what is a normal blood sugar level first thing in the morning?
For a normal and healthy human being the blood glucose levels when fasting should be between 70-100 mg/dl before breakfast first thing in the morning. It is always advised to take the blood sugar test first thing in the morning when you are fasting. This will give you the correct reading of sugar levels in the body.
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Levels of blood sugar should also be checked after you have taken the morning test. This will help you determine how much of glucose is present in your body at different times of the day. This will also help you to adjust your diet and the intake of insulin accordingly.
As mentioned above it is wise to take blood glucose tests several times a day and four times would be ideal for an individual. The times that you should check your blood glucose levels can be in the morning, before lunch, before dinner, when you are going to bed or after your meals.
Controlling blood sugar levels is an art. If you want to be an expert in it, you should know the full details in Diabetic Foods to Eat AND Diabetes Foods to Avoid .
Is Your Fasting Blood Sugar High Every Morning
I recently had an issue where no matter what I did, my fasting blood sugar levels were always high every morning. They were in the range of between 12 mmol/L to 16 mmol/L. At first I chalked it up to overdoing it around the holiday season. Eating way more carbs than usual, especially late at night and very close to bedtime. I figured that I was off with my bolus for the meals I ate at night. However, after I cut out the extra carbs and still got high readings in the morning, I knew something was off.
I realized that every morning religiously, I would wake up between 3 am and 4 am with a high blood sugar. Unfortunately if my blood sugar is above 8 mmol/L I cannot sleep. This problem prevented me from getting good quality sleep. I would often have to correct and monitor before I could go back to bed. I started to analyze my diet and my habits to see where I was going wrong. If you are experiencing a similar issue you can start with the below recommendations.
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No More High Blood Sugar In The Morning
Its important to recognise that morning hyperglycemia is fairly normal: its usually your body trying to get you ready for the day .But you can help your body help itself by trying out some changes in your routine or medication. And Hedia wants to help you to help your body to help itself! Give yourself a good morning by visiting the App Store and
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Blood Sugar Level Chart By Age
Blood sugar levels tend to rise with age due to an increase in insulin resistance and decrease in insulin sensitivity. In one study by the National Health Institute , each extra decade of age was linked to a 2.7 mg/dl increase in fasting glucose, and a 4.5 mg/dl increase in 2-hour post-prandial glucose levels.
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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.
Factors That Can Affect Blood Sugar Levels
If you have prediabetes or diabetes, you may have insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin. This means your body has difficulty regulating blood sugar levels on its own.
Its a delicate balance to maintain, so the following list can help you familiarize yourself with factors that can cause your blood glucose levels to go up or down.
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How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar
Trying to learn how to lower morning blood sugar? Heres why your glucose levels rise in the morning and a few things you can try to keep them in range.
Waking up with high glucose levels may feel like it doesn’t make sense. You spend several hours asleep, not consuming any carbs, and yet somehow your glucose levels are still high when you wake up in the morning.
Why does this happen? What can you do to make sure your glucose levels are safely in range in the morning? Learn more about some tips on avoiding high morning blood sugar levels so you can start your day off right.
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.
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How To Reduce Blood Sugar
You can take steps to reach your blood sugar goals as soon as you find out that it is high. This is how to reduce blood sugar if you have a single high reading that may be dangerous:
- Ask your doctor what to do if you missed a dose of insulin or another diabetes medication
- Ask your doctor if your medication types and doses are still appropriate for you
- Drink water to dilute the sugar
- Exercise for 15 minutes
- Eat a small protein snack, such as a hard-boiled egg, ½ ounce of peanuts or pistachios or other nuts, ½ cup of beans, or ½ cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese
If you have chronically high blood sugar in prediabetes or diabetes, you can follow this treatment plan:
- Exercise regularly, assuming your doctor approves it
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
- Eat a higher proportion of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fruit
- Limit sugary foods and beverages, fried foods, refined starches, and processed and fatty red meats
- Beware of starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, which can spike your blood sugar. Check out our guide of which veggies to avoid!
High Blood Sugar Symptoms
Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar. Hyperglycemia happens when the body doesnt have enough insulin or when it cant use insulin correctly. Many things can cause high blood glucose levels like Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, stress, illness, or the dawn phenomenon. If you have hyperglycemia or suspect you may have it, talking with a healthcare provider is always a good idea. A doctor can help you determine whats causing your high blood sugar levels and lower it to a healthy range.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that may indicate hyperglycemia:
You should seek immediate medical attention if your blood sugar reaches 400 mg/dL or higher.
When patients experience any of these accompanied by elevated blood sugar levels, diabetic patients are advised to go directly to the ER to avoid diabetes-induced coma, says Vikram Tarugu, MD, a gastroenterologist and the CEO of Detox of South Florida. Patients who have elevated blood sugar may also present with frothy, ketone-like smelling breath.
Here are some lifestyle changes and medical treatments that can help treat hyperglycemia:
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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels In Healthy Individuals
Blood sugar levels can either be normal, high, or low, depending on how much glucose someone has in their bloodstream. Glucose is a simple sugar thats present in the bloodstream at all times. Blood glucose levels can be measured at any time, for example, when someone fasts , before they eat, or after theyve eaten. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, who havent eaten for at least eight hours is less than 100 mg/dL. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, two hours after eating, is 90 to 110 mg/dL.
Many factors affect blood sugar levels throughout the day:
- Type of food consumed, how much, and when
- Physical activity
- Menstrual periods
An ideal blood sugar level for anyone without diabetes or prediabetes, regardless of age, in the morning should be less than 100 mg/dL. Remember, blood sugar levels can fluctuate throughout the day as a result of the factors previously mentioned.
Make Sure Youre Getting Adequate Nutrition Throughout The Day
If you are restricting calories to lose weight, your body may not be getting enough of the basic building blocks it needs to properly manage glucose levels. The same thing can happen in those who are very physically active and consuming energy-dense, but nutrient-poor, diets.
While it is beyond the scope of this article, there is a dynamic interplay between the various metabolic pathways of the body: fat metabolism, ketone metabolism, glucose metabolism, protein metabolism, and more. Your glucose needs can significantly vary depending on which of these metabolic pathways are dominant.
The liver holds approximately 100g of glucose in the form of glycogen. It takes about 24 hours for it to be depleted while fasting or ~90 minutes of moderate-high intensity. Glucose can be synthesized from several substrates , but generally speaking, it is easiest to simply consume the glucose you need.
Therefore, a relatively sedentary person may do well with 50-100g of carbohydrates per day, whereas an athlete or a person with a physically demanding job may do best with 2-4 times that value. The best way to determine your needs, of course, is through accurate monitoring of your glucose levels.
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