What Is The Dawn Effect
The dawn effect, sometimes called the dawn phenomenon, is when your body naturally releases a surge of glucose into your bloodstream in the early hours of the morning. It usually takes place sometime between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m.
- People without diabetes may see this increase in glucose, but the body will release insulin to bring blood sugar back to normal.
- People with diabetes may struggle to control their blood sugar in the morning since their bodies have difficulty producing or using insulin to manage the glucose surge.
What To Know About Blood Sugar Levels And Driving
If you have type 1 diabetes or have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, its possible to develop low blood sugar while driving, causing difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and operating the vehicle. You may even pass out. Before you head out on the road, check your blood sugar levels, especially if youre taking insulin or insulin-releasing med, such as Glucotrol , says Dr. Thomas. Depending on the length of your journey, you should also pull over during your trip to check your levels again. The bottom line: Swings in glucose levels with diabetes can be controlled if you monitor them carefully.
Stress, Meals, Exercise and Blood Sugar Testing:Journal of Diabetes Research. Variables to Be Monitored via Biomedical Sensors for Complete Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Management: An Extension of the On-Board Concept.
Regular Blood Sugar Testing:Diabetes Care. Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes, 2018. A Consensus Report by the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes .
Hypoglycemia:BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care. Never Again Will I Be Carefree: A Qualitative Study of the Impact of Hypoglycemia on Quality of Life Among Adults with Type 1 Diabetes.
What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels
- Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
- Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
- Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
- Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
- Drink water instead of juice or soda.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
- Control your food portions .
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Traveling Can Disrupt Routines And Thus Sugars
Skipping a few time zones during a long flight throws almost everyone off, but it’s an even bigger concern for people with diabetes. The time change can disrupt your medication schedule and cause unusual eating and sleeping habits, which interfere with blood sugar control, McDermott says.
Plus, when youre on vacation or traveling, you may eat more, drink more alcohol, or be more active all of which can cause blood sugar swings. She advises checking your blood sugar more frequently while traveling to catch any concerning trends before they become serious problems.
McDermott also recommends packing healthy carb-balanced snacks as well as a refillable water bottle to help you stay hydrated. Try to eat something every four hours throughout the day, even if it cant be at the exact same times you usually eat. If you take insulin and you’re shifting time zones, be sure to work out a medication schedule with your diabetes care team before your trip so you don’t mistime any doses, she says.
What Is Normal Blood Glucose
There is no one blood glucose level that defines a person as normal. The table of blood glucose levels below gives the appropriate values at different times and in different states, according to the American Diabetes Association. For example, insulin-dependent diabetics often use an upper limit of 7 mmol/L or 140 mg/dL, while non-insulin-dependent diabetics may aim for less than 6 mmol/L or 108 mg/DL.
The blood glucose levels range between less than 100-180 mg/dL for adults from 20 years or older. Depending on your age this may vary.
- Fasting: Less than 5.6 mmol/L or 100 mg/DL
- Before meal: 3.9-7.2 mmol/L or 70-130 mg/DL
- 1-2 hours after eating: Less than 10 mmol/L or 180 mg/DL
- Bedtime: 5.6-7.8 mmol/L or 100-140 mg/DL
Be aware that the above numbers might be different for everyone depending on your doctor’s recommendations.
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What Is Blood Glucose Monitoring
People use blood glucose monitoring to regularly test glucose levels in the blood.
It is an essential part of effective diabetes control. Many people with diabetes must check several times each day to plan for activities and meals, as well as scheduling doses of medication or insulin.
A person can test their blood glucose levels with a glucometer. They usually come with lancets, or tiny needles, as well as test strips and a logbook to record results.
How To Test Your Blood Sugar Levels
After you wake up in the morning, check your fasting blood sugar levels using a blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitor . Before you use a blood glucose meter, the ADA recommends washing your hands and using the lancing device to get a drop of blood. After you hold the test strip against the drop of blood, your blood sugar levels should appear on the meter.
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Check Your Blood Sugar Levels Before Sleeping
Checking your blood sugar levels before sleeping is a good idea to make sure you’re not going low. If you are using a glucose meter try to avoid going to bed with hypoglycemia. If you have a continuous glucose monitor make sure you review the
It might take some practice but eventually, this routine could become natural and we’ll be able to have an accurate representation of what our body needs without having to even think about it.
If any numbers seem high at all – don’t hesitate to check with your doctor as soon as possible so they can help you figure out how best to get them under control. We want those numbers right where they should be!
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
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Check Your Blood Sugar Often
Checking your blood sugar levels often and writing down, or using an app to track the results will tell you how well you are managing your diabetes. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about how often you should check your blood sugar.
- Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their blood sugar every day. But some people may need to check it many times a day.
- If you have type 1 diabetes, check your blood sugar at least 4 times a day.
Usually, you will test your blood sugar before meals and at bedtime. You may also check your blood sugar:
- After you eat out, particularly if you have eaten foods you don’t normally eat
- If you feel sick
- Before and after you exercise
- If you have a lot of stress
- If you eat too much
- If you are taking new medicines that can affect your blood sugar
Keep a record for yourself and your provider. This will be a big help if you are having problems managing your diabetes. It will also tell you what works and what doesn’t work, to keep your blood sugar under control. Write down:
- The time of day
- The amount of carbohydrates or sugar you ate
- The type and dose of your diabetes medicines or insulin
- The type of exercise you do and for how long
- Any unusual events, such as feeling stressed, eating different foods, or being sick
Many glucose meters let you store this information.
Sleep And Blood Sugar Testing
Testing your blood sugar before you go to sleep and after you awaken will reveal if it is high or lowand what might be causing that. Normally, the body releases insulin in the early morning to keep glucose levels, which naturally rise in the a.m., in check. If you have diabetes and your blood sugar is high when you awaken, you may need medication adjustments, says Wolf. On the other hand, if you check your blood sugar before you go to sleep and its on the lower end, you may want to eat a snack, adds Wolf. This applies for anyone taking insulin to control their blood sugar. Your physician will likely adjust your medication if your blood sugar is consistently low before bedtime.
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Normal And Diabetic Blood Sugar Ranges
For the majority of healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows:
- Between 4.0 to 5.4 mmol/L when fasting
- Up to 7.8 mmol/L 2 hours after eating
For people with diabetes, blood sugar level targets are as follows:
- Before meals : 4 to 7 mmol/L for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- After meals : under 9 mmol/L for people with type 1 diabetes and under 8.5mmol/L for people with type 2 diabetes
People With Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy. Often, it is a temporary condition, but it can lead to pregnancy complications.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with a diagnosis of gestational diabetes aim for blood sugar levels similar to those for people without diabetes, although individual targets may vary.
The ADA offers the following as a guideline:
|Blood sugar level|
- blood vessels
A wide range of complications can also result, such as slow wound healing and frequent infections. Other possible complications include:
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When To Speak To Your Doctor
If you try eating earlier, sticking to healthier meals, and exercising without seeing a drop in your fasting blood glucose, it might be time to speak to your doctor about further testing.
Tests like the HbA1c can help your doctor confirm whether youd benefit from medical treatment. This test shows your average blood glucose levels over the last 3 months.
Your doctor may recommend controlling your fasting blood sugar level through diet or exercise if its high enough to suggest prediabetes.
If type 2 diabetes is developing, they may prescribe medication or insulin injections if it becomes moderate to severe, but its possible for many people to manage type 2 diabetes with exercise and diet alone.
If you already have a diabetes diagnosis and take insulin, speak to your healthcare provider about whether they can change your dose or type of insulin or recommend a shift in your medication schedule.
Blood Glucose Target Levels
Blood glucose is checked using fingerprick monitoring. Blood glucose targets are individual to each person, and you should agree your own target levels with your diabetes care team. The target blood glucose ranges in Table 1 below are indicated as a guide only.
Table 1: Target blood glucose ranges
*National Institute of Clinical Excellence 2015
** Diabetes UK Council of Health Care Professionals 2015
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Why Do Blood Glucose Levels Need To Be Controlled
High levels of glucose present in the blood over a sustained period of time end up damaging the blood vessels. Although this does not sound too serious, the list of resultant complications is.
The time-scale for the development of these complications is usually years, but be aware that type 2 diabetes is often not diagnosed until a relatively late stage.
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 control over three 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. Your healthcare provider can create a diabetes treatment plan if you are prediabetic or have diabetes.
Be sure your treatment plan includes instructions on when you would need to seek emergency medical care. 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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Exercise And Blood Sugar Testing
When we exercise, our muscles use glucose as a source of energy and this increased energy use persists after exercise, says Celeste Thomas, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the department of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the University of Chicago. This puts some people with diabetes at risk for low blood sugar during and after exercise. For anyone taking insulin, checking your blood sugar both before and after exercising can help you keep tabs on any sudden drop. Adjusting your blood sugar-lowering medication prior to exercise and eating carbohydrates prior to or during a workout can help stabilize those readings, says Wolf.
A1c Goals Should Be Individualized
A1c goals should be individualized based on the individual capabilities, risks, and prior experiences, explains Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, founder of Integrated Diabetes, and author of Think Like a Pancreas.
For example, we generally aim for very tight A1c levels during pregnancy and more conservative targets in young children and the elderly.
However, Scheiner highlights important factors that could justify aiming for a higher A1c, like hypoglycemia unawareness, which is described as when a person with diabetes no longer feels the oncoming warning signs of low blood sugar. This can put you at significant risk for severe low blood sugars resulting in seizures or death. To reduce that risk, you would aim for higher target blood sugar ranges.
Someone with significant hypoglycemia unawareness and a history of severe lows should target higher blood glucose levels than someone who can detect and manage their lows more effectively, adds Scheiner. And certainly, someone who has been running A1cs in double digits for quite some time should not be targeting an A1c of 6% better to set modest, realistic, achievable goals.
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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels Throughout The Day By Mehdi Yacoubi
Knowing and monitoring blood sugar levels is not just for diabetic patients. This habit can help you understand how your body works, what food causes blood sugar spikes, and the best way to eat on a daily basis, whether that looks like going for a walk post-meal or making sure you are eating well-balanced meals.
Prediabetes is one of the fastest-growing chronic conditions in the United States. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, over half of all Americans have blood sugar levels that are considered high and abnormal.
If you are looking to optimize your metabolism, tracking your blood sugar levels is a great first step. But how do you know if your readings are considered normal blood sugar levels? Keep reading to know what the normal blood sugar ranges are, why itâs important to keep them balanced, and more.
When Should I Be Measuring My Blood Sugar Levels Throughout The Day
According to the Diabetes Canada clinical practice guidelines, the schedules for testing blood sugar should be as follows:
|Situation||How often to check blood sugar|
|Type 1 diabetes using multiple daily insulin injections or using an insulin pump||Check four or more times per day|
|Type 2 diabetes, taking diabetes medication known to cause hypoglycemia||Check at times when symptoms of hypoglycemia occur, or at times when hypoglycemia has occurred previously|
|Type 2 diabetes, and meeting your blood sugar targets||Check once or twice per week, to ensure that your blood sugar targets are being met between A1C tests|
|Type 2 diabetes and not meeting your blood sugar targets|
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Great Bedtime Snacks For People Living With Diabetes
For some people, a healthy bedtime snack helps to prevent glucose swings during the night. By eating a small snack that is full of protein and healthy fats , your body may be better able to avoid an overnight high but if you take insulin, be sure to cover the carbohydrates in your snack even if it only requires a small dose of insulin.
Here are some snack ideas:
Plain nuts or seeds try eating a small handful
Raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, or tomatoes, with a small amount of hummus or peanut butter
Plain yogurt, and you can add berries or cinnamon