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.
Surprising Things That Can Spike Your Blood Sugar
When you first found out you had diabetes, you tested your blood sugar often. Doing so helped you understand how food, activity, stress, and illness could affect your blood sugar levels. By now, youve got it figured out for the most part. But thenbam! Something makes your blood sugar zoom up. You try to adjust it with food or activity or insulin, and it dips really low. Youre on a roller coaster no one with diabetes wants to ride.
Do you know all these blood sugar triggers?
Knowledge is power! Look out for these surprising triggers that can send your blood sugar soaring:
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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Lack Of Physical Exercise
Exercise is a powerful tool for controlling glucose levels. There are multiple mechanisms by which exercise positively impacts glucose levels, including:
But perhaps the most important aspect of exercise is consistency. Research has found that even a 10-day break in exercise in fit individuals decreased insulin sensitivity.
Different Levels And What They Mean
The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.
The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.
If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.
That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.
Looking for the best prediabetes diet? Learn what foods are best to help you manage your prediabetes.
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Build A Clear Picture Of How Your Blood Sugar Works By Using A Cgm
As weve seen, everyones blood sugar control works differently, so it can be helpful to know whether morning spikes are a problem for you.
Unless you have diabetes, it is unlikely that you check your glucose regularly.
Checking your glucose a few times throughout the day or continuously via CGM can help to show how your body is handling changes in glucose levels during fasting or after meals.
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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How To Improve Blood Test Results
Identifying the foods or meals that regularly spike your blood sugar too high, too fast, or too long can help you to individualize your diet for longevity.
After a few weeks of testing your blood sugar levels after eating various types of food, you should have a clear record of how your body responds.
A balanced blood sugar results in a greater sense of wellbeing, having more energy, preventing the afternoon crash and feeling hangry , and getting a better nights rest.
Heres what It feels like to have normal blood sugar:
- No extreme hunger between meals
- No sleepiness after meals or mid-day
What Is Dawn Phenomenon
A rise in blood sugar occurs for everyone around the time they wake up and is a normal process even for people who do not have type 2 diabetes. It happens because the liver releases glucose to start fueling the body for the coming day. For people without type 2 diabetes, the body naturally increases insulin production to handle the elevation in blood sugar.
For someone with type 2 diabetes, whose body cant make or use insulin efficiently, the result is a rise in blood sugar that can linger past breakfast. We call this elevated blood sugar, after waking, the dawn effect or dawn phenomenon.
About half of all persons with type 2 diabetes have higher pre-breakfast glucose levels due to insulin resistance. Dawn phenomenon can increase A1C by 0.4%.
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How Blood Sugar Testing Could Help You
Whenever you eat, your blood sugar level rises, before dropping again some time later. This is called a postprandial, or post-meal, response and is perfectly normal.
However, some foods cause your blood sugar to rise much higher than others. These spikes can lead to bigger dips afterward due to large amounts of insulin released in response to the sugar spike. This can leave you feeling tired or lacking in energy.
Over time, this pattern can increase your risk of metabolic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Importantly, ZOEs research has shown that everyone responds differently to foods. This means a food thats fine for one persons blood sugar may cause others to spike, and vice versa.
ZOEs at-home test uses a sensor called a continuous glucose monitor to measure your blood sugar levels throughout the day and night, before and after you eat. This helps us to see how different foods affect your levels.
But unlike having just a CGM, our tests also look at your blood fat levels and your gut microbiome the bacteria and other microorganisms that live in your gut. These are both linked to your metabolic health, too.
The ZOE program analyzes all of this information to give you personalized recommendations that can help you eat the best foods for your unique metabolism and avoid the responses associated with worse metabolic health.
You can take a free quiz to find out more.
Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
- Weight fluctuations
If your blood sugar is too low, the best thing to do is to eat a balanced meal based on the data youve collected since you started tracking your blood sugar after eating.
If you dont have enough data just yet, start with something thats moderate in carbohydrate and also contains some protein and healthy fats. An apple with some nut butter is a good option, as is meat or seafood with some vegetables cooked in olive oil.
Clearly, theres a huge range in the effects different types of food have on your blood sugar.
Thats why tracking your blood sugar 1 hour after eating and your blood sugar 3 hours after eating over a few weeks can be such a valuable tool.
When youre learning how to improve your blood test results and optimize your long term health and longevity, you must have data as the foundation.
Your blood sugar is one of the fundamental indicators of your current and future health, and if you focus on this one metric alone, all the other biomarkers in your annual labs are likely to improve as well.
Ready to get to work on improving your own blood sugar levels? Interested with working with an online functional medicine doctor? The Mini Health Review as an easy first step to getting started: .
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Target Blood Sugar Levels For Pregnant People With Diabetes
It’s possible for diabetes to cause problems during pregnancy. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who have uncontrolled blood sugar levels could experience an increased risk of having a premature baby, needing a C-section and more.
Gestational diabetes â a type of diabetes that occurs in a pregnant person who has never been diagnosed with diabetes before â can also cause complications. These include giving birth to a baby who is larger than average and an increased risk of needing a C-section. The ADA suggests that pregnant people shoot for a target fasting blood sugar level of 95 mg/dL or less before a meal.
Keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range will help protect you and your baby.
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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.
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Signs Of High Blood Sugar In The Morning
High blood sugar is significant when its too high. Thats when its called hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia is usually defined as above 126 mg/dL or 7.0 mmol/L in a period of fasting . This will be the clearest sign of high blood sugar in the morning.
Before breakfast, you usually would have had a period of at least eight hours without eating . As such, hyperglycemia during a period of fasting is particularly important here: youll know that the high blood sugar wasnt caused by any recent meals.
Other signs of high blood sugar in the morning will be the usual symptoms of hyperglycemia:
- Increased urination
Of course, its normal to feel somewhat groggy and thirsty when waking. Its important to distinguish between hyperglycemia and the I-hate-Mondays morning tiredness. And the best way to do that is to test your blood sugar.
Why Your Blood Sugar Level May Be Low
If blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, it is below normal levels. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
- Not eating enough or missing a meal or snack
- Reducing the amount of carbohydrates you normally eat
- Alcohol consumption especially if youre drinking on an empty stomach
- Taking too much insulin or oral diabetes medication based on carbohydrates or activity levels
- Increased physical activity
- Side effects from medications
If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose meter and sources of fast-acting glucose close by in case your blood sugar drops. This is especially important for people with hypoglycemia unawareness, which is a condition that causes symptoms of low blood sugar to go unnoticed.
Eating balanced meals and snacks at regular times throughout the day is a big part of maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Check out our article on meal planning for diabetes to better understand the three macronutrients where calories come from and which have the biggest effect on blood sugar.
Meal Planning for Diabetes: How to Optimize Your Diet >
Everyone will respond differently to certain factors, which is why its important to have individualized target glucose levels. To help you reach your target blood glucose goals, work with your healthcare provider to discuss modifications to your diet, physical activity, or medications, and alert them of other factors like a recent illness or stressful event.
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Low Blood Sugar Chart And Action Plan
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia. The numbers below represent values in the hypoglycemic range and require action to bring blood sugar levels up into a normal range.
|Alert Level and Treatment Plan|
|50 mg/dL or under||Red Flag: Blood sugar is critically low and requires immediate treatment.
If a person is unable to speak and/or is not alert, treat with glucagon via injection or nasal spray. Call emergency medical response if necessary. Do not place food or drink into the mouth.
If a person is alert and able to speak clearly, treat with 15 grams of rapid-acting carbohydrate such as glucose gel, 4 oz regular soda, or fruit juice. Re-test blood sugar in 15 minutes and repeat as needed to bring blood sugar within range.
|51-70 mg/dL||Red Flag: Blood sugar is below normal levels and requires immediate treatment.
Treat with 15 grams of rapid-acting carbohydrate and re-test in 15 minutes. Repeat treatment as needed to bring blood sugar within range.
|71-90 mg/dL||Yellow Flag: Blood sugar levels should be watched and treated as needed.
If youre having symptoms of low blood sugar, treat with 15 grams of rapid-acting carbohydrate and re-test in 15 minutes.
Repeat treatment or follow with a meal. If it is meal time, move forward with eating the meal. People often fall into this range when they are late for a meal or have been especially active.
What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be When I Wake Up
These are goal levels, according to The Joslin Diabetes Center:
- Under 100 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
- 70 to 130 mg/dl if you have diabetes.
The dawn effect can often lead to a high morning measurement in diabetes. This is your body’s tendency to get ready for the day by raising blood sugar by increasing levels of counter-regulatory hormones Ã¢â¬â the ones that counteract insulin as in normal blood sugar. For people with diabetes, you do not have the capacity to counterbalance this rise in blood sugar, so levels can be dangerously high.
Ways to lower your morning blood sugar value include:
- Eating dinner earlier
- Checking your medications Ã¢â¬â making sure you are taking them properly and asking your doctor if they are correct
- Going for a walk after dinner
- Including protein with your dinner
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