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 Causes Blood Sugar To Be High
Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Feeling very tired.
- Having blurry vision.
- Needing to urinate more often.
If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
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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Fasting Blood Sugar : Normal Levels And Testing
Fasting blood sugar levels give vital clues about how a person is managing their blood sugar. Blood sugar tends to peak about an hour after eating and declines after that.
Knowing when to test and what to look for can help people stay healthy, especially if they have diabetes or are at risk of developing the condition.
Keep reading to learn more about fasting blood sugar levels, including information on testing and tips for maintaining normal levels.
The body needs glucose for energy, and glucose comes from the food a person eats. However, the body does not use all of this energy at once. Insulin makes it possible to store and release glucose as necessary.
Following a meal, blood sugar levels rise and usually peak about an hour after eating.
How high blood sugar rises and the precise timing of the peak depends on a persons diet.
Food-related factors that can trigger significant rises include:
- eating large meals
- consuming sugary foods and drinks
- eating foods with simple carbohydrates, or carbs, such as bread and sweet snacks
As blood sugar rises, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin lowers blood sugar, breaking it down so the body can use it for energy or store it for later.
However, people who have diabetes have difficulties with insulin in one of two ways:
If Knowledge Is Power Why Not Monitor Your Blood Sugar
So, why would a person who doesnt have diabetes want to monitor their blood sugar? Possible reasons include
- Detecting prediabetes. In prediabetes blood sugar is slightly high, but not high enough to meet the definition of diabetes. For healthy people, blood sugar testing is typically recommended every three years or so if prediabetes is diagnosed, repeat testing is recommended more often, at least yearly. CGM might allow earlier diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes. This could be particularly helpful for people at higher risk for diabetes due to family history or other factors, and people taking medicines that can raise blood sugar.
- The notion of “optimizing” blood sugar for peak mental or physical performance. Not surprisingly, some CGM makers suggest knowing your blood sugar can help you make changes to keep it in an “ideal range” that will help you perform your best, prevent diabetes, or improve health in some other way. For example, you might change what or when you eat. None of these marketing notions has been proven, or even well studied. And guess what even the ideal blood sugar range for a person who isnt diabetic is uncertain.
- The illusion of control. Having more information about your body may provide you with a sense of control over your health, even if you take no immediate action.
- Curiosity. Lets face it, its tempting to gather information about our bodies that might be interesting .
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How Often Should You Get A Blood Test
There are different types of diabetes. In patients with Type I diabetes, the body doesnt make enough insulin. The immune system attacks the pancreas that monitors glucose levels. Those with Type II diabetes have cells that dont respond to insulin, causing the pancreas to make more and more until it breaks down and affects 90 to 95 percent of adults with diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes develop the illness while pregnant and it often goes away over time. However, women whove developed gestational diabetes have a greater chance of developing Type II later in life. Diabetes can be inherited, also known as Monogenic diabetes. The type of diabetes will determine how often should you check your blood sugar. Developing a blood sugar monitoring routine should be a priority. However, certain times are best for monitoring sugar:
- Before every meal
The High Blood Sugar Correction Factor:
Correction Factor = 1800 ÷Total Daily Insulin Dose = 1 unit of insulin will reduce the blood sugar so many mg/dl
This can be calculated using the Rule of 1800.
= 1800 ÷ TDI = 1 unit insulin will drop reduce the blood sugar level by 45 mg/dl
While the calculation is 1 unit will drop the blood sugar 45 mg/dl, to make it easier most people will round up or round down the number so the suggested correction factor may be 1 unit of rapid acting insulin will drop the blood sugar 40-50 mg/dl.
Please keep in mind, the estimated insulin regimen is an initial best guess and the dose may need to be modified to keep your blood sugar on target.
Also, there are many variations of insulin therapy. You will need to work out your specific insulin requirements and dose regimen with your medical provider and diabetes team.
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What Should My Blood Sugar Goals Be
Blood sugar goals may be different for each person, and can change throughout the day. The American Diabetes Association recommends these blood sugar goals:
- Before meals: 80 to 130 mg/dL
- Two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL
- Before bedtime: 100-150 mg/dL. If the level is less than 100 mg/dL, have a snack.
/8the Right Time To Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
The perfect time to check the fasting glucose levels is right after your wakeup. And the right time to check postprandial glucose levels is two hours after you have your meals.
A gap of two hours after a meal must be maintained to get the correct reading.
This helps you choose the right foods and medication. When you test before your meal, it tells you how much medication you need and when you test two hours after eating, you know if your medicines are working fine for you.
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The Effect Of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the main constituent of food that can raise your blood sugar levels. The amount and the type of carbohydrates you eat influence how quickly your blood sugar levels change after eating. Carbohydrates from liquids, such as juices and soft drinks, are usually digested more rapidly, while carbohydrates from solid foods, such as pasta and fruits, take a bit more time to break down. Foods that donât contain carbohydrates or only very little, such as non-starchy vegetables, butter, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and nuts, do not have the ability to significantly influence your blood sugar levels.
Example #: Formulas Commonly Used To Create Insulin Dose Recommendations
This example illustrates a method for calculating of your background/basal and bolus doses and estimated daily insulin dose when you need full insulin replacement. Bear in mind, this may be too much insulin if you are newly diagnosed or still making a lot of insulin on your own. And it may be too little if you are very resistant to the action of insulin. Talk to your provider about the best insulin dose for you as this is a general formula and may not meet your individual needs.
The initial calculation of the basal/background and bolus doses requires estimating your total daily insulin dose:
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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.
- Before a meal.
- Two hours after a meal.
- At bedtime.
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.
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.
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Why Checking Your Blood Sugar Is Crucial
Monitoring your blood sugar helps your doctor determine if your treatment plan is working and if your medication needs adjusting. Blood sugar thats too high, referred to as hyperglycemia, or too low, known as hypoglycemia can cause health problems such as dizziness, confusion, blurred vision and even coma. The good news: A patient with well-controlled type 2 diabetes whos treated with metformin may only check their glucose a few times a week or month, says Dr. Kohlenberg.
How Often Should I Test My Blood Sugar Level
Your family doctor will recommend how often you should test. Testing times are based on the kind of medicine you take and on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Youll probably need to check your blood sugar more often at first. Youll also check it more often when you feel sick or stressed, when you change your medicine, or if youre pregnant.
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When To Check Blood Sugar Levels
Check your child’s blood sugar level at the following times:
- Before meals and bedtime, a minimum of four times a day.
- If you suspect your child has a low blood sugar level.
- Before and after your child exercises.
- When your child is ill.
- Two hours after the start of a meal, if results from before the meal don’t match HbA1c.
- During the night. This is particularly important if your child had a low blood sugar level during the day, exercised more than usual, made a change in the insulin dose or has been ill.
Blood Sugar Level Immediately After Eating:
Blood sugar level changes rapidly according to the intake of the meal. The normal blood sugar level before eating or during fasting is between 3.5 to 6.1 mmol/L.
Normal blood sugar right after eating rises drastically as the digestive tract acts quickly to digest the food through mechanical actions, digestive enzymes and different hormones. So the blood glucose rises sharply during this time. The rate at which the blood sugar rises depends on the type of food, the amount is taken, the metabolic condition of the individual, etc.
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When To Test Your Blood Sugar
Depending on your unique needs, they may suggest testing blood sugar at any of the following times:
1. Before breakfast
Testing before youve had anything to eat or drink in the morning, also known as a fasting blood sugar, can let you know how well your body manages blood sugar while you sleep. It also gives you a baseline to see changes in your blood sugar throughout the day.
2. Before each meal
Checking blood sugar before meals tells people who inject insulin if they need to take a correction dose of insulin in addition to taking their bolus insulin to cover the meal. When testing in pairs , a pre-meal reading can act as a reference for how the food you eat and any pre-meal medications affect your glucose levels.
3. After each meal
The food you consume has a large effect on your blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association recommends testing 1 to 2 hours after the start of a meal. To determine if your blood sugar level is where it should be, work with your healthcare professional to establish your target after-meal glucose range.
4. Before bedtime
A blood sugar reading taken before bedtime can tell you if your blood sugar is in a safe range, or if you need to have a snack before going to bed. It is also a point of reference for your morning blood sugar test, to compare and get a picture of how your blood sugar levels changed overnight.
5. In the middle of the night
6. Before, during, and after physical activity
8. When youre sick or stressed
Testing Blood Sugar Levels In Dogs At The Vets
When deciding to conduct the test at your vets office, you are likely to face one common problem: your pet will get more stressed. When confined in a small, unfamiliar space for an extended period, it may refuse to eat when restrained for performing the test.
This is not a normal condition for your dog, and hence, the blood sugar readings obtained may not be an accurate reflection of what your dogs blood sugar level is on a regular day.
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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.
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!
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