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.
A1c Blood Sugar Tests
The A1C test measures the percentage of glucose bound hemoglobin in a persons blood.
According to The National Institutes of Health , this gives a general picture of a persons blood glucose levels over the past 23 months .
Abnormal A1C test results do not necessarily mean a person has diabetes. A doctor will confirm these findings with another blood glucose test.
The doctor may recommend running more tests, such as blood work, to rule out other conditions that can affect blood sugar levels.
How To Test Your Blood Sugar
To check your blood sugar level, gather your blood glucose meter, a test strip and your lancing device. See how to prepare the meter and test strip, lance your finger and get a reading using the Accu-Chek® Guide Me system by watching the video or following the steps here:
The steps are similar for many meters, and generally look like this:
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Managing Blood Sugar When Youre Ill
When you get sick, your blood sugar levels may fluctuate and become unpredictable.
If you’re sick, it’s very important that you:
- drink plenty of water or sugar-free fluids
- check your blood sugar levels more often than usual
- take 15 grams of carbohydrate every hour if you are not able to follow your usual meal plan
- replace food with fluids that contain sugar if you can’t eat solid food
- continue to take your insulin or other diabetes medication
If you have a cold or flu and want to use a cold remedy or cough syrup, ask your pharmacist to help you make a good choice. Many cold remedies and cough syrups contain sugar, so try to pick sugar-free products.
As an extra precaution, you should always check with your health-care team about guidelines for insulin adjustment or medication changes during an illness.
What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar
In general, the American Diabetes Association’s recommended blood sugar levels are9:
- Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
- Less than 180 mg/dL after meals
Your range is yours alonebased on your health, age, level of activity and other factors. And remember that your target is a range you’d like to stay within, not a single number.
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Measuring Blood Sugar Levels Throughout The Day
January 3, 2020 by Diabetes Care
Should you be measuring blood sugar levels throughout the day? While its true that people with diabetes should measure their blood sugar at regular intervals, there are some distinctions regarding how often to test. This is dependent on whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, and what medications you are taking.
The tables below summarize target blood sugar levels at different times of day, and how often you should be measuring your blood sugar dependent on factors such as what type of diabetes you have, how recently you were diagnosed, and what medications you take.
Why Would I Need This Test
You might need this test if you are at risk of developing diabetes, or if you have had any symptoms or test results suggesting diabetes.
The standard blood glucose tests measure your blood sugar level at a particular time. The OGTT measures how you respond to glucose.
Pregnant women can develop a particular type of diabetes called gestational diabetes, and will be asked to have an OGTT around 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born.
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Follow The Diabetes Treatment Plan Your Healthcare Team Recommends
Diabetes treatment is very individualized, noted an article published in May 2014 in Diabetes Spectrum. After all, factors including how long youve lived with the disease, your socioeconomic status, and any other conditions youre living with can play a role in the best treatment approach for you.
Your healthcare team will help you determine the steps you need to take to successfully manage diabetes. Always talk to your doctor before making any changes, such as starting a very-low-carbohydrate diet or beginning a new exercise regimen, and especially before making any medication or insulin changes.
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How Food Affects Blood Sugar
When you eat food, your body breaks it down into essential parts:
- Vitamins and minerals
All parts are necessary in a healthy diet, but the three types of carbohydrates are particularly important when it comes to your blood glucose level. While the general rule is that the more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood sugar level, not all three types of carbohydrates convert to blood sugar at the same rate.
The foods that fit into each carb category include:
- Starches, or complex carbohydrates: Starchy vegetables, dried beans, and grains
- Sugars: Fruits, baked goods, beverages, and processed food items like cereals or granola bars
- Fiber: Whole wheat products, chickpeas, lentils, berries, pears, and brussels sprouts
The glycemic index helps you find out which foods can increase or help decrease blood sugar levels. Based on a scale ranging from 0 to 100, high-indexed foods are rapidly digested, absorbed, and metabolized, resulting in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels, while low-indexed foods produce smaller fluctuations in your blood glucose.
The American Diabetes Association advises adding lean sources of protein and heart-healthy fats to help reduce the overall glycemic impact of a meal or snack.
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What Can I Expect On The Day Of The Test
A fasting blood glucose test is often done with a common blood draw. A healthcare provider will:
- Clean the area inside your elbow to kill any germs.
- Tie a band around your upper arm, which will help the veins in your arm fill with blood.
- Insert a clean needle into a vein .
- Draw blood into a vial thats attached to the needle and labeled with your personal information.
- Remove the band and then the needle.
- Put pressure on the needle insertion site to stop the bleeding.
- Place a bandage on the area.
After the test, the healthcare provider will send the blood sample to a lab for testing.
In some cases, your healthcare provider may be able to test your blood sugar with a prick on the finger instead of a needle in the vein. The provider uses a blood glucose monitor and test strip to measure your blood glucose level in the office.
Get The Best Use Out Of Your Strips
There are many times you could check. How often should you? “Everyone wants black-and-white answers,” says Mary M. Austin, R.D., CDE. “It’s not how often you do it it’s what you do with the information.”
Endocrinologist Tom Elasy says people and health care providers need to distinguish between the intensification stages of diabetes — when diabetes is newly diagnosed or when you and your provider make changes in your treatment plan — and the maintenance phase — when you are reaching your glucose goals and things are in a pretty steady state.
How to Make the Best Use of Your Strips: Medicare, for people who have Part B, covers 100 test strips every three months for a PWD who doesn’t take insulin.
For someone newly diagnosed with type 2, how can you make the best use of your strips? According to Elasy, use more strips when you’re diagnosed and learning about the impact of what you eat, your physical activity, and medications on your glucose levels. Once you get a sense of your fluctuating glucose levels, testing doesn’t need to happen as often. As type 2 diabetes progresses over time, renewed, more frequent testing often is necessary.
People who do not take any glucose-lowering medications might want to check at least once or twice a week just to keep track. It is recommended that you do monitor and use your allotted strips wisely. Monitoring can have a powerful, positive effect on how you subsequently eat or the likelihood that you’ll take a walk, Elasy notes.
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Make The Most Of Your Meter
How often should you check your blood sugar? The answer depends on the type of diabetes you have, your blood glucose level targets, and more practical matters, such as whether you can afford or have enough test strips.
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Recent studies show that people with type 2 diabetes who don’t use medications but do self-monitor blood glucose might not see much difference in blood glucose control compared with people who don’t self-monitor. But using a meter to check your blood glucose levels strategically can provide helpful information to guide you in selecting:
With this guide on finding how often to test, discovering how accurate your meter is, and more, we’ll show you what you need to know about testing your blood sugar.
Learning To Use Your Cgm Or Freestyle Libre
Your diabetes healthcare team will set you up with your CGM or Freestyle Libre if its free on the NHS and show you how to use it. Sometimes manufacturers will help you set up the technology this is fine and can help your healthcare team get more people on to the technology more quickly.
Abbott, which supply the FreeStyle Libre, also provide free online learning for people with diabetes using the technology to help them get the most from it.
You may also benefit from going on a diabetes education course if you use Flash or CGM. Ask your GP or other diabetes healthcare professional to refer you.
If you want to share your experiences about using tech or find out information by asking others using it, go to our forum.
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Make A Note Of Your Readings
It may sound obvious, but you must record your readings. Note them down in a diary, a notebook or in your phone calendar. Some meters have software that lets you do this. You could try a diabetes app too.
You and your healthcare team can then look back over your results to see if you need to adjust your treatment.
Gaining Insights From Routine Blood Glucose Testing
Day-to-day blood sugar checks can give you a good idea of how you’re doing at this moment, and they can be reviewed overall to see trends. They can help answer questions such as:
- Are your medications working as they should?
- How does the type or amount of food you eat affect your blood sugar?
- How does activity or stress affect your blood sugar?
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Ways To Lower Your A1c
A1C is a blood test that shows how well your diabetes management plan is working. Heres how to reach a healthy A1C number and avoid diabetes complications.
For some, home blood sugar testing can be an important and useful tool for managing your blood sugar on a day-to-day basis. Still, it only provides a snapshot of whats happening in the moment, not a full picture of whats happened in the long term, says Gregory Dodell, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.
For this reason, your doctor may occasionally administer a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. Called the A1C test, or the hemoglobin A1C test, this provides another lens on how well your type 2 diabetes management plan is working.
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.
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How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia
There are simple ways to reduce your risk of severe or prolonged hyperglycaemia:
- Be careful what you eat be particularly aware of how snacking and eating sugary foods or carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar level.
- Stick to your treatment plan remember to take your insulin or other diabetes medications as recommended by your care team.
- Be as active as possible getting regular exercise can help stop your blood sugar level rising, but you should check with your doctor first if you’re taking diabetes medication, as some medicines can lead to hypoglycaemia if you exercise too much.
- Take extra care when you’re ill your care team can provide you with some “sick day rules” that outline what you can do to keep your blood sugar level under control during an illness.
- Monitor your blood sugar level your care team may suggest using a device to check your level at home so you can spot an increase early and take steps to stop it.
Page last reviewed: 08 August 2018 Next review due: 08 August 2021
How To Stay In Target
Eating healthy, exercising and taking medication, if necessary, will help you keep your blood sugar levels within their target range. Target ranges for blood sugar can vary depending on your age, medical condition and other risk factors.
Targets are different for pregnant women, older adults and children 12 years of age and under.
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Don’t Forget These Important Times To Test
You should also test your blood sugar if you:
Are sick or have an infection. Illness can send blood sugar levels up. Do a check every two to four hours. If it’s:
Over 250 mg/dl, check your urine for ketones if ketones are present in more than trace amounts, call your doctor.
* Over 250 mg/dl for more than six hours, call your doctor.
* Over 350 mg/dl even once, call your doctor.
Start a new blood glucose-lowering medication or change the dose of one. A prescription or over-the-counter medicine for a condition other than diabetes may affect blood sugar levels. Steroids are one example.
Are under a lot of stress. Emotional stress may lead to higher blood sugar numbers. Exercise — even just a walk around the block — can help reduce stress and glucose levels.
Feel as though your blood sugar level is too low. If your meter confirms it with a number of 70 mg/dl or less, eat 15-20 grams of pure glucose or drink 1/2 cup fruit juice or regular soda. Wait 15 minutes and check again to make sure it has come back into the normal range.