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Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up When Fasting

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Are You At Risk For High Blood Sugar How To Know

Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up When Fasting?
  • Eat too many processed or fast foods
  • Dont exercise regularly
  • Eat large meals, or engage in binge eating
  • Are under a lot of stress on a regular basis, either from work, dating, or another factor
  • Have recurring illnesses

What Is The Somogyi Effect

A second possible cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning is the Somogyi effect, sometimes also called rebound hyperglycemia. It was named after the doctor who first wrote about it.

If your blood sugar drops too low in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, your body will release hormones in an attempt to rescue you from the dangerously low blood sugar. The hormones do this by prompting your liver to release stored glucose in larger amounts than usual. But this system isnt perfect in a person with diabetes, so the liver releases more sugar than needed which leads to a high blood sugar level in the morning. This is the Somogyi effect.

Is 135 Blood Sugar High In The Morning

So its most commonly done before breakfast in the morning and the normal range there is 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter. Now when you eat a meal, blood sugar generally rises and in a normal individual it usually does not get above a 135 to 140 milligrams per deciliter.

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The Risks Of Fasting With Diabetes

As well as not eating food , fasting is also usually a time of prayer, reflection and purification. If you treat your diabetes with certain medications such as insulin, there is also the danger of the blood sugar levels after fasting becoming too low. This can lead to a hypo, or having your blood sugar levels too high which can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis , which would require hospital treatment. The symptoms of DKA include feeling very thirsty and passing a lot of urine.

If someone is fasting and does not take in fluids to reduce their thirst, this will accelerate dehydration and they will require urgent admission to hospital.

If you’re worried about fasting with diabetes, check with your GP or diabetes team, particularly if you’re not sure what to do with your diabetes treatment during fasting. If you can’t get hold of them, it’s best not to fast. And if you require urgent medical help you can use the NHS 111 online service.

Why Doctors Order It

When does gluconeogenesis occur during fasting, after 8 hours or after ...

A fasting blood glucose test is done to screen for prediabetes and diabetes. It also helps doctors monitor diabetes and determine if medications and dietary changes are having an effect .

Your fasting blood glucose level is the lowest your blood sugar can be because the influence of recent meals is minimized .

Fasting blood sugar is often checked alongside HbA1c , which is a measure of your blood sugar levels over the past three months. The more sugar there is in the blood, the more it will attach to hemoglobin, raising HbA1c .

Taken together, the two offer more information than each test alone. For example, even if your blood sugar levels are very high at one random point, they may have been mostly low over the past couple of months . On the other hand, HBA1c could be higher but your glucose levels at the moment lower.

Apart from diabetes, abnormal levels can point out issues such as insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, and pancreatic, liver, or kidney disease.

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Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome : When Hyperglycemia Becomes Severe For People With Type 2 Diabetes

Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome is very rare, but you should be aware of it and know how to handle it if it occurs.

HHNS is when your blood glucose level goes way too highyou become extremely hyperglycemic. HHNS affects people with type 2 diabetes.

HHNS is most likely to occur when you’re sick, and elderly people are most likely to develop it.

It starts when your blood glucose level starts to climb: when that happens, your body will try to get rid of all the excess glucose through frequent urination. That dehydrates your body, and you’ll become very thirsty.

Unfortunately, when you’re sick, it’s sometimes more difficult to rehydrate your body. For example, it might be difficult to keep fluids down.

When you don’t rehydrate your body, the blood glucose level continues to climb, and it can eventually go so high that it could send you into a coma.

To avoid hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, you should keep close watch on your blood glucose level when you’re sick .

Talk to your health care professional about having a sick-day plan to follow that will help you avoid HHNS.

You should also be able to quickly recognize the signs and symptoms of HHNS, which include:

  • Extremely high blood glucose level

How Does Fasting Affect Insulin Response And Insulin Resistance

Practicing intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating can reduce insulin resistance, decreasing your risk of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity go hand in hand. When your blood sugar is high, your pancreas releases the hormone insulin, which removes the glucose from your bloodstream and sends it to your liver to be stored. High blood sugar will increase your risk of insulin sensitivity and this is problematic for people with type 2 diabetes. Increased insulin sensitivity goes hand-in-hand with reduced insulin levels. The more our insulin spikes, the more our body becomes accustomed to insulin.

In recent decades, type 2 diabetes has become a relatively common diagnosis. Anything that lowers insulin resistance and protects against type 2 diabetes should help lower blood sugar. Intermittent fasting has been found to have significant advantages for insulin resistance and to result in significant blood sugar reductions.

Fasting glucose levels in people with prediabetes were lowered by 36% over the course of 812 weeks in human research on intermittent fasting. Fasting insulin levels have been lowered by 2031%. Intermittent fasting enhanced survival rates and protected against retinopathy in mice with diabetes, according to one research. Retinopathy is a potentially blinding consequence of diabetes. This suggests that individuals who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes could certainly benefit from intermittent fasting.

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How Lifestyle Changes Can Also Help You Avoid Hyperglycemia

Exercise is one of the best ways to get rid of high blood sugar. But if you have ketoacidosis, you should not exercise but rather go to the emergency room. Youll want to check your urine for ketones to be safe, especially if your glucose reading is 240 mg/dL or higher.

When you exercise, your body uses glucose as its primary energy source. This, in effect, will help bring down your blood sugar levels. Working out regularly will lower your A1C.

The positive effects of regular exercise are unmistakable. According to the American Diabetes Association, working out can lead to blood sugar-reducing effects for up to 24 hours.

The Blood Sugar Level Regulation Mechanism

Glucose Rising After Waking Up? Here Is Why!

When you eat rice, bread, or any other typical food high in carbohydrates, it is digested by the stomach and small intestine, where it is absorbed into the blood as glucose. Figure 1 shows how it is absorbed into the body.

  • 1The sugar in food is absorbed into the blood as glucose.
  • 2The pancreas secretes insulin in reaction to the increase in glucose.
  • 3Because the glucose is absorbed into the liver, muscle, adipose tissue and other cells, the blood sugar level drops to the level it was before anything was eaten. This is the mechanism found in healthy people.
  • When glucose enters the bloodstream, insulin facilitates its uptake into the body’s cells. When an excess of glucose is ingested, insulin over secretion occurs. Insulin increases the biosynthesis of fat and suppresses its breakdown. Thus, it becomes easier for fat to accumulate in body tissues.

    Blood sugar level will not drop if the sugar in the blood is not properly processed due to, for example, too little insulin being secreted, or resistance to the action of insulin. If blood sugar levels have not decreased several hours after eating on a regular basis, this indicates a susceptibility to diabetes. To avoid this and stay healthy, we should eat types of foods that will not cause a sudden, extreme rise in blood sugar levels.

    What is BMI?

    What is a healthy blood sugar level

    • Fasting blood sugar level 99mg/dL
    • Postprandial blood sugar level 7.8mmol/L

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    How Can People With Type 2 Diabetes Try If Safely

    A person with diabetes should consult their doctor before starting IF to ensure that it is safe for them. A person will also need their doctors guidance on adjusting the dosages and timing of their medications to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.

    Individuals trying IF should check their blood sugars more frequently ideally, every 24 hours especially when first starting out.

    People with hypoglycemia should break their fast immediately and treat their low blood sugar with 15 grams of carbohydrates in the form of glucose tablets or gels. They should consult with a doctor before restarting the fast.

    It is also important to drink additional fluids during the fasting period to reduce the risk of dehydration and hypotension. A doctor may recommend stopping or reducing the dose of some diabetes medications, diuretics, and antihypertensives.

    People should maintain a balanced diet on nonfasting days and avoid processed, fatty, and sugary foods. Doing so will mean that they do not reverse the positive effects of the fasting days.

    Blood Sugar Testing At Home

    A person can test their blood sugar levels at home.

    In most cases, doctors ask people to measure fasting blood sugar immediately upon waking and before they have anything to eat or drink. It may also be appropriate to test blood sugar before eating or 2 hours after a meal, which is when blood sugar returns to normal levels.

    The right time to test depends on treatment goals and other factors. For example, most people with diabetes do not need to test between meals unless they are using a diabetes drug that can lower blood sugar. Other people may test between meals if they feel their sugar levels may be low.

    Because people with type 1 diabetes do not make enough insulin, they need to test their blood sugar levels several times a day so they can adjust their insulin doses.

    A person will test blood sugar levels by:

    • preparing the testing strip and glucose monitor to be ready for the blood sample
    • using an alcohol swab to clean the testing area, which is usually the side of a fingertip
    • lancing the testing area and bracing against a firm surface to help resist the impulse to pull away
    • squeezing the testing area around the wound to maximize blood flow
    • squeezing a drop of blood onto the test strip
    • putting the strip into the monitor
    • recording the time, blood sugar reading, and recent food intake in a log

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    Impact On Hormones Cells And Genes

    When you fast for some duration, your body goes through several changes. For example, the body adjusts hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible while simultaneously initiating activities crucial for cellular repair.

    These were some of the physiological changes that occur while fasting:

    • Repairing cellular structures. The body induces important cellular repair actions, such as the elimination of waste material from cells.
    • Significant changes in levels of insulin. Insulin levels in the blood drop significantly which induces loss of body weight. Patients with type 2 diabetes who followed an intermittent fasting diet lost weight and were able to quit using insulin therapy, according to a case study published in the US National Library of Medicine.
    • Growth hormone levels fluctuate. Human growth hormone levels in the blood might skyrocket. Increased levels of this hormone help with weight loss and muscle building, among other things.

    Why Are Fasting Blood Sugars Higher Than Postprandial

    What is blood sugar?

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    Whether youve been diagnosed with diabetes or simply monitor your blood sugar levels to track your health, fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels are frequently measured. Since your fasting blood sugar is taken before eating a meal and your postprandial blood sugar is taken after the meal, your fasting level should be lower than your postprandial level. But if the numbers are reversed and your fasting blood sugar levels are higher than your postprandial levels, it could indicate a serious health problem.

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    Why Is My Morning Blood Sugar So High

    A complex array of factors affects blood sugar levels, including hormones, diet, and lifestyle.

    Q: I have prediabetes and now eat minimal carbs and sugar. My doctor told me to monitor my sugar levels, morning and night. At night, two hours after eating, my sugar levels are between 112 and 130 mg/dL . But in the morning, my fasting sugar level is always higher than the night number. Why is that? What am I doing wrong?

    There are a few reasons why your blood sugar may be elevated in the morning. First, its important to understand that certain hormonal changes that occur overnight may lead to high blood sugar levels in the morning.

    Practice Fasting With Caution

    Diabetes patients have to follow some rules when they fast. You need to be aware of the potential dangers and avoid getting hypo or hyperglycemia. Break your fast with a small meal and take your medication during the eating window as a precaution. So, if you take insulin, take it during the 8 hours of eating rather than 16 hours of fasting. In addition to this, avoid heavy exercise during your fasting window.

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    Fasting & Elevated Blood Glucose

    Type 2 diabetes for 20+ years. Started keto with intermittent fasting in January 2019. Why would my fasting blood glucose numbers during my 18-24-hour fast be elevated, then come down to normal ranges after eating?


    Fasting can definitely raise blood glucose. This is due to the effect of insulin falling and the rising counter-regulatory hormones including increased sympathetic tone, noradrenaline, cortisol and growth hormone, in addition to glucagon. These all have the effect of pushing glucose from liver storage into the blood. This is normal. If you are not eating, you want to use some stored glucose. The question is this if you are not eating, and your blood glucose went up, where did that glucose come from? It can only have come from your own body . So, its a natural phenomenon, and the fasting now allows your body to use some of the glucose for energy.

    Dr. Jason Fung

    When To Speak To Your Doctor

    Fasting and Blood Glucose | Jason Fung

    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.

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    Is Intermittent Fasting Safe For People With Type 1 Diabetes

    Many people with type 1 diabetes have found that IF and TRF can help reduce morning blood sugar fluctuations and improve their energy. An observational study on people with type 1 diabetes who participated in various forms of IF/TRF found that these eating schedules can be safe as long as the individual works with their healthcare professional to reduce their usual insulin dose while fasting, and they must monitor their glucose levels carefully to avoid hypoglycemia. Fasting will also increase your ketone levels, so it is important to test your blood ketone levels if you have type 1 diabetes to avoid the risk of ketoacidosis. Remember that people with type 1 diabetes absolutely require insulin to avoid DKA, so insulin dose adjustment to avoid low glucose levels must be done cautiously.

    For anyone with diabetes, before trying any type of fasting you should talk to your healthcare professional. For people who take sulfonylureas or insulin, it is important to closely monitor blood sugar levels, especially when you first start a fasting regimen, as dose reductions may be necessary to avoid hypoglycemia. Never stop taking a medication or change its dosage without consulting your healthcare professional first.

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    What You Can Do

    If the dawn phenomenon affects you, try to:

    • Eat dinner earlier in the evening.
    • Do something active after dinner, like going for a walk.
    • Check with your health care provider about the medicine youâre taking.
    • Eat breakfast. It helps bring your blood sugar back to normal, which tells your body that it’s time to rein in the anti-insulin hormones.
    • Eat a snack with some carbohydrates and protein before bed.

    You’ll also want to avoid all sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, and sweet tea. Just a single serving can raise your blood sugar — and, in some cases, give you hundreds of extra calories.

    If you have diabetes, chances are your blood sugar will be higher in the morning from time to time. That may not be something to be overly concerned about. If it happens for several mornings in a row, check it once during the night — around 2 or 3 a.m. — for a few nights. Then, take those numbers to your doctor. They can figure out if you really have the dawn phenomenon, or if something else is causing those higher morning numbers.

    Show Sources

    Diabetes Stops Here: “Why All the Morning Highs?”

    Mayo Clinic: “What is the dawn phenomenon that some people with diabetes experience? Can anything be done about it?”

    American Diabetes Association: “Diabetes Myths.”

    Diabetes Forecast: “Why Is My Blood Glucose So High in the Morning?” “Glucagon.”

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