Its Strange That Blood Sugar In A Diabetic Can Rise Despite Not Having Eaten Anything Since Typically Eating Causes Blood Sugar To Go Up
But its no uncommon occurrence that in diabetes, glucose or blood sugar levels can actually rise in the absence of eating.
When we dont take food into our body for energy, our liver will try to help us by releasing glucose into our blood so we have the energy we need to stay alive, says Lucille Hughes, RN, CDE, director of diabetes education at South Nassau Communities Hospital;in Oceanside, NY.
For people with diabetes, the liver may release too much glucose, causing blood sugar to go up.
This is why its so important for diabetics to regularly take blood sugar readings, even if they feel fine.
The liver has hundreds of jobs. One of those jobs is to release glucose into the bloodstream for energy because the body requires energy to function, even when at rest.
Basic bodily functions require energy and glucose provides that energy.
In diabetes, things are out of whack in the body. The liver in the diabetic may sometimes overestimate how much sugar to release into the bloodstream.
Or, to put it another way, the liver over-corrects the problem.
The only way that a diabetic can stay ahead of this curve is to monitor;their glucose levels on a regular basis throughout the day to make sure that the sugar level doesnt sneak its way into getting into a dangerously high range.
Sleep Impacts Brain Function
Glucose is fuel for the brain. It provides the energy needed to carry out its functions. When youâre sleep-deprived, the metabolic activity in your brain decreases significantly.Â;
Overall, studies state that sleep deprivation has damaging effects on brain functionâparticularly functions such as alertness, attention, decision making, and cognitive processes.Â;
How To Prevent Low Blood Sugars In The Future
There is probably no way to completely eliminate low blood sugars at night, but I have learned how to limit them quite a bit. What I do is pretty simple I try to learn from my mistakes. If I have a low during the night, Ill go back and see how my bolus and basal patterns were the day before, what I ate, and what I did.
For example, my last low blood sugar was at 4 am a few nights ago, and when I went back and analyzed the data, this is what I found:
Since it was 4 am and my last snack was at 11 pm, the low couldnt be due to my last bolus. I also hadnt changed my basal amount. However, I had moved my workout to later in the evening. So my conclusion was that to limit future nighttime lows, I should take less basal insulin before I go to bed if I work out later in the evening. Thats a pretty easy fix. I reduced my nightly basal and now Im sleeping through the night again and waking up with perfect sugars.
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High Blood Sugar Symptoms
The most common symptoms of hyperglycemia are:;
- Increased thirst and/or hunger
If someone has hyperglycemia, it would mean they would be very thirsty, tired, they might be urinating more frequently and basically not feeling well, says Sam Zager, M.D. a family medicine physician in Maine.
What Are Some Tips To Prevent Nighttime Blood Sugar Level Dips
How Does Lack Of Sleep Raise Your Risk
Itâs hard to know for certain. Many studies have suggested that short sleepers have irregular eating habits, snack more, and are more likely to eat unhealthy foods.
Other research has found that shortchanging sleep can directly affect how the body makes other hormones, which in turn affect blood sugar. For example, when you stay up late, your body makes more of the hormone cortisol, which affects how insulin works.
Also, growing evidence shows that disrupting your bodyâs biological clock by being awake at night can make your cells more resistant to insulin. In one study, researchers altered the circadian rhythms of 16 healthy volunteers by allowing only 5 hours of sleep each night for 5 nights, much like a sleep-deprived workweek. When those volunteers ate food at night — a time when the body isnât biologically prepared for a spike in blood sugar — their bodies didnât use insulin normally.
How Can You Tell The Difference
The Somogyi effect can occur any time you or your child has extra insulin in the body. To sort out whether an early morning high blood sugar level is caused by the dawn phenomenon or Somogyi effect, check blood sugar levels at bedtime, around 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., and at your normal wake-up time for several nights. A continuous glucose monitor could also be used throughout the night.
- If the blood sugar level is low at 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., suspect the Somogyi effect.
- If the blood sugar level is normal or high at 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., it’s likely the dawn phenomenon.
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Shades Of Chia Pudding: A Diabetes Breakfast Revolution
What weve learned from over 75,000 people about making awesome chia pudding for breakfast: new recipes, new flavors, and how to overcome common stumbling blocks
Chia pudding has struck a resounding chord with diaTribe readers: over 40,000 people have viewed the original column,;The Three-Minute;Diabetes Breakfast That Changes Lives, and more than 30,000 people have now viewed our original how-to video on ;and .
As I shared in Bright Spots & Landmines, chia pudding is an;awesome diabetes breakfast:;little impact on blood sugar, super filling, three minutes to make without cooking, under $0.60 per meal, infinitely customizable, tasty ,;and yes even;life changing.;Simplifying breakfast ;which is almost certainly the hardest meal of the day for blood sugars ;can be transformative.
Over the past year, weve learned how diaTribe readers make chia pudding in their own clever ways. This article organizes more than 50 tips and tricks into a single, choose-your-own adventure guide to making chia pudding with new bases and toppings. Its like the Chipotle approach, but re-applied to my favorite breakfast: Chia-potle?
Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes
People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood.
These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the bodys cells, which makes the blood sugar level go down. But sometimes its a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low.
People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too highor too low. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range means balancing when and what they eat, and when they exercise with when they take medicines.
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How Are You Sweetening Your Coffee What You Add To Your Cup May Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels
Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the condition for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled.
Proper blood sugar control is key for warding off potential;diabetes;complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health . Plus, keeping your levels in check on a daily basis can help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood, explains Lisa McDermott, RD, CDCES,;a diabetes specialist with the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network.
According to the American Diabetes Association , proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and regular blood sugar checks can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose stay within 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an;A1C test, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals.
What Happens To Blood Sugar While You Sleep
Itâs tied to whether the hormone insulin, which removes glucose from the blood, is working the way itâs supposed to. Blood sugar levels surge while youâre sleeping, usually around 4 to 8 a.m. for someone with a normal sleep schedule. In a healthy person, insulin can handle the surge by telling muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb the glucose from the blood, which keeps your levels stable.
For people who have diabetes or who are likely to get it, insulin canât do that job very well, so blood sugar levels will rise higher.
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Make Good Use Of Technology
Technology such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors are there to help you. If youre noticing a lot of high blood sugars overnight, tinker with your basal and bolus rates at dinner time and before bed.;
Most people need a lot more insulin overnight to help combat the dawn phenomenon, so dont feel bad or guilty if your basal rate overnight is twice what you require during the day.;
In addition, set high blood sugar alarms on your CGM , so you can wake up and take insulin if needed.;
If youre on a hybrid closed-loop system such as the Medtronic 670g, 770g, Tslim Control IQ, or DIY Loop, your insulin pump will automatically increase your basal rates to help combat overnight highs, but if you are not, you can do this manually.;
Blood Sugar Spike: What To Do
Its important to know the symptoms of hyperglycemia. If you suspect that you have high blood sugar, perform a finger stick to check your level.
Exercising and drinking water after eating, particularly if youve consumed a lot of starchy carbs, can help lower your blood sugar.
You can also use an insulin injection, but be careful only to use this method while closely following the recommendation of your doctor regarding your dose. If used improperly, insulin can cause hypoglycemia .
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High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning
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A person usually has slightly higher blood sugar or glucose levels in the morning. But, in some people with diabetes, these levels are significantly high.
that get worse over time, due to these blood sugar spikes.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, healthy blood sugar levels are:
- from 80130 milligrams per deciliter just before eating
- below 180 mg/dl 2 hours after eating
In addition, they note that:
- A low blood sugar level is under 70 mg/dl.
- A high blood sugar level is over 180 mg/dl.
There are two main causes of high blood sugar in the morning: the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect.
This article explores these causes, including what they can mean for a persons health and when to see a doctor.
The dawn phenomenon relates to natural body changes that occur during the sleep cycle.
In the morning, everyone experiences a slight rise in blood glucose levels. A person without diabetes will not experience effects, as their body can adjust. For a person with diabetes, however, this rise can be significant, and it may need treatment.
At the same time, the body is producing glucagon, another hormone, which can lead to a further rise in blood sugar.
This happens just as nighttime levels of insulin are starting to taper off.
Blood Sugar And Sleep Problems
Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels, and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep. ;Its a vicious cycle.
As the amount of sleep decreases, blood sugar increases, escalating the issue. Lack of sleep has been shown to increase blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetic issues. Higher blood sugar means less long-lasting fat metabolism in the night and even less sleep.
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine found that people who slept less than 6 hours a night had more blood sugar complications compared to those who received 8 hours of sleep.;
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How To Avoid High Blood Sugar At Night
Managing blood sugars is hard during the day when you are awake and have control over manipulating insulin bolus and basal rates to accommodate carbohydrates, exercise, stress, and hormones.;
Tackling blood sugars overnight is a whole different problem that needs to be dealt with delicately to make sure youre fine-tuning your control and staying healthy.;
Many people with diabetes struggle with stubborn overnight blood sugars, but there are some things you can do to help control this.;
This article will highlight the main ways you can avoid overnight high blood sugars and wake up feeling well and refreshed.;
What Is A Dangerous Blood Sugar Level
A normal blood sugar level is between 70 and 130 after you have been fasting for a few hours. Blood sugar levels can be dangerous if they are too high or too low.
Low blood sugars can be caused by not eating enough, or by trying to lower your sugar too quickly. A blood sugar under 60 is considered dangerous. It can lead to confusion or loss of consciousness, which can be deadly. It is important to have a snack with you at all times in case this happens to you. If it does happen, think about what you did or didnt do that lead to the low number. If it happens often, start writing things down to help you track what the cause is so that you can avoid it.
High blood sugars over 300 are pretty concerning.; A lot depends on what your sugar typically runs. If you are normally in the 200s, then a sugar of 320 wouldnt affect you the way that it would for someone whose typically runs 150.
If your blood sugar gets too high, then you may have Ketoacidosis. What happens is that the body does not have enough insulin to use the glucose cells, so it starts to break down fat and muscle for fuel. This causes ketones to enter the bloodstream and causes a pretty bad chemical imbalance. Ketones can also be found in your urine, which is an easy way to test. Signs of Diabetic Ketoacidosis are:
- Fruity smelling breath
- Loss of vision
- An abnormal increase in blood sugar
You should also seek medical attention for this as well to rehydrate your body before any complications happen.
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How Is It Determined If The Dawn Phenomenon Or Somogyi Effect Is Causing The High Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor will likely ask you to check your blood sugar levels between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for several nights in a row. If your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, the Somogyi effect is suspected. If the blood sugar is normal during this time period, the dawn phenomenon is more likely to be the cause.
Some additional clues that the Somogyi effect may be the cause include nightmares, restless sleep and overnight sweating as these are all signs of low blood sugar levels.
Surprising Things That Can Spike Your Blood Sugar
When you first found out you had diabetes, you tested your blood sugar often to 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 rollercoaster no one with diabetes wants to ride.
Do you know all of these blood sugar triggers?
Knowledge is power! Look out for these surprising triggers that can send your blood sugar soaring: