How To Fix High Blood Sugars In The Morning
The Dawn Phenomenon
More than half of people with diabetes are thought to experience dawn phenomenon, and it can lead to significant increases in HbA1c.
The dawn phenomenon begins when your body secretes a surge of hormones, including growth hormone, cortisol, adrenaline and glucagon. These hormones start working very early each morning around the same time to prepare your body to wake. Basically, your body is starting the engine, releasing some fuel, and prepping to go for the day.
These hormones trigger the conversion of the livers glycogen stores into glucose which is then dumped into the blood in a process called glycogenolysis.
This general process occurs in all humans regardless of whether they have diabetes. In people without diabetes, the bodys natural insulin response prevents the blood sugars from rising. In people with diabetes, though, the body is unable to produce a healthy insulin response, and therefore blood glucose levels spike up.
The Mayo Clinic suggests several strategies you can try to combat the effects of dawn phenomenon:
- Use an insulin pump to administer extra insulin during early-morning hours.
- Avoid carbohydrates at bedtime.
- Adjust your dose of medication or insulin.
- Switch to a different glucose-lowering medication.
- Adjust the time when you take your medication or insulin from dinnertime to bedtime.
What Works for Some People
High Blood Sugars from the Night Before
Eat Protein In The Morning
To help bring blood sugar levels down eat something when you get up but make sure its a protein or a protien/ veggie breakfast.
Why Is My Blood Sugar High In The Mornings
Have you ever asked this question to yourself why my blood sugar or my glucose is high in the morning? High blood sugars in the morning are a fairly common problem that a lot of diabetic patients face on a daily basis. In the morning, almost everyone experiences a slight increase in blood sugar levels. A person without diabetes will not necessarily realize this as a problem as their body can adjust. For a person with diabetes, however, high blood sugar/glucose in the mornings can be problematic, and it may need treatment.
On the other hand, high blood sugar in the morning is not always a problem or the only problem for every patient with diabetes. Because, if you are on medications like metformin or long-acting insulin such as Toujeo, Tresiba, Lantus blood sugar may end up being okay in the morning or even too low if taken too much which is an opposite problem. This happens because some of these medications work at night to help regulate blood sugars.
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So Why Is The Blood Glucose/sugar High In The Morning Commonly In Diabetics
In most patients suffering from diabetes insulin resistance is the primary reason for elevated blood sugars in the morning. The dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect can also play a role. In addition to that, depending on the type of the patient, insufficient insulin, incorrect medication dosage, carbohydrate snacks before bed are common causes for morning high blood sugars .
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Speak To Your Physician
Make sure you speak to your physician and healthcare team about making dietary and lifestyle changes.
And, if you think your morning levels are way too high, or no matter what you do you cant get them down, talk to your physician or health practitioner to see if you might need to alter your medication.
When it comes to lowering morning blood sugar levels, it really is a combination of things that can help.
Start with the apple cider vinegar and cheese before bed and see how that goes. Then, try working on all the other things in this list.
Give it some time and no doubt you will begin to see some great improvements.
Have you tried something else that worked? Have some comments youd like to add? Leave them below and lets chat about it.
Why Your Blood Sugar Might Be Higher In The Morning
Aside from normal hormonal happenings, some lifestyle factors can affect your nighttime and early morning blood sugar. Eating meals late at night can interfere with your bodyâs usual hormone production schedule and cause unusual morning blood sugar readings.
Skipping meals can have just as much of an effect. Some professionals think the body might produce a rebound effect3 in the early morning when blood sugar is unusually low at night, which can happen if you skip meals late in the day or if you have diabetes and have low insulin at night. This is the Somogyi effect it doesnât seem to be as common as the dawn effect and is likely more common in people with diabetes than without .
What you eat for dinner, regardless of what time you eat, may also have an effect on your morning blood sugar4. Remember that everyone has unique glucose responses5 to certain foods.
Some other factors that can affect your morning blood glucose reading6 include: drinking alcohol before bed, staying up later than usual, going to sleep with a high stress level, exercising late in the evening if you normally donât, and skipping physical activity if you normally do exercise in the evening.
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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 .
Why Is The Blood Sugar High Despite Taking Medication
Most medications to take in the morning forces your body to make insulin. So agents like glipizide produce insulin that helps with your meals. But then it wears off. And then at night your body still needs insulin. So insulin is not just necessary for the food, but also your body needs insulin even during fasting. Therefore, even if youre eating no carbs whatsoever you still need insulin. In the relative deficiency or resistance to insulin, a lot of patients will end up waking up with high blood sugars especially if the medications they take wears off by the time they go to bed.
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Glucose Meters Can Give False Readings
While physiologic reasons cause higher glucose readings, technical reasons can cause them, too. The US Federal Drug Administration allows home glucose monitors to have a variance of 15% in results. That means a reading of 100 mg/dl might actually be as low as 85 mg/dl or as high as 115, a huge variation!9
Dave Feldman, the software engineer who has cracked the Cholesterol Code, has blogged about his glucose meter variance, charting and taking pictures of his two glucose meters, measuring the same drop of blood. While he was expecting his blood glucose set point to be higher because of his long-term low-carb keto eating, he was surprised by the sometimes huge variation in results. He notes that whenever he gets an unexpected result, he takes three readings, all within a few minutes of each other, and then averages the result.
Other researchers have noted that false readings can be caused by pricking a finger for blood with hands that have minute traces of sugar or food Dehydration raises results, too. You should always wash your hands before testing, but some soaps have additives like honey or a fragrance that can linger on fingers and distort readings. As well, strips that are too hot or too cold, or other environmental conditions like high altitudes, can produce higher or lower readings. Even different lots of strips can produce different results on the same meter.
Why Is My Morning Blood Sugar High
Blood Sugar: Hidden Causes of High Blood Sugar Levels in the Morning. High blood sugar in the morning may be caused by the Somogyi effect, a condition also called rebound hyperglycemia. It also may be caused by dawn phenomenon, which is the end result of a combination of natural body changes.25 2018 .
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Take The Medication Unless Your Doctor Tells You Otherwise
Your doctor isnt medicating you for the sake of it. There are certain health problems that will require medication to help you control your levels. This is the case with diabetes.
Its important to visit your doctor regularly. Arranged for morning appointments when you have your checks to get your morning levels recorded on a regular basis. This way your doctor can see if your medication is still needed and whether there are other things you can do instead.
Only stop taking your medication if your doctor tells you so. Youll get a good idea by your glucose levels. Track them yourself to see if theyre getting lower one week to the next. If you see a significant drop, talk to your doctor about your options for cutting back or out your medication and trying more holistic options.
If you believe you need a second opinion, dont be afraid to get one from someone reputable. Just follow the advice from those who have the degrees!
A Word About Lada Latent Autoimmune Diabetes In Adults
If all of the information in this post does not help you understand your rising blood glucose on the low-carb diet, and your blood glucose continues to rise higher and higher, not only in the morning but at other times of day, there may be a potential issue of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults , also sometimes called type 1.5 diabetes.11
Both Dr. Hallberg and Dr. Fung say they see LADA regularly among their patients who may have been misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes and have LADA instead.
LADA is like type 1 diabetes in that antibodies are attacking the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, but it arises in adulthood, not in childhood or adolescence. Diabetes researchers note that LADA also has features of type 2 diabetes, but the patients usually are thinner and progress to needing insulin faster because their insulin-producing beta cells have been attacked by antibodies. The highest rates of LADA are found in Northern Europe, with up to 14% of those with type 2 diabetes actually having it.12
I test serum C-peptide and insulin in everybody in my Intensive Dietary Management program, notes Dr. Fung. I re-check them over time and it often takes 6 months to 1 year to clinch the diagnosis. I would suspect about 5-10% of my type 2s are actually LADA.
Dr. Naiman has similar experiences and routines.13
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Adopt A Healthy Morning Ritual
Developing a morning ritual is a great habit for a healthy mind and body and it will also help lower your morning blood sugar as well.
When you get up, have a small protein/ fat combined snack , then try doing some stretching or go for a shortwalk first thing in the morning just 5-10 minutes to get moving.
Exercise improves insulin sensitivity and moves glucose out of the muscles and into the cells.
Its often best to have that protein/ fat snack first though, before you do the exercise.
Can Fasting Raise Your Blood Sugar
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.
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What Is Blood Sugar Level
Whenever you eat something, your body breaks down that food into glucose and the count of that glucose in the blood is called blood sugar levels. The breakdown happens in order to provide you with energy. Energy generation is possible only when that glucose or sugar gets transferred into your body cells and does not remain in the bloodstream. If they remain there, your blood sugar level increases, and you get prone to diabetes.
Why Does Blood Sugar Rise
Symptoms of high blood sugar
- Increased sweating.
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How To Lower Morning Levels
Gaining tight control over your daily blood sugar levels by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, stressing less and getting good quality sleep, will all help control your morning readings.
But there is one simple trick that may help even more especially with the dawn phenomenon.
In patients with non-insulin dependent type 2 diabetes, researchers managed to reduce morning glucose levels by 4 to 6 percent. That means if your morning glucose is around 130 mg/dl, it would decrease to about 122 mg/dl.
What did they do?
Before bed, they gave patients two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water, along with one ounce of cheese, which is just one slice of cheese.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which is what researchers believe causes most of the effect. Other studies have shown that acetic acid reduces post meal glucose levels and A1c, along with improving insulin sensitivity and the insulin response.
Give this simple bedtime trick a try yourself. Its easy to do and you never know tomorrow you might wake up with lower morning levels, too.
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Why Does Blood Sugar Spike In The Morning
Our diabetes expert has the answer.
Joan Bardsley, RN, CDE, is an assistant vice president at MedStar Health Research Institute.
Q. Why does my blood sugar spike in the morning?
A. There are many reasons for a high reading.
First, look at food. What you ate the night before may be behind the blood sugar spike — for example, if you ate much more than you usually eat, or if the amount of food was more than your medications are made to handle.
A second cause could be your medicine. Perhaps the medications you take aren’t lasting through the night, or the dose isn’t high enough to keep your blood sugar in check.
Another possibility is one that happens naturally in the body in response to low blood sugar. When your blood sugar drops, your body releases stored sugar — mainly from the liver — and overcompensates. If your blood sugar level drops in the middle of the night, this overproduction of sugar can cause a high level in the morning. This is called the Somogyi effect. When your blood sugar is low, it’s best to eat about 15 grams of carbohydrates, and then wait 15 minutes before repeating the process.
Or, the spike could be due to the release of hormones between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. that raise blood sugar. Your body needs to balance these high hormone levels by making more insulin. When it can’t make enough insulin to compensate, your blood sugar will be high. You may need to manage the timing or amount of your medicine.
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