A high blood sugar level in the morning can be a cause for concern for diabetics. These levels can make it difficult to meet blood sugar goals. Fortunately, you can address this problem and improve your diabetes management. Here are some ways to help you achieve your blood sugar goal in the morning and prevent other complications.
Glucose Happens 24/7
When you eat, your body converts the food into glucose, which is then stored in the bloodstream. When your blood glucose level drops, an emergency system kicks in. This system sends messages to your organs and hormones to increase glucose production. If your blood sugar is consistently low at night, you should call your doctor for a checkup. If your blood sugar is consistently high, you are at risk for the dawn phenomenon.
Hormones Raise Blood Glucose
During the early hours of the day, our body uses glucose as its primary source of energy. Increased levels of morning hormones such as cortisol and glucagon signal the liver to convert glycogen to glucose, which is then released into the blood. This process raises blood sugar levels, but insulin acts to maintain them within a normal range.
Blood glucose levels are usually maintained within a narrow range all day. They average about seventy and a hundred milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) after an overnight fast, and rarely rise above one hundred and fifty milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) after a meal. However, blood sugar levels that are too high or too low can cause the body to experience adverse effects, which include a thickening of the blood.
If your morning glucose levels are consistently high, you should speak with your health care provider. They can help you determine the best course of treatment. A higher dosage of insulin can help you control your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Decreased Insulin Production
There are many reasons why your blood sugar rises in the morning, but one common reason is decreased insulin production. This can be caused by a number of factors, including the insulin pump setting or a lack of long-acting insulin. Regardless of the cause, it is important to know how to prevent or lower your blood sugar spikes in the morning.
First, reduce the amount of total carbohydrates you eat each day. Try to stick to whole grains rather than processed flour products. Try to limit your intake of pasta, bread, and crackers. Also, eat more beans, legumes, and starchy vegetables, which help stabilize your blood sugar. Lastly, eat adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in cold-water fish, flax seeds, walnuts, and soy. You should also consume at least 35 grams of fiber a day.
A high blood sugar level in the morning can also be caused by the Somogyi effect or the dawn phenomenon. This occurs when glucose levels are too low during the night. The liver responds by secreting insulin, which helps keep blood glucose levels normal. However, in diabetics, this process doesn’t work as effectively, resulting in a high blood sugar in the morning.
Hypoglycemia known as the Somogyi Effect
If you are one of the many people affected by hypoglycemia known as the Somogi Effect, you may notice that your blood sugar is high in the morning despite waking up. You may not experience all of the symptoms of this condition, but you can reduce your risk by checking your blood glucose before you go to bed and adjusting your insulin dosage.
The Somogyi Effect is a common problem with people with diabetes. This problem occurs when blood sugar drops so low that the liver uses stored glycogen. When blood sugar falls below the normal level during sleep, it triggers a release of stored glycogen from the liver. The liver then responds by breaking down the stored glycogen in the body to produce glucose. This process can be dangerous if untreated.
Until recently, researchers attributed early morning hyperglycemia to the rebound effect of the late-night hypoglycemia. However, recent research has implicated hypoinsulinemia as a contributing factor. Insulin is secreted in a circadian pattern, with the highest levels occurring between midnight and 6 AM and lowest concentrations between noon and six PM. This cycle is opposite to the pineal gland’s melatonin secretion, which reduces insulin secretion.
Poor Food Choices
When poor food choices are made, blood sugar levels in the morning can spike. This is due to the overnight activity of hormones. Rice is a common culprit in this problem as it quickly converts to glucose and can cause quick spikes and dips in blood sugar levels. Instead of rice, look for a grain that takes longer to convert to glucose, such as whole grains or quinoa. It is also important to make sure that you have enough calories for the day, so that your blood sugar stays within normal range.
Lifestyle Strategies To Lower Morning Blood Sugar
Managing blood sugar is a challenge for anyone, but there are a few simple lifestyle strategies that can help you do it. Eating a larger meal more often can help you keep your glucose levels more consistent and stabilized throughout the day. You should also be aware of the types of carbohydrates that you consume. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are great choices. You can also talk to a nutritionist about how to plan your meals.
Increasing your physical activity is another effective way to lower morning blood sugar. Adding light exercise, like walking or jogging, to your daily routine can help you manage your morning blood sugar level and prevent spikes. It can also help you manage your insulin dosage. Just make sure not to exercise too close to bedtime, though. It will lower your blood sugar for several hours, and could make you vulnerable to a low overnight.
For people with diabetes, the ideal glucose range is between 70 and 130 mg/dL before breakfast, and 180 mg/dL during the day. However, this range can vary depending on the individual. Older adults and pregnant women should work with their healthcare provider to determine the appropriate range for their needs.
The Bottom Line
Several factors contribute to the rise of blood glucose levels in the morning. The fasting state of the body, increased hormone activity in the brain and the waning effects of insulin, are the prime culprits. However, people with diabetes can avoid these problems by eating the right kind of food in the morning. Rice, for example, can trigger quick dips and spikes in glucose levels. On the other hand, protein and healthy fats take longer to turn to glucose. Switching from rice to other grains can help sustain normal glucose levels. If you have diabetes, you should monitor your blood glucose levels before bed and again when you wake up.
A continuous glucose monitor can help you get an idea of when your blood sugar is at its highest. It gathers data throughout the night and helps you pinpoint the exact cause of your blood sugar spikes. This way, you can take your diabetes medication or change your diet. However, it is important to consult with your physician if you are using your own glucose monitor.