What To Expect From Your Blood Sugar In The Morning
After an overnight fast, a normal blood sugar level is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter , according to the American Diabetes Association . But, according to Susan Spratt, MD, an endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, not everyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes has to shoot for “normal” levels.
“If you’re young, the goal may be to get your fasting blood sugar levels to less than 120 mg/dL,” Dr. Spratt says. But if you’re older and have other health conditions, that number may be higher, she says.
The ADA points out that not everyone will have the same blood sugar level goals. Instead, your endocrinologist or doctor will calculate your target number based on your age, how long you’ve had diabetes, whether you have health conditions like heart disease and other factors.
What Affects The Test
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Eating or drinking less than 8 hours before a fasting blood test or less than 2 hours before a 2-hour postprandial test.
- Drinking alcohol.
- Illness or emotional stress, smoking, and caffeine.
- Taking a medicine, such as birth control pills, medicines used to treat high blood pressure, phenytoin , furosemide , triamterene, hydrochlorothiazide, niacin, propranolol , or corticosteroids . Some medicines can cause changes in your test results. Make sure that your doctor knows about any medicines you take and how often you take them.
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Tests For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. Youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes , your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.
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Formal Fasting Blood Sugar Levels Ada Advice For Someone With Diabetic Issues
The United states Diabetes Association advises a fasting blood sugar target of 80 to 130 mg/dl for many nonpregnant adults with diabetes. But the fasting blood glucose target might need to be personalized for several visitors predicated on these types of facets as duration of diabetic issues, years and life span, intellectual condition, additional health problems, aerobic problems, and hypoglycemia unawareness. Its important that people with diabetes go over their particular target blood glucose plans using their healthcare provider.
Levels In The Morning
The best time to check blood sugar levels in the morning is right when you wake up and before you eat anything. This gives you a glimpse of what may be happening overnight, and it gives you a baseline for the day.
These are goal levels, according to The Joslin Diabetes Center:
- Under 70 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
- 70 to 130 mg/dl if you have diabetes.
The dawn effect can often lead to a high morning measurement in diabetes. This is your bodys tendency to get ready for the day by raising blood sugar by increasing levels of counter-regulatory hormones the ones that counteract insulin as in normal blood sugar. For people with diabetes, you do not have the capacity to counterbalance this rise in blood sugar, so levels can be dangerously high.
Ways to lower your morning blood sugar value include:
- Eating dinner earlier
- Checking your medications making sure you are taking them properly and asking your doctor if they are correct
- Going for a walk after dinner
- Including protein with your dinner
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What Is The Fasting Blood Sugar Test Used For
The fasting blood sugar test is also used to test the effectiveness of different medication or dietary changes on people already diagnosed as diabetic
Fasting blood sugar levels are measured by taking a blood test after a period of fasting, usually of 8 hours without food. Typically, fasting blood glucose levels are taken in the morning before any breakfast is eaten. When having your fasting blood glucose levels take, you should not have any drinks apart from water during the period of fasting.
A fasting blood glucose test can be useful to see how well the body is able to manage blood sugar levels in the absence of food. When we do not eat for several hours, the body will release glucose into the blood via the liver and, following this, the bodys insulin should help to stabilise blood glucose levels.
A fasting blood glucose test therefore shows:
- Whether the body is able to bring down the raise in blood glucose levels from the previous meal
- How effectively the body copes with its own release of glucose
The target for fasting blood glucose levels are the same as the targets for before meal readings.
- For adults with diabetes, the target level is between 4 and 7 mmol/l
- For children with diabetes, the target level is between 4 and 8 mmol/l
However, some people may be set individual targets, by their doctor, that differ to the above levels.
Official Hba1c Ada Recommendation For Someone With Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association recommends an HbA1C of less than 7% for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes. A lower goal, such as less than 6.5%, may be appropriate for some people who have had diabetes for a shorter amount of time, for younger people, for those without heart disease, and/or for those with type 2 diabetes treated with lifestyle or metformin only. A higher HbA1C goal, such as less than 8%, may be appropriate for people with a history of severe hypoglycemia, a limited life expectancy, advanced diabetes complications, other illnesses, or for whom a lower HbA1C goal is difficult to achieve. Its important that people with diabetes discuss their target blood sugar goals with their healthcare provider.
HbA1C levels should be checked between two to four times per year in people who have diabetes.
A Few More Things Related To Blood Sugars
Remember that there is no healthy number, per se. You are shooting for your blood sugars to be in a target range, so you have a little leeway. It is important to get your blood sugars into your target range. This is due to the target ranges for blood sugars coincide with the blood sugar target range that prevents the long-term complications of diabetes.
For blood sugar, over 250 mg/dl for two readings, or for low blood sugar that is not over 80 mg/dl after several attempts to correct the low blood sugar with quick acting carbohydrates, assistance may be needed. For the high blood sugar, a patient should call their primary care provider, or the provider on call if it is on the weekend. If a low blood sugar will not come up after two attempts, a 911 call may be warranted. Remember to post your comments down below.
TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Christine Traxler MD on May 21, 2020
Blood Sugar Chart: Summary
The fasting blood sugar, 2-hour post-meal blood sugar, and HbA1C tests are important ways to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes, as well as indicate how well a persons diabetes is being managed. If you think you have diabetes, its important to not try and diagnose yourself by doing a finger-stick with a home blood glucose meter. There are strict standards and procedures that laboratories use for diagnosing diabetes therefore, you should get tested at your doctors office or at a laboratory.
Its also important to talk with your doctor to make sure you understand a) how often you should have certain tests, such as a fasting blood glucose or HbA1C test b) what your results mean and c) what your blood sugar and HbA1C targets are.
If you have not been previously diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes but your results are above normal, your doctor may recommend other tests and should discuss a plan of treatment with you. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, a healthy eating plan, and regular physical activity. You may need to start taking diabetes medications, including insulin. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, its recommended that you learn how to check your blood sugars with a meter so that you and your healthcare team can determine how your treatment plan is working for you.
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Different Levels And What They Mean
The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.
The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.
If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.
That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.
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Why Doctors Order It
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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How Is Blood Sugar Measured
In the United States, blood sugar is measured in milligrams per deciliter . This is abbreviated as mg/dl.
In Europe and Canada, blood sugar is measured a little differently, by millimole per liter, which is abbreviated mmol. However its measured, blood sugar is the concentration of sugar or glucose in the bloodstream.
If you multiply the Canadian or European mmol, by the number 18, you can calculate milligrams per deciliter.
In other words, if a person in Canada reports their blood sugar as an 8, multiply 8 times 18 to give you the number 144 . Using this calculation, this persons blood sugar = 144 mg/dl, .
Levels After Youve Eaten
Many foods have types of carbohydrates called starches and sugars. When you eat foods with these types of carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is a type of simple sugar, and releases the glucose into your bloodstream. Aside from glucose produced by your liver, food is the main source of plasma glucose.
Two hours after eating, your blood sugar levels rise. They rise more when you eat more carbohydrates, when you do not eat fiber, fat, or protein with your carbs, and when you eat certain types of carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and starches.
These are target values from The Joslin Diabetes Center, which include levels for people with diabetes:
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Normal Fasting Blood Sugar For Individual Without Diabetes
An ordinary fasting blood sugar for anyone would you not have diabetes ranges from 70 to 99 mg/dl. The American Diabetes relationship recommends a routine screening for diabetes starting at years 45. When the answers are typical, the assessment should really be repeated every 3 years.
If have actually diabetic issues exposure facets, including carrying excess fat or overweight, creating children reputation of diabetes, creating a history of gestational diabetic issues, or being of a specific race/ethnicity , you ought to be screened for diabetic issues prior to era 45.
Girls and boys and adolescents that diabetic issues warning signs or that fat and now have a family reputation of type 2 diabetes, become of African American, Latino, Asian United states, local United states or Pacific Islander lineage, who possess signs of prediabetes or a mom who had gestational diabetes is tested start at age 10 right after which every 36 months after that.
A fasting blood sugar of 100 to 125 mg/dl was indicative of prediabetes, that will be a condition where blood glucose tend to be above normal yet not sufficient are regarded as all forms of diabetes. Prediabetes are a threat factor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses and swing. Its handled by life style changes and, in some cases, medication.
High Blood Sugar In The Morning: Is It The Dawn Phenomenon
If you have high blood sugar levels in the morning, you may be experiencing the dawn phenomenon, the name given to an increase in blood sugar that usually occurs between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., according to the Mayo Clinic. One reason this occurs: During the early hours of the morning, our bodies secrete higher levels of a hormone called cortisol, says Dr. Spratt. When cortisol levels are high, it can make you more resistant to insulin, a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar levels.
“Some people have a striking dawn phenomenon,” says Dr. Spratt. “You can look at their continuous glucose tracing and see that their blood sugar level suddenly goes up at 3 a.m.” If this is the case for you, your doctor may adjust your insulin medication or suggest you use an insulin pump .
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How The Blood Sugar Levels Vary With Meals
Blood sugar levels rise following a meal and usually peak about one hour after eating. The rise in the blood sugar and the precise timing of its peaking depends on the food a person has eaten. Large meals often cause blood sugar levels to rise, and so do meals containing high-sugar carbohydrates such as white bread and sweet snacks.Normally, a rise in the blood sugar prompts the pancreas to release insulin, and the insulin lowers the blood sugar by breaking it down so that the body can use it for energy or store it for later use. However, people with diabetes may face the following problems:
- Patients with Type 1 Diabetes do not produce the right amount of insulin required because the body attacks the cells that produce insulin
- Patients with Type 2 Diabetes do not respond well to the insulin produced by the body, and later, may fail to produce enough insulin.
In both cases, the fasting blood sugar test shows elevated blood sugar levels.
Therefore, Fasting Blood Sugar Depends on 3 Factors:
- The contents of the last meal, i.e., dinner
- The size of the last meal
- The bodys ability to produce insulin and its ability to respond to the insulin it produces
Official Fasting Blood Sugar Ada Recommendation For Someone With Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association recommends a fasting blood sugar target of 80 to 130 mg/dl for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes. However, the fasting blood sugar target may need to be individualized for certain people based on such factors as duration of diabetes, age and life expectancy, cognitive status, other health conditions, cardiovascular complications, and hypoglycemia unawareness. Its important that people with diabetes discuss their target blood sugar goals with their healthcare provider.
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Agree On Specific Target Ranges With The Diabetes Team
Sit down with a member of your diabetes health care team and discuss a range of blood glucose targets that are considered reasonable and realistic, given age, lifestyle and health considerations.
You should have a clear understanding of which numbers are considered too high or too low. It should also be clear what actions need to be taken if these numbers occur.
Recommended Target Blood Glucose Level Ranges
The NICE recommended target blood glucose levels are stated below for adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and children with type 1 diabetes.
In addition, the International Diabetes Federations target ranges for people without diabetes is stated.
The table provides general guidance. An individual target set by your healthcare team is the one you should aim for.
*The non-diabetic figures are provided for information but are not part of NICE guidelines.
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