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 bodys blood sugar levels to rise in the morning .
What Is Hemoglobin A1c
Hemoglobin A1C is a lab test. It indicates an average blood glucose reading for the last 90 days. It is done when you find out you have diabetes, and every 3 months after that at clinic visits. A person without diabetes has a Hemoglobin A1C of less than 5.6%.
Target Hgb A1C is 7.5% for all children and adults with diabetes.
The chart below shows the Hemoglobin A1C result compared with the blood glucose number.
Determining The Right A1c Goal For You
Just because a normal blood sugar range of 70 to 130 mg/dL is considered the healthiest doesnt necessarily mean thats the appropriate goal range for you especially if you have type 1 diabetes, or take insulin as a person with type 2 diabetes.
The reason this may not be the right goal for you is that extremely tight blood sugar management in people taking insulin can potentially lead to frequent low blood sugars which can be dangerous.
Achieving extremely tight blood sugar management, like a range of 70 to 130 mg/dL, also often requires a strict nutrition plan, more frequent than usual blood sugar monitoring, precise medication management, and most importantly, years of experience studying your own blood sugar levels.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Most Effective Way To Do Intermittent Fasting
How Does Freestyle Libre Work
The Freestyle Libre comes with a 14-day sensor that is worn on the upper arm. It lets you monitor your blood sugar levels anywhere and at any time. The sensor captures the glucose concentrationin the interstitial fluid every minute and records the glucose concentration every 15 minutes. All this data is stored in an eight-hour log. The set also comes with a user manual, a USB cable, and a power adapter.
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.
Recommended Reading: What Is Type 1 Diabetes Caused By
Also Check: What Is Allowed During Intermittent Fasting
Low Blood Sugar In A Child Without Diabetes:
We have discussed that a non-diabetic child may have high blood glucose levels occasionally. In the same way, many times, your non-diabetic child may also face hypoglycemia. In many studies, low blood glucose levels of children without diabetes have been observed.
It is due to many reasons, e.g., fasting, prediabetes, enhanced production of insulin, or many other factors. Signs of low blood glucose of your child are similar to those of adults. These include
- The feeling of being vomit
Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urine.
One review of observational studies showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (
You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, which is known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with your doctor.
Keeping track allows you to determine whether you need to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods .
Try measuring your levels regularly every day and keeping track of the numbers in a log. Also, it may be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs for example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.
This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar, rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether. Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.
Checking your blood glucose and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust foods and medications when necessary to better manage your blood sugar levels.
Also Check: How Much Weight Do You Lose From Water Fasting
Diet And Exercise To Reduce Blood Sugar
Aside from taking any medications that you may be prescribed, losing extra weight, getting active, and eating right can be the best ways to reduce blood sugar.
Losing weight: Any pounds that you lose if your body mass index is over 30 can lower your blood sugar dramatically. These strategies are simple and effective.
- Eating more vegetables.
- Cutting portion sizes of high-calorie foods.
- Eating less often at restaurants, or eating half of the amount you are served.
- Swapping sugary beverages for water and fruit for dessert.
- Steaming, grilled, and baking instead of frying with added fats.
You can check your BMI here. Overweight is over 25, and obese is over 30.
Getting active: Getting moving increases insulin sensitivity, lowers blood sugar, and also helps you lose weight. This includes dedicated workouts, activity throughout the day, and breaking up sedentary time.
Eating right: While weight loss is a significant factor in blood sugar control, eating right also helps reduce blood sugar. What does eating right include?
Some research suggests that a low-glycemic diet can be helpful. You can choose one by limiting sugar and refined starches, having fiber, protein, and fat with your carbohydrate sources, and choosing less processed foods, such as whole grains instead of refined.
Dont Miss: Is Instant Oatmeal Good For Diabetics
Reduce Your Stress Levels Through Meditation
If you find your stress levels are high on a morning, you need to find a way to handle them. Stress is bad for you overall. Its known as a silent killer, as it raises your blood pressure and has no symptoms at all until you start to suffer from health problems seriously.
While exercise is a good way to reduce your stress levels, its not the only option. Nor is it the perfect option.
Meditation is a powerful way to keep your stress levels to a minimum. You can take in deep breaths, allowing your body to get all the oxygen it needs. Your mind focuses elsewhere, helping to release the tension and problems that are affecting your current levels of cortisol.
As your body can release more happy hormones, your stress hormones are suppressed. You can use breathing and meditation techniques regularly to keep your hormone levels balanced. Not only will you improve your morning glucose levels but youll find your overall health benefits considerably.
You May Like: What Is Fasting Blood Glucose
Some Ways To Help You Prevent High Morning Readings
What should my blood sugar be when I wake up? It depends if you already have diabetes or not. However, you should also know what you could do to keep your blood sugar levels from rising in the morning. Here are few suggestions:
1. Manage Your Body Weight
If you are overweight, consider losing weight to make it easy to manage your blood sugar levels. It really helps when you have been recently diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. Weight loss usually helps regulate hormones and increase insulin sensitivity to lower your blood sugar levels. To lose weight, pay attention to your diet first avoid processed foods, eat veggies and fruits, and cut the intake of less-healthy foods. Cranking up your physical activity may also help.
2. Have a Bedtime Snack
Eating something before you go to sleep may help stabilize your blood sugar. Your snack should contain no more than 20g of carbs. This keeps your liver from producing excess glucose while you sleep. Some of the most impressive carb-friend snack options are low-fat yogurt, frozen grapes, small piece of fruit, a serving of fresh salsa and tortilla chips, and soybeans.
3. Have an Active Lifestyle
A Quick Tip
Other Reasons For High Morning Blood Sugar Levels
If you continuously wake up with high blood sugar levels and havenât eaten a bedtime snack the night before, your doctor may need to prescribe you more basal insulin , says Dr. Spratt.
However, if you typically eat a snack that contains carbohydrates before going to bed and donât counteract it with rapid-acting insulin, your blood sugar levels may be higher in the morning as a result. Switch to a snack that wonât raise your blood sugar levels for example, a pairing of ham and cheese or a few bites of non-sweetened peanut butter, she says.
Lastly, if your blood sugar levels dip too low in the middle of the night, your body may release hormones that ârescueâ you from dangerously low levels, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The result is that your liver releases stored glucose, causing your blood sugar levels to be higher than usual in the morning. This is called the Somogyi effect.
If youâre experiencing low blood sugar in the four to six hours after a meal, thatâs a sign that your basal insulin dose is too high, says Dr. Spratt.
âA lot of people have lows of which they are not aware of,â she says. âThey wake up and their blood sugar is high and assume they must need more insulin at night.â But, she explains, itâs important to check your blood sugar at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. to make sure you arenât experiencing a drop in glucose levels.
Recommended Reading: Is Fasting Good For Your Heart
Normal Insulin Level In The Child:
Insulin is a hormone that your pancreas produces to control your blood sugar. Since at different times, your childs glucose levels are different, so insulin levels also vary.
- At fasting, insulin levels should be < 175pmol/L
- While after 1 hour of the meal it should be 130-1930pmol/L
Note that these are the recommended levels of insulin in children. While if your child has different insulin levels, then it may be due to some abnormality. Just like the regular blood sugar of non-diabetic children varies from diabetic, the insulin level also changes.
The Emotional And Mental Health Of A Diabetic Child:
A diabetic child also lives in the same environment as healthy children, but conditions are not the same since he/she has diabetes, so he/she has to take care of more than others.
Such a child seems to be very responsible and selective in their eating habits. It is so because they know that eating more sugar can be dangerous for them. That is not the case with other healthy children.
Moreover, diabetic children that are on insulin therapy are more fearless of needles and syringes. Sometimes they may face more unsatisfactory health conditions than others. They may be more affected by infections. All these circumstances pose severe concerns over the mental health of diabetic children.
Don’t Miss: What Makes Intermittent Fasting Work
Low Blood Sugar: What To Watch Out For
Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes who:
- Take too much medication or insulin
- Are late eating a meal or snack
- Have increased physical activity
- Drink too much alcohol
Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling weak, sweaty or clammy, confused, hungry and/or irritable. Sometimes people experience a fast heartbeat and some symptoms may make a person appear to be drunk. A severely low blood sugar can result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma or death especially when a low occurs during the night.
Low blood sugar affects many parts of the body, but the most frustrating part can be that hypoglycemia can happen anytime and anywhere even when you think you are closely following the plan for your diabetes care. If low blood sugar is severe, people may need to go to the hospital to help raise their glucose level or miss work due to the side effects.
It can happen during a date, during a business meeting, or even while driving, which is the most dangerous scenario if there is confusion or loss of consciousness while behind the wheel. Its important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar before you drive to keep yourself and others safe. Frequent testing with your blood sugar meter and taking action when blood sugar is trending low can prevent a severe low and keep your life on track.
You May Like: How To Mix Insulin
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.
Don’t Miss: What Do You Eat When Intermittent Fasting
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.
When Things Go Awry
When we eat food, the pancreas goes to work, releasing enzymes that help to break down food and hormones that help the body handle the influx of glucose. One of these hormones is insulin, and it plays a key role in managing glucose levels in the blood.
And here is where things can go wrong. If the pancreas doesnt make enough insulin or stops making it altogether, in the case of type 1 diabetes glucose levels in the blood can rise too high. Another scenario is that the pancreas makes enough insulin but the cells have trouble using it properly, causing blood glucose levels to rise. This is called insulin resistance and is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
In the short term, high blood glucose levels can make you feel downright bad. Thirst, frequent trips to the bathroom, fatigue and weight loss are all symptoms of high blood glucose . If not treated, more serious issues can occur, such as diabetic ketoacidosis. Chronic high blood glucose levels can lead to complications such as heart, kidney and eye disease, as well as nerve damage. So, its all about the blood glucose.
Read Also: What Are The Effects Of Fasting
How To Reduce Blood Sugar
You can take steps to reach your blood sugar goals as soon as you find out that it is high. This is how to reduce blood sugar if you have a single high reading that may be dangerous:
- Ask your doctor what to do if you missed a dose of insulin or another diabetes medication
- Ask your doctor if your medication types and doses are still appropriate for you
- Drink water to dilute the sugar
- Exercise for 15 minutes
- Eat a small protein snack, such as a hard-boiled egg, Â½ ounce of peanuts or pistachios or other nuts, Â½ cup of beans, or Â½ cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese
If you have chronically high blood sugar in prediabetes or diabetes, you can follow this treatment plan:
- Exercise regularly, assuming your doctor approves it
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
- Eat a higher proportion of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fruit
- Limit sugary foods and beverages, fried foods, refined starches, and processed and fatty red meats
- Beware of starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, which can spike your blood sugar. Check out our guide of which veggies to avoid!
Recommended Reading: What Can Drink During Intermittent Fasting
What Is A Dangerous Level Of A1c
When levels rise to 9.0, the risk of kidney and eye damage and neuropathy increases. Some people who are newly diagnosed could have levels over 9.0. Lifestyle changes and possibly medication can lower levels quickly. For someone who has long-standing diabetes, levels rise above 9.0 could signal the need for a change in their treatment plan.
Some labs estimate average blood glucose , which corresponds to home glucose meter readings , allowing patients to understand the results better.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Do Intermittent Fasting 16 8