You feel something doesn’t add up properly when your fasting blood sugar levels are high! You took all your diabetes medications, exercised, and opted for a diabetes diet plan, but those morning sugar levels are still high.
Before you get depressed, and think your diabetes treatment at home isn’t working, here are a few things you need to know about fasting blood glucose levels.
Why there are high fasting blood glucose levels?
Two main reasons for high fasting blood glucose levels:
- Dawn Phenomenon
- Somogyi Effect
Other reasons include:
- Dosage of diabetes medication
- Taking diabetes medications at a different time than that’s prescribed
- Consuming a carb-rich dinner
Having high fasting blood sugar levels can be devastating to your overall health. So, the concern you have is justified. High fasting blood sugar levels can lead to:
- Poor HbA1c control (long term sugar levels)
- Risk of cardiovascular diseases & heart problems
- Risk of diabetes complications like diabetic neuropathy & diabetic retinopathy
This has to do with natural changes of the body and reactions that happen while you are sleeping. You have a little need for insulin while you are sleeping around midnight and any insulin that was taken during the evening may cause your blood sugar levels drop drastically.
From midnight till morning (3 AM to 8 AM), the body begins to release glucose for the next day. Additionally, counter-regulatory hormones such as cortisol, glucagon, and epinephrine are also released. This process may interfere with your insulin and lead to a rise in blood sugar.
Dawn phenomenon usually affects people having diabetes, but it generally happens to almost everyone even those who do not have diabetes as insulin responds and adjusts in the bodies accordingly.
Also known as rebound hyperglycemia, this is another cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning. While dawn phenomenon occurs naturally, Somogyi effect occurs as a result of blood sugar fluctuations.
As sugar levels drop at night, the body releases certain hormones in order to rescue from hypoglycemia. This compensatory mechanism is out of control in diabetes and so causes high fasting blood sugar levels.
How to control high fasting blood sugar levels
With a few changes, you can have a better control over your fasting sugar levels.
Controlling dawn phenomenon
- Start by eating a light breakfast
- Increase the dose of morning diabetes medication
- Change the type and timing of your diabetes medication. Consult your diabetes doctor for this
- Switching to an insulin pump by programming it to release additional dose in the morning
Controlling Somogyi effect
- Exercising before evening
- Decreasing the dose of medication that are the cause of morning high
- Having a carb as a bedtime snack
- Switching to an insulin pump by programming it to release less dose overnight
Methods to reduce high fasting blood sugar levels
Reducing the morning highs largely depends on how high your insulin levels fluctuate. Your diabetes doctor may recommend the following:
- Switching to a different medication
- Adjusting medication or doses of insulin
- Changing the time of the person taking long-acting insulin in the evening
- Switching to an insulin pump to help regulate the insulin dose
- Avoiding eating heavy amounts of carbs before bedtime
Apart from these, you gain diabetes control by regular monitoring. Get a glucometer preferably a smartphone glucometer so that you can get immediate inputs from the care team.
Most of diabetes care happens with self-care, which means with your vigilance and lifestyle modification you get diabetes treatment at home. However, you are not alone. For diabetes home healthcare: Enquire Now.