Some diabetics have the highest glucose levels in the morning, even before breakfast (and even higher than after lunch or eating some food). This, in people with diabetes, may Here we tell you why this situation occurs and when you should worry.
Since Maribel learned about the various health complications that poorly controlled diabetes can cause, he has a strict control of the variations in his blood glucose levels . Thanks to the fact that his blood sugar is frequently measured, he has detected that sometimes, in the mornings and without breakfast, he has his higher levels than even after lunch.
How is it possible that after an entire night without eating food, glucose levels are higher than when going to sleep at night?
That was what made her come to the office worried: glucose levels high in the morning. To which I replied that you should not worry, as long as it is something sporadic. Yes there are reasons to worry if high levels are repeated very often and, above all, if the level of glucose on waking is the highest of the day and also remains elevated throughout the day.
Why can glucose levels be high in the morning and on an empty stomach?
If you have diabetes, it is important that you understand the factors that can influence glucose levels to be high in the morning and on an empty stomach. Fundamentally, there are three reasons. Most likely, it is simply a decrease in insulin , which simply runs out or runs out.
In those cases, your doctor will tell you how to modify the treatment to achieve the expected values, making variations in your diet or in the doses and the medication schedule. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as dividing your basal insulin, or applying it at a different time of day. For example, move the dose you take at dinner to the time you go to sleep.
Other times, however, two more complex situations may occur. One of them is known as the phenomenon of dawn and the other is the Somogyi effect .
The phenomenon of dawn
The phenomenon of dawn is a natural increase in blood glucose that occurs between 4 in the morning and 8 in the morning, due to hormonal changes that occur to prepare the body to function well upon waking. For example: it releases the hormone cortisol and growth hormone, and this causes glucose to rise.
It is not yet known for sure what is the relationship between these hormones and the increase in glucose. But what is known is that the liver also produces more glucose, as part of this dawn phenomenon.
In people who do not have diabetes, the body simply secretes more insulin to level blood glucose. But for people who have diabetes it can become a problem because the increase in glucose levels can be considerable.
The effects of the dawn phenomenon vary from one person to another, and sometimes the same patient may have higher levels in some mornings and lower levels in others, even if he eats the same and does the same amount of exercises.
The Somogyi effect
Finally, the Somogyi effect (a condition that bears that name due to researcher Michael Somogyi who discovered this phenomenon) is the body’s response to a decrease in glucose levels ( hypoglycemia or hypoglycemia ) that occurs at night , while the person sleeps, due to an excess of insulin, for consuming alcohol or for not having eaten enough.
To compensate for that decrease in glucose levels, the body produces a group of hormones, such as glucagon (secreted by the pancreas in response to the “downturn” of glucose). The body responds to the elevation of these hormones in the blood with an increase in glucose that is sometimes excessive.
Some people believe that if they have hypoglycemia while they sleep they should notice and wake up. That does not necessarily happen and, it is still dangerous. If you wake up sweating at night or with headaches, I might suggest that you need to better control your blood glucose levels, as both can be signs of hypoglycemia.
As I told Maribel, if this happens to you from time to time you don’t have to worry, but if it happens frequently it is important. Ideally at those times you should measure the level of blood sugar to know how your sugar is and if you have hypoglycemia, you need to do something about it.
What should you do if your glucose levels are high in the morning and on an empty stomach?
Of course, if you notice any of these symptoms it is important that you consult your doctor to help you determine what is the cause of the increase in glucose in the morning in your particular case and so that he can tell you how you can control your sugar levels in the blood.
For example, if it is the phenomenon of dawn, the treatment will depend on how you are controlling your diabetes and your doctor will tell you how you should modify the medication. For example, if you inject yourself with insulin, you may adjust your dose so that the highest peak of insulin action occurs at an hour close to when your glucose rises in the morning.
If you have type 2 diabetes, the solution might be to take metmorphine to reduce the glucose produced by the liver. On the other hand, if it is the Somogyi effect, it may be enough that you eat a snack before going to sleep, or that you reduce the amount of insulin you inject at night.
You may switch to a type of insulin that does not cause the lowest glucose level in the middle of the night. In any case, changes and adjustments should be directed and supervised by your doctor.
If you have questions related to the control of your blood glucose level, consult your doctor to advise you on this subject.
In addition to medications, remember that maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, maintaining portion discipline and schedules and exercising at least 5 days a week is very important to keep diabetes under control.