What is fasting blood sugar?
Blood glucose levels when you wake up in the morning is called fasting blood sugar. The fasting blood sugar level may not only depend on the food you ate before bed but also on the medication undergoing.
The liver usually releases glucose overnight and therefore glucose levels are higher between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M.
Causes of the rise in fasting blood sugar level:
When fasting blood sugar is high, it is also called Dawn Phenomenon when there is a natural rise in sugar levels due to the surge of hormones secreted at night. This triggers the liver to dump sugar into the blood it help prepare when you wake up.
Having high sugar last day can continue into the morning.
- Reactive Hyperglycemia– It is also called Somogyi Effect. This happens when low blood sugar in the night triggers liver to dump sugar into blood to stabilize fasting sugar level.
Strategies for diabetes care and diabetes management:
- Testing blood sugar before going to bed.
- If you do wake up in the middle of the night, re-check sugar levels.
- Test your fasting sugar levels. This will give you an idea of how your body worked at night.
Diabetes care in the morning: If you experience high sugar in the morning due to high sugar levels at night then this might help
1. Eating fewer carbs
2. Evening walks or light exercise post dinner
3. Medication as per doctor’s advice.
4 major hormones responsible for glucose control:
- Insulin: It is formed in the beta cells of pancreas, and helps the body use glucose from food for day to day functioning and activities. People with diabetes have already lost upto 50% of their beta cell number
- Amylin: The secretion of amylin from beta cells, slows release of glucose into bloodstream after eating. People with Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes are amylin-deficient.
- Incretins: Hormones secreted from intestine includes glucagon which enhances the body’s release of insulin. This process increases feeling of fullness and delays release of glucose in the bloodstream, preventing pancreas releasing glucagon.
- Glucagon: This is made in the alpha cells of pancreas, and helps break down glucose stored in the liver to provide energy when glucose released from food is not available or sufficient.
Foods that help lower fasting blood sugar levels:
Certain foods in the diabetes management plan help lower fasting sugar levels such as,
- Low fat yogurt
- A small piece of fruit
- Soy beans
- Handful of frozen grapes