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Diabetes

Blood Sugar Reading High in the Morning

06/04/2010

Question:

My blood sugar is always around 180 in the morning before I eat anything. I don`t eat anything after 6:00 pm the night before. Is this normal?

Answer:

It's good that you are testing and analyzing your blood sugars. A fasting blood sugar of 180 in the morning is higher than American Diabetes Association recommendations (80-130). Starting the day with a high blood sugar can make it more difficult to achieve good blood sugar readings the rest of the day, too.

There could be more than one reason your reading is above 130 in the morning. Your liver may be 'leaking' stored sugar (glucose) during the night, a common problem in diabetes. Ordinarily the liver should sense that there is adequate sugar in the blood and not add any more to your blood stream; in diabetes the liver may not be 'getting the message'. There is medication (glucophage), that can control the excess sugar the liver secretes at night. Your doctor would be able to tell you if you were a candidate for this medication.

Another possible explanation for a higher blood sugar in the morning could be that you had a low blood sugar during the night (under 70), and your body, in trying to bring your blood sugar up, overcompensated, leading to a high morning reading. How do you know if this is the case? By setting your alarm for 3 AM and checking your blood sugar to see if it is dropping low. If this is the case, talk to your doctor-depending on medication for diabetes you may be on, you may need an adjustment to keep your numbers from dropping too low at night.

Another possibility is to add a small amount of carbohydrate for an evening snack (this will however, add calories and may need to be taken into account if you are trying to lose wt.) Yet another reason for a high blood sugar could be the accuracy of your meter and strips. If, for example, the strips are expired or the meter was dropped the reading may not be accurate.

A dinner meal that is high in fat could potentially delay the increased blood sugar you would expect to see a few hours later, to the next morning. If this is the case you may want to see what a meal with less fat in it does to the following morning's reading. As you can see, trying to figure out why you have a pattern of a higher reading at a particular time involves 'detective work'! You are to be commended on trying to get the best blood sugar results you can!

For more information:

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Response by:

Margaret G Doyle, RD, LD, CDE Margaret G Doyle, RD, LD, CDE
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University