What should be my fasting blood sugar level? My blood sugar spikes after full night sleep! How can I achieve my fasting blood glucose target?
Why is my fasting blood glucose high?
People point fingers towards the nighttime snack or dinner for their high fasting blood glucose. It appears to be logical! Even it may be indirectly correct in few occasions; however, the real culprit is the hormones that involved in the blood glucose control.
Before going into the details about high fasting blood glucose, you should know about four hormones that influence your blood glucose level; Insulin, Amylin, Incretins, and Glucagon.
- Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreatic beta cells, which enable the body to move glucose into the body cells for energy. People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have typically lost at least 50 % of their beta cell and function, and their insulin reserves are slowly dwindling further. People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes usually have only 15 to 40 percent of the beta-cell are still alive.
- Amylin is a hormone secreted by the pancreatic beta cells, which slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream after eating by slowing stomach emptying. Additionally, it increases the feeling of fullness. People with type 1 & type 2 diabetes have amylin-deficient.
- Incretins is a hormone secreted from the intestines, which include glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1); it usually enhances the body's release of insulin after eating. Which, in turn, slows stomach-emptying, promotes fullness, delays the release of glucose into the bloodstream, and prevents the pancreas from releasing glucagon, putting less glucose into the blood.
- Glucagon is a hormone secreted by the pancreatic alpha cells. It breaks down glucose stored in the liver and muscles, then releases it to provide energy when glucose from food is not available.
Next, learn how the system works in people with and without diabetes:
What happens while fasting? As blood glucose falls, the pancreas puts out less insulin hormone. At the same time, two other hormones amylin and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) wane; these hormones help store and use glucose. A fourth hormone, glucagon, kicks into gear to offer a constant flow of glucose. Glucagon sends messages to the liver and muscles to make glucose from storage. For people without diabetes, the liver raises glucose as needed. In people with diabetes, the liver dumps the excess of glucose than required, especially at night causes high fasting blood sugar.
What happens after eating? Food raises blood glucose and sends a message to the intestines to release GLP-1, which increases the release of the insulin and amylin. These hormones help cells to use glucose from food as fuel. The release of glucagon turns off because there's little need for glucose from the liver or muscles when food is available. For people without diabetes, the increase in blood glucose normalized by increased insulin production. For people with diabetes, this can be a problem.
What are the causes of high fasting blood sugar? There are three leading causes of high fasting blood sugar; they are Somogyi effect, Dawn phenomenon, and waning insulin.
- What is the Somogyi Effect? The body overreacts to extreme low sugar with counter-regulatory hormones glucagon and epinephrine. This hormone secretion results in elevated blood sugar by spurring the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose. Researcher Michael Somogyi was the first noted and described this rebound effect. Thus it got his name as a Somogyi effect. The Somogyi effect is due to untreated nighttime hypoglycemia, resulting in elevated blood sugar in the morning. People who wake up with high blood sugar may need to check their blood glucose at around 3 AM. To stop the Somogyi effect, you need to avoid hypoglycemia.
- What is the dawn phenomenon? The dawn phenomenon is a normal physiological process during which certain hormones in your bodywork to raise your blood glucose level to prepare you to wake up. The hormones involved in the dawn phenomenon are cortisol, glucagon, epinephrine, and growth hormone. These hormones are called counter-regulatory hormone, which works against the action of insulin. It causes the liver to release glucose to a healthy individual, and the liver dump glucose in people with diabetes. Results in an increase in blood glucose levels, which normalizes in nondiabetic and it not in the case of diabetic called a dawn phenomenon. The circadian rhythm is behind the development of DP.
- Diminished Insulin! High fasting blood sugar among patient taking insulin (type 1 or some type 2 diabetes), indicates their insulin may wear off sooner than required. If this is your case, then you should adjust your dosage or timing of insulin to normalize fasting blood sugar.
How do you correctly distinguish the cause behind your high fasting blood sugar?
If you want to correct your fasting blood sugar, then you should understand what causes your morning hyperglycemia. For this, you need to check and record your blood sugar before bed, at about 3 a.m., and immediately after wake up. Do this for a few nights in a row.
- If your blood sugar is reasonably healthy before bed and at 3 a.m, then your high fasting sugar may be due to the dawn phenomenon.
- If your blood sugar is reasonably healthy before bed and is low at 3 a.m, then your high fasting sugar may be due to the Somogyi effect.
- If your blood sugar is reasonably healthy before bed and elevated at 3 a.m., then your high fasting sugar may be due to diminished insulin.
Six natural ways to lower your fasting blood sugar
- Reduce or eliminate coffee consumption - Study shows high coffee consumption increased fasting insulin concentrations compared with coffee abstinence. Ref: Diabetes Care 2004 Dec; 27(12): 2990-2992.
- Biotin or Vitamin B7 supplementation - Daily administration of 16 mg biotin for one week decreased fasting blood sugar (FBS) by up to 50% of type 1 diabetic patients. Ref: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences June 1985; 447:389-393.
- Cinnamon - At least three clinical studies have been performed to test the blood sugar-lowering and insulin-sensitizing effects of Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia).
- Fenugreek - Clinical research in people with diabetes for both a fenugreek extract and on soaked fenugreek seeds showing improvements in fasting blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
- Ginger - Ginger has demonstrated promising results in basic science and animal research testing for its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. In this study, it shows that oral administration of ginger powder for 12 weeks at a dose of 2 g per day caused a significant reduction in the levels of fasting blood sugar and HbA1c. Ref: Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 2015 Winter; 14(1): 131–140.
- Garlic - Garlic significantly reduced fasting blood glucose concentrations. Ref: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2015; 24(4):575-582.