6 Easy Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels


How to lower morning blood sugar?

Blood sugar levels are influenced by a variety of factors, including hormones, nutrition, and lifestyle. High blood sugar in the morning can be caused by various things. The Somogyi effect, a condition also called "rebound hyperglycemia" or also can be caused by the dawn phenomenon, which is the result of a combination of natural body processes. Some scientists believe that the natural overnight release of so-called counter-regulatory hormones such as growth hormone, cortisol, glucagon, and epinephrine increases insulin resistance, causing blood sugar levels to rise.

Diabetes is a chronic disease where the level of glucose in the blood is too high. Hyperglycemia is a term referring to this condition (high blood glucose levels). Hyperglycemia is a common diabetes symptom and complication.

When you consume carbohydrates, your body converts them into sugar, causing your blood sugar to rise. Food is not the only factor that affects blood sugar levels, factors that can also have an impact on your sugar metabolism can be related to inactivity, stress, and other illnesses.

People with hyperglycemia often worry about high blood sugar in the morning. As our bodies prepare to wake up in the morning, they release a barrage of hormones that work against insulin and can cause blood sugar levels to rise.

This can affect anyone and is not usually a problem as the body naturally produces insulin to correct this, but people with diabetes may not be able to respond in the same way.

A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, who haven’t eaten for at least eight hours is less than 100 mg/dL. In case your blood sugar is too high it is possible to lower it without medication by changing your lifestyle and diet. If simple lifestyle changes do not work, people with diabetes should consult their doctor to find the best way to lower their morning blood glucose.

Not lowering your blood sugar increases the risk for serious health complications such as heart and kidney disease and vision problems. That's why if you already have diabetes, it's important to check your blood sugar regularly to make sure your levels stay in a normal, healthy range. Let's have a deeper look at what causes blood sugar to rise in the morning and some natural approaches to reduce high blood glucose.

RELATED: What will happen if type 2 diabetes is left untreated?

What causes high blood sugar levels in the morning?

The dawn phenomenon and declining insulin are the two main causes of morning highs. The Somogyi effect, a third, not-so-common reason, could also be to blame. Your A1C, a test of your average blood sugar levels over time that program reveals how effectively your diabetes is managed, will be unaffected by the occasional morning spike. However, if such highs become consistent, your A1C may rise to dangerous levels.

Declining insulin

Your blood sugar rises if your insulin level drops too low overnight. The cause of the insulin drop varies from person to person, but it most typically occurs when your insulin pump settings supply too little basal (background) insulin overnight or if your long-acting insulin dose is too low. Insulin duration, or how long the drug stays in your body, is also a factor. It's possible that if you inject long-acting insulin early in the morning, it won't last.

The dawn phenomenon

Hormones such as cortisol and growth hormone tell the liver to increase glucose production, which gives the energy to help you wake up, in the early hours of the morning. To keep blood glucose in balance causes beta cells in the pancreas to release insulin.

However, if you have diabetes, you may not produce enough insulin or be insulin resistant, making it difficult to counteract the increase in blood sugar. As a result, when you wake up, your levels can increase. The dawn phenomenon is unaffected by the kind of diabetes. It affects about half of the individuals with type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

In case you are experiencing the dawn phenomenon, make sure to:

  • Change the timing of consumption or the type of your medications;
  • Eat a lighter breakfast;
  • Increase your morning dose of diabetes medication;
  • Switch to an insulin pump and programme it to release additional insulin in the morning.

The Somogyi Effect

The Somogyi effect is the body's response to low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) during the night, named after Michael Somogyi, Ph.D. a chemist who was the first to identify it in the 1930s. Let's say you skip dinner or take too much insulin after dinner. Overnight, your blood sugar levels may drop too low. To compensate, your body produces extra glucose, and you wake up with a high blood sugar level.

In case you discover you are experiencing the Somogyi effect, make sure to:

  • Decrease the dose of diabetes medications if they are causing overnight lows;
  • Add a bedtime snack that includes carbs;
  • Doing evening exercise earlier.
  • Switching to an insulin pump and setting it to deliver less insulin overnight if you take insulin is a good idea.

How can I lower my morning blood sugar without medicaments?

Without the use of medication, you can lower your blood sugar level by making lifestyle and nutritional adjustments. If modest lifestyle adjustments fail to lower blood sugar levels in the morning, diabetics should speak with their healthcare professionals to identify the best course of action.

1. Reduce your carbohydrate intake

Blood sugar levels can rise in the morning if you eat high-carb meals or binge on sweets before bed. Eat a dinner high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber, with a moderate amount of complex carbs, to keep your blood sugar constant throughout the night.

2. Watch dinnertime fat

Healthy fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, but they may harm blood sugar levels. Eating high-fat foods might cause the typical post-meal spike in blood sugar to be delayed until the next morning. This occurs because fat slows down the body's and digestion's processes. Since fatty foods can also contribute to obesity, which is a significant risk factor for diabetes, consuming less fat and more protein is a good approach for someone living with diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association recommends including and consuming more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats than saturated or trans fats in your diet. Examples of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats include:

  • Avocado;
  • Canola oil;
  • Nuts like almonds, cashews, pecans, and peanuts;
  • Olive oil or olives;
  • Peanut butter and peanut oil;
  • Oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, tuna);
  • Walnuts;
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil;
  • Canola oil;
  • Chia seeds.

Saturated and trans fats examples include:

  • High-fat meats like regular ground beef, bologna, hot dogs, sausage, bacon, and others;
  • High-fat dairy products such as full-fat cheese, cream, ice cream, whole milk, 2% milk, and sour cream;
  • Butter;
  • Cream sauces.

3. Supplement with vinegar

Organic, unfiltered, and raw apple cider vinegar is usually the healthiest option. It may be cloudy, but it will have a larger concentration of helpful microorganisms. The source of vinegar culture is a hazy chain of acids. It's used to start the fermentation of vinegar in cider or other liquids, and it's found in high-quality vinegar. If you have diabetes, apple cider vinegar is considered to be harmless, so it's worth a shot.

To reduce stomach irritation and teeth damage, we recommend diluting 1 teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water. People should be careful of any 'quick fix' or 'miracle solution' to their medical problems, as these ideas are rarely backed by solid facts.

4. Exercise in the afternoon

Find a workout regimen you enjoy and can stick to. To avoid missed days, planning can help: Take a look at the week ahead to anticipate when you might miss a workout, and how you can still fit one in. Even carving out a few minutes to be active may help prevent you from waking up to high numbers.

5. Drink water and stay hydrated

If you're in the middle of a blood sugar spike, drink water immediately and try to stay hydrated. For people with type 2 diabetes, drinking less water causes glucose control to deteriorate. Read more about it here.

6. Consult with your doctor about medication altering 

If your doctor has prescribed your blood sugar medication, ensure that you’re following dosage and timing recommendations. Blood sugar swings and high morning blood sugar levels might be caused by taking the wrong dose or taking medications at the wrong time.

RELATED: Why doctors do not recommend natural products for diabetes?

What causes high blood sugar without eating?

- Sunburn - when you expose the body to stressors, blood glucose levels rise. Being out in the sun can increase blood glucose levels through dehydration. 

- Dehydration - less water in your body means higher blood sugar concentrations.

- Artificial sweeteners - more research needs to be done, but some studies show artificial sweeteners can raise blood sugar levels.

- Coffee - even without sweeteners. For some people, blood sugar is particularly sensitive to caffeine.

- Lack of sleep - even a single night of too little sleep can cause insulin sensitivity disruption.

- Skipping breakfast - skipping your morning meal can raise your blood sugar levels after lunch and dinner.

- Time of day - the later it gets, the harder it is to control blood sugar spikes.

- The dawn phenomenon - people have a hormone surge early in the morning, whether they have diabetes or not. High blood sugar levels can spike in people with diabetes.

- Nasal spray - some nasal sprays contain chemicals that cause high blood sugar levels.

Join our community

A recent survey conducted shows that twice the amount of people get diabetes support through communities than from their doctors. Online diabetes communities are a great source of information, support, and education. Make sure to join the “Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together” community on Facebook. There are no membership fees, so join today.