Diabetes and Fasting Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes is a serious disease in which elevated levels of glucose occur in the blood because of an inability of the body to properly process the glucose derived from foods eaten each day.

To manage the diabetic condition, most people with diabetes monitor their blood sugar levels fairly frequently and one of the most important times to do so is in the early morning before breakfast when they take a measure of what is referred to as fasting blood sugar levels. The target range for the fasting blood sugars is 70 to 130 mg/dL,. However, some diabetics find their early morning blood sugars are actually higher than they were the night before even though they may not have eaten any food to cause the higher levels.

For some diabetic people, a reason that the blood sugars may be higher than the safe range in the early morning is because of a normal process of the body in which special hormones stimulate glucose release from the kidneys into the bloodstream during the night, in order to maintain a constant level of glucose needed for the body’s cells and especially the brain. This process is referred to as the “dawn phenomenon”.

A late night snack can solve the problem
Higher than normal blood sugars in the morning, can probably be prevented by eating a small snack late the evening the night before. A snack comprised of one or two servings of carbohydrate with some protein and a little fat is commonly recommended. For example, some Graham crackers and low-fat cheese, a slice of whole grain bread and low-fat cheese or peanut butter, some cereal and milk or soymilk, a sliced turkey or chicken sandwich, etcetera. With a little experimentation for a few nights, the amount and the types of food can be determined after checking the next morning results. As a type-2 diabetic, I depend on crackers, Swiss cheese slices and soymilk.

For more information on diabetes, select from the List of Topics at the following: Diabetic Menu Guide and Diabetic Food List Plus.

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