AskNadia: What Time of Day Does One’s Blood Sugar Peak?

I am 40 years old male and have had type2 diabetes for the last 20 Years. 

Ever since I started the keto diet, my blood sugar values are not related to my food. There’s not much of a difference between my fasting sugar values and my sugar values after eating a meal.

 Can you please tell me what time of the day sugar values will be at their peak high or maximum low?

 Thanks,

Mahmood

 

Dear Mahmood:

My answer is derived from my book, Sugar Happy-Diabetes Health Guide book which always recommends speaking to your healthcare professional. To get the best results from your discussion, prepare a food and blood sugar log to show them.

Many variables affect your blood sugar readings.

It depends on when you eat and if you miss taking your medication. 

The American Diabetes Association classifies blood sugar levels as high when glucose levels are above: 

• 180 mg/dl one to two hours after you eat

• 130 mg/dl before you eat

• 100 mg/dl when fasting

• 140 mg/dl before you go to bed 

It is crucial to track your post-prandial (after meal) numbers in two ways: 

• How high they get after a meal

• How long it takes them to come down to the normal range.

These are other events that may increase your blood sugar levels: 

 

Diet 

Eating is such a big part of our social lives, at home, parties, dining out. When I started dating my former husband, I took him out to a sushi restaurant. He ordered fish on rice, seaweed salad with miso soup. It looked seemingly healthy. He checked his blood sugar after he ate and was surprised at how high his glucose was. 

 

Once he mentioned his high glucose test result, I remembered that Japanese restaurants put sugar in the sushi rice to make it sticky. After his dining earning experience, he limited the slices of fish with rice and ordered Sashimi, raw fish pieces without the rice. 

Sometimes when you think you are eating well, you may be consuming some form of sugar, which can be an ingredient in any dish you order. We don’t usually think to ask if sugar is in our entree. If you check your blood sugar and it is higher than expected, then it may be a hidden or unknown ingredient that is the culprit. 

Checking your blood sugar gives you feedback to make the adjustment you need to correct after-meal high blood sugar. 

 

The Dawn Phenomenon 

Nothing is more frustrating than waking up in the morning to a high blood sugar reading from your glucose meter. You’d taken your medication before you turned in for the night, so what happened? 

The human body releases extra glucose in the early morning just before waking up, called the “dawn phenomenon.” The increased glucose production provides energy in the morning to face the day. For people who do not have diabetes, the rise in blood glucose levels is easily controlled by insulin release. 

People living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes experience an increase in glucose levels that are not controlled by a release of insulin because either their pancreas does not make insulin (type 1) or insulin-resistant (type 2). 

 

Medications 

Prescription medicines can also raise your blood sugar levels. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs conducted a study of 345,417 patients with and without diabetes to see if taking a cholesterol-lowering medication would increase their fasting plasma glucose. 

After a two-year study, they concluded that there was an increase in blood sugars for both groups. 

Steroids prescribed as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis and asthma raised their blood sugar. Other medications that can increase blood sugar are diuretics for hypertension, anti-psychotics, and anti-rejection drugs for people who have organ transplants. For the woman who uses birth control, it may also cause fluctuating blood sugars. 

 

Sickness 

When you start feeling sick, your body’s immune system will fight the infection by releasing hormones and glucose. If you treat your illness with over-the-counter cold and flu medications, you need to be aware that some medicines have sugar in the ingredients. Make sure to read the labels first. Medications that numb your throat may also contain sugar. 

 

Stress

There is no question that the American lifestyle is more stressful compared to people living in other countries. We have less time off, work longer, and get paid less. 

The American dream of a one-income family is not realistic for most. We are juggling a plethora of administrative tasks we need to take care of daily, like, keeping a schedule, going to work, buying groceries, paying bills, raising children, taking care of animals, family parties, and the list goes on. (I feel stressed just reading my list!)  

Add diabetes self-management to all your daily tasks, and the tower of stress may start looming behind you. 

We also experience good stress. Being excited about an event or completing something that was a goal can also raise your blood sugar. What happens when adrenaline and cortisol hormones are released? It raises your blood sugar and blood pressure.

 

About Nadia:

AskNadia (ranked #1 by Google), named “Best Diabetes Blog for 2019 & 2017 by Healthline, and with 24 nominations, Nadia Al-Samarrie’s efforts have made her stand out as a pioneer and leading patient advocate in the diabetes community.

Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. At a young age, she was propelled into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.

Under her reign- Diabetes Health magazine was named one of the top 10 magazines to follow in the world for 2018 by Feedspot Blog Reader.

Nadia has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business, and website have been cited, recognized, and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News, Phili.com, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.

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