One of the most frustrating things about dealing with diabetes is a high fasting glucose reading. We often think that what we ate for dinner or a nighttime snack is the cause of higher fasting glucose readings, but that’s not the case. In this article, Diane Kress discusses the causes of high fasting readings, how to handle them when they occur and what we can do to prevent them.
If last night’s dinner or snack isn’t to blame, then what is? “…fasting readings have much more to do with the liver's release of glycogen during the sleep cycle.” The liver will release glycogen if some level of carbohydrates hasn’t been consumed in over 5 hours. Here are some tips to help you control your fasting readings:
· Have a snack before bedtime with approx. 11 grams of carbs. Make sure your carb choice is one that doesn’t normally spike your glucose.
· Exercise after dinner. Saving some of your daily exercise for the evening can help lower your fasting glucose readings.
· Don’t consume too much alcohol in the evening. Drinking can lower your blood glucose in the short term, but may cause it to spike later on.
· Get enough sleep. Stress can affect your blood glucose and too little sleep is a stressor.
It’s important to check your glucose as soon as you get up in the morning. If you do see a higher number on your meter in the morning, you should eat something within an hour of rising and don’t skip breakfast! It seems counter-intuitive to eat when our glucose is high, but skipping breakfast will just cause your liver to release more glycogen, causing a vicious circle. As frustrating as a high fasting reading can be, there are some things that we can do to see better results. Don’t give up!