Although it would seem like the body would have the lowest blood glucose in the morning this often isn’t the case for these 5 reasons.
1. Glucose Happens 24/7 All the cells in the body need glucose to fuel their function, even when we sleep. So the body breaks down stores in the liver so that the body and brain can continue to go about their functions. This glucose production will still occur when you don’t eat and in fact if you skip a meal it can increase the livers production of glucose.
2. Morning Hormones Raise Blood Glucose Cortisol (our stress hormone) is the hormone that slowly increases in levels from around 3 am onwards to reach it’s peak early in the morning. This occurs to get us moving and to give us energy. But cortisol stimulates a rise in blood sugar response so it is in fact a ‘normal’ response but if you are diabetic there is one factor that impacts both the overnight glucose production and the rise in glucose with cortisol, and that is decreased insulin production.
3. Decreased Insulin Production Because type 2 diabetics naturally have decreased insulin production there is not enough insulin being produced to bring these levels down, even during the night when you are sleeping. Your body is still producing glucose, your hormones are still doing their thing but insulin production is low and this is especially so during periods of fasting.
So in Yvonne’s case where she didn’t eat anything this explains why her morning levels were so high the next day.
4. Hypoglycemia known as the Somogyi effect This is less common but in some people with diabetes low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur while you are sleeping. This can also cause more glucose production. Remember our cells need it so if the body thinks it’s low it will naturally produce more. So if you’re trying to identify why your blood sugar is so high in the morning, you might want to wake yourself up during the night to test it, just in case this might be your situation and your insulin needs to be adjusted. You can read more about the somogyi effect here.
5. Poor Food Choices The last thing that can have an effect is poor food choices. Regardless of the time of day poor food choices will impact your glucose levels negatively.