Fasting blood sugar readings can set the tone for your entire day. When your morning blood glucose is high or low, you have to adjust your number before you can get your day started. Understand what your morning target should be and the other factors that may contribute to problem readings. Tight control starts with managing your overnight and morning readings.
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Target Fasting Numbers
The American Diabetes Association recommends a fasting blood sugar between 70 and 130 for diabetics. A morning blood sugar reading below 70 indicates a hypoglycemic reaction, or low blood sugar condition. Blood sugar readings over 130 are considered high readings and should be treated according to your care team's recommendations.
Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman who has never been diagnosed with diabetes develops high blood sugar during pregnancy. High blood sugar levels during pregnancy can cause your baby to be larger than average at birth, have low blood sugar problems after delivery and possibly have respiratory problems. Keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range will protect you and your baby. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends that women with gestational diabetes keep morning glucose numbers below 95. Your doctor or diabetic educator may have a different recommendation based on your pregnancy and medical history.
Testing your blood sugar within 10 to 15 minutes of waking up will help ensure that you receive an accurate reading. Wash your hands before you test to eliminate any contaminants that can cause errors or inaccuracies. Do not eat or drink anything before you test. Caffeine may cause increases in blood sugar, so avoid coffee before testing.
If you suffer with high morning blood sugar numbers with no immediate explanation, you may be experiencing dawn phenomenon. Dawn phenomenon is characterized by an increase in blood sugar that typically occurs by 8 a.m. Your doctor may have you test your blood glucose overnight to confirm it, and then will adjust your treatment plan accordingly. Managing dawn phenomenon may be as easy as eliminating a carbohydrate snack before bedtime or increasing your medication dose, or may require an insulin pump programmed to increase your dosage at specific hours overnight. The cause of dawn phenomenon is not clear, but some researchers believe it is due to the release of certain hormones that increase insulin resistance while you sleep.