How Alcohol Affects Blood Sugar

Whether you are newly diagnosed with diabetes or a veteran at diabetes management, it’s important to understand how alcohol affects your blood sugar. This article provides you with an overview of what happens in the body when you drink alcohol, how alcohol affects blood sugar levels, and what you can do to make sure you are able to enjoy a drink or two without compromising your health. 

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Why do my Blood Sugars always run higher in the Morning?

Generally, glucose will be higher in the morning than at night for a few reasons:

  1. Glucose rises overnight because liver is overacting in releasing glucose from storage,
  2. We are having a dinner meal or evening snack that is high starch or high fat, which slows how quickly glucose gets absorbed, or
  3. Medications we are on at night are not enough to cover the natural rise in glucose from the above reasons.
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Glucometers and Clinically Approved Precision

Have you been seeing a range in readings? If you’ve seen your glucose range from 100 to 180 in a span of minutes, it’s likely that you got a reading that was in error. While it’s always best to double and triple check, all meters will typically have a range of 15-30 points depending on how high the true value is. This range, sadly, is still clinically approved. Take the average of the readings, if you’re curious, and that will get you closer to the lab value.

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Troubleshooting your blood sugars: The Dawn Phenomenon

There are two types of reactions that cause high blood sugars even though you haven’t eaten anything: The Somoygi effect and the Dawn Phenomenon.

Somoygi effect and dawn phenomenon are similar in that both lead to high morning blood glucose readings because of a hormone release that causes the liver to release glucose into the blood. The difference, however,  is that dawn phenomenon is not caused by hypoglycemia, but by a random release of the triggering hormones. For the Somoygi effect to occur, your blood sugars typically need to drop to low levels first to trigger the liver’s output of glucose. The Dawn phenomenon is tricky, since the hormone fluctuation could happen even when there is no apparent reason. The sugars may just rise. Continue reading “Troubleshooting your blood sugars: The Dawn Phenomenon”

Troubleshooting your blood sugars: Reactive Hyperglycemia (Somoygi Effect)

It happens all the time: We go a little too long without eating, or skip a meal because we are occupied, or go to sleep without dinner or an evening snack. The blood sugar when we skip a meal begins to drop. Some of us feel when our blood sugar becomes low, but many people have no symptoms of low glucose at all. If you don’t know to correct a low blood sugar, sometimes your body will try to correct it for you. This phenomenon, called reactive or rebound hyperglycemia, is a protective action that your body takes to prevent the blood glucose from becoming dangerously low. Continue reading “Troubleshooting your blood sugars: Reactive Hyperglycemia (Somoygi Effect)”