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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the possible causes for my glucose levels to rise overnight?

    I'm starting to gain control of my blood glucose during the day through medication, diet and exercise but my first reading before breakfast is consistently high. What would cause this and is there any way I can minimise this from occurring? I'm on 4 metformin and 1 tragenta tab daily.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Dr Shelley Kay

    Exercise Physiologist

    I'm an exercise physiologist, lecturer and researcher with a PhD from the University of Sydney. My academic experience is in diabetes (type 1 & 2), … View Profile

    Your overnight blood glucose levels are increasing as your liver is insulin resistant. That means that instead of you blood glucose levels going down (due to length of time since the last meal), your liver is not responding to insulin to stop producing glucose, it is actually increasing glucose production. Also your muscles are insulin resistant so instead of the muscles taking in glucose to use for energy, the glucose remains in the blood.

    You are on appropriate medication but not effective enough. If you lexperiment with the glycaemic load of your evening meal (including snacks and drinks) as well as taking a walk after dinner, this could help. If the medication fails to have the required effect, your endocrinologist will review. Dr K

  • caylana

    HealthShare Member

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.  I'm now doing a short walk on the treadmill prior to going to bed and it is starting to bring the numbers down slightly.  I'm not sure about the difference between low gi foods and the glycaemic load of foods, but it's another “to do” on my learn about list.

  • Dr Shelley Kay

    Exercise Physiologist

    I'm an exercise physiologist, lecturer and researcher with a PhD from the University of Sydney. My academic experience is in diabetes (type 1 & 2), … View Profile

    Your overnight blood glucose levels are increasing as your liver is insulin resistant. That means that instead of you blood glucose levels going down (due to length of time since the last meal), your liver is not responding to insulin to stop producing glucose, it is actually increasing glucose production. Also your muscles are insulin resistant so instead of the muscles taking in glucose to use for energy, the glucose remains in the blood.

    You are on appropriate medication but not effective enough. If you experiment with the glycaemic load of your evening meal (including snacks and drinks) as well as taking a walk after dinner, this could help. If the medication fails to have the required effect, your endocrinologist will review. Dr K

  • 1

    Thanks

    Peta Adams

    Dietitian

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian locally born and working within the Riverina.I have a passion for helping people to achieve their nutrition goals, coaching … View Profile

    Great answer Dr Kay,

    A way to assist preventing this mobilisation of glucose from the liver overnight is to plan a snack ~30-1hr before going to bed providing a source of carbohydrates, eg. small tub of low fat yogurt, 1 rytvita with nut spread or glass of low fat milk. 
    This can assist to reduce the breakdown of stored glucose in the liver and prevent high readings in the morning.

  • caylana

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Peta ~ Thanks for your response.  I will certainly try the bedtime snack. My body took a battering with chemotherapy not all that long ago and I think it has taken its toll on my liver, so I'm willing to try anything to help things along. 

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