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Diabetes type 2: The four symptoms which occur at night warning of high blood sugars

This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert

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Rates of type 2 diabetes have seen an incredible spike over the past few years, leading to an outbreak of concerns over associated health complications. The condition is associated with rising blood sugars which could be worst at night.  

There are a number of factors which can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. 

Foods consumed during the day, how much exercise has taken place, snacks before bedtime, timing of your insulin doses or your stress levels could all determine rising blood sugars in the evening.

Experts also warn of different patterns of high blood sugar experienced in the evening.

A person may start with high glucose levels when they go to bed yet have these levels drop and then rise again several hours later.

This is why it is imperative for a person to firstly be aware of the common symptoms occurring at night but also to understand what the cause may be for these rising blood sugars.

READ MORE: How to live longer: Blue Zone areas reveal surprising secret to longevity – what to eat

At night, while a person is asleep, the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream.

The liver acts as our glucose warehouse and keeps one supplied and satisfied until breakfast is consumed.

The amount of glucose being used is matched by the amount of glucose being released by the liver, so blood sugar levels should remain constant.

A rise in blood sugar level between approximately 3am and the time you wake up is called the “dawn phenomenon.”

The liver is supposed to release just enough glucose to replace what is being used, and insulin works as the messenger to tell the liver how much is enough. 

Symptoms occurring at night warning of elevated blood sugars include:

Poor sleep

Frequent urination



Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Extremely high blood glucose levels can be an early symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis.

When the body does not have enough insulin to use glucose, the body’s normal source of energy, it will create ketones.

Ketones are a by-product from the breakdown of fat and make the blood more acidic when they build up.

Ketones are therefore a warning sign that your diabetes is out of control or that you are getting sick.

Diabetic ketoacidosis usually develops slowly, roughly 24 hours and can lead to fainting or a diabetic coma.

If your blood glucose levels are high, it is therefore very important to measure ketones.

Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep, which results in trouble sleeping said Diabetes.co.uk

The health site added: “Difficulty getting a good night’s rest could be a result of a number of reasons, from hypos at night, to high blood sugars, sleep apnoea, being overweight or signs of neuropathy.

“If you have blood sugar levels that are either too high or too low overnight, you may find yourself tired through the next day.

“Lethargy and insomnia can both have their roots in blood sugar control and can be a key in re-establishing a healthy sleep pattern.”
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  • Posted on September 8, 2021