Q. Help! My blood sugar is sky-high in the morning. Shouldn’t I skip breakfast to bring it down?
A. No. It’s true that for some people with diabetes, blood sugar tends to be high in the morning. That’s because as dawn approaches, your body starts releasing energizing hormones to rev you up for the day. These antagonize the action of insulin and stimulate the liver to produce more glucose, even if the glucose level in the blood is already abnormally high. Will eating make it rise even higher? Probably, but because breakfast is so important for weight loss and proper nutrition, you need to make eating a priority and find other ways to deal with the “dawn phenomenon.”
Start checking your blood sugar at 7 a.m. If it’s often above 200, try controlling the morning spikes by taking action the night before. For instance, you could eat less in the evening or try exercising before you go to bed, which siphons glucose from the blood into the muscles for hours afterward. If you’re taking insulin, you may also need your doctor to adjust the timing or amount of your last dose of the day. Or you may need a morning dose of medication (taken with food) to keep blood sugar under control until proper eating, exercise, and stress management get you on a more even keel.