The Spikes

Glucose spikes is on the rise, beside age and gender, we can identify most vulnerable group of people. Some of us, should say most of us have normal sugar levels in regular medical examination, when checked empty stomach. GLUCOSE SPIKE in medical term is known as postprandial hyperglycemia, in other words a very high blood sugar level after eating. If you eat something especially starchy meal, it’s normal for blood sugar to go up after food, but if it goes above 140, it’s called glucose spike or post prandial hyperglycemia. Why they don’t tell you to check it after 1 hour. Even if you go for GTT, they will give you a reading before taking a drink and after 2 hours, thereby missing the Spike.  Almost every time you eat a meal, you spike your sugar and so does the Insulin. Advancing age itself is a risk factor for prediabetes/diabetes. When you were young, this spike after eating a meal was genuine and your glucose came back down to baseline quickly, but the older you got, the higher the glucose will rise and the longer it would take to get the blood sugar back to the normal range. By the time, you are diagnosed with Diabetes, you are probably experiencing a major rise in glucose, and this spike is so sharp, so fast and it’s so high often jumping up to 200-300mg/dl after food.

Post meal or Post Prandial SPIKES

Good way to check how normal people responds to glucose rise after a meal. When diabetes is creeping up, the first evidence we see is the rise in postprandial reading, glucose spike after a meal. Your fasting and HbA1C could be in normal at this stage.

Glucose spikes. Why is this happening…!!

 Normally when we eat, after absorption, glucose enters blood stream and when pancreas sees this, it secretes insulin and the job of insulin is to move the glucose from blood to liver cellsmuscle cells and fat cells where energy is produced from glucose and excess is stored as glycogen and fat, thereby bringing Blood glucose to normal levels again. Age, abdominal obesity, combined with hereditary factors causes the liver cells, fat cells and muscle cells to be resistant to insulin, and glucose in blood starts rising especially after eating, in the initial stage of glucose intolerance or prediabetes, thereby causing glucose spikes. When you are no longer jumping up to 125-140 after a starchy meal, instead you are jumping up to 200 mg or even higher. And you are staying in an unacceptable range for many hours after food. It may take years to develop diabetes, but you are heading towards in that direction. 

The biggest problem is that most of us are not concerned with this glucose spike, what we do is, we check their current glucose level and send them for HbA1C. In both these situations if readings are close to normal, then we say, there is nothing to worry about, but we miss the spikes. If you are spiking your sugar to 140 or more, exactly 1 hour after meal, you need to worry about it, and it’s the right time to take some steps before things go totally out of hands. You can take charge of your health before it’s too late. Cheap and best way to detect glucose spike is to test yourself with glucometer exactly 1 hour after a high starchy meal. If it comes out to be 125 or less, you are doing fine but if the numbers are going up and up, then you have a problem, no matter what your fasting glucose is, or the HbA1C. 

It’s the time to make changes in your diet: more carbs=higher glucose=higher spikes, there is a link between carbs and glucose that is never broken. High glucose spikes and high insulin levels are far greater predictors for cardiovascular issues than your cholesterol or triglycerides levels.

Know your glucose spike today

Knowing your spike and correcting it is the best thing you can do to yourself. Postprandial hyperglycemia is not only  linked up with diabetes but also with cardiovascular disease and cancer.

PEAK RESPONSE TIME is when your glucose levels in the blood hits the peak after meal.

Avoid Morning Glucose Spikes

Why are you sometimes experiencing glucose spikes and dips at night?

You manage your diabetes carefully, making certain your diet is balanced and your insulin is taken at the correct times. So, why are you waking up each morning with blood sugar much higher than you went to bed with?

There are three major reasons why your blood sugar spikes in the morning, and there is one way to figure out which of the three is the problem so that you know how to treat it.

1. The Dawn Phenomenon

After many hours without food, our bodies need to “gear up” for the day. During the night, after several hours of sleep, the body naturally begins to release the hormones it will need upon wakening: cortisol, glucagon and epinephrine, among others. By the middle of the night – between about 2am and 5am – these levels are coursing through the bodies of all of us, diabetic and non-diabetic alike. For those who are not diabeticinsulin levels also rise, to counter the increased blood glucose. For those with diabetes, however, the body doesn’t respond this way. When the person with diabetes awakes, the consequence is a high blood glucose reading.

2. The Somogyi Effect

Sometimes the cause of high blood glucose readings in the morning is overcompensation. While sleeping, sugar levels may drop too low. The body’s response to this is to release these same hormones – cortisol, glucagon and epinephrine. The glucagon causes the liver to produce glucose, flooding the bloodstream. Sugar levels may become very high, but you are sleeping through it. 

3. Waning Insulin

Maybe the problem is even simpler. Perhaps the insulin you took at bedtime was just not strong enough to do the job of maintaining a normal sugar level for the entire night. Maybe your dinner had more carbs than usual, or you took a walk in the evening. Your evening dose of insulin managed your glucose levels for a while, but it wasn’t enough to sustain you for the night.  When you wake, you may feel a pounding headache and be lying in sweat-soaked sheets. Your sugar is still high. These could be indicators that your sugar levels have rebounded, a condition known as the Somogyi effect (named after researcher Michael Somogyi PhD, who first described it in 1938.)

How to Figure it Out

There is a way to find out which of these reasons is causing your morning sugar spikes. Over a period of several nights, consistently check your blood sugar at bedtime, at 3 am and upon waking.

If your blood sugar is about the same at bedtime and 3 am, but sharply higher when you wake up, you are probably experiencing the dawn phenomenon. If your blood sugar is low at 3 am, and higher at both bedtime and upon waking, then it is likely you are experiencing the Somogyi effect. If your glucose levels are higher than bedtime at 3 am, and higher still at waking, then your insulin levels are probably waning.


Bring the results of your test to your physician and discuss the approach he or she recommends to counter the problem. Don’t attempt to materially change your dosing or diet yourself, without the guidance of your physician.