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Diabetes

High sugar levels only after breakfast

01/23/2008

Question:

When I take my blood sugar levels when I get up in the mornings my levels are about 6 to 7.5. I will have a bowl of bran ceareal with skim milk and nothing else and my sugar levels two hour later are 13 or 14. Two hours after my lunch and dinner meals my levels are in the 7 to 8 range. Why does a low calorie breakfast affect the readings so badly?

Answer:

Let me translate the blood sugar levels so that those that are unfamiliar with the results you are providing can follow along with the discussion:  In some countries like the USA, blood sugar results are expressed on a mg/dl basis and a normal fasting blood sugar is about 70-99 mg/dl.  The results  provided here are in millimoles per liter units:  to convert them to mg/dl, multiply the number by 18.

So the morning blood sugars correspond to 108-135, the after breakfast readings to 234-252 mg/dl and the after lunch/dinner readings to 126-144 mg/dl.  Even though the breakfast is low in calories, it is apparently high in carbohydrate that is readily broken down and absorbed into the blood stream.  Choices include either altering the composition/timing of the diet or adding a medication.  It may very well be that medication is needed that is effective with the breakfast meal but not with the other meals. 

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati