Getting back to the final two considerations where blood sugar levels are concerned, let’s first take a look at the Dawn Phenomenon. The Dawn Phenomenon refers to the surge of hormones a person’s body produces daily in the early a.m. hours (say between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m.). Whether or not a senior has diabetes, this still happens.
Diabetics’ insulin responses are not normal and so they do not adjust for the hormonal level adjustments, so it is likely that their fasting glucose could shoot up. The reason for the rise in the glucose is because the person’s body is producing less insulin and more glucagon (remember that glucagon is the hormone that increases a person’s blood glucose levels), thus the glucagon level is higher than the insulin level and so the body is out of whack.
When a person’s pancreas makes less of the insulin hormone, it tends to offset the numbers by producing more glucagon. Since the duty of glucagon is to signal the liver to break down the stored glycogen into glucose, the body is flooded with glucose at that point, so the fasting blood glucose levels are high in those with Type 2 Diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association suggests the following steps to help keep the fasting blood glucose levels in check:
- Make certain that the client eats dinner earlier in the evening
- Try to get the client to do something active after dinner (such as going for a walk)
If this works for your client, you are both in luck, but if the fasting glucose levels remain high, you should take careful notes so as to ensure that their healthcare professional is aware of all valid points. Whether or not your client is then prescribed medication, you will know that you have showed them that you realize that With Age Comes Respect.