High Fasting Blood Glucose May Just Be A Cortisol Problem

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How many of you have prediabetic fasting glucose levels in the morning?

This is a pretty common occurrence in the dieting world, particularly for small women, those who are very active, or those who don’t eat a lot of carbohydrates.

It’s important to understand that this high glucose reading in the morning isn’t pathological, it’s adaptational.

When you wake up, cortisol is released to get you going. Part of its job is to stimulate glucose output by the liver. When you are in an overly stressed state, such as being low on liver glycogen (women have smaller livers), being too active while dieting, or eating too few carbohydrates (liver glycogen stays lower and insulin isn’t around to help buffer cortisol), then you have a more pronounced rise in cortisol levels in the morning that cause fasting glucose to elevate more than it would under different circumstances.

If your glucose is elevated for pathological reasons, it will stay elevated throughout the day. If the reason is adaptational, however, it should decrease after eating, particularly after eating some carbohydrates. This is easy to test with a home glucose monitor.

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