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D.A.I.L.Y. is a joint initiative of the Endocrine Society and its Hormone Health Network.
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Goal 3 | What You Eat: It Matters | 2 of 10
Link Between Nutrition and Diabetes
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Do you sometimes skip meals?

“Yes, I sometimes skip meals.”

Skipping breakfast can do the most harm for those with diabetes: Insulin levels are "flat" at sleep time and if you continue to fast, levels can drop further and are more likely to spike, then crash, when you eat at lunch time.

Skipping a meal can lead to a condition called hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose. It occurs when your blood glucose levels drop too low. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can get worse and even become life threatening.

  • After you eat, glucose from food is absorbed into your bloodstream
  • Insulin helps move glucose into your cells to be used as energy
    • If there's more glucose than you need, it's stored in your liver in a form called glycogen.
  • When blood glucose levels start to fall between meals, a hormone called glucagon is released by your pancreas.
    • Glucagon tells your liver to break down glycogen and send it back into the bloodstream as glucose.
    • When all goes well, your glucose levels return to normal.
  • If you're taking insulin or diabetes pills that increase insulin production, insulin may keep moving glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells for use as fuel, even when that means too little glucose is left in the blood—resulting in hypoglycemia.
eating in hurry

Skipping a meal can lead to a condition called hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose. It occurs when your blood glucose levels drop too low. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can get worse and even become life threatening.

Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia

Mild: below 70 mg/dL

  • Hunger
  • Nervousness and shakiness
  • Sweating

Moderate: below 55 mg/dL

  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Feeling anxious or weak

Severe: below 35-40 mg/dL

  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Loss of consciousness or coma

“No, I never skip a meal.”

Good for you! But if you do, remember this. Skipping breakfast can do the most harm for those with diabetes: Insulin levels are "flat" at sleep time and if you continue to fast, levels can drop further and are more likely to spike, then crash, when you eat at lunch time.

Skipping a meal can lead to a condition called hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose. It occurs when your blood glucose levels drop too low. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can get worse and even become life threatening.

  • After you eat, glucose from food is absorbed into your bloodstream
  • Insulin helps move glucose into your cells to be used as energy
    • If there's more glucose than you need, it's stored in your liver in a form called glycogen.
  • When blood glucose levels start to fall between meals, a hormone called glucagon is released by your pancreas.
    • Glucagon tells your liver to break down glycogen and send it back into the bloodstream as glucose.
    • When all goes well, your glucose levels return to normal.
  • If you're taking insulin or diabetes pills that increase insulin production, insulin may keep moving glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells for use as fuel, even when that means too little glucose is left in the blood—resulting in hypoglycemia.
healthy eating

Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia

Mild: below 70 mg/dL

  • Hunger
  • Nervousness and shakiness
  • Sweating

Moderate: below 55 mg/dL

  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Feeling anxious or weak

Severe: below 35-40 mg/dL

  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Loss of consciousness or coma