The Dawn Phenomenon – Why Are Blood Sugars High In The Morning?
Getting high blood sugars after a period of fasting is often puzzling to those not familiar with the Dawn Phenomenon. Why are blood sugars elevated if you haven’t eaten overnight? This effect is also seen during fasting, even during prolonged fasting. There are two main effects – the Somogyi Effect and the Dawn Phenomenon. Somogyi effect The Somogyi effect is also called reactive hyperglycaemia and happens in type 2 diabetic patients. The blood sugar sometimes drops in reaction to the night time dose of medication. This low blood sugar is dangerous, and in response, the body tries to raise it. Since the patient is asleep, he/she does not feel the hypoglycaemic symptoms of shakiness or tremors or confusion. By the time the patient awakens, the sugar is elevated without a good explanation. The high blood sugar occurs in reaction to the preceding low. This can be diagnosed by checking the blood sugar at 2am or 3am. If it is very low, then this is diagnostic of the Somogy Effect. Dawn phenomenon The Dawn Effect, sometimes also called the Dawn Phenomenon (DP) was first described about 30 years ago. It is estimated to occur in up to 75% of T2D patients although severity varies widely. It occurs both in those treated with insulin and those that are not. The circadian rhythm creates this DP. Just before awakening (around 4am), the body secretes higher levels of growth hormone, cortisol, glucagon and adrenalin. Together, these are called the counter-regulatory hormones. That is, they counter the blood sugar lowering effects of insulin, meaning that they raise blood sugars. The nocturnal surge of growth hormone is considered the primary cause of the DP. These normal circadian hormonal increases prepare our bodies for the day ahead. That is, glucagon tells the liver to start p Continue reading >>
Why Is Blood Sugar High In The Morning?
Here you'll find info about why blood sugar is high in the morning, along with tips and resources to lower those numbers! A while back I had a client sending me her blood sugar charts every few days and on those charts she always made some notes if she had questions. Every time she sent them through, I noticed she had 3 big question marks (???) against her morning blood sugar results. And on another morning when her morning blood sugar levels were high at 160 mg/dl (or 8.9 mmol/l). She had written: I don't understand. 97 mg/dl (or 5.5mmol/l) last night when I went to sleep. I didn't eat anything because I didn't feel well. Humm… I was also over in one of the online diabetes groups I'm involved in today and this message popped up. I'm struggling with my morning BS number. When I went to bed around 11PM my BS was 107. I'm waking up with my BS between 120 – 135. I did put two pieces of string cheese next to my bed and when I woke up around 3am, I ate one. Since I was told to eat protein at night. When I woke up 3 hours later my BS was 130. I didn't want to eat anything large since it's so close to 140 (my goal is to keep it below 140). So I had 1 piece of toast (sugar free wheat bread) and just a tiny bit of peanut butter. I checked it an hour later and it was 161! What am I doing wrong? Do these morning situations sound familiar to you? Are you constantly questioning: Why is blood sugar high in the morning? I mean, logically we'd think that it should be at it's lowest in the morning right? Well don't panic, there is a reason for it, so let's explore why morning blood sugar is often higher. And at the end, I'll also point you toward some resources to help you lower those levels. Why Is Blood Sugar High In The Morning? Although it would seem logical that your body would Continue reading >>
What Is Gestational Diabetes? Gestational diabetes sometimes develops when a woman is pregnant. It’s when the blood glucose level (blood sugar level) of the mother goes too high during pregnancy. Having an elevated blood glucose level during pregnancy can cause problems for your baby—if it’s left untreated. Fortunately, doctors are vigilant about checking for gestational diabetes so that it can be identified and effectively managed. A pro-active treatment plan helps you have a good pregnancy and protects the health of your baby. Gestational Diabetes Symptoms Gestational diabetes doesn’t often cause noticeable symptoms for the mother. Other types of diabetes (eg, type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes) do cause symptoms such as increased thirst, but that is hardly ever noticed in gestational diabetes. Because there aren’t often symptoms, it’s very important to be tested for a high blood glucose level when you’re pregnant. (Your doctor will most likely test you for gestational diabetes sometime between the 24th and 28th week. You can learn more about the diagnostic process here.) Then your doctor will know if you need to be treated for gestational diabetes. Gestational Diabetes Causes and Risk Factors Gestational diabetes develops when your body isn’t able to produce enough of the hormone insulin during pregnancy. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose—what your body uses for energy—into the cells. Without enough insulin, you can build up too much glucose in your blood, leading to a higher-than-normal blood glucose level and perhaps gestational diabetes. The elevated blood glucose level in gestational diabetes is caused by hormones released by the placenta during pregnancy. The placenta produces a hormone called the human placental lactogen (HPL), also Continue reading >>
What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar Levels, And What Blood Sugar Level Constitutes A True Emergency?
Question:What is the normal range for blood sugar levels, and what blood sugar level constitutes a true emergency? Answer:Now, in a normal individual we measure blood sugar under different circumstances. What we call fasting blood sugar or blood glucose levels is usually done six to eight hours after the last meal. So it's most commonly done before breakfast in the morning; and the normal range there is 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter. Now when you eat a meal, blood sugar generally rises and in a normal individual it usually does not get above a 135 to 140 milligrams per deciliter. So there is a fairly narrow range of blood sugar throughout the entire day. Now in our diabetic patients we see both low blood sugar levels that we call hypoglycemia, or elevated blood sugars, hyperglycemia. Now, if the blood sugar drops below about 60 or 65 milligrams per deciliter, people will generally get symptoms, which are some shakiness, feeling of hunger, maybe a little racing of the heart and they will usually be trenchant or if they eat something, it goes away right away. But if blood sugar drops below 50 and can get down as low as 40 or 30 or even 20, then there is a progressive loss of mental function and eventually unconsciousness and seizures. And of course that is very dangerous and a medical emergency. On the other side, if blood sugar gets up above 180 to 200, then it exceeds the capacity of the kidneys to reabsorb the glucose and we begin to spill glucose into the urine. And if it gets way up high, up in the 400s or even 500s, it can be associated with some alteration in mental function. And in this situation, if it persists for a long time, we can actually see mental changes as well. So either too low or very exceedingly high can cause changes in mental function. Next: W Continue reading >>
Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)
Hi, I just found this site and would like to participate. I will give my numbers, etc. First, my last A1c was 6.1, the doc said it was Pre-diabetes in January of 2014, OK, I get it that part, but what confuses me is that at home, on my glucometer, all my fastings were “Normal” however, back then, I had not checked after meals, so maybe they were the culprits. Now, I am checking all the time and driving myself crazy. In the morning sometimes fasting is 95 and other times 85, it varies day to day. Usually, after a low carb meal, it drops to the 80’s the first hour and lower the second. On some days, when I am naughty and eat wrong, my b/s sugar is still low, and on other days, I can eat the same thing, and it goes sky high, again, not consistent. Normally, however, since February, my fbs is 90, 1 hour after, 120, 2nd hour, back to 90, but, that changes as well. In February, of 2014, on the 5th, it was horrible. I think I had eaten Lasagne, well, before, my sugars did not change much, but that night, WHAM-O I started at 80 before the meal, I forgot to take it at the one and two hour mark, but did at the 3 hour mark, it was 175, then at four hours, down to 160, then at 5 hours, back to 175. I went to bed, because by that time, it was 2 AM, but when I woke up at 8:00 and took it, it was back to 89!!!! This horrible ordeal has only happened once, but, I have gone up to 178 since, but come down to normal in 2 hours. I don’t know if I was extra stressed that day or what, I am under tons of it, my marriage is not good, my dear dad died 2 years ago and my very best friend died 7 months ago, I live in a strange country, I am from America, but moved to New Zealand last year, and I am soooo unhappy. Anyway, what does confuse me is why the daily differences, even though I may Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Level
The fluctuation of blood sugar (red) and the sugar-lowering hormone insulin (blue) in humans during the course of a day with three meals. One of the effects of a sugar-rich vs a starch-rich meal is highlighted. The blood sugar level, blood sugar concentration, or blood glucose level is the amount of glucose present in the blood of humans and other animals. Glucose is a simple sugar and approximately 4 grams of glucose are present in the blood of humans at all times. The body tightly regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic homeostasis. Glucose is stored in skeletal muscle and liver cells in the form of glycogen; in fasted individuals, blood glucose is maintained at a constant level at the expense of glycogen stores in the liver and skeletal muscle. In humans, glucose is the primary source of energy, and is critical for normal function, in a number of tissues, particularly the human brain which consumes approximately 60% of blood glucose in fasted, sedentary individuals. Glucose can be transported from the intestines or liver to other tissues in the body via the bloodstream. Cellular glucose uptake is primarily regulated by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Glucose levels are usually lowest in the morning, before the first meal of the day, and rise after meals for an hour or two by a few millimoles. Blood sugar levels outside the normal range may be an indicator of a medical condition. A persistently high level is referred to as hyperglycemia; low levels are referred to as hypoglycemia. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by persistent hyperglycemia from any of several causes, and is the most prominent disease related to failure of blood sugar regulation. There are different methods of testing and measuring blood sugar le Continue reading >>
Common Questions About Blood Sugar
How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>
What’s Normal Blood Sugar?
Thank you for dropping in! If you need help lowering your blood sugar level, check out my books at Amazon or Smashwords. If you’re outside of the U.S., Smashwords may be the best source. —Steve Parker, M.D * * * Physicians focus so much on disease that we sometimes lose sight of what’s healthy and normal. For instance, the American Diabetes Association defines “tight” control of diabetes to include sugar levels as high as 179 mg/dl (9.9 mmol/l) when measured two hours after a meal. In contrast, young adults without diabetes two hours after a meal are usually in the range of 90 to 110 mg/dl (5.0–6.1 mmol/l). What Is a Normal Blood Sugar Level? The following numbers refer to average blood sugar (glucose) levels in venous plasma, as measured in a lab. Portable home glucose meters measure sugar in capillary whole blood. Many, but not all, meters in 2011 are calibrated to compare directly to venous plasma levels. Fasting blood sugar after a night of sleep and before breakfast: 85 mg/dl (4.7 mmol/l) One hour after a meal: 110 mg/dl (6.1 mmol/l) Two hours after a meal: 95 mg/dl (5.3 mmol/l) Five hours after a meal: 85 mg/dl (4.7 mmol/l) (The aforementioned meal derives 50–55% of its energy from carbohydrate) ♦ ♦ ♦ Ranges of blood sugar for young healthy non-diabetic adults: Fasting blood sugar: 70–90 mg/dl (3.9–5.0 mmol/l) One hour after a typical meal: 90–125 mg/dl (5.00–6.9 mmol/l) Two hours after a typical meal: 90–110 mg/dl (5.00–6.1 mmol/l) Five hours after a typical meal: 70–90 mg/dl (3.9–5.00 mmol/l) Blood sugars tend to be a bit lower in pregnant women. ♦ ♦ ♦ What Level of Blood Sugar Defines Diabetes and Prediabetes? According to the 2007 guidelines issued by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: Prediabetes: Continue reading >>
10 Surprising Causes Of Blood Sugar Swings You Probably Didn’t Know
1 / 11 What Causes Blood Sugar to Rise and Fall? Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the disease for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled. Proper blood sugar control is key for helping ward off potential diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you keep your levels in check on a daily basis, it will help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood. You’ll know if your diabetes is poorly controlled if you experience symptoms such as frequent urination, sores that won’t heal, blurred vision, and unexplained weight loss. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and use of a blood glucose meter to track your numbers routinely can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose be 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) before meals, and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an A1C test, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals. Learning how different habits can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate can help you better predict how your levels will swing. You may be more likely to experience hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar if you have advanced-stage diabetes, according to the ADA. Meanwhile, high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, may be caused by factors such as not using enough insulin or other diabetes medication, not following a prop Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Throughout The Day - For Normal People And Those With Diabetes
Most of us have heard the term blood sugar bandied around enough that we think we know what it means, but few of us really understand the complexity of the system that makes a steady supply of fuel available to our cells around the clock. The basic facts are these: All animals have a small amount of a simple sugar called glucose floating around in their bloodstream all the time. This simple sugar is one of two fuels that the cells of the body can burn for fuel. The other is fat. Though you may occasionally eat pure glucose--it's called "dextrose" when it is found in the list of ingredients on a U.S. food label--most of the glucose in your blood doesn't come from eating glucose. It is produced when your digestive system breaks down the larger molecules of complex sugars and starch. Sugars like those found in table sugar, corn syrup, milk and fruit and the starches found in flour, potatoes, rice, and beans all contain chains of glucose that are bonded together with other substances. During digestion, enzymes break these bonds and liberate the glucose molecules which are then absorbed into your bloodstream. How Blood Sugar is Measured Blood sugar concentrations are described using a number that describes the weight of glucose that is found in a specific volume of blood. In the U.S. that measurement is milligrams per deciliter, which is abbreviated as "mg/dl." Europeans and almost all researchers publishing in medical journals use a different measurement, micromoles per liter, abbreviated "mmol/L." You can convert any European measurements you encounter to the American standard by multiplying the mmol/L number by 18. There's a handy converter online that will do this for you automatically. You'll find it at If a blood test says that your blood sugar is 85 mg/dl this means t Continue reading >>
What Is Normal Blood Sugar?
Blood sugar, or glucose, is an important source of energy and provides nutrients to your body's organs, muscles and nervous system. The body gets glucose from the food you eat, and the absorption, storage and production of glucose is regulated constantly by complex processes involving the small intestine, liver and pancreas. Normal blood sugar varies from person to person, but a normal range for fasting blood sugar (the amount of glucose in your blood six to eight hours after a meal) is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter. For most individuals, the level of glucose in the blood rises after meals. A normal blood-sugar range after eating is between 135 and 140 milligrams per deciliter. These variations in blood-sugar levels, both before and after meals, are normal and reflect the way that glucose is absorbed and stored in the body. After you eat, your body breaks down the carbohydrates in food into smaller parts, including glucose, which can be absorbed by the small intestine. As the small intestine absorbs glucose, the pancreas releases insulin, which stimulates body tissues and causes them to absorb this glucose and metabolize it (a process known as glycogenesis). This stored glucose (glycogen) is used to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels between meals. When glucose levels drop between meals, the body takes some much-needed sugar out of storage. The process is kicked off by the pancreas, which releases a hormone known as glucagon, which promotes the conversion of stored sugar (glycogen) in the liver back to glucose. The glucose is then released into the bloodstream. When there isn't enough glucose stored up to maintain normal blood-sugar levels, the body will even produce its own glucose from noncarbohydrate sources (such as amino acids and glycerol). This pro Continue reading >>
Blood Glucose Levels
What is the blood sugar level? The blood sugar level is the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is also known as plasma glucose level. It is expressed as millimoles per litre (mmol/l). Normally blood glucose levels stay within narrow limits throughout the day: 4 to 8mmol/l. But they are higher after meals and usually lowest in the morning. In diabetes the blood sugar level moves outside these limits until treated. Even with good control of diabetes, the blood sugar level will still at times drift outside this normal range. Why control blood sugar levels? When very high levels of blood glucose are present for years, it leads to damage of the small blood vessels. This in turn increases your risk of developing late-stage diabetes complications including: With type 1 diabetes, these complications may start to appear 10 to 15 years after diagnosis. They frequently appear less than 10 years after diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, because this type of diabetes is often present for years before it is recognised. By keeping the blood sugar level stable, you significantly reduce your risk of these complications. How can I measure blood sugar levels? Home testing kits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A pharmacist or the diabetes clinic nurse can advise you about the best model. You can usually obtain a blood glucose meter at little or no cost via the diabetes clinic. Testing strips are available on NHS prescription. You can learn to measure blood sugar levels simply and quickly with a home blood glucose level testing kit. All kits have at least two things: a measuring device (a 'meter') and a strip. To check your blood sugar level, put a small amount of blood on the strip. Now place the strip into the device. Within 30 seconds it will display the blood glucose level. The Continue reading >>
Managing Your Blood Sugar
Know the basic steps for managing your diabetes. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to many health problems. Know how to: Monitor your blood sugar (glucose) Find, buy, and store diabetes supplies If you take insulin, you should also know how to: Give yourself insulin Adjust your insulin doses and the foods you eat to manage your blood sugar during exercise and on sick days You should also live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Do muscle strengthening exercises 2 or more days a week. Avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time. Try speed walking, swimming, or dancing. Pick an activity you enjoy. Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise plans. Follow your meal plan. Take your medicines the way your health care provider recommends. Checking your blood sugar levels often and writing down the results will tell you how well you are managing your diabetes. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about how often you should check your blood sugar. Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their blood sugar every day. But some people may need to check it many times a day. If you have type 1 diabetes, check your blood sugar at least 4 times a day. Usually, you will test your blood sugar before meals and at bedtime. You may also check your blood sugar: After you eat out, especially if you have eaten foods you don't normally eat If you feel sick Before and after you exercise If you have a lot of stress If you eat too much If you are taking new medicines Keep a record for yourself and your provider. This will be a big help if you are having problems managing your diabetes. It will also tell you what works and what doesn't work, to keep your blood sugar under control. Write down: The time of day Your blood sugar level Th Continue reading >>
Why Blood Sugar Levels Rise Overnight
get the scoop When you go to bed, your blood sugar reading is 110, but when you wake up in the morning, it has shot up to 150. Why does this happen? To understand how blood sugar levels can rise overnight without your eating anything, we have to look at where glucose comes from — and where it goes — while we sleep. During the day, the carbohydrates we eat are digested into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. Some of this glucose goes to the liver, where it is stored for later use. At night, while we are asleep, the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream. The liver acts as our glucose warehouse and keeps us supplied until we eat breakfast. The amount of glucose being used is matched by the amount of glucose being released by the liver, so blood sugar levels should remain constant. what is the dawn phenomenon? A rise in blood sugar level between approximately 3 A.M. and the time you wake up is called the “dawn phenomenon.” The liver is supposed to release just enough glucose to replace what is being used, and insulin works as the messenger to tell the liver how much is enough. But if there's not enough insulin (as with type 1 diabetes), or if there's enough insulin but it cannot communicate its message to the liver (as with type 2 diabetes), the liver starts to release glucose much too quickly. In addition, levels of hormones such as cortisol begin to increase in the early morning hours, which can contribute to altered insulin sensitivity. The result? Blood sugar levels rise. This is why blood sugar levels can go up between the time you go to bed and the time you wake up. what can you do about it? You might be able to make changes in the timing of your meals, medications, or insulin injections to help prevent dawn phenomenon. First, keep a detailed rec Continue reading >>
Are We All Pre-diabetic?
Even if a doctor assures you that your blood sugar is "normal," alarming evidence documents that you are at significant risk of premature death unless you achieve optimal 24-hour-a-day glucose control. Life Extension® long ago warned of the silent dangers when fasting blood sugar exceeds 85 mg/dL. New scientific studies validate this position. Even more insidious are data showing that blood sugar "spikes" that occur after each meal dramatically increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, retinal damage, and cancer. Unless steps are taken to suppress after-meal sugar surges, every large meal you eat can trigger a dangerous metabolic cascade that results in cell damage and accelerated aging. Fortunately, proven methods exist to support optimal blood sugar throughout the day. The latest is a green coffee bean extract that targets a critical enzyme involved in after-meal blood sugar spikes. When tested on humans in a placebo-controlled study, this natural extract produced an astounding 32% drop in after-meal blood sugar!1 An Epidemic of Elevated Blood Sugar The percentage of adults who suffer chronic high blood sugar is staggering! One report evaluated 46,000 middle-age individuals and found more than 80% had fasting blood sugar of 85 mg/dL or greater.2 Another study involving 11,000 middle-age and older individuals showed more than 85% had fasting blood sugar of 85 mg/dL or greater.3 Since incidence of disease starts to increase when fasting blood sugar rises above these levels, this means the vast majority of aging humans today endure chronic cellular damage associated with elevated blood sugar. This epidemic of elevated blood sugar will accelerate age-related disease until the medical profession realizes that their test values for defining "normal" blood sugar are horr Continue reading >>