Somogyi effect: Causes and prevention
The Somogyi effect, also known as the rebound effect, occurs in people with diabetes.
Hypoglycemia or low blood glucose in the late evening causes a rebound effect in the body, leading to hyperglycemia or high blood glucose in the early morning.
This phenomenon, known as the Somogyi effect, is widely reported but remains controversial due to a lack of scientific evidence. It is reported more by people with type 1 diabetes than by people with type 2 diabetes.
Contents of this article:
What is the Somogyi effect?
Named after Michael Somogyi, a Hungarian-born researcher who first described it, the Somogyi effect is the body's defensive response to prolonged periods of low blood sugar. A dose of insulin before bed that is too high can be a cause.
When insulin reduces the amount of glucose in the blood by too much, it causes hypoglycemia. In turn, hypoglycemia makes the body stressed, triggering the release of the stress hormones epinephrine (adrenaline), cortisol, and growth hormone. The endocrine hormone glucagon is also released.
Glucagon triggers the liver to convert stores of glycogen into glucose, which can send blood glucose levels into a rebound high. The stress hormones keep the blood glucose levels raised by making the cells less responsive to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance.
The Somogyi effect is widely cited among doctors and people with diabetes, but there is little scientific evidence for the theory.
For example, one small study found that hyperglycemia upon waking is likely to be caused by not enough insulin before bed. Researchers also fo Continue reading