The Dawn Phenomenon and Somogyi Effect: What You Can Do
Waking up with a high blood sugar reading is not exactly the way you want to start off your day. Besides rushing to get ready for work or getting the kids off to school (or both), you now have to decide if and how you’ll deal with that reading on your meter. Maybe you decide to skip breakfast. If you take mealtime insulin, perhaps you inject a few extra units. Or you put in some additional time during your workout. Another option is to shrug it off and hope that your blood sugar comes down in a few hours. You might also ponder the reason your blood sugar is high. Could it be that you ate dinner later than usual last night? Or you ate too much carb at dinner? Or maybe it was your snack?
While it’s normal to have high blood sugars when you have diabetes, it’s time to pay attention when the highs become the norm. Morning hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) is frustrating for many people; figuring out the cause is the first step in dealing with (and preventing) it.
Dawn phenomenon: hormones that wreak havoc
It’s easy to blame your morning high on the plate of pasta last night. But while that could certainly be a factor, chances are, your “highs” are a result of hormones. An imbalance of insulin, amylin (a hormone released by the pancreas), and incretins (hormones released by the gut) is the likely culprit. Other hormones get in on the act, too, including glucagon, growth hormone, cortisol, and adrenaline. Why? Overnight, the body gets this idea that it needs fuel (glucose). The witching hour seems to be around 3 AM or so. At this time, the liver and muscles obligingly Continue reading