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The Dawn Phenomenon And Somogyi Effect: What You Can Do

The Dawn Phenomenon and Somogyi Effect: What You Can Do

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

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Somogyi effect: Causes and prevention

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.
Controversy
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

The Dawn Phenomenon and Somogi Effect in Diabetes

The Dawn Phenomenon and Somogi Effect in Diabetes

Morning blood sugar levels. It's a topic we always get questions around.
Namely, why on earth are my morning levels so HIGH when I've eaten nothing since yesterday. Surely they are meant to be their lowest first thing in the morning?
While it's easy to assume that this would be the case, there's more to the picture than you know.
In particular with type 2 diabetes, there are two factors that raise blood sugar overnight. These are known as the Dawn Phenomenon and the Somogyi Effect.
By the time you finish reading this, you should have a much better understanding of why these morning highs occur.
Glucose Happens 24/7
As you may (or may not) be aware of, the body's cells need fuel to function and that fuel is mainly glucose. Glucose fuels the cells in your organs, in the brain and in the muscles and tissues. And they need fuel 24/7.
While you're sleeping or if you were to fast, your organs still need to function so the body has other ways it can produce glucose, other than via the direct food you eat.
Glycogenolysis – some of the excess carbs you eat gets stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. When these stores are needed, the process of glycogenolysis occurs, breaking the stores down so that more glucose is circulated in the blood to fuel the body.
Gluconeogenesis – your body is also capable of creating glucose from non-carbohydrate sources such as amino acids in a process called gluconeogenesis.
The body will always try to maintain blood glucose within a certain range in the body. This happens in both diabetics and non diabetics alike. With both kinds of glucose pr Continue reading

10 Low-Carb Beverages To Drink When You Have Diabetes

10 Low-Carb Beverages To Drink When You Have Diabetes

Just because you control your diabetes with a low-carb diet doesn’t mean that you don’t have lots of choices of great drinks. In fact, all of the treats here will fit your healthy lifestyle and still satisfy your taste buds.
Water is so common that we take it for granted – until we run out of it. Besides air, nothing is more necessary for life. But don’t settle for unfiltered tap water or waste money on bottles of it. A home filter removes impurities and greatly improves the taste by taking out the chlorine. Keeping a bottle of water in the fridge or adding ice cubes can give it some variety.
You can buy sparkling water at all the food stores, but you can make it sparkle at home without buying bottles or carting them home. For years I’ve added fizz to my water and to my life with a Sodastream CO2 carbonator. Even better is enhancing its flavor with zero carb SweetLeaf Water Drops or by simply adding a slice of lemon.
Is drinking coffee bad for people with diabetes? Or does it help? Hundreds of studies seem to show one extreme or the other. But many experts now say that drinking one to three cups to day is either neutral or helpful. If you like it white, instead of adding milk or half & half (too many carbs), you can switch to whipping cream, which is zero carbs. Instead of sugar, you can use carb-free stevia.
After water, more people drink tea than anything else. I’m one of them (along with my morning coffee), and I prefer some of the black teas that don’t need milk to bring out the flavor, especially those from the Assam and Darjeeling regions of India. Green Continue reading

Can you get a headache from sugar?

Can you get a headache from sugar?

Rapid swings in blood sugar levels caused by eating too much sugar or too little sugar can sometimes cause headaches.
Headaches can range from annoying to debilitating, so understanding what triggers a headache can significantly improve a person's quality of life.
For some people who experience migraines, sugary foods may be a trigger.
Can sugar give you a headache?
Both too much and too little sugar can cause a headache. Consuming too much sugar can cause high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Consuming too little sugar can cause low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
Low blood sugar can cause a range of symptoms, including headaches and muscle pain. People who take insulin have a higher risk of having low blood sugar levels.
People who consume too much sugar, who are insulin resistant, or who have diabetes are more vulnerable to high blood sugar. If a person consumes a lot of sugar at once, then does not have any more in the period that follows, they may experience a sugar crash, which can cause a headache.
Sugar may trigger hormonal changes, particularly in the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormonal shifts change the way blood vessels in the brain behave, potentially triggering a headache.
It is not the sugar itself that causes a person to develop a sugar headache. What triggers a headache is a rapid shift in blood sugar, due either to consuming too much sugar or not eating enough. These changes in blood sugar can induce a headache and other symptoms, which some people call a sugar hangover.
Some medical conditions make people more prone to sugar-relat Continue reading

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