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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dawn Phenomonon In Diabetics

I have noticed for some time now that I apparently have something called "Dawn Phenomenon" in regards to diabetes. It is reported to be more common in Type I than in Type II, but I am pretty sure I suffer from that based on keeping close tabs on my glucose readings for some time. An advantage of testing 4 or 5 times a day for a while and keeping track of what you eat and drink helps you to understand patterns in your readings and to help determine what is going on.

What am I talking about specifically? I am talking about going to bed at night with a blood glucose level of say around (122), perhaps getting up at around 4:00AM and finding it is now at 96. You then go back to bed and perhaps sleep until 10AM and are then surprised that at 10AM with nothing to eat or drink after going to bed, that your blood sugar is at 167. Sort of freaks you out at first. At least it did me and bothered me as I kept trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. I spoke with my doctor about it, (GOD bless doctors), and she informed me about the dawn phenomenon. IF you are only testing in the morning and your readings appear too high, you may have this situation going on and NOT know it, especially if your A1C tests are in the 7.0 or under range. You need to test more often and record what you eat, IF you are serious about knowing your body and taking steps to reverse diabetes or at least get better control.

Below is a link explaining what it is and why it works the way it does. There is also helpful advice explaining why you should NOT skip breakfast in your search to try and fix it. Skipping breakfast has a detrimental effect on it. First of all it is NOT FATAL, so relax.

It has to do with hormones being released during the night or early morning in my case that trigger the liver to release glucose. If there is NOT enough insulin in the body to counteract the glucose, then you end up with a higher reading in the morning than when you went to bed, even though you didn't eat anything after dinner.

Link to Dawn Phenomenon

I am also going to post an excerpt from this article. Hope this helps and if you have questions, consult your doctor for details and advice on what to do:

An event that sometimes happens to people with diabetes. It occurs more often in type 1 than type 2. Dawn phenomenon causes a rise in blood glucose levels early in the morning before you wake up.
During the night, hormones may be released that trigger the liver to release glucose. If there is not enough insulin in the body to counteract this, then blood glucose levels rise during the night, resulting in the higher reading in the morning.

It may be tempting to skip breakfast in an effort to bring down the glucose level, but not eating will not accomplish this. Eating breakfast allows blood glucose levels to return to normal by turning off the mechanism that is causing the liver to release glucose, thereby breaking the cycle. If no breakfast is eaten, then the blood glucose will continue to rise.
For an indepth look at dawn phenomenon,
If you or someone you know has mentioned or been concerned with this phenomenon, show them this post and have them look up the link under google.


Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.
Thomas Jefferson

"I am the Lord that healeth thee" (Exodus 15:26)

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