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Are your blood sugar levels too high first thing in the morning? If so, it may be due to either the Somogyi Effect or the Dawn Phenomenon.
What is the Somogyi Effect?
When your body runs out of the carbohydrate load from your dinner, it’ll find another source to keep things running. The carbohydrate load will most likely come from your muscles or liver.
The Somogyi Effect occurs when your blood sugar falls too early in the night. This can happen if you take an excessive amount of long-acting insulin, skip a bedtime snack, or do a combination of both. Around 2 or 3 A.M., your blood sugar will drop significantly and, in response to that, hormones like cortisol, catecholamine, and growth hormones are released to reverse the low blood sugar. While this process saved your life, it could potentially damage the small blood vessels in your body, especially those that lead to your eyes, heart, toes, and reproductive organs.
What is the Dawn Phenomenon?
During the Dawn Phenomenon, the same hormones from the Somogyi Effect are involved, but in this situation, your blood sugars are high by 2 or 3 A.M. In the early morning hours, the growth hormones cause the liver to release large amounts of glucose into the bloodstream. The effect of both natural and injected insulin is blocked by a type of insulin resistance. If the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, blood sugar levels may continue to increase.
There are ways to control blood sugar levels throughout the night so that you wake up with ideal blood sugar numbers.
1. If you’re experiencing Dawn Phenomenon, try wearing an insulin pump to ensure that the timing of the right amount of insulin matches the release of early morning hormones.
2 Have a dinner that is low in fat and high in fiber. This is beneficial for those with Type II diabetes, because it can help minimize insulin resistance at night.
3. Focus on creating an overall diet that helps keep blood sugars balanced throughout the day. Work with a dietitian that can help set up a carbohydrate counting plans for meals. This can help evenly distribute the right amount of carbohydrates throughout the day, keeping your blood sugar stable.
4. Support the overall health of your body by making healthy lifestyle choices. Limit the inakte of processed foods, exercise moderately, cut out alcohol and nicotene, sleep 7-8 hours per night and particiapte in activiites that help keep stress levels low.
It’s important to monitor blood sugar patterns and what you’re putting into your body. And always be sure to consult your doctor about how to best control your blood sugar levels.
Jeannene Davis graduated from The University of Texas Houston Health Science Center with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics and followed the degree with a Certification in Adult Weight Management and Diabetes Education. She provides in-house support to physician offices and large scale support to corporations and small businesses to ensure their employees have the most current information about nutrition and wellness.
She's worked in hospitals, outpatient radiation clinics, gene therapy centers, and even insurance companies, focusing on health and wellness, diabetes, and herb and supplement education, as well as renal nutrition support to pre-dialysis, dialysis, and renal transplant patients for a variety of companies since 1993.