Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dawn Phenomenon

Here is question I recently received from

I was just told I am type 2 diabetic. My doctor told me to try to control by numbers by diet. I have noticed my blood sugar is high in the morning before I have eaten. Could you explain why?

What you are describing is called the dawn phenomenon. The dawn phenomenon is defined as an abnormal rise in glucose levels, usually between the hours of 2-8 AM.

This is caused by overnight release of hormones, such as cortisone, glucagon, epinephine, and growth hormone, which cause insulin resistance, thus leading to elevated glucose levels.

However, the dawn phenomenon may be attributed to other causes, such as:
* Not eating a carbohydrate snack at bedtime
* Adjusting your dosage of medication or insulin
* Switching to a different medication
* Using an insulin pump to administer extra insulin during early-morning hours

Therefore, it is imperative that you keep a good record of your food intake, follow your medication schedule, and check your glucose levels regularly. As always, discuss these concerns with your doctor and/or speak with a certified diabetes educator.

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