Blood Sugar High in Morning | Lowering Blood Sugar

Blood Sugar High in Morning

Blood Sugar High in Morning

Diabetes? Don’t Let ‘Dawn Phenomenon’ Raise Your Blood Sugar – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)Diabetes?Blood-Sugar-High-in-Morning

As morning approaches, your sleeping body begins preparing to rise. Your body releases a surge of hormones, and they can work against insulin to cause blood sugar to rise slightly. When this happens, it is known as dawn phenomenon.

In most people, dawn phenomenon is typically harmless; the body creates a small amount of insulin to correct the problem. However, for those with diabetes, it can become a bigger challenge, says endocrinologist Sana Hasan, DO.

If you have diabetes, here’s what you need to know about regulating your blood sugar at night so you don’t have to worry about managing it first thing in the morning.

How does dawn phenomenon work?

For people with diabetes, dawn phenomenon is problematic because your body isn’t able to naturally correct for insulin changes during the night. This often creates consistently high blood glucose levels in the morning. Estimates show that dawn phenomenon occurs in about 50 percent of people who have type 2 diabetes.

How you can help pinpoint the problem

If you find that your blood sugar is consistently high when you wake up, you can help diagnose the issue by checking your blood sugar levels during the night.

Dr. Hasan suggests that you set your alarm for 2 or 3 a.m. for a few nights in a row to see what the levels are like during that time. If they’re high then, that’s probably a sign of dawn phenomenon, she says.

Low blood sugar at night — a different problem

But if you find low blood sugar levels during the night, that is another issue altogether. If this is the case, you likely have what is known as the Somogyi effect, or rebound hyperglycemia.

Managing Morning Blood Sugar Highs – Everyday Health (blog)

Everyday Health (blog)Managing Morning Blood Sugar HighsEveryday Health (blog)

A high blood sugar reading first thing in the morning can throw off your whole day — and signal a chronic problem. Despite their best efforts to control their blood sugar levels, some people simply wake up with elevated blood sugar. Starting your day this way is not just alarming — if it becomes a pattern, high A.M. readings can make it difficult to achieve your long-term diabetes management goals.

Whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2, a morning blood sugar high can usually be traced to one of three causes. With a little detective work and the help of your diabetes care team, you can isolate the cause and take steps to correct it.

The Dawn Phenomenon

morning-blood-sugar-high“The dawn phenomenon occurs during the night while you are asleep and the body releases stress hormones,” explained certified diabetes educator Hector Verastigui, RN, clinical research coordinator at the Texas Diabetes Institute in San Antonio. This phenomenon usually occurs between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. and involves growth hormone, cortisol, and adrenaline, which trigger the production and release of glucose from your liver. The end result of this chemical cascade is an increase in blood sugar.

“These hormones are designed to get us up and moving in the morning,” said endocrinologist Renee Amori, MD, an assistant professor in the division of endocrinology at the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. While everybody experiences these natural changes in hormone levels, in people with diabetes the body may not adjust appropriately. This can lead to higher-than-normal blood sugar at the start of the day.

The Somogyi Effect

High morning readings can also be caused by the Somogyi effect, a rebound response that occurs when the body overcompensates for a low blood sugar reaction in the middle of the night. “If you take blood-sugar-lowering medication [such as insulin] in the evening that may cause you to have a hypoglycemic reaction while you are asleep, your body will release these stress hormones that will cause you to have a high blood sugar in the morning,” explained Verastigui. If this is contributing to your high morning blood sugar, he said, you may experience symptoms related to hypoglycemia, including headache, excessive sweating while asleep and difficulty waking. “If your physician is increasing your evening diabetes medication to lower your morning blood sugar and your blood sugar keeps going up, you may be experiencing Somogyi,” Verastigui said.

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