Dawn Phenomanon (sp?)

By vgarrison Latest Reply 2008-10-11 04:35:19 -0500
Started 2008-10-06 03:41:48 -0500

so I have heard quite a few people talk about this, but how do you know if you have it, or if it's "left overs" from the night before?

Now that I have gotten my BG levels better under control, I am noticing that I am waking up to 180 or 190 in the mornings, but level out after breakfast. I am running about 120 to 130 the rest of the day.

Also is there a test the doctor can do to see if you have this? And if you have it, what does it mean? Can it hurt us more?


8 replies

2008-10-06 04:17:37 -0500 Report

I've had issues with this a lot. While I was sick recently I had to drink Glucerna shakes as I wasn't able to eat much and I noticed when I drank one before bed, my morning numbers were in the 80-110 range again. I've been doing it ever since. They aren't cheap but they work! Also a slice of whole wheat bread with a little peanut butter on it works too!

vgarrison 2008-10-06 04:19:20 -0500 Report

mmmm peanut butter, gotta try that…thanks

enigmalady777 2008-10-09 16:14:00 -0500 Report

I have a couple of slices of bran-a-crisp (extremely high fiber, very low glycemic index crackers) with peanut butter and no sugar jelly or sometimes a stick of string cheese at bedtime.

In the beginning it wasn't doing much to stave off that dreaded Dawn Phenomenon, but as my overall numbers started to come down, so have my morning numbers.

I'm hoping this morning's low of 127 (lowest I've seen it in YEARS) wasn't just a fluke, but then my overall numbers today were also pretty low (for me!) — 91 before lunch, 135 after dinner. There may be hope for me yet!!!!!

enigmalady777 2008-10-11 04:35:19 -0500 Report

UGH. This morning it was UP again.

When I went to bed last night, my blood sugar was 118. I was so happy.

This morning I get up, it's 148. I want to scream!!!!!!

Even when you do everything RIGHT, sometimes that dreaded Dawn Phenom still sneaks up on ya!!!!

kdroberts 2008-10-06 04:09:01 -0500 Report

Dawn phenomenon (DP) is an interesting thing and not easy to figure out.

Firstly, everyone in the world has it, diabetic or not. It's your bodies mechanism for waking up. Your body starts to release hormones that are supposed to slowly increase your blood sugar and wake you up. In people without diabetes this works fine. In diabetics too much glucose can be released or the mechanism doesn't shut off. It also has a little to do with small amounts of glucose being slowly released through the night to keep your vital organs supplied when you're not eating. It does depend on your evening numbers too. If you are higher than normal when you go to bed you will be higher than normal when you wake up.

Now, the DP is very often crossed with something else. A lot of people say it's a liver dump which it isn't. The other prime source of high morning numbers is reactive hyperglycemia, or the Somogyi Effect. This happens when your blood sugar dips too low and your liver over compensates by releasing glucose. Hence the name liver dump. It can happen at any time but it's most common at night or during periods of activity.

The last way you can have high numbers in the morning is if you take insulin and your insulin is wearing off too soon.

It's hard to say what's happening without doing some not fun tests. You will need to set your alarm for various times during the night to test and see. For instance, if you test at about 3am and see you are at 50, then your high numbers are likely because of the Somogyi Effect. If you test then and you're at 90 then chances are you have the DP, and if you take insulin you have that option too.

Some things to do are test before bed, test at about 3am, test immediately when you wake up and test when you eat breakfast, make sure it's at least 30 mins after the waking test. If you are suffering from the DP then you will likely see that the 3am test is lower than your bedtime but not really high, the waking one will be higher and the before breakfast will be higher still. If you have the Somogyi Effect then your 3am will be low or close to low, your waking will be high and your before breakfast will be a little lower. If your insulin is running out it will look similar to the DP but you may find that the 3am test is a little lower but not low.

As for damage. Any number in the danger range is going to be bad. If you are yo-yoing from low to high then that's a little worse than if you just have the high number. Either way, you don't want to be doing either. Sometimes a snack before bed helps (low, long digesting carb, protein and fat) sometimes a snack in the night or immediately when waking helps (protein and fat). Sometimes if you take medication and get that right it will work too. It's a hard thing to get right.

vgarrison 2008-10-06 04:14:08 -0500 Report

WOW!!! That was way more information that I was expecting…Thank you soooo much. This is deffinetly something I need to look into!!!!


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