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The dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect cause high blood sugar levels, especially in the morning before breakfast, in people who have diabetes.
The dawn phenomenon is a normal rise in blood sugar as a person's body prepares to wake up.
If the blood sugar level drops too low in the early morning hours, hormones (such as growth hormone, cortisol, and catecholamines) are released. These help reverse the low blood sugar level but may lead to blood sugar levels that are higher than normal in the morning. An example of the Somogyi effect is:
The Somogyi effect can occur any time you or your child has extra insulin in the body. To sort out whether an early morning high blood sugar level is caused by the dawn phenomenon or Somogyi effect, check blood sugar levels at bedtime, around 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., and at your normal wake-up time for several nights. A continuous glucose monitor could also be used throughout the night.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Current as ofDecember 7, 2017
Current as of: December 7, 2017
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
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