When Diabetic Blood Sugars Rise Overnight

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A problem that some people who suffer from diabetes experience is to find that their early morning blood sugar levels are too high, higher in the morning than they were before going to bed the night before, even though they have not eaten anything at all.

It’s called the Dawn Phenomenon, and it does not happen to all people with diabetes, but it’s a normal physiological process for which the medical profession can provide an explanation — and a suggestions on how to deal with it and that will depend on the actual cause of which there are several possibilities that the doctor must prescribe appropriate treatment for.

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But frequently it is really a consequence of the need for a constant supply of glucose to be available to the tissues and organs of the body at all times.

When that is the case, to describe it in simple terms, what apparently happens to cause the rise in blood sugar levels, is that the body itself senses, during the night hours while sleeping, that the glucose levels that are circulating throughout the body are beginning to get low and when that occurs, action is initiated by a number of hormones which then stimulate the liver to manufacture a supply of glucose to compensate for the lower blood glucose levels that have occurred during the night. In the case of the person with diabetes of course, the normal levels are exceeded although that would not happen to the non-diabetic person whose body can maintain proper blood sugar control.

The American Diabetes Association’s publications provide the explanation along the following lines: Between about the hours of 4 am and 8 am, the body increases production of certain hormones that suppress the activity of insulin. Insulin is also a hormone, it transports and aids the entry of glucose into the body’s cells to use for energy. In a non-diabetic person the uptake of glucose by the cells would reduce the blood sugars to a safe level.

A bedtime snack, the solution that works for me
Food provides a supply of glucose and to avoid the body’s diminishing level of glucose production during the night, a snack in the late evening will usually be sufficient to satisfy the body’s demands. Commonly recommended is a small snack that contains protein or fat and is low in carbohydrates, such as low-fat cheese or nuts. If that is not enough perhaps a slice of whole-wheat toast and peanut butter or Graham crackers and cheese.

Individuals can experiment for themselves, but for myself, I like 2 slices of commercially packaged Wasa brand light rye crispbread with about 20 grams of low fat cheese. It usually works for me and when I test for them in the morning, my sugars are often at the optimum level.

Author’s Comments:

As a long time type-2 diabetic sometimes having to deal with the above situation I understand the problems faced by my fellow diabetics. To read more on diabetes subjects, pleases visit Normal Blood Sugar Levels [] and also Diabetic Menu Guide [].

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