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The Differences Between Dawn Phenomenon and Somogyi Effect. What Causes Them, Treatments


Ever wonder why your blood sugars may be normal before bed, but then you wake up out of range and higher than you were before you went to sleep?

Enter Dawn Phenomenon and the Somogyi Effect.

This article will take you through the differences of each and help you understand how to treat it and avoid those fasting morning blood sugar increases.

What is the difference between Dawn Phenomenon and the Somogyi effect?

Both Dawn Phenomenon and the Somogyi effect cause high blood sugars in the morning.

Dawn Phenomenon is when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin in response to your liver’s glucose dump at dawn. This means you make wake with higher glucose levels than what you went to sleep with.

The Somogyi effect happens when a person has a rapid drop in blood sugar at night. This is the result of too much insulin in the body. The body then rebounds but increasing glycose levels to compensate for the low.

When this occurs, a person may wake up with low glucose levels in the middle of the night, and high glucose levels in the morning.

What causes Dawn Phenomenon and the Somogyi effect?

High blood sugar readings when you wake up? What's dawn phenomenon and Somogyi effect in diabetes?

When your body is ready to wake up, it signals your liver to produce glucose for energy.

When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make insulin or use it efficiently, so that glucose dump can cause hyperglycemia – or high blood sugar.

How to avoid Dawn Phenomenon and Somogyi effect

Some tips for avoiding the morning glucose spikes are:

  • Limit carbohydrates before bed.
  • Including a protein or fiber-rich snack before heading to bed.
  • Adjusting your medication routine with your doctor, so you have better coverage overnight.

For Somogyi Effect, you need to figure out if your body has too much or not enough insulin and adjust how often you take your diabetes medication accordingly.

How do you treat Dawn Phenomenon and the Somogyi effect

Dawn Phenomenon and Somogyi effect are treated by talking with your endocrinologist or healthcare provider. They can determine the best treatment forward.

If you notice these patterns, it’s crucial to talk with your doctor about how to how to make the best adjustments to get your blood sugars in range.

The bottom line

Both conditions need professional help from endocrinologists and healthcare providers, so it is important to speak with them if you notice these patterns in your own life. Getting this help can assist you in getting your blood sugars back in range.

Whether Dawn Phenomenon or Somogyi Effect have been causing havoc on your mornings lately, it’s something that can be adjusted with a little bit of extra care.

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About Mila

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m earning my Master’s degree in Applied nutrition.

I’m currently an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living with  LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen, and teaching you about diabetes self-management.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals and tips on diabetes self-care.

Be sure to download my FREE Diabetes Community App Glucose Guide, or reach out for FREE 1:1 diabetes health and habit coaching.

How can I help with your diabetes management?

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