What Is the “Dawn Phenomenon”?

Diabetes-Update-Dan's-Wellness-Pharmacy-Newsletter-June-2016All people have the “dawn phenomenon” whether they have diabetes or not.  The dawn phenomenon is a surge of hormones that the body produces daily between about 2:00 and 8:00 a.m.  People with diabetes don’t have normal insulin responses to adjust for this, and may see their fasting glucose go up.

Some researchers believe the natural overnight release of the so-called counter-regulatory hormones – including growth hormones, cortisol, glucagon and epinephrine – increases insulin resistance, causing blood sugar to rise.  This is why high fasting blood glucose levels are common in people with type 2 diabetes.

Steps that may help:

  • Eat dinner earlier in the evening.
  • Do something active after dinner (such as going for a walk).

If your fasting glucose continues to be high, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication.

–Sources:  American Diabetes Association; Mayo Clinic