Morning highs, the phenomenon in which blood sugar is high in the morning is common in people with diabetes. There are two causes of morning highs- the dawn effect and the Hypoglycemic rebound (Somogyi effect).
The dawn phenomenon occurs when there is a rise in blood sugar during the morning hours, between 3.00am and 6.00am. The effect is due to the production of hormones triggered by the body as it gets ready to start a new day. This is the way the body communicates to ensure that it has enough energy for the day.
For people with diabetes, their bodies may not have enough insulin to counteract this hormonal increase. As a result, the liver dumps a lot of glucose in the blood raising the blood sugar, which is very dangerous.
The exact cause is unknown, but researchers say that the condition is as a result of the diabetic person actions, mismanaging diabetes. The phenomenon is the same, morning highs. There are two causes;
1). When a person with diabetes has hypoglycemia overnight, the body reacts by producing anti-insulin hormones to bring the blood sugar up. However, such a reaction may lead to over production of the anti-insulin hormones raising the blood sugar way above the normal ranges.
Since the cells of a diabetic person are less sensitive to insulin, the conversion of glycogen to glucose continues without regulatory mechanisms.
2). The second cause is the medication doses. When the insulin levels you usually take are too little for the body, due to a long-time usage, morning highs occur. The thing is your body reacts to any antigen, in this case, the insulin.
With time it develops some resistance, and you may have to take higher doses. That is why as a diabetic person, you must visit the doctor regularly. The doctor should determine when you need a higher dose.
Some doctors will provide you with a continuous glucose monitor; others will ask you to take particular blood glucose tests. Whichever way, the test will work out best if you do it in the early morning hours of around 3.00 am for the first time and a second time when you wake up.
Somogyi effect is detected if the blood sugar is high throughout the night and the dawn phenomenon if the blood sugar is high at this time. The tests are taken several nights in a row.
After determining the cause, your health care provider provides you with methods of counteracting the morning highs. Below are some of the recommendations:
Whether it is type 1 or type 2, diabetes is lethal, but it should not have to. With controlled medication, you can live a normal life. With control, you do not have to wake up feeling like just feasted on a plate of cookies.