Night and Day

Within the body hormone fluctuations occur after periods of fasting.  This tends to take place while sleeping and upon waking.  In individuals with Type 2 diabetes, heightened blood sugar levels result from two phenomenons, the Somogyi Effect and the Dawn Effect.  Occurring in Type 2 diabetics, blood sugar may decrease as a reaction to the evening dose of diabetic medication.  To counteract the low blood sugar, the body responds naturally by trying to raise it.  Once an individual awakens, blood sugar levels are elevated with no explanation.  High blood sugar is the reaction to the preceding low blood sugar.  If the blood sugar is very low around 2 am or 3 am, the Somogyi Effect is diagnosed.According to Diabetes, Health and Nutrition, the Dawn Phenomenon was first recognized 30 years ago in diabetic patients.  It is now estimated to occur in 75% of Type 2 diabetic patients.  Before awakening, the body releases a combination of growth hormones that comprises cortisol, glucagon and adrenalin.  This surge of growth hormones counters the lowering effects of insulin, naturally raising blood sugar levels.  To counter the hormones, insulin is secreted to lower the raised blood sugars.  In a diabetic individual, insulin is not secreted properly to lower blood sugar resulting in above average blood sugar levels in the morning.

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