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What is Dawn Phenomenon?

Dawn phenomenon is a phrase that is used in relation to the elevation of blood sugar or glucose that occurs in the early morning hours in people affected by diabetes. This most often occurs in the very early hours of the morning, generally between 2 and 8 am.

It is believed by some that this is caused by the release of hormones that occurs naturally overnight. Some of these natural hormones include glucagon, epinephrine and cortisol and may increase the resistance to insulin. This is because these hormones are actually produced to work against the effects of insulin which causes the levels of insulin to rise.

In some cases there may be other causes of elevated blood sugar levels in the morning hours. Some of these causes may include taking the wrong amount of insulin the night before, consuming snacks containing carbohydrates close to bedtime or taking the wrong amount of other medications. It may become necessary to check your sugar levels during the early morning hours to determine if this is actually to the dawn phenomenon or if there may be another cause for this issue.

Depending on what the early morning hours testing determines it may be recommended that you take additional steps in order to change these morning occurrences of elevated blood sugar. Some of these steps may include changing your insulin dosage or that of other medications, changing medications, using a pump to deliver additional insulin during the early hours of the morning and not consuming carbohydrates close to bedtime.

Individuals who are affected by this condition in most cases will have no kind of symptoms present other than the unusual levels of high blood sugar in the morning hours. Your doctor may suggest you check your glucose levels around 2 or 3 in the morning to see if this is the issue. Repeated normal to high levels of glucose at this time of the morning are most often indicative of this condition.

There is currently no known cure for this condition other than to change certain things such as your medications or dosage amounts as well as your evening eating habits. Your health care provider may also consider changing your insulin and how much of it you use. It may become to necessary to increase the amount of insulin you take at night in an effort to curb this condition as much as possible.

Because there is no cure for dawn phenomenon it is very important to work cooperatively with your health care professional in order to determine the cause of this condition. Only when you know the cause of this condition can you take the necessary steps to do everything possible to control it to the best of your ability. Consistently high glucose levels over a period of time can lead to dangerous health issues in relation to diabetes. It is also important to always remember to take your insulin and to take the correct amounts as insufficient amounts can make this condition worse.

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