The dawn phenomenon, or dawn effect, is when there is an abnormal increase in your early-morning blood sugar (glucose) levels (between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m.), usually seen in people with diabetes. If you are wondering whether all people with diabetes have the dawn phenomenon, then the answer is yes. As your body prepares for the day, blood sugar levels usually rise in the morning. To cope with this increased blood sugar, insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels) is used. The dawn phenomenon occurs in diabetics as there is insufficient insulin, which leads to abnormally high blood sugar levels in the early morning hours as the body is unable to cope with this increase. This article will delve deeper into the causes, symptoms, complications, treatment, home remedies, and prevention of the dawn phenomenon.
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The dawn phenomenon, or rather an increase in blood sugar in the early morning hours, occurs in all individuals due to certain hormones that trigger an increase in the release of glucose into the blood to provide the body with energy for the rest of the day. So, do individuals with type 2 diabetes experience the dawn phenomenon? Yes. In individuals with diabetes, the dawn phenomenon is amplified due to insulin resistance and lack of insulin. Other causes of the dawn phenomenon in diabetes are as follows.
The main symptom of the dawn phenomenon is increased early morning blood sugar levels that become persistent and difficult to manage. Though you may not necessarily experience physical symptoms of the dawn phenomenon, some of them to look out for are as follows:
If you have wondered what causes the dawn effect in diabetics, the answer is the lack of insulin to tackle the early morning rise in blood glucose levels. But how dangerous is the dawn phenomenon for individuals with diabetes? Research shows that the dawn phenomenon increases the A1C levels (the average blood sugar levels over three months) in individuals with type 2 diabetes. An increase in A1C levels leads to increased diabetes complications like kidney and heart disease. Even a 1% increase in A1C levels can result in a 15% to 20% increase in the likelihood of developing heart complications. Therefore, since it is seen that even small increases in blood sugar levels can cause complications and detrimentally affect your health, treating the dawn phenomenon is vital.
How do you stop the dawn phenomenon? The mainstay of diabetes management is a combination of exercise, diet, medication, and strict monitoring of blood sugar levels. However, for the dawn phenomenon, following the below-mentioned tips can help people effectively manage the symptoms and prevent complications.
The dawn phenomenon results in sustained, increased levels of blood sugar, which are detrimental to your health. If left untreated, it can potentially lead to a life-threatening medical emergency. Other complications of the dawn phenomenon due to increased blood sugar levels are as follows:
To prevent these complications, you will need to seek advice from your doctor. Metformin, an oral diabetic medication usually prescribed for type-2 diabetes, is known to help with the dawn phenomenon as it slows down the release of glucose from the liver.
To treat the dawn phenomenon, the following steps can help:
The following home remedies or lifestyle changes can help reduce early morning blood sugar levels:
Read more about what level of blood sugar is dangerous
The dawn phenomenon is a term used when your blood sugar levels rise to an abnormally high level on waking up. In individuals with diabetes, due to the lack of insulin, it becomes difficult to combat these increased blood sugar levels. Several preventive measures can prevent this from becoming a regular occurrence. As the dawn phenomenon can be dangerous to individuals with diabetes, you need to consult your doctor and take the necessary steps to manage, treat, and prevent it.
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