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When you’ve tried everything for the high morning numbers and nothing seems to work!!!!
Understanding Dawn Phenomenon (DP) can be extremely confusing for new people, and also for not-so-new people. How do you understand the difference between DP, Liver Dumps, Stress, rebound hyperglycemia, and Somogyi effect?
The short answer is that DP occurs in the early to mid morning timeframe. It occurs while you’re sleeping. In my other blog link on DP click here I stated:
Between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.(usually), the body increases the production of certain hormones. I often call this “system maintenance” activity. These natural body chemicals suppress the activity of insulin, a hormone that transports glucose into cells to use for energy and reduces blood sugar levels.
The hormones include:
Catecholamines: hormones released by the adrenal glands. They are part of the sympathetic nervous system.
These hormones trigger the liver to release enough glucose to give the body the energy to wake up. In non-diabetic people, the body responds to the excess glucose that accumulates as a result of this process by producing insulin. The insulin then moves the excess glucose into the cells. However, people with diabetes either fail to produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin that is available. As a result, glucose continues to rise to abnormally high levels (hyperglycemia).
Now understand that this process happens to everyone, but people who aren’t diabetic can produce enough insulin to control the rise. All people are also more sensitive to carbs in the morning as well, their numbers are higher than the rest of the day, but again they have enough insulin production to keep them from going too high. A link that explains this in normal people is: Normal Glucose Symposium. Many of these hormones are also activated by stress or the “fight-or-flight” response, which explains why prolonged stress can also make your numbers higher.
The Cortisol Connection
We do have a lot of control of the numbers through diet and exercise, but the effects of this natural hormone cycle is pretty much beyond our control.
Where does cortisol come from and what is its purpose in the body?
Cortisol is talked about a lot these days. Do a search and the first few pages will mainly involve weight loss. Cortisol affects much more than that, as we’ll see.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced in the cortex of the adrenal glands located on top of each kidney. It is the most potent hormone produced by the adrenal glands (glucocorticoid). It’s produced from cholesterol and it’s production stimulates the pituitary hormone ACTH.
Cortisol is released in a highly irregular manner with peak secretion in the early morning which then tapers out in the late afternoon and evening. In healthy adults cortisol concentrations increase by between 50 and 160% in the first 30 min immediately after awakening.
Insulin and insulin stimulating drugs can work well for DP when your problem is that you just don’t produce enough insulin to sustain you through the overnight body processes. Now these medications can in themselves cause problems if not adjusted properly. The main problem is that they can cause low blood glucose. A lot of testing and adjusting is involved with finding the right levels of these for your body.
The most important thing to do is:
Stop beating yourself up and banging your head against the wall !!!! You’ve seen some of the many factors involved in this process and should now realize that many of them are beyond your control. Sure there are things that are within your control, but there will never be a time when everything is.
So don’t compare yourself to anyone else, everyone is an individual. If you hear stories about the person who is 150 years old and maintains perfect numbers with a diet solely of raw aardvark liver and uncooked sting-weed roots just move on. Stress raises your glucose levels, so to paraphrase these famous words:
Accept the things you cannot change,
Change the things you can change,
And have the wisdom to know the difference.
© EMO 3/12
Knowledge is Power