dawn phenomenon

Quick Reference

(Somogyi effect) the phenomenon of high fasting blood-sugar levels in the morning due to an unrecognized hypoglycaemic episode during the night in a person with diabetes. The low blood sugar has resulted in an outpouring of regulatory hormones, such as adrenaline and glucagon, which have raised the blood sugar to supranormal levels by the time of waking. It is important to recognize the cause, since increasing the evening insulin dose, thinking this will bring the morning sugars down, could actually cause a more severe nocturnal hypoglycaemic attack, which the body may not be able to counteract: coma might ensue. The condition can be tested for by measuring blood sugars at the time of the assumed low level.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

Reference entries