Saturday, April 23, 2011

Just Call Me Fido

Hello, I’m an old dog.  I recently heard an ugly rumor that I can’t learn new tricks.  I think that’s rather rude!  Just because I’ve done things one way for a long time doesn’t mean that I can’t change!  Being a PWD means constantly learning new things and changing old habits.  For instance, I just recently learned something regarding Dawn Phenomenon and the Somogyi Effect.  I’ve been experiencing high morning glucose readings for a while now and have been looking into possible reasons.  I found these two possibilities: 

Dawn Phenomenon:  During sleep, hormones are released that trigger the liver to put out glucose in preparation for waking up.  In PWD this can cause high fasting readings because our wacky pancreas doesn’t release enough insulin to compensate.  It doesn’t have much to do with what you ate the night before or how great your reading was at bedtime.  It’s a rather frustrating thing.

Somogyi Effect:  If your body has too much insulin during the night then it can cause this effect.  This may be due to injecting too much insulin (for those who use it) or not eating a snack before bedtime.  Your glucose drops during the night and your body releases hormones to counter-act causing your fasting reading to be high.

One suggestion to help determine which of these is causing high morning readings is to check your glucose at around 3AM.  If it is normal or high, you are probably dealing with Dawn Phenomenon.  If it’s low, it’s probably the Somogyi Effect.  I plan to do this tonight and see what reading I get. (sorry Ray)  I do have one concern…..testing my glucose while sleep-walking could be detrimental to my over-all health. :/

I’m hoping that it’s Somogyi (even though I can’t pronounce it) because it sounds easier to fix.  No matter what I discover, I feel good that I’m learning new things and trying to “fix my problem”.  I will definitely discuss this with my doctor when I see her in June.  I like going to my appointments armed with information.  It’s important to take an active part in my health and not just let the doctor tell me what I should be doing.  Knowledge is power!  I may be an old dog, but I’m a smart one who knows how to research.


  1. Well, my sugars weren't low so I guess it's Dawn Phenomenon. Bummer. My plan? Keep doing what I'm doing until I see the doctor and find out how my A1c is looking.

  2. Kate, I love your blog. You left a kind message on my blog and I thank you. Here is my response to your message:

    Kate, I'm sorry about your husband and I applaud your choice of control. The important thing as you said is to stay on top of it. I have an older cousin who has stage 4 kidney disease and is type 2. Talk about tough! He's been able to improve his kidney function with extremely tight diet control and appropriate drugs.

    The problem with kidney damage is you really need to be careful about protein. Further many types of vegis are off the list as well. He stays on top of things with a really difficult diet and is controlling his BG with appropriate very tight insulin control.

    My heart goes out to you and your husband. I see you have a blog as well, I'm happy to share a link with your blog.

    Take care and thanks for stopping by!


  3. About low-carb diets. It's a mistake to think that a low-carb diet is only meat, fish and cheese. Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, who wrote The Diabetes Solution has been doing low carb for decades, and is now in his late 70's, and still healthy and active. Plus the complications he had been developing have gone into remission. The reason? A well-designed low-carb diet includes lots of low-carb vegetables, and you can meet all your dietary needs with the aforementioned proteins and vegetables. So, no, I don't think a good low-carb diet is dangerous at all.

  4. Hi Natalie, thanks for your comment. I am the first to admit that I don't know everything! I have actually been thinking about writing another post regarding low carb and your comment has made that decision for me. Dangerous was definitely the wrong word to use and I know a lot of people are seeing great results with low carb. Thanks again for keeping me on my toes.


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