This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert
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Type 2 diabetes is the result of dysfunction in the way the body processes the hormone insulin. Insulin has many important roles but high up on the list is regulating blood sugar – the main type of sugar found in blood. Poor insulin production gives rise to unregulated blood sugar levels particularly in the morning time.
The dawn phenomenon is a natural rise in blood sugar which occurs in the early morning hours.
The shift in blood sugar levels happens as a result of hormonal changes in the body.
The body normally uses insulin to cope with this rise in blood sugar, however the body of a person with diabetes does not produce enough insulin, or it is unable to use the insulin properly.
As a result, the person will feel the effects of having high sugar levels in the blood.
According to Medical News Today, the five key symptoms to spot warning of the dawn phenomenon include:
- Blurry vision
- Extreme thirst
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The dawn phenomenon can be problematic because the body isn’t able to naturally correct insulin changes during the night.
This often creates consistently high blood glucose levels in the morning.
Estimates show that dawn phenomenon occurs in about 50 percent of people who have type 2 diabetes.
Dr Sarah Brewer said: “The main reason why everyone experiences a slightly a higher blood sugar level in the morning is known as the dawn phenomenon.”
She explained: “For people without diabetes, the rise in glucose is minimal, but for those with diabetes, blood glucose levels stay higher than normal.
“One study found that around 55 percent of people with diabetes experienced the dawn affect, but others have not found the same prevalence.
“The dawn phenomenon is due to our natural biorhythms in which production of insulin hormone (which lowers glucose) is suppressed during sleep, and levels of other hormones that raise glucose (growth hormone, glucagon and cortisol) increase.
“There is also a theory (known as the Somogyi effect) which suggests that, in people with diabetes who are on insulin, the rise in blood sugar in the morning could be a rebound effect of using too much or, conversely, too little insulin the evening before, but this is controversial.”
How to manage it
Take medication or insulin at bedtime instead of at dinnertime.
Eat dinner earlier in the evening.
Get some exercise after dinner.
Avoid snacks that contain carbohydrates at bedtime.
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