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February 27, 2002

Daily Care

Question from Chicago, Illinois, USA:

I am 43 years old, female, and I control my blood sugar levels with diet (avoiding most carbs and sugars), but my morning blood glucose reading is always around 120 mg/dl [6.7 mmol/L] whereas the rest of the day's readings are 80-100 mg/dl [4.4-5.6 mmol/L]. I eat nothing after dinner, and when I test my blood before going to bed it is normal but when I wake up it is elevated. What causes this morning elevation in blood sugar? How can it be corrected?


It’s a common phenomenon, called the dawn phenomenon, which is mostly due to the hepatic (liver) gluconeogenesis occurring over the second part of the night induced by the surge of cortisol and growth hormones. Without medication, there is nothing you can do to fix it.