The "dawn phenomenon" is one of the peculiarities of type 2 diabetes... actually it is one of the reasons for this most commonly asked question by people with type 2 diabetes... "why do I have high blood sugar levels in the morning when they were fine when I went to bed?" Unfortunately the dawn phenomenon is a really common cause of high blood sugar levels; blood sugars go up during the night-time even without raids during the night on the cookie jar or refrigerator!
Even though no additional food is eaten during the night and the prescribed amount of insulin was taken before going to bed, blood sugar levels climb during sleep. When this happens, extra blood glucose is released by your liver, which somehow does not get the message that your body is asleep.
Dr. Jenny Gunton, at the Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia, collaborating with Dr Xiao Hui Wang and Professor Ronald Kahn from the Harvard Medical School and the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, recently published their research findings in the journal, Cell Metabolism. All three researchers had patients who would usually go to bed with blood sugar levels of approximately 90 mg/dL (5 mmol/L) and then wake up with blood sugar levels of about 216 mg/dL (12 mmol/L). It was as if they went sleepwalking to the refrigerator and had a big snack. But the truth is they didn't!
Dr. Gunton has discovered that people with type 2 diabetes who have the dawn phenomenon, suffer a mutation of a master control gene called ARNT. When the ARNT gene does not direct the formation of control enzymes, their liver turns a wider variety of stored carbohydrates into glucose. It's almost as though there is no mechanism to signal the liver of these people to stop making sugar... so far more sugar than their body needs at rest is produced.
Dr. Jenny Gunton and her colleagues have found that the treatment for the dawn phenomenon is simple. It's only necessary to expose liver cells to insulin. For type 2 diabetics, that means injected insulin, a slow-release form of insulin which they need to inject before their bedtime.
If you don't like the idea of taking insulin, be assured that the right technique makes the insulin injection painless. Just make sure your skin meets the needle... depress your skin and allow it to spring back up to the needle... rather than trying to jab the needle in.
And the minor pain of a bedtime insulin injection is far less than the crippling complications of type 2 diabetes caused by the uncontrolled effects of high blood sugar levels.
Would you like more information about alternative ways to handle your type 2 diabetes?
To download your free copy of my E-Book, click here now: Answers to Your Questions... its based on questions many diabetics have asked me over recent months.
Beverleigh Piepers is a registered nurse who would like to help you understand how to live easily and happily with your type 2 diabetes.
Copyright. (c) 2010 Beverleigh H Piepers RN. All Rights Reserved
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