Lesson 6 - Early Morning Hyperglycemia

The Somogyi Effect (Posthypoglycemic Hyperglycemia)

Some people experience early morning hyperglycemia in response to low blood sugar overnight. Normally when the body experiences low levels of glucose during the night (hypoglycemia), counterregulatory hormones (such as cortisol, glucagon, epinephrine, and growth hormones) are triggered to release glucose into the bloodstream. The problem in the Somogyi Effect is an overcompensation leading to hyperglycemia.

This condition is named after Dr. Michael Somogyi, who first wrote about this condition in diabetics; it is most common in children or young adults, and newly diagnosed diabetics.

If left untreated, this condition can lead to a loss of glycemic control, as well as unpredictable fluctuations in blood glucose levels (also known as brittle diabetes). This is often treated by reducing the evening or bedtime insulin dose, or by having a late-night pre-bedtime snack to help encourage an increase in blood glucose levels while you are sleeping.

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