Answers to Common Diabetes Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about diabetes.

How can the dawn phenomenon affect someone with diabetes?

Dr. Miguel Parilo discusses how the dawn phenomenon affects someone with diabetes. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

How can the dawn phenomenon affect someone with diabetes?

The effects of dawn phenomenon typically go unnoticed. As far as the way an individual feels, the real feeling is of frustration because an individual's trying to do the right thing in taking their medicines and eating appropriately. Many times, a patient will say, "I didn't eat anything this morning and I noticed my blood sugar escalating." We have to check closely, do questions, try and figure out ... Is it something that you're doing? A stressful event? Is it unaccounted for carbohydrates like creamer in coffee? Is it a healthy meal, but yet a meal that has carbohydrates and you're not really accounting for that, so the blood sugar's escalating? Are your medicines wearing out and you actually just need a change of how or when you're using your medicines? Or, is this dawn phenomenon?

If we can identify it as dawn phenomenon, or separate it from those other causes, then we can try and attack that. As far as feeling poorly, a person might feel an elevation of blood sugar, particularly if it's more extreme. If it's in a more modest, reasonable range, as would be more typical, it may go unnoticed unless you're checking or monitoring the blood sugar.

 

The dawn phenomenon is when your body produces a surge of hormones early in the morning before you wake up, according to the American Diabetes AssociationOff Site Icon (ADA). 

If you have diabetes, your insulin doesn’t respond like someone else’s would, so you might see your fasting glucose level go up.

Typically, the dawn phenomenon goes unnoticed, except for elevated numbers when you’re checking your blood sugar, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians say.

If the effects of the dawn phenomenon make you feel bad in the morning, talk to your doctor to find a way to manage the changes. 

For more information about how the dawn phenomenon affects people with diabetes, talk with your doctor.

Learn more:

Source: Joseph Allen, MD, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Michael Chunn, MD, Family Practice; Isaac Corney, MD, Trotwood Physician Center; Ann DeClue, MD, Saadeddine Dughman, MD, Advanced Cardiovascular Institute; Gary Fishbein, MD, Dayton Heart Center; Irina Gendler, MD, Troy Primary Care Physicians; Roger Goodenough, MD, Troy Primary Care Physicians; J. Wes Halderman, MD, Jamestown Family Medicine; Timothy O Donnell, MD, Miami Valley Primary Care; Miguel Parilo, MD, Bull Family Diabetes Center; Srikanth Sadhu, MD, Advanced Cardiovascular Institute; Trisha Zeidan, MD, Bull Family Diabetes Center; Chandan Gupta, MD, Monroe Medical Center; Miguel Parilo, MD, FACP, Bull Family Diabetes Center; Kristine Sun, MD; Premier Family Care of Mason;

Schedule an appointment

To schedule an appointment with a primary care provider, call (866) 608-FIND(866) 608-FIND or complete the form below to receive a call from our scheduling department to make an appointment.

Michael Chunn, MD

Michael Chunn, MD

View Profile
Timothy R. O'Donnell, DO

Timothy R. O'Donnell, DO

Miami Valley Primary Care

View Profile