Dawn Phenomenon Diabetes

Under the dawn phenomenon refers to a blood sugar rise in the early morning hours. The cause of this increase is a relative insulin deficiency, which is caused by the nocturnal secretion of insulin antagonists. They reached puberty its peak.

Dawn phenomenon definition

The increase in blood glucose concentration usually occurs about 3-6 clock in the morning. During this period, the body increases production kontrainsulinärer hormones such as growth hormone, cortisol, catecholamines, adrenaline and glucagon, also glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis are intensified. The dawn phenomenon is thus explained by the interaction of these processes. This feature can in principle occur in everyone in varying degrees, but does in diabetics often present a particular challenge in diabetes therapy. While the pancreas in healthy subjects, the temporarily lower insulin action automatically compensates for by increased insulin secretion, this results in diabetics by the lack of endogenous insulin production (type 1 diabetes) or insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) to elevated fasting blood glucose levels.


The differentiation from other features in diabetes therapy is often not easy. Morning high blood sugar levels may also be due to a nocturnal hypoglycemia (Somogyi effect) due, or the result of an unsatisfactory blood glucose control. Also are taken meals late at night to draw a possible cause. The distinction is usually achieved by nocturnal control measurements, as a supplement, however, the use of a continuous glucose monitoring should be considered.


Treatment varies depending on the extent of the Dawn phenomenon. While it may be sufficient at slightly elevated values​​, late to spray in the evening (additional) delay insulin is to always think in highly elevated fasting blood glucose levels in an insulin pump therapy, which is by the hour precise adjustment of the basal rate the best to date treatment option. In some cases it may be purposeful to the waiver of late taken meals. Partly useful, but less practical is also late-night exercise, which has a glucose-lowering effect.

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