What is the dawn phenomenon in type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Sep 13, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

The dawn phenomenon is the normal tendency of the blood glucose to rise in the early morning before breakfast. This rise, which may result from the nocturnal spikes in growth hormone that cause insulin resistance, is probably enhanced by increased hepatic gluconeogenesis secondary to the diurnal rise in serum cortisol.

Augmented hepatic gluconeogenesis and glycogen cycling are known to occur in patients with type 1 DM. However, both abnormalities, regardless of the duration of diabetes, can be corrected with intensified insulin therapy. [126]


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