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Dawn phenomenon and Breakfast

Discussion in 'Prediabetes' started by Raerose, May 27, 2020.

  1. Raerose

    Raerose Prediabetes · Member

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    Hi all,
    Apologies if this has been discussed recently I couldn't find a complete answer in my search.

    I've had GD twice, both times I was given Insulin to control my high morning readings (dawn phenomenon). There was a query if I was actually T2 but following my last pregnancy I was able to lower my HbA1c so for the moment I'm recorded as pre-diabetic and use no medication. I saw a nurse at my practice who made more sense than anyone else I have seen over the last 4 years or so and she is the only one that really advocates completely low carb to control blood sugars. I agree with this and have been trying my best to eat low carb. My 1 year old was diagnosed T1 in September so you would think this would make it easier as carb counting is now my life but unfortunately I'm struggling.

    When I do eat low carb my post meal glucose levels seem OK however my morning fasting levels are creeping up. (much higher in the morning than bedtime) The nurse said to do intermittent fasting and not eat breakfast. Her theory was if I eat breakfast I'm just topping up my blood sugar all day and no chance for it to drop. I'm fine with not eating breakfast as after eating some combination of eggs, bacon, and mushrooms throughout both pregnancies I'm pretty over breakfast! (anything else my blood sugars were high) However I have seen conflicting advice about skipping breakfast, that eating something may help to reduce blood sugars somehow. I do need to lose weight too so this might have been part of her rationale for no breakfast.

    What does everyone else do with high fasting levels? Any tips or motivation?
    Thanks
     
  2. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

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    What works for me (I can't give advice about what might work for you) is to eat something a bit fatty and very low carb or carb free for breakfast as, if I don't, my BG just carries on rising until just before lunchtime. My breakfast doesn't make it go down though - except on rare occasions - it just stops the rise. I'm a veggie so I usually have scrambled eggs or an omelette.

    Your nurse sounds surprisingly sensible. I wish mine was like that!
     
  3. Raerose

    Raerose Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks, I suspect that would be the same with me. I should test more regularly for a week or so and look for patterns but I already get through so many test strips!

    Nurse is fab. I've always been sceptical about advice given in the past. When I was on insulin I was told to have a snack before bed... why not just lower insulin? This nurse was horrified I was put on insulin she said that will have done me no favours long term. I think she is on a 1 woman mission to cure all T2 diabetics, with some of the advice and "diabetic recipes" I've seen out there she might have quite a hard time!
     
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  4. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

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    I agree with the nurse. I was put on insulin as a quick fix and the only dietary advice i was given was lose weight and eat more carbs which led to taking more and more insulin and gaining a stone for each year that I was on it. I'm sure insulin is an absolute life saver for many type 2s but, for me, proper low carb dietary advice would have been more useful.
     
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  5. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Raerose. When I get on a high FBG roll I have to force myself to eat as soon as I wake up (most days between 4am and 7am), else my liver just keeps on pumping out glucose until I do eat. These days I am eating one or two boiled eggs, and that does the trick, and I have a better (LCHF/Keto) breakfast mid morning when I actually want it.

    A real benefit for me of getting my HBA1c down is my FBGs improve hugely, and I can skip breakfast, especially an early breakfast, which is what I prefer. But I haven't been there for some time - over a year.

    But I am unmedicated. I imagine that if one takes metformin last thing at night, it can positively affect your FBGs? As in changing the 'on switch' to off for the liver spurting out the glucose - if my HBA1c and FBGs don't improve I am considering taking metformin for this reason, at least for a period. And then I will gladly skip the boiled eggs in uncivilised hours! :).
     
  6. LaoDan

    LaoDan Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My BG rises just after I wake, which I think is normal. If I think my BG is a bit high, I try to burn it with a 30 minute walk around the block. Coffee raises my BG a tad. So my routine is, wake, coffee and a quick walk. Seems to help me.
     
  7. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The trouble is that - exercising/being particulalry active if you have a liver releasing even more glucose malfunction as part of your diabetes, which is the Dawn Phenomenon not being at normal levels, but elevated at diabetic levels - the worse thing can be to exercise on an empty stomach. Your glucose elevation can get very high indeed. Or at the very least - not 'normal'as it would be for someone without the blood glucose regulation problem, but becomes abnormally elevated. (This is certainly my own physical situation.)

    I have experimented with 'which time to be physically active is best', with breakfast, and without, for the morning experimentation and it was not pretty in the a.m. without at least a wee shot of protein (hence the egg) to calm my liver and the DP first. Greek yoghurt is also good, as in just a small amount - half a wee pottle. (But that is more for the warm season. Something warm for the cold and damp and wet, the current experience, suits me better. )

    For yourself - the only way you are going to know what is best for you is to eat and meter, and, to exercise and meter. And check out how you feel physically. (I know for instance I am not the best exercising in a fasting state.) When I incorporate intermittent fasting or fasting into my treatment (I've been a bit slack lately - during our national emergency/lockdown in NZ the last thing I wanted to do was not eat), I am not my usual active self, as it does not suit my constitution, the diabetes included, to be so on an empty stomach.

    People, even people with blood glucose dysregulation, maybe even especially those with dysregulation? typically differ wildly on their personal tastes and feel-good conditions when it comes to the body, and to eating, and to physical activity. You will know what suits you and your BG levesl, is my best guess, soon enough.
     
  8. SlimLizzy

    SlimLizzy Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hello Raerose
    I'm prediabetic too and find my FBG generally keeps rising until I eat. As you don't want a "proper" breakfast, how about having coffee with cream. That might be enough fat to stop you feeling hungry til lunchtime, without huge amount of calories.
    Another thing, what time do you have your evening meal? I find a late meal (after 8pm), will almost always give a higher FBG reading next day.
    Best wishes Lizzy
     
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  9. LaoDan

    LaoDan Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    “If you have a liver releasing even more glucose” my mentality is, if my BG is high, I burn it, otherwise, where does it go? What burns BG? If my liver dumps, I’ll burn that too! .. The solution, eat if your BG is high doesn’t sit well with me. Nor does not exercising in a fasted state. I figure, I’ll burn it all :)

    Edit, I’m still new at this.. so I’m probably not right
     
  10. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    From my pov @LaoDan - there is no right or wrong for us all! I believe. You are right, for you - absolutely. I have no problems dealing with disagreement, as it is pretty civilised in here :).

    But eatng something (very very low in carbs obviously! hence the egg which is I read this morning - 0.1g of carbs) to birng my BGs down works for me, after waking with unnaturally high BGs with Dawn Phenomenon - ie my liver misreading signals, or whatever is going on in there, from my sick fat cells, and spurting out BIG amounts of glucose, 'reading' that I in fact have low BG, when, y'all, I do not, absolutely.

    If I went for a long walk or was physically active at that stage my BGs would rise even higher - until I ate something. (low carb!) Hence the forcing myself to eat something (very very low carb!)

    The only time that does not happen is on Day 2 or 3 of a no-food fast, or a small-amount-of-food regime. I know because I have six years of experimentation behind me - I know my poor old BG dysregulated bod very well.

    I can be at non-diabetic levels if I don't eat, or I don't eat enough to - you know - function properly.

    I think I have quite a full-on metabolic dysfunction. Otherwise I would not be here sharing about my egg :).

    Anyway - I have just had my egg, and must off and out the door (with stabilised BGs).
     
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  11. nomialder

    nomialder · Newbie

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    My doc told me to quit all grains and replace with vegetables. It’s working for me, but it would be hard for a kid. I eat a lot of bean and veggie hash, lentils, quinoa, and cauliflower. Potatoes are out too, but sweet potatoes are fine. Basically I’m eating all fruit, vegetables and meat with a little added dairy for flavor. I have a smoothie in the morning and it has a stabilizing effect on my bg because of all the fiber. My worst reading in the day is always in the morning before I eat. I don’t think fasting is right for me, because my bg comes down when I eat. I’m experimenting with a carb/protein snack like apple and cheese before bed. It seems to help. I might get a reading of 5.2 instead of 6.2 for instance.
     
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