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Dawn Phenomenon: What Really Works

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by vxtin, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. vxtin

    vxtin Type 2 · Newbie

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    I'm entering two years anniversary since I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes and still struggling with the morning readings. At the time of writing this post, I am fit, healthy and controlling the disease with exercise and metformin (1500g a day). I eat healthy and generally low carb but not necessarily on diet. My last Hba1c was 5.3 and usually in the 5.5 to 6 range. My reading in the morning immediately after waking up is usually in the 6-6.5 range which is not that good in the first place but I'm satisfied. Now as you all know and experienced first hand, after every minute of waking up the BG goes up due to liver releasing glucose and the body way of getting ready for the day. Without eating breakfast, my BG can go as high as 8-8.5 fasted and stays there and goes higher after eating breakfast. This time of the day for me is the most challenging to control my BG level like most of you while throughout the day and specially in the evening, the readings are near normal. For me, I have to eat breakfast ASAP after waking up which is a protein smoothie with minimum carb otherwise the BG goes up and stays there but sometimes this can't be the case e.g. you're on travel or need to go out before eating breakfast, taking a shower before eating, staying in bed and rolling while awake bearing the anxiety that your BG is rising every minute, etc so my purpose for creating this thread is to share everyone's experience of what really works for you and what doesn't starting with me:

    What works for me:
    - A good night sleep both in quantity and quality works miracles
    - Eating high protein, low carb breakfast first thing in the morning to stop the BG rise

    What doesn't work for me:
    - Having metformin first thing in the morning or last thing before bed. The latter actually sometimes causes hypoglycemia for me during sleep which causes sweat and headache in the morning and also worsening the BG level in the morning.
    - Apple cider vinegar. Tried it on empty stomach in the morning couple of days but didn't see much difference. To be honest didn't give it a serious effort and I'll give it a try one more time and update this post if it worked
    - Carb snack. It makes it way worse since my body is slowest at lowering BG in the morning and after breakfast compared to the rest of the day
    - Exercise in the morning. It actually speeds up the BG rush and as said before for me it stays high for a long time and the only cure is eating high protein food. Taking a shower does the same effect and I have to eat breakfast before taking the shower despite my life long habit of doing the opposite

    This said, appreciate it if you could also share your experience with as much details as possible
     
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  2. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Hello and welcome. Bulletproof coffee works for me, it stops DP in its tracks.
     
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  3. Moggely

    Moggely · Guest

    Hi vixtin. welcome. I have always been a little perplexed about the Dawn Phenomenon and still am so think this is going to be an interesting tread.. I'm only 5, no it would be 6 months in now. Morning sugars are always sorta high for me like yours about 6.4. As morning goes on it goes up a bit but never over 7 well maybe occasionally but not too often mainly after breakfast so i guess that's not too bad. Strangely exercise, when i started it, made them higher but i persevered with it. About an hours walk daily whether permitting and have noticed it has lowered my levels these past 2 weeks. I'm not on medication so just diet and exercise. Diet is Lchf and probably need more of the fat's but hard to get more food in. lol. I also drink apple cider vinegar and i think it helps but too early yet to be sure. My sleeping habit's are awful as i have insomnia so maybe that's why my levels are high in the mornings. Stress as i think with all of us wouldn't help but i'm sort of laid back so to speak and try and shrug things off if it bothers me as life is too short. I also find protein the best for it as well. I have noticed that things like broccoli,cabbage, cauliflower all good foods raise them slightly but salad greens don't. It's really interesting. Oh lemon water i have also in the mornings. I hope some of what i said might help you because it's interesting the things you have bought up. Good luck.:happy:
     
  4. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    My best plan of action is to have a low carb snack before bed (usually nuts and unsweetened almond milk). In the morning I take my blood sugar as soon as I wake up, before I even get out of bed (that way results are consistent, to get reliable trends). I then get up straight away go downstairs, make breakfast and take it back to bed! My mornings I try to keep calm and relaxed (which is easy I know, as I only work part time), exercise and jobs like lawn mowing I only ever do in the afternoon. I keep lunch and breakfast very low carb and dinner in the evening is a bit higher as my carb tolerance is much better later in the day.
    When I fasted for recent blood tests I tested every hour and sure enough my level rose to a max of 6.1, my readings are always in the 4s and 5s otherwise, so DP is still alive and kicking 15 months from diagnosis!
     
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  5. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I dont want to put a damper on anything but 6 years on and my dawn phenomenon is still around 7.5 every day, regardless of what I do. I think I have tried every suggestion over the years. However, thats the highest it goes, and it is a downward curve for the rest of the day.
     
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  6. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    Do you have caffine or decaff, @Guzzler? What do you add, cream , butter or both?
     
  7. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Decaf with coconut oil, butter and double cream. Yumdynomnom!
     
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  8. vxtin

    vxtin Type 2 · Newbie

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    Considering that coffee contains some minerals and vitamins and the rest is just fiber then I suspect what really works for you is a small high fat breakfast though your cream should contain a little sugar. Decaf always has a small amount of caffeine in it but I think we can exclude caffeine here. It'd be really interesting to test if a small amount of fat such as a spoon of olive oil could put a cap on the release of glucose by liver in the morning
     
  9. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    I know I couldn't stomach drinking olive oil neat, think I'll stick with the bulletproof.
     
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  10. vxtin

    vxtin Type 2 · Newbie

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    Thanks @Rachox for sharing. The DP usually starts at late stages of sleep near dawn so I think any kind of snack even the most complicated type of protein molecules should have been metabolized long before then. Now my question is that does the snack before bed really make a difference? In other words, have you tested your BG after waking up with and without the snack before bed for comparison?
     
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  11. vxtin

    vxtin Type 2 · Newbie

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    Thanks @Moggely for all the details. Exercise does have an effect on increasing insulin sensitivity and overall effect on fitness but I don't think it can help with the problem here i.e. minimizing or ideally freezing the BG level between the time period of waking up and having breakfast. Broccoli and cabbage both have carbs in the form of soluble fiber which is absorbed through intestine which explains the BG spike while the other has insoluble fiber. Lemon water is interesting, I'm planning to mix lemon and apple cider vinegar in the morning to see if it makes a difference. Btw I just finished reading the book "Why we sleep" by Matthew Walker and recommend it as an excellent all around book on the subject. It will not give any advice or tip how to deal with insomnia or get a better sleep though
     
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  12. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    All I know is my DP is worse if I don’t have the snack, maybe because I don’t sleep so well on an empty stomach? If I don’t sleep well I wake to a higher fbs.
     
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  13. britishpub

    britishpub Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Not wasting one second of your life worrying about it.
     
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  14. FantomPoet

    FantomPoet Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if a Hellmans Mayonnaise Sachet might do the trick first thing? I have just started with a Freestyle Libre and I am slack jawed at the trend I get as I wake it looks like a minimalist painting of the Himalayas, whereas I can keep the trend pretty flat for the rest of the day.(LCHF).
     
  15. midnightrider

    midnightrider Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    DP is caused by insulin resistance due to visceral fat around the liver and pancreas. The body releases glucose in preparation for the day but processing of this is inefficient due to IR. The main causes of IR are being overweight and being inactive, though many people (particularly those with a sedentary lifestyle) may appear slim but still have IR due to fat around the organs.
    Increased activity is the best way to deal with it. 30-60 minutes brisk walking (daily) is all that is needed, though some resistance training to develop muscle is usually helpful too.
     
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  16. Peadair O Brionn

    Peadair O Brionn Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 eggs 2 bacon some cheese and coffee with double cream for breakfast every morning . It seems to stop the DP
    and I have a double cream coffee with 3 slices of cheddar about an hour before bed
     
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