268. 3 Reasons For Higher Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning

Transcript Of Today's Episode

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Dr. Martin Jr.: Hey, it's Dr. Martin, Junior, here and I just wanted to make a quick video. We've been getting a lot of questions lately in our private Facebook group about early morning or why is their blood sugar levels [00:00:30] higher in the morning, and that's a common thing, and a lot of people, when they start to track their blood sugar levels, they always get a little concerned because they notice that it is higher in the morning.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Now every person has something called the dawn phenomenon and that's a normal thing. And basically what that means is very simple. Early in the morning before you actually wake up, you have a bunch of hormones, but I'll mention three specifically, and their job is to bring your blood sugar levels up because [00:01:00] you need the energy to function throughout the day. So you have a hormone like cortisol. Now cortisol, it should be highest in the morning and then it should taper off through the rest of the day, and there's a lot of people who can't sleep at nighttime because cortisol is high all the time. But cortisol helps bring up your blood sugar levels.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Another one is epinephrine, which another name for that would be adrenaline. Adrenal glands make that, as well. They bring up your blood sugar levels also. And then the third one [00:01:30] is a hormone, it's called glucagon. Now we don't talk a lot about glucagon, but glucagon is the opposite hormone of insulin. So insulin will lower your blood sugar levels and glucagon will bring them back up. Now obviously both are extremely important, but glucagon naturally is secreted early as you're waking up just to bring up those blood sugar levels. So it's only natural that you're going to have higher blood sugar levels in the morning. Now if you're a diabetic, that could be a problem because [00:02:00] your blood sugar level will be even higher. They can actually be in that danger zone.

Dr. Martin Jr.: So what do you do? Well, that's why when it comes to diabetics and we talk about fasting, diabetics tend to do better when they fast at the end of the day. So they eat breakfast, they eat lunch, they eat an early dinner and then they'll fast to the falling breakfast, and they tend to do better fasting. That way it's better for their blood sugar control. Again, some diabetics don't have to do that but some definitely have to fast on the back end [00:02:30] of the deal. Now for others who are prone to stuff like hypoglycemia... so the dawn phenomenon'll bring up their blood sugar levels... and some of those hormones, for example, like epinephrine, which is adrenaline, can actually cause increased heart rate, can cause shakiness. It can cause a lot of the symptoms that people will attribute to low blood sugar. But it's actually the hormone that's out there. But that's another topic for another time.

Dr. Martin Jr.: But basically you would want [00:03:00] to do at that point there, if you have a real dawn phenomenon effect, is you may want to eat breakfast in the morning. You may want to consume some protein in the morning or you may want to just wake up in the morning, as well. Some people will exercise right away and they'll notice their heart rate's a little higher or stuff like that. So again, everybody's different, but the reason why your blood sugar levels are higher in the morning and especially if you're diabetic, they're really high in the morning, is because of this dawn phenomenon, which is normal, but it's not normal [00:03:30] in a diabetic because it's too elevated, it's too pronounced. Again, thanks for watching this short video.

Announcer: You've reached the end of another Doctor Is In podcast with your hosts, Dr. Martin, Junior and Senior. Be sure to catch our next episode and thanks for listening.

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