The Somogyi effect was named after researcher, Michael Somogyi. Before you read any further, its important to note that the Somogyi Effect is a bit of a controversial topic due to lack of scientific evidence. However, while we’re in the business of looking after our little Warriors-its empowering to know as much as we can about this condition.
So what is the Somogyi effect?
The Somogyi effect (also known as rebound hyperglycemia) happens when you take insulin before bed and wake up with high blood sugar levels. So in theory, when the insulin lowers their blood sugar too much, it can trigger the release of hormones that send their levels into a rebound high. So essentially, its the body defending itself after the long period of low blood sugar. Aside from dosing before bedtime, this period of low can result from exercise or an empty tummy.
Let’s also remind ourselves, that when our Warriors enter a hypo-it puts stress on the body, and can trigger the release of hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), growth hormone and our special friend glucagon.
Glucagon then triggers the liver to convert other stored glycogen into glucose, causing their levels to rise.
A 2007 study included 88 Type 1 diabetics who underwent continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), found that the ones that experienced hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) when they woke up did not experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) during the night. In other words, there was no evidence of the Somogyi effect.
However, in another study that included 85 TD1’s found that 61.2% of them experienced low blood sugar levels at night and 82.4% had high levels in the morning. The scientists concluded that:
- 60% with high sugar levels resulted from the Somogyi effect
- 27.1% resulted from poor glucose control
- 12.9% resulted from the dawn phenomenon
They concluded that the Somogyi effect was the most common cause of morning hyperglycemia in people with Type 1 Diabetes who did not manage their blood sugar effectively.
The difference between the Somogyi effect and the Dawn Phenomenon is that blood sugar that’s low around 3:00 am points towards the Somogyi effect, while high levels at this time suggest that the Dawn Phenomenon is causing the high morning blood sugar.
The Somogyi Effect can be a real challenge to avoid. Unfortunately there is no secret recipe other than Gatekeepers can test levels around the 2:00am mark to try and prevent the circumstances leading to it.
To date, Eva hasn’t experienced the Somogyi Effect, but rather the Dawn Phenomenon. Read more about the Dawn Phenomenon here.
Thanks for reading. Remember we’re all in this together. Without community, we’re alone. And managing this condition alone is very challenging and lonely! Please feel free to browse my blog for other articles and if there’s any topic you’d like to know more about-do let me know and Ill try to feature it in my next post! You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. Or simply subscribe below and keep up to date with my latest discoveries on this condition 🙂