Medical Dictionary: Dawn Phenomenon


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Introduction: The "dawn phenomenon" sounds like the name of a superhero. But it's a natural effect on the body that all people have to some extent, both diabetic and non-diabetic. It is a healthy effect, not a symptom or disease. All people with any type of diabetes need to be aware of this natural effect.

The dawn phenomenon is caused by the body releasing pituitary growth hormone during the night, which stimulates the liver to produce more glucose into the blood. This causes sugar levels to go a little higher, and seems to be aimed at giving the body extra energy to start the waking day.


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