Diabetes Complications

Controlling the Dawn Phenomenon

One of our most stubborn challenges is to control the dawn phenomenon. That’s when our fasting blood glucose readings in the morning are higher than when we went to bed.

The dawn phenomenon is a normal physiological process where certain hormones in our body work to raise blood glucose levels before we wake up, as we wrote in The New Glucose Revolution: What Makes My Blood Glucose Go Up…And Down? Professor Jennie Brand-Miller of the University of Sydney, Kaye Foster-Powell, and I co-authored that book (Marlowe & Co., first edition 2003, second American edition 2006).

These so-called counter-regulatory hormones, including glucagon, epinephrine, growth hormone, and cortisol, work against the action of insulin. They stimulate glucose release from the liver and inhibit glucose utilization throughout the body. The result is an increase in blood glucose levels, ensuring a supply of fuel in anticipation of the wakening body’s needs.
If you take insulin injections, it could be that the effect of insulin you took is waning. Your blood glucose will rise if you didn’t take enough to keep your insulin level up through the night.

The dawn phenomenon varies from person to person and can even vary from time to time in each of us. That much was clear when our book came out.

But how to control it was a different story. A couple of years ago here I wrote about several efforts for “Taming the Dawn Phenomenon.” People have tried everything from eating a green apple at bedtime to high-maize grain to uncooked cornstarch.
None of these remedies that I have been able to try ever worked for me. I always thought that the most promising remedy was one that a correspondent named Renee suggested – vinegar capsules.

“I am still using vinegar tablets (usually 8) each night and have used vinegar when tabs are not handy,” Renee just tells me. “I have never added food to that, however. I still do have success in reducing the morning reading as proven by the times when I do not use the vinegar tabs and the reading in the a.m. is usually 20 points higher. I am doing well overall with an A1C of 5.6 for some time now. I have been on Byetta for a year now and have lost 35 pounds.”

This makes sense, because several studies in the professional literature clearly show that vinegar can reduce our blood glucose levels.

One of these studies, by Dr. Carol Johnston and two associates in the department of nutrition at Arizona State University in Mesa, Arizona, is particularly intriguing. They reported that “Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes” in a 2004 issue of the professional journal Diabetes Care.

Now, Dr. Johnston and an associate have zeroed in on using vinegar to control the dawn phenomenon. Their study, “Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes, appears in the November 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.

They tracked four men and seven women who have type 2 diabetes and were not taking insulin. These people kept 24-hour diet records for three days and measured their fasting blood glucose at 7 a.m. for three consecutive days. They took either 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or water at bedtime with 1 ounce of cheese (8 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbohydrate, and 1.5 grams of fat).

The result was that when they took the vinegar, they cut their fasting blood glucose by about 5 mg/dl (0.26 mmol/l). That was twice as much as what the placebo group did.

And when Dr. Johnston and her associate took a closer look at the data, they found that the vinegar treatment was particularly effective for those people who had a typical fasting blood glucose level of more than 130 mg/dl (7.2 mmol/l). Vinegar helped this group reduce their fasting blood glucose by 6 percent compared with a reduction of 0.7 percent in those people who had a typical fasting blood glucose of less than 130 mg/dl (7.2 mmol/l).

It might not have been just the vinegar that was at work, the authors concluded. Cheese might have a synergestic effect with it. Nobody knows yet, and taking it with the vinegar could be a good idea, especially since it makes the vinegar more palatable.

But “this is the first report describing a hypoglycemic effect of vinegar apart from mealtime,” they concluded. It is a big step forward in our continuing attempts to control the dawn phenomenon.

UPDATE January 9, 2008: Another strategy to control the dawn phenomenon may be to drink a little alcohol with dinner. A study reported in the December 2007 issue of Diabetes Care that the fasting plasma glucose of volunteers who drank 13 grams of alcohol in the three-month trial dropped 32.5 mg/dl compared with those in the control group.

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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  • Reply Robert Black May 24, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    I am beginning to show pre diabetes fasting values ranging 92-120. I am 63 and see the writing on the wall so I have started hitting it hard with turmeric tid, vinegar caps at bedtime, cinnamon with chromium at bedtime and milk thistle tid. I used to always run upper 70’s to lower 80’s fasting and during day and now I am never below 90, often 100-120. I will post after taking a month of the above supplements.

    • Reply David Mendosa May 24, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      Your key diabetes level to watch is your A1C, Robert. Keep testing (or getting it tested) every 2 or 3 months until you get your level below 6.0, i.e. back into the normal range.

  • Reply Donna Gimarc May 7, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Joe Turner–First of all–high fives for significantly lowering your numbers from the 300s to the 100s!! Congratulations. Keep up the good work. You did not say what your latest A1C was? I have to disagree with David on his saying your fasting Dawn phenomena numbers are “way too high.” if they are in the 130s, and that “you should start taking insulin immediately.” if the only time you are hitting the 130s is in the mornings your overall progress has been this good over 4 months. I would suggest you choose roasted nuts rather than honey-roasted. Honey is sugar. There are carbs in the milk, that as a liquid goes straight into your system, (it spikes me) so I would not add honey to that equation, and you might see if almond milk works, since it is lower carb, lower calorie, and has more protein. A chart you might find helpful: diabetes-control-chart.jpg I have read that numbers over 175 are damaging your body, and that spikes high or low are what you are striving to void. Also, read. Read about food, supplements, fiber, exercise, sleep patterns, sleep apnea, colds, medications, belly fat, stress–all can affect your blood sugar numbers. I suggest starting with Dr. Mark Hyman’s, The Blood Sugar Solution. Your diabetes is complex. It’s worth trying to find what you are doing right, and what you can improve on– the best path for your body. Keep up the good work.

  • Reply Joe Turner April 14, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Hello, newly diagnosed Type 2 as of January of this year. Became diabetic after weight loss. Had a fasting number of 370 and an A1C of 12.5. On Metformin 1000mg twice a day and glimipride 10mg twice a day. Numbers are way down, under 200. I am only supposed to test fasting numbers but check randomly to see how my numbers fluctuate depending on what I eat or how I feel. Mornings are always high if I don’t eat a snack at night. I’ve found a tall glass of 2% milk and a handful of Honey Roasted Peanuts seem to have been the best so far. Those mornings are in the low 110s. If I don’t have the snack or am not careful with the carb content of the snack, I hit the 150s to 170s. At least for me, the milk seems to really help.
    I do have a question if someone can help. My Dr seems to make a big deal if my fasting numbers are above 130. Like wants me to go on insulin big deal. I have friends who are type 2 and the don’t blink an eye unless they test over 300. AT what point should I really start to worry?

    • Reply David Mendosa April 14, 2016 at 7:19 am

      Now, Joe. Your friends aren’t doing themselves (or you) any favors. Your fasting numbers are way too high. Don’t worry about them; start taking insulin immediately instead.

  • Reply VFAMS March 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    This is great – Just want to get notifications of new comments

  • Reply d a saxt March 11, 2016 at 7:32 am

    hi, my blood sugar was ranging from 160-177 am to up to 276 pm after I started using a cpap machine. (even on days I ate very well and my blood sugar was 98 I would wake up and it would be 157). the CPAP caused my body to become stressed while asleep because was feeling too much pressue exhaling. this stress raises cortisol, which, of course, raises blood sugar… a similar thing that happens regarding the dawn phenomenon or dawn effect. I was able to lower my mornimg blood sugar reading as much as 100 pts overnight by taking 2 source naturals holy basil. this supplement is reputed for lowering cortisol and was extremely effective for me.

  • Reply Linda Ketcham November 18, 2015 at 9:21 am

    What a wealth of information found here -thank you for providing this.

    A few questions over diagnoses. If you experience the Dawn Phenomen and all daytime numbers are within a normal range, are you considered a Type 2, pre-diabetic or someone who experiences the Dawn Phenomen. My FBG was 101. Got up at 2-3 a.m. and everything is within normal range. Wake up at 7 a.m. and FBG can be in the low 80’s. 15 minutes later it goes up 10 points, 30 minutes later a few more. At about 45 minutes it stabilizes. Of course, at home it shows mid-90’s, but the blood draw shows over 100, so I keep that in mind every time I check my BG. Also, if you arise with a normal FBG, why not just have a snack to stop the increase? Would that eventually alleviate the problem? I’ve been eating a handful of almonds before bed and I’ve seen a mild improvement. Only been doing it for a few days though. Thanks!

  • Reply Tom Dunn November 16, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Hello… thank you for this post!

    As someone who was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in January of this year (2015), I have experienced Dawn Phenomenon during all that time.

    I have had some success with vinegar capsules at bedtime, and I am interested in trying the Extend bars, which I read about above.

    I am curious if anyone has tried combining the two?

  • Reply Jennifer Wilson October 25, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I am newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic and currently 31 weeks pregnant. I follow a ketogenic nutrition (about 2000 calories per day for me and my baby) to control my blood sugar, and was trying to avoid taking medication. My fasting blood sugar is generally around 6.5 (117), and during the day stays steady between about 4.9 and 5.6 (88.2 -100.8).
    My doctor told me that my fasting blood sugar wasn’t ideal (I know it should be in the 80’s) and that it would get worse as insulin resistance gets worse in the last trimester. So I started taking metformin and continued following ketogenic nutrition (I eat generally around 30g carbs per day, raw, or lightly steamed Non starchy vegetables.)
    The metformin doesn’t seem to be helping my fasting numbers. All it does is upset my stomach and makes me not want to eat. I’ve also noticed some strange things happening (ahem, sorry for TMI) in the bathroom.
    My doctor is mad at my nutrition WOE, and wants me to take insulin and eat carbs. I’m worried about the effect on my baby…
    I’m sorry this is so long, but I’m so confused. I’m wondering if the vinegar will help? Or if the metformin isn’t working, should I stop it? I’ve been taking 1500 mg per day for 30 days. Should I change my WOE, add carbs and take the insulin? I thought my numbers were doing ok! But he has me scared of lactic acidosis and other things….

    • Reply David Mendosa October 25, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Your message prompts me to make several comments, Jennifer:

      1. Vinegar can help you, but probably not very much. Of course, it needs to be diluted. Never take it just as is. In a salad it is great, for example. Vinegar may help with the dawn phenomenon, but that is not the same thing as the more important higher levels that we get after eating.

      2. Re lactic acidosis please see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/714920 , which says in part: Increased risk for lactic acidosis associated with metformin is controversial. A Cochrane Systematic Review of over 200 trials evaluated the incidence of lactic acidosis among patients prescribed metformin vs non-metformin antidiabetes medications. Of 100,000 people, the incidence of lactic acidosis was 5.1 cases in the metformin group and 5.8 cases in the non-metformin group. The authors concluded that metformin is not associated with an increased risk for lactic acidosis.”

      3. Metformin is usually taken wrong. Please see http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=1261

      4. Taking insulin in addition to metformin or even instead of it may not be a bad idea. Of course, this doesn’t mean you will have to take it forever! Please see http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=1787

  • Reply Bo Jollimore July 15, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I disliked reading food labels constantly, especially as my kids and I need to eat gluten free and additionally dairy free. Found this amazing website FoodSniffr.com, which makes discovering cleaner, healthier grocery food items so much snappier and more straightforward. I am already saving money to by not buying crappy foods. Here’s the link: http://www.foodsniffr.com

  • Reply Donna Gimarc June 2, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Hi David–I found something that works for me.
    Have been fighting Dawn phenomena since 2012. Went low carb, exercise daily, lost 50 pds. Watch portion sizes, get plenty of sleep, meditate to lower stress. My daytime blood sugar readings improved. Now in the 120s.

    The Dawn phenomena persisted. Morning readings in the 180s were not uncommon. Especially if life got stressful. I tried vinegar. Did not work for me. Ate an apple and nut butter as a late night snack. That helped, but not as much as I wanted.

    I take supplements that have helped my daytime numbers, but nothing really made a significant difference with DP until I tried Extend nutritional bars a month ago. I waited to see if the results were consistent before posting this. They keep my blood sugar levels level for 9 hours. They do not lower existing blood sugar numbers, and raise my numbers about ten points (it’s food, you don’t want to eat this if your after dinner numbers are high, it will hold them there) With a good late evening reading, I snack on one before I go to bed, and they keep me steady for the night. That means the dawn phenomena number is significantly (30 points) lower for me when I wake up, and that lowered number is helping keep the rest of the day lower.

    The down side: They are sweetened with malitol. Too much malitol will cause gastric distress, so I recommend all other sources of malitol stop if you are going to try this product. Also, it contains rice starch, so if this is a blood sugar trigger for you, this might not be a good solution for you.

    I have not tried the other products: crisps and shakes, just the bars. The taste/flavor is about on a par with most other low carb bars. I like the chocolate peanut butter Anytime bar best so far.

    I tried eating half a bar when I woke in the middle of the night, after testing for my middle of the night number. This worked as well, but concerned about dental consequences I don’t make a habit of this.

    Thought others might want to give these a try. I think diabetes is a very individual and challenging journey. And Dawn phenomena exceptionally challenging. Thought this might work for some of you who are also struggling with this. Let me know.

    • Reply David Mendosa June 2, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Thank you so much for your great message, Donna! After reading it, I think that anyone who has the Dawn Phenomenon would do well to use the Extend nutrition bars that you found help you so much. Your cavaets are well taken, and I had actually tried them more than 10 years ago as I wrote at ExtendBars and the Dawn Phenomenon.

  • Reply jane May 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    i have been diabetic for a few years. recently went on lantus solarstar insulin at night to help with dp. my problem is my reading after dinner is between 69 and 73. if i eat a small snack then in the morning my reading is in the 170’s. what can i eat that will only raise my readings slightly. i have tried a sq. of graham cracker w/ cream cheese. a diabetic yogurt which has 3 carbs. not sure what else i can have.

    • Reply David Mendosa May 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      The higher numbers you experience are indeed symptoms of the Dawn Phenomenon, Jane. You might want to read my other articles about it here.

  • Reply Richard January 19, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I absolutely will David. I look forward to hearing if any others get like results.

    For whatever reason the link to the article I posted didn’t show up so I’ll post that again for reference to any of your other readers.


    Also, I should clarify the wording I used in my first post when I said I eat a small low carb snack. I meant a small high carb snack, but only a small amount as the article suggests and in my case under 24 carbs.


  • Reply Richard January 19, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Hello, I’ve read this article many, many years ago. I’ve had an issue that I believed to be the Dawn Phenomenon as well. However, I tried a lot of the suggestions and nothing seemed to work. For year I’d wake up at 1-3am in a sweat. While my morning numbers were never super high, they were always elevated from when I went to bed. Then a few weeks ago I stumbled onto the article from the above website that referenced research from Japan’s Yamaguchi University. In my case, I think it was actually my low carb diet that may have exacerbated my sleeping issues.

    Following the articles instructions I had a small low carb snack. I ate it about an hour before bed. I found If I ate too close to sleep it bothered my stomach. I chose 2 organic dried large Turkish figs that I purchased from Costco. To my complete surprise I slept soundly through the night. I also made it through without a bathroom break and without sweating. What was also a surprise was I drank 1/2 a glass of water too, and prior to this I had been avoiding water after 6pm just so it wouldn’t affect my sleep. Of note as well, is I chose the figs because I already had them and I figured the added fiber may help with the release of carbs. I’m not sure if that’s necessary or not, but I can say for over the week that I’ve been doing this my sleep has been better than it’s been in the last 10 years.

    • Reply David Mendosa January 19, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Dear Richard,

      Thank you for sharing what works for you! Please keep in touch as you learn more!

      Best regards,

  • Reply Sandra P. December 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    David: When you refer to 6 carbs for breakfast and 12 each for lunch & dinner: are those net carbs or total?

    Sandra P.

    • Reply David Mendosa December 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Dear Sandra,

      Great question! I had to ask Dr. Bernstein. It’s total, he said.

      Best regards,

  • Reply David Mendosa July 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Dear Rhonda,

    In that case, it does make sense to increase your insulin dosage until you can figure out what’s making your blood sugar go so high.



  • Reply rhonda d July 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    i am already on low carb diet. breakfast is usually egg omlete with vegies like broccoli, peppers, spinich. my schedule has just changed and i am getting up @ 4:00 am. test again 6:30-7:00 and getting higher readings

  • Reply rhonda d July 3, 2014 at 7:34 am

    my blood sugar has been rising from 50 to 80 points after breakfast. i test 2 to 21/2 hrs after breakfast. my Dr. says it is not dawn p. but is caused by cortisol. her solution is as usual more insulin. any help?

    • Reply David Mendosa July 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Dear Rhonda,

      Your doctor is almost certainly right that the rise AFTER breakfast isn’t the dawn phenomenon. But the rise is almost certainly due to what you eat at breakfast. Our bodies are extremely sensitive to carbohydrates in the morning (which is the reason why Dr. Bernstein recommends no more than 6 grams of carbs for breakfast and up to 12 grams each for lunch, dinner, and a snack in between). Cut out the carbs at breakfast and your rise will certainly be much less if anything at all.



  • Reply Suzy June 8, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Thanks, David. I have had an infection for 6 of the last 12 weeks, but it’s gone, and my BS is still high. I am getting an AIC this week and then seeing my doctor.

  • Reply Suzy May 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I had my last AIC 6 months ago, and it was 6.6, which is fine. I’m 69 and am only on diet and exercise. When I found out I had diabetes 12 years ago, my AIC was off the charts. I started out on insulin 4 times a day and finally got it down to no meds. I don’t take my BS very much, because I can’t help taking it too much. And it had been good for years and years. But now I started taking it, and it is much much higher. I haven’t done anything differently. I exercise a huge amount and think that has always kept my sugar down. Now, it seems to raise it and certainly is not helping. Everything is the same!! Is it just because of my advancing years?? My reading are up to 195 sometimes. 🙁
    What could have happened in such a relatively short period of time? Help!!

    • Reply David Mendosa June 8, 2014 at 7:16 am

      Dear Suzy,

      Infection and any accompanying inflammation can cause a rapid increase in A1C level. I have experienced that myself from periodontal infection and from passing a gallstone.



  • Reply Joanne May 29, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Hi Paul
    Being very sensitive to gluten and wheat proteins, I haven’t eaten much gluten-containing food since the late ’80s.

    And in case anyone thinks the new fads and the marketing have seduced me – most of my food is made fresh, without using substitutes, at home. 🙂 I just cook a different traditional cuisine than modern Western.

    At my last readings, all indicators were in good ranges. Migraines haven’t settled with the new meds, but the nature of the pain has changed; and the dawn effect is much more pronounced. My two fibroids are badly affected, too. I’m feeling that until the hormones settle, none of the rest will.

  • Reply Paul May 23, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Hi Joanne,
    I had some sleep issues as well, I have cut out wheat from diet, which actually increased the diabetes reading slightly higher initially, but the quality of sleep improved dramatically. With the wheat, I was getting sinus congestion and my body temp was higher which is not the case any more.

  • Reply Paul May 23, 2014 at 4:34 am

    This site is great for all the wonderful tips to tame the Dawn effect. I have been tracking and experimenting to reduce the Diabetes reading in the morning. The following are the things that work for me.
    – Have dinner by 6:30 pm consisting of balanced nutrition of good carbs, good protein and good fat. Good carbs are low GI index foods such as chick peas, kidney beans, veg. along with chicken or fish for protein.
    Also for late night snacks best are apple, as well nuts especially peanuts, almonds, roasted chick peas.
    Walking for 20 mins after dinner also was helpful as well the apple cider vinegar at night.
    I also started using liquid milk thistle, it is supposed to help the liver function better. My readings were border line before around 6.1 before now they are around 5.
    Good luck to all.

  • Reply Joanne May 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Started a new med to control the electrical activity in my veins/muscles, and I’m down a full point this morning. Diet was same as usual yesterday.
    (FWIW, I have very healthy-range cholesterols an lipids etc, and good blood pressure so although this is usually a medication for arrhythmia, we’re using it offlist)

  • Reply Joanne May 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    sorry about the typos, above!

  • Reply Joanne May 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    David – thanks for the reply. Post prandial, I’m in the 5s to barely 6.1, so I’m meeting your target. 🙂
    But the family doctor is concerned about the early morning readings, and how that affects the HbA1c (because each single high reading brings the entire average up).

    As my migraines are almost daily, and now appear to be mixed with small seizures, I’m wonderign what research says about the interplay of these body processes: the brain ‘short circuits’ and the control of BGL. We already know that migraine onset and length appears to raise BGL for me – I’m wondering if it’s known if seizure activity can do this, so that diabetes is ‘faked’ through other body processes not being in control.

    IOW, if there’s a relationship, and we control seizsure activity, perhaps I won’t have a problem with Dawn Phenomenon, and I wll no longer be classed as ‘potentially diabetic’ or ‘diabetic in denial’.

    (We’ve already worked out that the Raynaud’s effects mimic some outward signs of poor diabetes management, and since I’ve had them all my life and the Raynaud’s is hereditary, these should be discounted as diabetes ‘signals’ to the doctors)

  • Reply Joanne April 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Hi again, David!
    Been a while since I last wrote: still managing well with diet and exercise, and understanding what seems to make my readings rise overnight. Because it’s overnights that are my downfall – during the day I have excellent readings and everything seems to work well. My early mornings readings bounce around the 7.somethings up to 8 (this morning).

    While I’m overweight (still), and not sleeping for long, I am working with an excellent dietitian and getting better quality sleep. BUT we’ve noticed (as no doubt others have) that:
    menstrual cycle affects my readings (I’m going through a very long perimenopause),
    broken sleep affects my readings,
    allergy season makes the readings high, as I battle to keep immune reactions under control
    chronic pain affects my readings – and the migraines are worse, now usually hitting each morning as I wake or waking me very early morning from a deep sleep,
    there’s chronic low back and shoulder pain as well,
    periods of extended stress makes the readings really high.

    It now appears that some of my migraines might in fact be ‘migralepsy’, small seizures. So I’m wondering if anyone has done any research on how/if seizure episodes affects diabetes management and if so, in which way. I’m already on topiramate daily as a migraine preventative, but that’s about the only prescribed drug I do take. Everything else is still vitamins and minerals. (Remember, I’m allergic to most pain medication as well as loads of food chemicals)

    [FWIW, since writing last, I’ve discovered that my brother and at least one first cousin are also bad migraineurs, and also suffer with gout and psoriasis, like I do.]

    • Reply David Mendosa May 1, 2014 at 8:44 am

      Dear Joanne,

      Thanks for your message.

      Those readings that rise overnight are the dawn phenomenon. They are an issue with almost all of us. But I actually think that the best thing is to avoid the high readings AFTER meals. As I have written, the best way to do that is to test two hours after any meal in which you have a substantial amount of carbs (the only thing that will impact blood sugar much) and to bring down your level in the short term get some exercise (like walking) and in the long term learn from the mistake if your level is too high.



  • Reply Donna G February 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    About dawn phenomena. After getting my blood sugar in great shape without meds apart from the morning jump of dawn phenomena I had a sudden dramatic rise in BS counts after two family deaths and a good friend being diagnosed with terminal cancer. My diet had not changed, my stress load/cortisol production had. Cortisol is a fight or flight hormone that wakes us up in the morning that causes some of us to have dawn phenomena blood sugar issues. So, I read up on cortisol found a lot of information about Adaptogen Herbs like: Holy Basil tea, ginseng and Rhodiola rosea supplements. Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress/cortisol surges–which is what dawn phenomena is all about. With triple whopper stress, not food abuses, making my numbers rise I tried rhodiola (used in Russian and Asian medicine for years)–one tablet, one day, my BS went down 10 points. Second tablet another 10 points. My morning readings are almost back to where I had them–in the excellent range. I’m curious to know if anyone else has tried adaptogens for lowering their their dawn phenomena numbers?

  • Reply Andy January 20, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Can balsamic vinegar be used in place of apple cider vinegar?

  • Reply Olga January 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm


    Thank you for the vinegar warning. It didn’t occur to me to be cautious about taking the tabs.

  • Reply David Mendosa January 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Dear Olga,

    The apple cider vinegar might help and it certainly can’t hurt. I use Bragg’s apple cider vinegar in all of my salad dressings with either olive or coconut oil. But when you take the tabs make sure that you take them with enough water that you don’t burn your insides. This stuff is powerful!



  • Reply Olga January 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm


    Thanks for responding so quickly and for the good advice. Just yesterday I purchased the Kindle version of Dr. Bernstein’s books “Diabetes Solution” and “The Diabetes Diet”. I’m looking forward to reading them.

    I will keep track of my meal carbs to make sure I don’t exceed 6 (breakfast) or 12 (lunch/dinner). And from what I’ve learned from the informative posts in this forum, I decided to purchase apple cider vinegar tabs and plan to take one every evening to see if my fasting blood sugars will reflect normal range.

  • Reply Olga January 13, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I am 67 years old and was diagnosed with T2 Diabetes 8 years ago. For the last year I have not controlled my blood glucose. My last A1C was 8.3. I am starting again from scratch, so to speak. This morning my BG was 175. After having a 20g protein, low carb smoothie for breakfast (whey protein powder, almond milk, 4 strawberries, 1/8 c plain yogurt), my BG shot up to 256. It doesn’t make sense. Can you explain why this happened?

    Also, in the past, any type of carbs consumed at breakfast such as low carb cereal, oatmeal, multi-grain bagel or muffin, etc. would make by BG skyrocket, even if I had protein with it. Why?

    I am not on insulin. My meds are Metformin, Glipizide and Januvia. My endo has given me 6 months to get back on track.

    Thanks for any help you can provide

    • Reply David Mendosa January 13, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Dear Olga,

      You need to measure exactly how many grams of carbohydrates that you are eating at your meals. Your body is much more sensitive to carbohydrates in the morning. That’s why Dr. Richard K. Bernstein recommends no more than 6 grams of carbohydrates for breakfast, while you can have up to 12 grams each for lunch and dinner.



  • Reply Rhonda September 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Is it possible to have something like the dawn phenomon during the day time? Sometimes my glucose readings will run high if my meal is later than usual. But right now it is 200, It is 2 hours after my low carb chia smoothie for breakfast and a light 30 min. work out. This is so frustrating!!

    • Reply David Mendosa September 2, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Dear Rhonda,

      The dawn phenomenon does sometimes extend until noon, according to a study a year or two ago that I reviewed here. That could be it. But it could be the result of exercise, which I had always thought would bring down our levels, as it usually does. But I am beginning to hear more and more stories like yours. Other considerations are drugs and other things that will raise your level, all of which are included in an appendix to Dr. Bernstein’s big book. You also have to consider what you had for dinner the night before. The effects of some foods are notorious for having a lasting effect. Pizza is the most infamous example that people have researched.



  • Reply MC Hammer July 25, 2013 at 4:14 am

    hi people, i was diagnosed diabets with 276 morning bs. i m33 years old. i m normaly engineer but i try learned much thing with this concantration 🙂 now i ll give i good hint to you. before every meal ; 1 cub yogurt or kefir , put inside in quater spaneon cinemaon and 15 gr oat bran . eat it and measure the fast blood. it will be like this ; if the starting point is x than in one hour x + 30 mg , after 2 hour x + 25 . meanly corbonhiydrat based meal it ll be like this. by the way i try with dawn phenemenon 🙂 morning bs is 120 🙁

  • Reply Cheryl June 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Is anyone else awakened by DP? I wake up every night between the hours of 3 and 4 AM, like clockwork. I’ve been testing my BS at that time and am amazed that it is always around 160. Most mornings I go back to sleep til around 7 and it is still around 122. I’m going to try some of the things I found on this site to see if I can help the DP.

    • Reply David Mendosa June 13, 2013 at 6:59 am

      Dear Cheryl,

      If you take insulin injections, it could be that the effect of insulin you took is waning, as I wrote in my first book with Jennie Brand-Miller, “What Makes My Blood Glucose Go Up…and Down?” Your blood glucose will rise if you didn’t take enough to keep your insulin level up through the night. Otherwise it is probably the dawn phenomenon.

      If it is the DP, my guess is that it’s the result of a delayed reaction to carbohydrates you had for dinner. Eating a meal that is high in both carbs and fat will give you that delayed reaction. Pizza is a well-known example. Personally, I cut way down on the carbs and control DP that way.



  • Reply Cathy March 23, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Thank you so much for the reassurance that I can do this. There’s so much conflicting information. I forgot to mention that I have hypothyroid and take synthroid for it. I don’t usually eat a lot of sugary stuff and was eating mostly vegetables. Like a lot of other people, I sometimes get discouraged and take a day (or week) off of trying so hard. I’m considering trying to get some weight off by going ultra low carb for a little while. Last week I joined a gym and have a session with a trainer coming up soon. Years ago I was told that I have hypopituitary also, but frankly thought they were mistaken and never followed up on it. In my upcoming dr. appt I’m going to ask the doc to refer me to an endocrinologist since I have never been to one and would now like to follow up on the hypopituitary.

  • Reply Cathy March 23, 2013 at 5:21 am

    I was just wondering, if a person was able to keep the same blood sugar level all day and all night, what would be the ideal number?

  • Reply Cathy March 22, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Hi all. Thank you all so much for the real tried and tested comprehensive talk about diabetes and metabolism in general really. I have not been diagnosed with diabetes, but have had some symptoms that could be caused by diabetes; eg. eye issues, numb feet, trouble combating toenail fungus for many years, fatigue etc. I am about 50lb overweight. The last two times my doc has (routinely) checked my fasting blood sugar, it has been 101 which I know is not bad, but it is just over the limit for what is considered normal. It was always about 85 before. My father unexpectedly passed away back in October after a long difficult battle which included diabetes and complications of that. I started testing my bs about a month ago. In my youth, I skipped a lot of meals. A lot…and am really just now learning how to eat properly. Anyway, I noticed that when I go to bed my bs is around 85, then surprisingly when I wake it is between 100 and 103. I do realize that this may not sound like a problem to some. But I’m so afraid that if I don’t get the proper education about how my body REALLY works, my 3 year old daughter will have to face the same pain in watching me go through what my Dad did. I can’t put her through that. I feel so blessed to have stumbled on this site. I did notice that in my eating, I have probably been protein deficient for years. This may or may not be related, but I think I read it somewhere that it is. I have no moons on my fingernails. After increasing my protein, I noticed that I was developing a small barely visible moon on my thumbs. I pray that the damage I’ve done over the years can be reversed.

    • Reply David Mendosa March 23, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Dear Cathy,

      You are wise to be concerned now before your weight leads you into becoming a person with diabetes. If you reduce the carbohydrates that you eat, particularly table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup and starches, particularly grains and potatoes, you can reduce your weight and your blood sugar at the same time. You are able NOW to reverse the damage you have done to your body. Many people, myself included, have done that.



  • Reply leeann February 3, 2013 at 6:16 am

    This is a very late reply, but here goes anyway:

    William wrote “the other day I got up after sleeping in for about an hour and half on a sunday and my before meal test was 259! I tested again on a different finger and it was 200, I tested a third time, using the same finger as the 200 test and got a result of 226.”

    The reason that you get differing readings from different samples of blood is because you are checking a miniscule sample of blood from different capillaries. While it is unlikely that your right pinky blood has a blood sugar of 60 and your left pinky has a blood sugar of 300, it is completely possible to have different ammounts of glucose in different samples depending on which cells and which body areas that miniscule sample had been. These could be perfectly accurate results.

    Leeann Smith, RN

  • Reply Mary Ann January 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Forgot to add that hopefully my next A1c in February will be lower and doctor thinks it will with my diet and exercise changes. I think I will buy an at home test kit before then just to see.

  • Reply Mary Ann January 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Just new to Diabetes diagnosis and this site. My first A1C was 6.4. Started testing and my FBG levels were 118-139. Tried 1-2 T regular apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 packet of Stevia and some water at bedtime. No change. Tried a vodka/diet squirt in the evening, a bit lower in the am. Switched to Bragg’s apple cider vinegar with Stevia & water before bed and before lunch and dinner. Also added 2 cinnamon capsules at bedtime…much lower FBG now, under 100. I am very overweight, but doing Atkins (very low carb) to lose weight. Lost 22 lbs in 6 weeks. Walking 30 minutes every day. Doctor said I do not need meds at this time! I think the Bragg’s apple cider vinegar made the difference.

    • Reply David Mendosa January 3, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Dear Mary Ann,

      Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is, I think, the best vinegar we can get for our health. It’s what I use myself for my olive oil and vinegar salad dressing.



  • Reply Tracie Holladay May 10, 2012 at 2:59 am

    I’m on metformin and cannot drink, so wine with dinner is out.

  • Reply Gerru January 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Lisa Try a couple of soup spoons of yogurt about 1 hour before bedtime for IBS. Regarding lo carb, hi protein, I have found a protein that does not aggravate my body, vegetable protein. It is found in all kinds of beans, plus soy beans and all it’s by products such as Tofu. These proteins cut down on all the toxicity of animal protein.

    Good carbs: Eat nothing white ( bad carbs), but eat WHOLE GRAINS. Mix and match them. You can also find whole grain pastas, breads, etc.

    I limit my carb intake to 20 per meal because my body still produces enough insulin to “chew” my food for me. If your dawn phenom is still high, then reduce your meal to 15 carbs.

    When we eat, our body deposits all excess sugars into our liver. During the night, the liver “cleans house” and dumps the excess carbs/sugars into our blood and we wake up with dawn phenom. Then we begin again.

    I hope this has helped you. God bless. Gerry

  • Reply Lisa January 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I meant to say IBS meds, not mess :(. And that I get confused among all the different sources about which carbs are ok, besides just fruits & vegs–they’re just not enough to control the IBS–I have to have starches

  • Reply Lisa January 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I haven’t seen this addressed here or anywhere: I have Type II and irritable Bowel Syndrome. I was originally diagnosed 5-6 years ago, with no symptoms, during health screening at 136. I tell people I’m a “baby diabetic”. My A1c runs 5.9 – 6.4 , with almost all my 100+ numbers in a.m.–unless I’ve messed up on what I eat. I have Dawn Phen–120s – 140s, so will try some of suggestions here. My Dr. added Cycloset last year & it knocks off about 20 pts. but never below 110.

    I tried low-carb when initially diagnosed, but mt occassional digestive problems turned into full-blown IBS. I’ve never missed work due to Diabetes, but was getting in trouble for missing so much w/IBS symptoms 1st thing in a.m. before I even ate breakfast. And I can’t tolerate the IBS mess. So I’ve had to add app. 45 grams carbs per meal back to my diet–trying to choose healthy carbs mostly. My body won’t LET me go lower
    than that. I take 1000 mg metformin ER, .8 Cycloset & just started 5 mg Onglyza. All my cholesterol, etc. #s are excellent, I just had a good eye exam, no neuropathy.

    My worry is the effect not eating low-carb has on the Dawn Phen. I get so confused about what to eat–I think the ADA is too high in carbs, low-carb seems pretty straightforward, but I can’t do it. And I hate to cook:). Anyone else had experience with these two diagnoses?

  • Reply jen November 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    This is a great site and I’m learning so much! I am 5 7 and 110 lbs. My FBS was 112 so I asked my NP for a monitor to check daily (I had gestational diabetes 2 of my 3 pregnancies.) I am finding it ranges from 90-115. I do have the same snack every night 10 wheat thins and 1 string cheese. I will try the atkins peanut cluster and the vinegar. Hopefully can keep it under 100.

  • Reply GERRY November 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Going hungry for a diabetic is not good. Our bodies are like animals, they like continuity, going to bed at the same time, sleeping 8 hours, eating at the same time everyday, eating the same amount of calories, etc per day, getting sunshine and fresh air, plenty of water, and fresh foods and a higher power. Our pets lead a more healthier life than most of us! :+}

    By being consistent with our bodies, they will eventually find their balance and reward you with good health. Most of us that are diabetics have abused our body and now we must learn how to take care of them, something that should have been done earlier in our life.

    I also find that the Seventh Day Adventists 8 rules for healthy living are a big help towards helping our body to heal. That doesn’t mean you have to be an SDA, but they know their good health and how to achieve it.

    I hope this gives you encouragement and you journey through this process to getting back to good health. Diabetes is not a death sentence unless you ignore the things your body is telling you. Gerry

  • Reply minismom November 3, 2011 at 1:13 am

    hi cindy,

    a nice dose of egg protein at night befor sleeping works well with me. i agree with gerry since weight is my problem!! i have a chocolate protein shake in the morning for breakfast too.

    also i loose points with yoga since i do not find it stressful like aerobics!!

    staying hydrated also worked well with me and my headaches!!

  • Reply Suzy Wiberg November 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I have to agree with Irene. Plus I take a cinnamon pill after meal, and it really makes a difference!

  • Reply Irene November 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    cindy. I 4got 2 mention when your fasting make sure u always drink water (plain or with a splash of lemon/lime) or plenty of green tea. the water/green tea will keep u hydrated. (dehydration can also drive up blood sugar).

  • Reply Irene November 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    cindy – I just got diagnosed with type 2 a yr n a half ago. 4 a while there i was having trouble with the dawn phenomenon. As a diabetic you should b eating small meals ev. 2 or 3hrs. In order 2 keep your blood sugar in check. My nutritionist explained it 2 me; when your body thinks your starving it, itl go in2 protection mode, it drives the blood sugar up; as a consequence your body will start 2 store fat = which leads 2 high blood sugar = which leads 2 weight gain. Thats why long term fasting doesnt work. If u want 2 fast do it as a detox, but only a few days a month. Try 2 eat small snacks regularly, (ev 2 or 3 hrs) n at least 30mins of walking ev day. N take a 45min weights class 3 days a wk. The weights will burn fat n drive your blood sugar down. Eating n exercising is a long term solution. Try eatin a small snack 2hrs b4 bed. Eg. Milk, muffin. Fruit, nuts. Etc. C if that works. It did 4 me. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Reply Cindy November 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Hi Gerry,

    Thanks for your reply. The analogy you make about your liver is a good one. The thing is I’m not eating anything during the day, just a small snack around 3:00 p.m. and then a low carb dinner. But with the dawn phenomenon, my numbers are high in the morning and seem to get higher as the morning progresses, despite me not eating anything. I have a cup of coffee with cream around 10:00 a.m. and nothing else until I eat a small snack at 3:00 p.m. Fasting allowed me to lose weight and improved my lipid profile greatly – I really don’t want to give up fasting, but might have to if I can’t get my blood sugar in check.

  • Reply Cindy November 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Suzy,

    When I started fasting (it’s called Fast-5-which means you fast for 19 hours and you can eat for 5 hours – you can do a search if you’re interested). Anyway within 2-3 months of fasting, I lost 35 pounds. Before that I would try everything and no weight loss – fasting gave me weight loss and improved my lipids tremendously. With my blood sugars acting this way, I might have to start eating a little something in the morning. Thanks for your reply.

  • Reply GERRY November 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    David Speaking about exercise; I have had to deal with gout along with diabetes. So a high protein diet, especially animal protein, was pretty much out of the question, but even as a vegetarian, the bean family carries the products that it takes to create gout. So all my doctors tell me to WALK, but that is easier said than done due to the pain that gout creates.

    So for those of you that have gouty pain, sciatic pain, or nerve pain, here is a product that I have found that really works. It is found in:

    http://www.drleonards.com catalog and it is called

    Sciatic Pain Reliever.

    It is NOT one of those snake doctor formulas, this really does work. You rub it on, leave it exposed to the air until it is absorbed, then go about your life. Pretty soon you notice that you can do things you were unable to do before, and I noticed the next day that I had no pain, sometimes for 2 or 3 days.

    So I hope this has helped you as much as it has helped me, it feels good to be able to walk again and the walking has helped the diabetes.


  • Reply GERRY November 2, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Cindy I fought this problem for about 6 years and finally figured out how to think about it. I pretended that my liver was the “bank” and during the day I was “depositing” my sugar/carbs in my account. At the end of the day, while I slept, my liver would “withdrawn” my sugar deposits and put them in my blood because it was “cleaning house”.

    This thinking works to a point. It is not just what we eat per meal but the whole picture. A nibble here or there, a fatty meal today, and a starchy meal tomorrow, etc. It is the total picture.

    So now, no matter what my morning numbers are, I take a high protein shake (like Atkins, EAS, etc) that is low in carbs, high in protein, and fat. It is simply something to tell my body, “look you are not starving to death, here is a meal for you” but not so much that it is going to shock the body. I also add some cinnamon to the shake because that helps your insulin to behave itself. Then for lunch you can have real food again. I also try to add a little bit of cinnamon to my meal somewhere, even if I simply shake it over a grain of some sort.

    At bedtime I take my numbers, then immediately upon waking, I take them again. The difference will tell you how much sugar your liver stored yesterday and dumped into your blood stream during the night. Keep this up and you will become pretty good during the day, at judging how your food intake is doing.

    I hope some of this helps you. David is not a doctor, but he is more knowledgeable about this disease than most doctors because he has seriously studied every aspect of it and the tools that we need. Doctors ask him about diabetes. Hope this helps your confidence level in his advice.


  • Reply David Mendosa November 2, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Dear Cindy,

    You are right; a handful of pecans (in my larger hand) has just 6 grams of carbs. This implies to me that you could have a high degree of insulin resistance. It might also mean that you are beginning to need insulin or other medication. But to be sure I think your next step is to go to your drugstore and buy a set of two (that’s the only way they sell it) A1CNow Self-Checks. This way you can determine your A1C level. If it is above 6.0, the best favor you can do for yourself is to go on diabetes medication until you can manage your diabetes. Please note that I recommend this although, like you, I do prefer to manage diabetes without drugs — if possible.


  • Reply Suzy Wiberg November 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I think it’s really important to eat breakfast. Sumo wrestlers don’t eat breakfast, and look at them! Breakfast jump starts your metabolism and sets you up for the whole day. Also, exercise is amazing in helping your sugars and to loose weight. Do anything, but just move as much as you can.

  • Reply Cindy November 2, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your quick response. Disclaimer – I know you’re not a doctor. I am in the process of loosing weight, but it is going very slow. What would you suggest I do in the meantime as far as eating in the morning or just continue with my fasting. If my blood sugar starts to rise around 3:00 a.m. and stays high until noon, that’s not good at all. I stated that I ate a handful of pecans this morning and my blood sugar shot up almost 40 points. I wouldn’t think a handful of nuts would have much more than 6 grams of carbs. Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks, Cindy

  • Reply Cindy November 2, 2011 at 10:07 am

    It appears I also have dawn phenomenon, waking with numbers from 130-170. A little background – I have been fasting (I don’t eat anything from going to bed until dinner the next day) for approximately 2 years. I checked my blood sugar when I started this and it was fine (90’s). But something strange is happening. Recently when I get up with high numbers, I’ve tried several different things (vinegar/water, pecans, mixed nuts, little cheese, etc.). When I check blood sugar an hour or 2 later, it’s higher than it was when I woke up. Like this morning, I woke with 138 – ate some pecans (handful) and when I checked about an hour later it was at 179. I am trying to stay off medication and just control eating low carb and exercise. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Reply David Mendosa November 2, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Dear Cindy,

      Recent studies, which I have written about elsewhere, show that the dawn phenomenon lasts well into the morning, like about to noon in many cases. The implication of that, particularly for those of us who know the benefits of a very low-carb diet, is to minimize carbs in the morning. That gives a lot of support to Dr. Bernstein’s recommendation that we have no more than 6 grams of total carbs in the morning. That’s my first point. The second point is that the dawn phenomenon is much less important in terms of eventual complications than post-prandial (after meal) blood glucose levels. In any case, I have found that as I was able to reduce my A1C to about 5.0 and my BMI to about 19.5 the dawn phenomenon disappeared on its own.


  • Reply c October 19, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    • Reply David Mendosa October 20, 2011 at 7:16 am

      Good question. When I find those violations, I write and ask. In most cases people apologize and remove my articles.

  • Reply joanne August 24, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Just want to skite a bit – have had a couple of under-6 readings lately (2 hrs post-prandial); toes and feet almost too toasty-warm; best news so far – nearly 5.5 hours of sleep last night AND 6.7 as this morning’s fasting reading at 5.30am. Wow!!! (The reading s after an evening meal of osso bucco sans the red wine, which usually gives me a higher reading in the morning) Am feeling pretty chuffed!!!

    It’s looking as if hitting that Raynaud’s connection and the cortisol, and working away with the improved intake of critical vitamins is helping to reinforce the other good habits emphasised here.


  • Reply Cindy Hill August 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I believe I have Dawn Phenomenon also. I went to Doc 6/11 and FBS was 111 – no reason for concern – I have subsequently been given a glucose monitor by sister and have been taking it on arising and my blood sugars range from 145 to 185 – 2 hours later before I eat my yogurt, apple and flax seed it is 119 – I don’t want to take meds – I’m 5’4, 240lbs, female, I eat very low carb and exercize 2 to 3 times per week – I stay under 1200 calories but no weight loss – my doc gave me diet pills – couldn’t take – they made me feel awful – she says I have a sluggish thyroid but doesn’t warrant medication.

    Now I’m worried about my FBS – I’ve read all the comments and I am going to try some of the evening tricks you all have mentioned. Love this site and all the info –

  • Reply joanne August 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    aha! Vindicated! Saw doc for results of A1c today, and got a 6.4 average. So even though the fasting reading is still high, everything IS ok, and we’re working on controlling other factors.

    I really appreciate all the practical knowledge here, and the personal experiences. Each of us is so complex, and our individuality means that there are so many approaches to what seems like basic engineering. What I’ve picked up from here is keeping my tendencies for diabetes in check, and that’s got to be good!!

  • Reply joanne August 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I agree it’s counter-intuitive. I’m taking my last dose of the vitamin B early enough in the evening that it shouldn’t interfere with the sleep pattern. Luckily I go to bed fairly late! My cortisol levels result in an interrupted sleep pattern, so that when I do sleep I’m constantly waking up; I’m lucky to get 4 hours of quality sleep a night.

    This is one of the things my dietitian and I have been working on. She also believes that an increase in the right mix of vit Bs will help things, however that will require testing and prescriptions. So I will need to get the doc on-side. Hence my hope that there are other migraineurs and/or Raynaud’s folk here…

    And, David, thanks for the prompt reply – I know it’s late over there!

  • Reply David Mendosa August 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Dear Joanne,

    I don’t know enough to make any comment but this one: You mention your sleeplessness, and you are taking B vitamins in the evening. But B vitamins taken late in the day can cause sleeplessness.


  • Reply joanne August 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Oh I should say that sometimes my fasting BGL is 6.9. Mostly it’s in in the 7s unless I’m migraining or sleepless – which seem dependent on my cortisol or hormone levels, neither of which the doc will test for.

  • Reply joanne August 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    The GP and I are arguing (much as predicted): he sees my fasting BGLs as a concern, and wants me to go on a 3-month medication to lower it. I know it’s not an insulin problem, it’s a blip caused by my other health issues…when we met earlier this week, I was coming off an almost 3-week migraine, complete with stomach/bowel involvement, so naturally my readings were high.

    I’ve also told him there’s a correlation with my hormone cycle, and also with my sleeplessness.

    I’ve since been reading about the connection with Raynaud’s (which my Dad had, complete with the gangrenous toes, and which he’s passed on to me in a mild form), and the migraines.

    And all of these connect with the vitamin Bs, homocysteine, vasospasms, cortisol levels and early morning/fasting levels. People with Raynaud’s who get migraines are more likely to get them in the morning, and have bad fasting BGLs but apparently these are greatly reduced with increased B3, B6, folates…. (I’ve been in a migraine study that showed I have inherited a high homocysteine level, genetic migraines and issues around them)

    I can get my daytime readings down to the 5s and 6s. Taking an extra vit B complex in the evening has (so far) lowered fasting BGL from 8.4 to 7.2. But that might be seen to be within my usual fluctuation.

    Are there other migraineurs on this part of the site? Are there other Raynaud’s folk? How does your experience tally with what I’ve read? thanks.

  • Reply Gerry July 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Susan I have never heard of people not having much of a colon and still living, but I tried to put myself in this situation by thinking I had just been to the doctor and he was giving me your news for myself. My first question was, what else feeds the body besides the colon? The liver and the blood. Both of course, hold sugar and are suppose to use it, but yours uses it inefficiently. So what are some of my assets? I have a little bit of colon remaining. How to maximize it?

    I think first I would make yogurt a daily part of my life, possibly plain yogurt in a protein shake. With EVERY intake of food, I would take a one a day vitamin and mineral pill, a good quality one. I use Puritans Pride (puritanspride.com). This would help to assure you of receiving at least some vit/min.

    In the protein shake I would not only use yogurt, but a little bit of vegetable oil, i.e. flaxseed oil, canola, olive, avocado, etc. I even use a tiny bit of chili oil in my food to help my heart. A tiny bit is like 1/4 teaspoon, as it is very spicy hot.

    Does your body make any of it’s own insulin? The way to find out is start by eating a high protein meal with zero carbs. Take your blood sugar right before you eat and about 1/2 hour after you eat. Write it down along with the words, zero carbs.

    Next meal, do a meal with 10 carbs in it and the blood sugar test both before and after.

    The next meal add 10 more carbs for 20 carbs and testing.

    At the end of the day, study your glucose tests and see which one handled which amount of carbs the best. That will be a primitive way of showing you how much insulin your body can produce on its own.

    So lets say, that your body can comfortably handle 20 carbs per meal, without taking insulin. Then you ALWAYS limit yourself to 20 carbs with approximately 2 hours between feedings. If it is zero carbs, then the diet plan is high protein, zero carbs. This doesn’t mean you can eat some carbs but they will be basically “rabbit food”. Such as a small amount of shredded carrot, radishes, lettuce, etc. but in small amounts. Most diets list them as “free foods”.

    I would also add yogurt to help control the irritable bowel syndrom. Contact a Mannatech representative and order MannaCleanse, it is not so much a cleanse for the bowel, so much as it is a strengthener for people with poor bowels or colon problems, it works, it is wonderful. Again, this is trying to maximize and preserve what assets you have left to you. Also, my question to the doctor would be this: “Can a large vein be taken from my leg and used as a new colon by adding it to the colon I already have? Or can a new colon be laboratory grown by using some of my colon’s stem cells?” Remember, you are trying to maximize your assets.

    Continue to take your Metamucil, but take it along with your meal, just be sure that you take in plenty of liquids with it. Cook your veggies in water and serve the water with the veggie and eat it also, it is loaded with that veggie’s nutrients, no sense in throwing it down the drain. The Metamucil will slow down the rate of absorption for you, so that your small colon will have time to absorb some of the nutrient packed liquid from your meal.

    Another thing I would try because I know it works is this: Prayer. God created everything in Creation, He can create a new colon for you at any time, and He responds to people that have faith in Him. He says in the Bible to come BOLDLY to the the Throne of Grace. So try walking by faith for a new colon, He loves to reward faith. So you work like it all depends on you, but live like it all depends on Him. It is a winning combination, especially when applied with common sense.

    I hope some of these suggestions will help you, I pray that God will give you His wisdom, knowledge and understanding of your your situation to help you heal.

    Sincerely, Gerry

  • Reply Susan Brown July 17, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Please help.

    Any suggestions for someone with high morning blood sugars who is also losing weight possibly due to inadequate nutrition/absorption from eating 3 meals yet having at least 8-10 bowel movements daily even with Metamucil as recommended post removal of the colon due to cancer??

    I need something to slow down the digestive process with essentially no colon now, without causing constipation and further weight loss.

    What should someone without a colon do to control high morning blood sugars that are normal at bedtime?

    Any suggestion?? Flaxseed bread?? What about PGX?? Eat at least every 4 hours, even during the night-I think the blood sugar is dropping too low at night and drawing from the liver??

    • Reply David Mendosa July 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Dear Susan,

      I can think of only two ways to control your blood glucose, insulin and a very low carb diet, but I’m not sure. I am thinking about my late wife who lost almost all of her small intestines, so she was not able to take oral meds for her diabetes after that. But maybe you can. She had to eat a restricted diet, the details of which I don’t remember. But I am sure that you can find that from your medical team.


  • Reply Joanne July 4, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I had read about this; unfortunately I am very allergic to fenugreek and am too scared to try bittermelon because of my reaction to so many other fruits, vegetables and herbs. I am allergic to a substance that most of them produce naturally, salicylates, and have an intolerance to many amines (which is also why I don’t eat many sweetened foods or pre-prepared foods; Irarely eat food I haven’t prepared myself). My last fenugreek experience had me vomiting for days after a tiny amount.

    Two weeks ago I had a nasty respitatory (sp?) virus and had to take an antibiotic. It is one I have taken before; the doctor says it is almost the last one he can prescribe for me. I experienced a disastrous ‘side effect’ – after 1 tablet, thought I was having a heart attack (I would have said it was a reaction to the drug, he said no, just side effect) and had to stop taking the medication immediately. Two days later, thought I was having a stroke – migraine with sinus headache combined, literally knocked me off my feet for 2 days. Can’t take pain meds at all, so you can imagine what it was like unlike my nose started to run and we realised what was happening.

  • Reply danam July 4, 2011 at 9:05 am

    my wife recently brought down her morning bg levels by simply using fenugreek seeds. last year she had tried fenugreek water for few weeks and then gave up. this time (last few weeks), she actually chewed soaked fenugreek seeds and saw her morning glucose drop to levels she hadn’t seen in a year. from 140-150, it immediately came down to ~120 (112 lowest). she also used bitter melon (karela) juice at times but fenugreek (methi) showed direct correlation. she has never taken any diabetes meds, but is little lazy when it comes to natural stuff (herbs).

  • Reply Joanne July 4, 2011 at 6:46 am

    still hoping for information on correlation of DP and menopause… I have daytime readings of 5.2 to 6.8 post-prandial and fasting readings ranging from 6 to 8+, even though my diet rarely changes and my dietitian can find no fault with it, in terms of diabetes management. Higher readings may coincide with bad migraine days or extended ‘spotting’ or restless nights or nothing at all. A reading before bedtime may be within normal range, only to shoot to low 9s by 6 am on a whim.

  • Reply Woody July 4, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Thanks for the tip about the vinagar it helps me
    some. In my reading I found another article that
    I found interesting. It seems that in non diabetic
    people there insulin sensitivity varries during the day also BUT in a patern just the opposit of
    ours. They handel carbs best first thing in the morning and by late afternoon don’t handel carbs verry well at all.

  • Reply Joanne June 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Can anyone tell me if there is much information about DP and going through menopause naturally? All other readings are fine for this type 2 (yeah, I could lose some weight – working on it; I exercise but it doesn’t affect my DP readings; I eat low-carb, low fat and have food allergies).

    I have noticed a correlation between my migraines and my higher readings (get migraines almost daily). The only meds I take are for the migraines, and women’s vit complex that’s heavy on Bs.

    Have worked hard to achieve consistent readings, and they’re now usually just on the high side of normal except for my morning fasting BGL. It keeps going up no matter what I do.

    Thanks for any suggestions – I’m overdue for the A1C but I’m scared to go back… I really don’t want to take more meds. (I react badly to most medication)

  • Reply Gerry May 17, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Irene, I figure our liver is like the bank and insulin is the custodian that keeps the bank clean. If you dump a lot of sugar into the “bank” during the day, the insulin custodian is going to “dump” it into the blood stream, “the garbage collector”, during the night and so you end up with DP. So the trick is to eat consistently night and day.

    For instance, I now know that my body can produce enough insulin to “eat” 20 carbs per feeding without leaving any extra in the bank. So I begin the day and end the day with a pretty level field of playing.

    However, if I eat something that catches me off guard, and fills up my bank, then I get a penalty of DP.

    The best way to find out how much insulin (type II people) that you can produce, use your glucose kit before and after eating.

    Then try to eat accordingly.


  • Reply Irene May 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I got diagnosed with diabetes a year ago; The first 8 months I did really well, stuck to my diet, got my health under control but the last six months Its been a bit of a struggle to stick to a healthy diet and recently I noticed that my blood sugar’s usually higher in the morning [technically that’s always been the case; although I never worried too much if it was under 8 mml] but I got really concerned because the last few weeks I got blood sugar readings over 8mml despite the fact that i’m fully recovered from the flu now. I discovered I experience the dawn phenomenon. I found that the way to counteract that is to make sure that my last snack is 2 -2.5 hrs before bed. [Because i go to bed about 1am n my last meal was 9.30pm. I was going to bed hungry] Voila. My blood sugar readings are now within the normal ranges again. In fact my morning blood sugar reading was in the 6.5 readings, a number that it hasnt been for a very long time…

    Eating a low carb/protein snack 2 hrs before bed is best. E.g.
    1. egg and green tea.
    2. crackers [wholegrain/multigrain] n peanut butter
    3. apple an peanut butter
    4. carrots/celery with dip [avocado, peanut butter.]
    5. half muffin [homemade] with green tea/milk
    6. handful of nuts n dried frut
    7. a few pretzels n fruit [eg. apple, pear, orange…etc.]
    8. small bowl of vanilla custard n 1/4 pear n green tea
    9. berries n greek/natural yogurt.
    10. A handful of popcorn and fruit…
    11. a savoury scone with cottage cheese…etc.

    the possibilities are endless. It worked for me. Good luck.

  • Reply Natalie March 8, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I have a question – I have started taking glucomannon (1 tsp in a glass of water). My question is – will my body percieve this as food and act accordingly (release insulin) or will it just fill up my stomach and keep me from eating (body still thinks I’m fasting)?

  • Reply Mary W February 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Well, I tried 1 oz of apple cider vinegar in water before bed last night, FBG this morning was still 130. I will slowly work up to 2oz this week ea night and see if it makes a difference. maybe I will add evening of primrose ea night also.


  • Reply David Mendosa February 18, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Dear Mary,

    Then, you have no reason to be concerned about a hypo, going too low. Only when your level goes below 70 do you need to do something about it. And you will eventually not feel that you are too low when your level is higher than that.


  • Reply Mary W February 17, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    No David, I’m not on insulin only metformin 1xday. Sometimes I feel like I might be hypo but when I check it , it’s usually no lower than 96-97., but that’s not very often. I haven’t had a recheck of A1c since Oct. I have only been on Metformin since Dec as well as the diet so I thought I would go back to Dr in March.
    Thanks again David

  • Reply Mary W February 17, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I have gained so much good info here as I’m newly diagnosed type 2 I too have highest # upon arising, and will try vinegar at bedtime and maybe 5os wine at dinner. I am on 500mg metformin 1x day, I take it right before dinner. Also following Bernstien solution diet, At diagnosis morn # 168, after 2 mo on new low carb diet and metformin morn # 121, hope to get it lower with an increase of daily 30 min excersise and weight loss (have lost 11lbs since Dec). So it is ok to add chromium P and cinnomon along with metformin? Wasn’t sure if it would lower BG too much, thanks again.

    • Reply David Mendosa February 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      Dear Mary,

      You can reduce your BG too much and go hypo if you are taking insulin or an insulin sensitizer. Are you?


  • Reply minismon February 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    just read this today somewhere

    Wherever we are, no matter how bad our life might look, we can take a step forward. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, what we forgot to do, or what other people think of us — our choice is basically the same: to go forward

  • Reply Gerry Pariseau February 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I know. Before aloe vera, I would wake up with BG of 130-145 now it is 111 to 125, that is encouraging and encouragement is what all diabetics need. As far as I can tell though, the best control for diabetes is exercise and weight loss. Most of us though are overweight too much and can’t get out of our own tracks. However, when I spent that month in bed or sitting with the gout flareups, I did exercise my upper body with bar bells. It is difficult to lift yourself out of a bed or recliner to use the facilities if you are weak, and especially if you are overweight. When I started needing help out of my chair, that scared me, and that is when I started the upper body exercising. It has helped.

    Now that the gout is gone, my legs are very weak, so I make a point of getting out my rollator walker and walking throughout the house. When the sun shines again, I will go outdoors and walk up and down in front of my yeard until I am strong enough to walk further. Get out in the sun as much as possible, diabetics are notoriously low on vitamin D and the sun is the best relieve for that.

    “The main message though is get the excess weight off. I figure that when I am at my normal weight, I should weigh between 120-130 lbs. So that is what God created my internal organs to support. So if I want them to work correctly, I have to get my weight to that level, otherwise, the extra weight is literally killing me by choking off the internal organs. That killing process shows up as diabetes, heart problems, gout, cancer, asthma, etc.

    I heard a woman say the other day that when she was younger, she looked at old people and saw 2 types. The first type was at their correct weight or even a little under, and had a good quality of life. The other type was overweight, and all they did was talk about their medical problems, and suffer from all sorts of diseases and were unable to do anything because of their disabilities. She chose early in life to be slender when she was old, now she is old and is healthy and active, not sitting around talking about illness. Wished I had been that wise at her age.

  • Reply minismon February 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    dear gerry
    for the record,

    DP befor AV was 146
    DP after AV 121.

    will check again today, sending this addl note for other readers.


  • Reply Gerry Pariseau February 1, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Dear Minismom Glad to help a fellow sufferer. Gerry

  • Reply minismon January 31, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    DEAR Gerry,

    aloe vera juice is indeed soothing, thank you for sharing this experience.
    it helped my DP numbers . its effect on soothing a bad attack of acidity was amazing, relievd me of a evening of agonising headache and nausea.

    god bless for sharing the simple trick of having it at bed time. i had being having it early morning earlier.

  • Reply Gerry Pariseau January 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Dear Mary If you will read the article a the top of this column about the Dawn Phenom, you will get some answers there. I have also discovered for myself that about 2-3 oz of aloe vera juice at bedtime, I usually cut it with about that much sugar free grape juice, helps with DP and inflammation. DP is when your liver cleans house while you sleep and dumps all excess sugar into your blood stream. Diabetes is a part of an on going inflammation in the body, the aloe vera helps to cool it down, much like when you put an aloe vera leaf on a burn. It works and you feel much better.

  • Reply Mary January 30, 2011 at 9:19 am

    My husband has had diabetes type 2 for about 10 years. He has been on many different medications and is now on Byetta and Glimipiride. He weighs about 350. He also has prostate cancer and is on al lot of medication. He also has a pacemaker. His blood sugar goes up and down all the time and confuses his. This morning is was 75 and he therefore did not take his byetta. Sometimes he will wake up and it is 110 or maybe 160 and he takes the byetta then. Why is it so up and down . It never goes over 200.

    • Reply David Mendosa January 31, 2011 at 10:45 am

      Dear Mary,

      If you husband would contact me directly, I would be glad to advise him. My email address is mendosa@mendosa.com and my phone is (720) 319-8423.


  • Reply Gerry Pariseau January 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Dear Reedee I guess we have all been busy mopping up after Christmas. My name is Gerry and it is good to have you on our site.

    For the past month I have been battling 7 gout flareups, plus my prediabetes. Learned some new things along the way.

    I learned that aloe vera juice, buy it at the grocery store, is not only good for gout but also for diabetes. You only need about 2-3 ounces per day and I mix it in with a small amount of some other fruit juice to make it easier to take.

    I also learned that a low purine diet, something all gout victims do if they don’t like pain, is also very good for diabetes. My daughter, who is healthy but eats this diet with me, and I have been showing weight loss just in the one month we have been using this diet.

    So what is a low purine diet? It is little to no animal flesh, but generous use of dairy products and soy products. Also, if you are prone to gout (hereditary), this diet will lessen the amount of gout flare ups that you have, but it also is an anti-infammatory diet, which means you body can do repair work from the diabetes. It also protects your heart

    Also I learned about a medication for gout that is wonderful but dangerous. It is called colchicine. It can be used as a pain manager or a gout preventative, but while I was on it, a lot of my other aches and pains disappeared. It is very dangerous and is easy to abuse it, only take it under a doctors supervision.

    So these are all the new things I have learned in this past month and thought I would share it with all of you. The low purine diet is like what they ate in the Garden of Eden, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and grains that have color to them. It is a very tasty diet. If you want to learn how to cook tasty food with this diet, check with the following site http://www.3abn.org , it is a 7th Day Adventist site, just click on FOOD. I know, I know, I am not 7th Day Adventist either, but their diet is wonderful for us. Get brave, you will be pleasantly surprised. Gerry

  • Reply Reedee January 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    There are no new postings here… is this site still active? I’m going to try the vinegar tonight and I’ll stick a piece of okra in the fridge. My waking level was 208 this morning

  • Reply john December 20, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Forgive my spelling I didnt proof read,,,,smile

  • Reply john December 20, 2010 at 4:39 am

    I was found to be type two 25 years ago when my sugar was 750 and colestrol was 800 as well as trg,,were 2600,,,I was to change my life style or die.
    I lost 80 pounds and took only one pill a day,,,,My sugar has never been below 160 in the mornings for 25 years,,,I now since they have been approved take Glucophage 2000mg aday and glucotrol xl 20 mg a day and sugar still 170 to maybe 200 in mornings,,,I am religious on what i eat and have counted carbs,sugar and fat for 25 years,,,I am 76 now and still no problems with heart ,,legs or eye sight and or kidneys,,,My doctors tell me am the healthest dibeatic he has met.
    I do have one problem and will correct and that is my doctor swithed me to glpizide instead of named brand and my sugar has spiked 60 points and almost feel like a heart attack when just a short walk,,,I never had this problem with named brand,,,How ever i am by nature to research everything and I know that all the drug companies and the FDA claim there is no differance in generic and name brand,,But i also from experiance with my job with the government and dealing with big corps. that they dont always tell the truth when it comest to money,,,so i will quit the generic and take the top shelf stuff as i do every thing,,I dont shop at the dollar store.

  • Reply Suzy November 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I will check it all out! Thanks again, Liz

  • Reply Liz November 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    You could try a Bayer A1CNow. I did use one, and it was pretty close to my real A1C… It gave me an A1C of 5.3%, and the lab was 5.5%.

    I’m really picky when it comes to doctors and medications… I guess, whether it got me in trouble or not, I would ask for a new test… and my personal choice is going to be insulin, and not get on a lot of meds. But that’s just me. I think you do, though, owe it to yourself to ask for a do-over if it means you’re gonna be on some serious new medications. But the A1CNow might help you determine whether to pick that battle, or not.

  • Reply Suzy November 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks, Liz. I agree with you! It was a lab test, but still. He had a chart in his office with those numbers, and when I questioned him about it, he referred to the chart. I think the lab scewed up the test, but hard to believe. But based on that, he’s starting me on medication.

  • Reply Liz November 2, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Well, while there are various A1C calculators out there, it’s usually a few tenths of a point off… not entire percentage points. 135, according to one of the more used calculators does NOT equal 7.3%… it equals 6.3%. http://professional.diabetes.org/GlucoseCalculator.aspx You can double check it on that list, where eAG is the estimated Average Glucose. Also… did he do a lab A1C, or one of those A1Cs at the office?

  • Reply Suzy November 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I just got back an A1C of 7.3 and am totally shocked. My blood sugars didn’t seem to be that horrible. My doctor averaged them all out to 135 and said that was the correct A1C. I’m just wondering if that sounds right? He has put me on 100mg of Januvia. I was just doing diet and exercise before.

  • Reply Gerry Pariseau November 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Right now I am going through some really serious financial stress and am finding that it is a job to keep the blood sugar down through this time.

    So I am going to try what Prevention Magazine recommends, with everything you eat, add some protein with it. I did that at one time, and it worked very well.

    I truly believe that stress is the #1 cause of diabetes. The stress hormones can really play havoc with your blood glucose system. Gerry

  • Reply Liz October 31, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Drink a LOT of water, if you are bloated. It means you’re retaining water, which is a symptom of dehydration… and about the only way to treat that is with water. I used to have high blood pressure, but I started consuming foods high in potassium, like a lot of nuts, etc… and I’ve lost a lot of weight, too (75 lbs). Since I follow a mostly low carb diet… My bp went from 140 to about 109.

  • Reply saddaf October 31, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    thx liz. i now know for sure that women do suffer higher bg numbers during periods. My numbers get not only much higher but also unpredictable. i also suffer from high bp and hugely bloated tummy during theses days. any suggestions.

  • Reply Liz October 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Update on my dawn phenomenon:

    I have changed a few things to help with this situation:

    1. I make sure I am very well hydrated, every day. Via lots of water, powerade zero, etc.
    2. I have an early dinner, every day… No later than 7 pm. Usually around 5:30 pm.
    3. I always have a light evening snack, lower on the carbs (no more than 15), at around 7:30-8:30pm or so..
    4. I go for a mild, casual stroll right before bed (20-25 minutes), usually at 10-10:30 pm.
    5. I go for a mild, casual stroll first thing in the morning before I eat anything at all (20-25 minutes). Usually 7:30-8:30 am.

    This has been keeping my morning numbers in the 80s and lower 90s most days of the month, except for period ovulation days when I get to higher 90s, and lower 100s.

    I follow a more high protein/high fat diet, with less than 80 grams of carbohydrates a day, with most days averaging around 60, since I only eat about 7 grams of carbohydrates in the morning at breakfast. (I spike too much then, for eating carbs.)

    Hope this helps anyone.

  • Reply Gerry Pariseau October 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Hi All I have learned a few things since I last wrote. The apple cider vinegar is to be taken 1/2 hr before eating, 2 tsp. I figure it sets up an acidic stomach so that you will digest your food instead of storing someplace in the body, only to be found later as poundage.

    I actually “saw” the morning phenom occur this morning. When I woke up, my bg was 137. I was fasting for a blood test. Later when I felt really hungry, I tested it again, thinking it should be down to the 120s, but to my surprise it was at 147!

    So I figured that because I was fasting, my liver decided to clean house and dump yesterdays liver glucose now! Oh lucky me. So I figure that is how it works, the liver is cleaning house.

    The blood test revealed that my a1c was 6.2. I am seriously thinking about eating vegetarian more than meat. An all raw diet does wonders, if you can live with it. It is a hard diet to live with.

    Well gotta go. Just thought I would share these thoughts with you. Gerry

  • Reply jim snell October 29, 2010 at 8:13 am


    playing with meals seems interesting.

    you need to check bs from midnight to am.

    i bet ir is 110 at 1:00am; 150 at 3:00 am
    and 230-268 in am.

    I do not kmow who the idiot pill jocky’s that recommend one dose per day of metformin.

    problem is liver stuck in make sugar mode crtc2 switch always on. Metformin up to strength in blood only shuts this off.

    metformin is only drug to shut this down.

    based upon factors of my body I take

    5:00 am 500mg metformin
    12:00 pm lunch 500 mg metformin
    7:00 pm 500 mg metformin
    10:00 pm and 12:00am midnight 500 mg metformin
    each time – will shut down dawn issue to 5:30 am.

    standard met not ER XR or that Tevi stuff.

    I go to bed at 12:00 am and bs is 120 to 140.
    In am BS is 120 to 140 usally. I have not seen
    190plus and 230 up – a pail of glucose since this regimene.

    Reason for spreading pill charges throughout day is to cut off liver sugar production and crtc2 switch in fasting not make sugar.
    mode as much as possible.

  • Reply Phil October 29, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Ack, moderator, please combine the previous 2 posts and this one. I am also going to pay attention to the 2 Berstein books I bought and follow what they say (Solution & Diet)

  • Reply Phil October 29, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Ack. Also set the alarm for 3:00 and see if my blood sugar is crashing causing the reaction. Frankly I can see how that might be, given times I would have overeaten late, and double dosed on metformin in an attempt to counteract it. I was prescribed 1 1000 MG pill at meals, but after a couple years got lazy about dietary intake and doubled up as a countermeasure.

  • Reply Phil October 29, 2010 at 2:55 am

    OK. My turn. 2 years or so in as a type II and way too much slacking the last few months. Currently 260-270 @ 5’10”, 45Y. Anyways I was prescribed Metformin (1000MT) and Lisinopril(20MG). Lisinopril in the morning, and metformin with meals. It has a habit of feeling like it is ripping up my insides, lots of gastric bubbling a couple hours after meals and repeated bathroom trips with watery discharges. However, I am finding the right balance in term of eating when taking it or having some milk and that really helps. Also, I was doubling up the Metformin because of overeating.

    Recently in the last week, repeated “warmish” feelings in the body and finding high morning readings (250-290) led me to take things serious. Shifting to small meals, cucumbers/pickles and some green apples or kiwi fruits, etc led to some improvements. Last night readings of 107 after bed. Dinner was some salad.

    I wake up this morning horrified at morning reading of 289. I do have some organic vinegar, I will start trying that at morning and night to see if that helps (also for weight loss).

  • Reply jim snell October 11, 2010 at 8:28 am


    metformin works well slicing dawn effect back.
    500mg metformin at 10o:00pm an 12:00 midnight
    cut back dawn effect from midnight to 5:00 am to zero.

    120 bs at night – in am 119 to 130 bs at 5:00 am

    take new metformin of 500 mg at 5:00 am and 23 units of humolog and wait 1 hour then walk 1/2 to 3/4 mile and liver back in cage and numbers back to wakeup.

    please note

  • Reply sonja d October 6, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    To Jean: Thanks so much for your words of encouragement! While I might have, on a bad day, said “I hate my life”, I WASN’T the person who posted that! I just don’t believe in giving in to the negatives/ temporary setbacks; there ARE indeed so many things I LOVE about my life, including a wonderful husband who loves me for WHO I am, not what I look like (although I still have a nice face!:) lol). I am a cancer survivor (so is my husband-Prostate & stepson terminal brain cancer! all in 2 yrs. all of us are in remission! PTL!) and have been blessed with additional years after a Dx of CUPS in 2006, “cancer of unknown primary site” (this is metastatic) per 2 PET scans 2 yrs apart @ Mayo clinics. Anyway, I (& my family) am a LOVER of JESUS, who provided the strength to get each of us through all these challenges and come out stronger in the end. However, many health challenges remain, I’m 61 with HTN, obesity, now diabetes, so I am somewhat discouraged but will never give up! I am transitioning to a plant based diet, “no white foods”, which I’ve already been moving towards for the past 15 yrs. I will request my Dr to try Victoza, I feel that may be very effective for me with the diet changes I’m making. Lantus has helped DP, I’m enjoying the Ap cider vinegar each eve. Metformin has been going better, now we’ll see what happens with the GI upset once again with Victoza. I still go to work daily as an RN. Thanks so very much for your kind concern. God’s blessings to ALL those with helpful words of advice.

  • Reply Gerry October 6, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you Jean, you about summed it up correctly. I think the most important hurdle we have is attitude adjustment. Those people that make that hurdle successfully seem to prosper better than those that kick at the traces over it. I am one of the kickers but am working on my attitude. This is NOT what I had planned for a retirement, thank you. LOL I laugh but the attitude will make or break you. Hugs, Gerry

  • Reply Jean October 6, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve been reading this website for quite a while, but haven’t posted in maybe a year or so. Reading Sonja and “I hate my life” (we so need your name), I can certainly relate. I was diagnosed about 5 yrs ago now with type 2. I won’t go into all my numbers, but let’s just say that I’ve vacillated between “uncontrolled” and “not as good as it should be” which equates to A1c as high as 8.8 and the low of 6.2, and always a morning reading 160 – 220. I’ve been on maximum metformin since the beginning of 1000mg 2 Xs/day. My total cholesteral & tryglicerides are high, as well as my LDL. My only saving grace is a high HDL, which gives me a good ratio. I was on Janumet, then Januvia with the metformin separate, then Avandia and a couple more I can’t remember. I have been on Byetta for 2 yrs w/metformin and finally dropped about 10 pounds in a yr. It is a slow process. They Byetta did not bring my readings down low enough and now I am on Victoza for the past month. Again my weight is going down, due to the side effects of nausea, bloating & gas. I still have about 20 pounds to go to be in the normal high weight range for my body. The biggest difference with the Victoza has been the lower morning numbers, which are because my dinners have been very small and light (due to the nausea). Now that I’ve adjusted to the Victoza, I find my numbers going up again since I don’t have the nausea.
    The point I’m getting to is that it’s all about diet and exercise. The medications help, but you have to make the life change adjustments. You also have to experiement with the various medications through your physician to see which ones work best for you and experiment with eating to see what works best for you. I’m a gourmet cook and love eating wonderful food. My favorite hobby (cooking) has been overhauled from what it was, to cooking in a way that incorporates a diabetic life style. Yes, I-hate-my-life, it’s a pain, frustrating and not what we want to do, but it’s a necessity. Diabetes is not a one pill/plan fits everyone; it requires a personal individual plan, but it is a very rewarding journey as you get over each hurdle you tackle, become healthier and live a better life. Sonja, you’re learning that it’s different strokes for different folkes. Follow this site and try the suggestions, but understand that some make work for you and some won’t. Not doing anything is not an option. Trying everything is the only option. I haven’t gotten it totally under control in 5 years for numerous reasons, but it’s something I work at daily and that’s all we can do is take it one day at a time. Best of health to all of you.

  • Reply Gerry October 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Sonja Vermont folk medicine recommends APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. I put a tablespoon in a cup of warm water, with some Splenda and cinammon. It tastes like Apple Cider warm, it is good tasting. For some it works, others not. Gerry

  • Reply David Mendosa October 1, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Dear Sonja,

    Vinegar does work for some people to reduce or control the dawn phenomenon. And while I haven’t heard that it can prevent stomach upsets from metformin, if it works for you, keep it up!


  • Reply sonja d October 1, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I started @ 500mg 1x/day, @ one time was on 750mg.(over a mo. or so) sustained release wasn’t much better, but maybe that’s because I took it sporadically depending on my activities for the day. I’ll try again. What about vinegar? I had some red wine vinegar & tried that, no noticeable affect this AM.

  • Reply sonja d September 30, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I am new to this site. Great information. I see no mention of Metformin’s side effect of gas, cramps, loose stools, explosive stools. Is it really true this will get better? I just can’t take it if I’m not sure whether I’ll be VERY near a toilet! Does VERY low carb improve this problem? I think I read that somewhere. Also, why not just any ole vinegar for DP? Thanks for any help.

    • Reply David Mendosa October 1, 2010 at 7:01 am

      Dear Sonja,

      Yes, the side effects of metformin do disappear in just a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, your doctor should have started you on a VERY low dose to get your body used to it. You need to discuss that with your doctor pronto.


  • Reply Gerry September 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Dear I hate my life (I wished you had a name!!)

    If you are vitamin D deficient, ask your doctor about the type of vitamin D and how much you need to take.

    When they found out I was deficient, I had to take a prescription D for a couple of weeks and then switch over to OTC. It also helps if you can take in about 10 minutes of the morning sun or the afternoon sun everyday.

    Most of us work in an office, under flourescent lights, and that does not help us, but robs us of our vitamin D. So take a “sun bath” each day. You could get a 10 minute walk at that time and kill 2 chores with one act. Take a walk with friends.

    We are where we are due to neglect of our bodies for a long period of time. It took me 62 years of neglect before my body said, “ENOUGH”. So I figure that if I spent the next 62 years working on my good health, that is pay back.

    Have fun. Gerry

  • Reply Gerry September 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Everyone: I just came across some wonderful receipes for diabetics. Go to http://www.3ABN.org and click on their food section. This is a 7th Day Adventist channel on t.v. and this is their web site. They are some of the healthiest people in the world, along with the Jews. They have a cooking class everyday.

    I sent off for the Global Vegetarian cookbook from Curtis and Paula Aekins. It is $27 and their website is: hseminars.com The cookbook comes in a white binder, with a platic cover on it. You can take out the receipes and put them under the cover to keep them clean while cooking and the binder keeps them from flying all over.

    They give you lots of information of what each food will do to your body, and then if it is negative, they will give you an alternative. I was surprised to find out that you can actually get “protein poisoning”.

    The receipes are the kind of food that we all eat, nothing strange. You might want to take a look at both websites. They are filled with all sorts of info that will help diabetics. Gerry

  • Reply Gerry September 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    To I hate my life: If you know that your liver is libel to dump into your blood stream in the middle of the night, then be careful what you feed your liver the night before. Eat veggies, and protein after 6 p.m. that will give your liver time to adjust.

    Wake up hungry in the middle of the night? Try a small protein shake made with soy milk and/or almond milk, the working word is SMALL.

    Also, try to get 8 hours of sleep per night. I sleep in bed until my breathing wakes me up. Then I sleep in a recliner, but I do try to get 8 hours of sleep. So far I am up 6 hours, normal used to be 3 hours. For every hour you deprive yourself of sleep, it is every hour you are giving diabetes a helping hand to destroy you. Your body needs time to do it’s “housekeeping”.

    When I was working, I would have given my eye teeth for permission to sleep that long and now I struggle to get all 8 hours of sleep at once. I get 8 hours, but it is broken sleep, 6 at night and small naps during the day. Not the same.

    Keep working at it, the first year is the hardest.

    Hugs, Gerry

  • Reply IHatemyLife September 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I also learned I am extremely vitamin D deficient. I guess I got to get a prescription for that. Perhaps that will help with my morning numbers.

  • Reply IHatemyLife September 30, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks for the positive feedback. I understand its all about “attitude”, but its just hard to mentally adjust. Especially when you think “could i have” prevented this. I love food. To be unable to “eat” anywhere because of carb intake. Well that has to be the most humbling experience of my life. No Indian food, no Chipotle, No Italian, No food, No life.

    For those of you with it, how did you combat ”
    dawn phenomenon?” My blood sugars in the morning are still in the 200’s. I don’t know if its cause the medication takes time to work or if i can do anything naturally to suppress the liver from dumping glucose in my body….??

  • Reply Suzy September 27, 2010 at 6:22 am

    You are actually lucky to discover your diabetes so soon. I was in denial for years and now have numb feet, retinophathy, and kidney disease. When I finally got tested, my blood sugar was in the 600 range. I was started on insulin 4 times a day and didn’t have any idea about what to eat. I finally got everything on track and began to realize how grateful I am for diabetes. If not for diabetes, I probably would not be the healthy, active and somewhat muscular old lady that I am. It forced me to finally become healthy, and for that, I’m grateful!!!

  • Reply saddaf September 26, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    i would like to add one more comment to what david and gerry said. they are absolutely right. this forum is wonderfully supportive and guiding. however, it is only you who can bring the postive change by strictly sticking to the rules of the games. if you do, it is like david said, you will be amazed at the new you. if you donot, you will always be’ hating your life’.
    best best wishes and all the support


  • Reply Gerry September 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Dear I hatemy life I agree with David. Your old life is over, but you have a brilliant future ahead of you. Begin by leaving all white foods alone. You can add them back later if your body can handle them.

    This is a good time to start learning about what insulin is and is not, and then start working with your body. I learned that body can still “chew” up to 20 grams of carbs per meal, especially if I accompany those carbs with protein. In fact, Prevention magazine says that the best weight loss diet is to eat protein with every carb that goes into your mouth. It causes you to fill full faster and takes longer to empty out, so you feel satisfied longer.

    I began my journey with a journal, however; not being the kind of person that can stay with that for very long, that ended quickly. I did learn about some of my foibles and weaknesses from it, and some of my strengths.

    The best diet is FRESH. Fresh meat/dairy, fresh fruit, fresh veggies and small proportions. Read some of Marys blogs on this site. She will tell you about PLATE PORTIONS. It works. (P.S. Mary, I have shown a 3 lb weight loss. First one in 2 years.)

    Regarding exercise. Put a “step” in the middle of your path at home/work. Don’t walk around it, but step up on it and keep moving. It isn’t much, but it will add extra step-ups to your day and at the end of the year it will show. I have been doing that and my weak leg is now stronger.

    You are young, so I am assuming that you work. If you have a sit down job, set a timer (I use my cell phones timer) to remind yourself to get up and walk around every 15 minutes. Don’t let your blood “puddle”, keep it moving.

    Keep your filters clean. Just like the filters on your a/c and/or heater, our filters work hard, so keep them clean. That would be your bowels, kidneys, skin, and lungs. They help our body to throw off the sugar. The cleaner the filters are, the lower the blood glucose is.

    Drink lots of water, but also about mid-day allow yourself a fluid “treat” to cleanse your pallete, i.e. sugar free iced tea, sugar free lemonade, watered down cold cranberry juice, then go back to water again. If you like fresh fruit juice, cut it with water, much like adding a “pour-in” resets the flavor of water.

    Don’t be afraid. At first it all seems confusing, and time consuming, but if you make your changes a little at a time, you eventually do not even want to go back to the old way you used to live. Your reward will be a healthy blood glucose, weight loss (if you need it), toned muscles, a happier outlook on life, and no amputations. So put your first foot on the path and don’t look back.

    You will make lots of new friends along the way that will greatly appreciate you. Stick with David also, he is a great Mentor. Read his articles, they remove the fear and give you courage. Shine the light of education on this monster under the bed.

    God bless you and keep us posted on your progress. Gerry

  • Reply Ihatemylife September 26, 2010 at 11:01 am

    32 years old. So i went to the doc for a yeast infection and noticed i lost 14 pounds. I was 148 pounds . I am now 134 pound. Doctor tells me it was a yeast infection and proceeds to say everything is fine. I asked the doctor for a pee test and a glucose test.. because i googled weight loss and yeast infection…Lo and Behold …level of 300 on fasting test. The doctor tells me to come back for another test this coming Monday. I went Friday and asked to see another doctor and they prescribed metformin.

    My question i started taking the medicine Friday night and did not test till yesterday evening. My test came back 145 so i was hopeful i was getting it down. I took metformin and food at around 9pm last night and i wake up with bg 275.

    I am going to try what everyone suggested, but man i can’t believe this didn’t happen to me in 10 years or something, atleast by then there might be a cure and now i feel like my life is basically over.

    • Reply David Mendosa September 26, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      Dear Jazzy Bell,

      Actually, the best part of your life just started! You now have the opportunity to be in the best health that you ever had. You simply got a wake-up call to start respecting your body by getting down to your optimum weight with good food and great exercise. Congratulations!


  • Reply Liz September 15, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Here’s a new thing that has been happening to me. I’ve been trying to have dinner early, every day. At 5:30 pm or so. Then, at around 8:30 pm, I have a snack of a few slices of cucumber with a touch of salt, and 3 slices of hard dry salami. The, right before bed, which is around 10:30 pm or so, I go for an evening walk, for about 2 blocks or so, sometimes more… Nothing strenuous, just a casual stroll around the neighborhood with the mister, while we talk about whatever… Three days in a row now, I’ve woken up in the 80s! 83, 89, and 87! 🙂 I am pretty happy about this. lol