Rhyme, Reason, and Morning Blood Sugar Spikes


Oh my goodness. Do you ever have those moments where all of the sudden something clicks, and there’s a great ray of light shining from the heavens because Oh my goodness, it all makes sense?

That is how I felt this morning, when reading a recent review from Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, “The hypothalamic clock and its control of glucose homeostasis.” The article was a review of recent studies exploring the relationships between the central nervous system’s biological clock and the body’s daily rhythms of glucose tolerance and concentrations.

And get this: in any given (non-diabetic) day, the highest level of plasma glucose concentration (that is, the highest blood sugar levels) tends to occur shortly before awakening. This has been shown to be the case in humans and a number of animal models, and has more recently been tied to the release of glucose into the bloodstream by the liver due to either signals from the cellular biological clock located in the hypothalamus, or due to ingrained timekeeping by the cells in the fat and muscle tissues.

And to that I say: Oh my goodness, it all makes sense. This pre-activity glucose spike is apparently old news in the world of endocrinology and metabolism, but to me, this is a wonderful moment of justification and affirmation of observations in my daily life.

In other words, I have noticed, almost every morning, before my alarm clock goes off at 5:20, my Continuous Glucose Meter shows my blood sugar begin to rise. Not too much, generally, but a good 33% or so between 5:10 and 5:45. And up until now, this was just mysterious to me. I assumed it was my crazy body somehow anticipating me waking up, and beginning to plan with its bio-magic by increasing blood flow and glucose concentration.

But it’s not just me. This is an observed scientific phenomenon. Humans and animals! With a molecular explanation! And evidence of particular hormonal and molecular mechanisms!

Why didn’t I know this before? Why has no doctor or endocrinologist ever said to me, “Here; here is everything we know about glucose patterning. Pay attention, because otherwise you’ll be stuck all alone trying to sort out the infinity of physical and emotional variables that make your messed-up body seem to fluctuate randomly throughout the day.”

But I am learning, thanks to the fact that information wants to be free. And this morning, I have learned one seemingly small, insignificant fact. But it makes one more little strangeness of my life as a diabetic make sense, and because of that, I am extremely pleased.

Oh, sweet reason and rhyme. My friends, together we will poke one more hole in the walls of this black box I call my self!

If you can’t access the paper via the link above, and want to read it, let me know. Incidentally, the second half is all about the implications of modern society’s perverted day/night scheduling in terms of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which is quite interesting for different reasons than the great confirmation noted above.

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12 years ago

Karmel, this is a great bit of info.  I hope you will have great revelations at the diabetic conference this week!  I am with you.

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