Dawn Phenomenon and T1D Liver Dump

Dawn Phenomenon and T1D Liver Dump

January 21, 2020 0 By Jose Scott


Hey everyone, this is Levi with Between Two
Lines. I’m going to start this one off with a giveaway. This Carhartt beanie is up for
grabs. I know what you’re thinking. It’s the
most beautiful beanie I’ve ever seen in my life and it could be yours. To be
entered into the drawing all you got to do is share this video on whatever diabetic
Facebook group you’re a part of. I don’t care if it gets posted 27 times.
If you share the video, you’re entered into the drawing. Next week I’ll announce
the winner and we’ll get this bad boy sent out to you. So today let’s talk
about the dawn phenomenon, liver dump, those unexplained times when your blood
sugar rises without cause. The Liver dump or Dawn Phenomenon, if you’re
not familiar with these terms, I’m certain you’re familiar with the concept. It’s
those times when your blood sugar rises without cause without reason. There’s a
couple instances that in particular cause this and those are the two I’m
gonna focus on today. One is in the morning when you wake up- the Dawn Phenomenon
of rising blood sugar and the second one is anaerobic exercise. When you start
working out, lifting weights in the gym, a lot of people have a common problem of
their blood sugar being in a spike. We’re gonna talk about why that is. Maybe some
things that you can do, some things that I’ve had success with and maybe some
ways to improve your relationship with your type one diabetes. We spend all of
our time managing our blood sugar. This food affects my blood sugar in this way,
I’ve got to give this much insulin for this, the supplies, dealing with insurance,
all the above and sometimes I find myself losing focus of the name of the
game. The blood glucose is energy. That’s all it is. That’s the energy for our
bodies, the fuel we run on. All of our interior processes, all the exterior
activities we do are fueled by glucose. Our bodies are extremely precise at
managing this and the delivery of the glucose and when we need what and how
much and when to cut back and there’s a lot of automated processes that the
normal human body does extremely well. As a diabetic, you’ve got a table with one
of your legs broken off of it and you’re responsible for holding up that corner
of the table by acting as your own pancreas. Yet, some of these automated
processes continue to happen. One of those is a liver dump or a liver dumping
glucose into your bloodstream at a time that it deems needed. So what’s causing
that? Supply and demand. When your body’s physical demands or activity rises, a lot
of times if the fuel is not in the tank, the liver will dump glucose into your
bloodstream to meet those demands. The perfect example is the morning- that Dawn Phenomenon. When you wake up in the morning, your blood sugar begins to rise
and what’s going on there is you’ve essentially fasted for a period of time.
You’ve slept all night so you haven’t been eating you woke up in the morning,
your muscles and skeletal muscles draw the glucose out of the bloodstream to
fuel and start your day. Well, your liver recognizes that and it sees that there’s no
glucose coming, you haven’t eaten anything
and so it will disperse glucose into
your bloodstream. The rate at which it does that is directly dependent upon the
rate at which your muscles absorb the glucose. Your body can read how fast it’s
happening and will dispense glucose accordingly. So in the morning, on an
empty stomach and you’ve been to sleep, your heart rate
increases, you’re stretching, you’re yawning and you’re getting out of bed. It’ll draw
the glucose out of your bloodstream to start your day and it causes that liver
dump that can spike your blood sugar. I am a poster child for a morning Dawn
Phenomenon. I’m not sure if it’s that way for everybody. In fact, I know
some people have it worse and some people not so much but when I get up in
the morning- boom it’s off to the races. My blood sugar’s rising. Last night was
the perfect example. The night before I filmed this episode- I took screenshots
so I’m gonna put them somewhere up here. I had a perfect night. I nailed it. All
night long my blood sugar was perfect. The moment I woke up when my feet hit
the ground, my blood sugar started to rise. It does
it fast. You can see on the graph. 30-45 minutes later I ate breakfast and then
gave a shot for that amount. The critical mistake that I made is, I didn’t
take into account the Dawn Phenomenon. So my blood sugar keeps rising. It tapered
off, but it was still rising and I had to re administer insulin to counter for the
morning dawn phenomenon to get me to come back down. It took hours, wasted my
whole morning, jacked-up my whole day. That’s the Dawn Phenomenon. So what you
can do to combat that, it’s gonna take some attention on your part, I’ve said
before you can’t improve what you don’t measure. So you’re gonna need to pay
attention to how quickly and how often your blood sugar rises in the morning and
then what you can do is give a shot or a bolus on your insulin pump. Before you
even get out of the bed in the morning. The moment you wake up, you give that set
amount and it’s going to counter your Dawn Phenomenon and then you’ll give an
appropriate insulin with the food you eat later.
That should help level things out. It’s helped me tons. So that’s the name of
this channel, me trying to share some of the things I’ve screwed up or some of
the things I’ve had benefit from. That’s one of them. Give that a shot if you’re
not already doing that. The second thing is, anaerobic exercise. I say anaerobic-
there’s two kinds- of aerobic and anaerobic. If you’re not familiar with the two, do a
little bit of research. There’s a significant difference between them.
We’re going to talk about anaerobic because that can cause a liver
dump as well. What’s going on there? Same exact thing. The demands of your body have
increased. All of a sudden you’re introducing stress to your body, you’re working out.
It’s a stressor. Different hormones are coming into play and all
sudden boom the body’s demands are higher and the liver will respond by
dumping glucose in your bloodstream. There’s a lot of people in the different
groups that comment, “Hey, I’m working out- my blood sugar’s rising.
Do I give insulin for that? Or what are you guys doing? I seem to run
high for a little while.” It’s everybody’s experience. A lot of the same thing to a
different degree. Me personally, doesn’t happen to me very much but the mornings
are terrible for me. That’s the hardest time of the day. Others, their workouts
are a mess. It’s a little bit different though. The difference is your body can
absorb the glucose from your bloodstream into the muscles without insulin, when
they’re very active in a stressful anaerobic setting like that. It can use
the glucose without the insulin. Now as a diabetic, I caution you against bola
Singh, against that liver dump that starts in your workout because you could
shoot yourself in the foot and wind up low 30 minutes later and if you’ve done
that, you know the drill. What I’ve done, and this is not a doctor it’s just me
passing on something I’ve tried, maybe balls a percentage or give it a shot
it’s only a percentage of what you think you need. I go at half.
So whatever the rise is, I’ll give half that amount of insulin that I would
usually use to correct. One thing I found with anaerobic exercise, is that it’s a
bit of a fight-or-flight response. You know you’ve boom- introduced all this
stress. This high energy work out. Your body dumped a certain amount of sugar in
there to combat that but if you don’t continue to provide maximum effort the
way you would if you were running from a bear in the woods or we’re in some kind
of emergency situation. If you back off your workout you’re not giving it your
all it was too much sugar and you stay high. It’s easier said than done. I’ll be
the first to tell you- I’ll lie to you all day long and tell you I work 100% at every one of my workouts. But it’s not the case. None of us are able to
truly motivate ourselves to 100% every time or there wouldn’t be an industry
full of personal trainers there to provide motivation but anything you can
do to dial it up will help combat that liver dump that happens at the
beginning of anaerobic exercise. So, hopefully those two things will help.
Those are two instances I deal with on a daily basis just trying to give what I
can back to you guys. If you would, leave a comment on what you found because if
you watch this video and you’re an expert, you can recognize that I’m not. If
you watch this video and you’re a novice, hopefully you’ve picked up something
from me. So this is a two-way conversation. So leave in the comments
anything you have to contribute because I as much as anyone else am looking for
ways to improve my relationship with type one diabetes just like you. This is
Levi, I look forward talking you guys next week. Don’t forget to share the
video on your Facebook group to be entered for the Carhartt beanie.
Thanks a lot. See you next week.