Today I am going to talk about what I call the bounce. This is a phenomenon where my sugar will be going down, then bounce up. This is called the Somogyi effect and it is the body’s defense against low blood sugar. For non-diabetics, this is a good thing. For diabetics, it can get out of control.
So why does this happen? When the body senses low blood sugar, the liver kicks in and produces glycogen to get the blood sugar back up. In non-diabetics, this process is shut off when insulin levels are elevated. In diabetics, either there is no insulin being produced, or insulin resistance prevents the liver from receiving the stop signal. This can cause blood sugar to go from 60 to 300 in a matter of hours.
One thing that I noticed, at least for me, is that low blood sugar is relative. When my sugar is running in the upper 200s, a blood sugar of 190 can trigger the bounce. This can be troubling because on the one hand, I am trying to get my sugar down. On the other hand, if I bring it down too fast, it is going to go up. This is why I get so frustrated when I hear, “Oh, your sugar is high? Just skip a meal or two. It’ll come down.”
This is also why blood sugar is high in the morning. It is also called the dawn phenomenon. A diabetic goes to bed and their sugar is good. When they wake up, their sugar is really high. This is the same effect. The sugar got too low in the middle of the night and the liver kicked in and raised the sugar.
Another issue that I have is that my sugar does not always bounce. Sometimes it just falls and I end up with a sugar in the 40s and 50s. I have not yet figured out why that happens. I have been lucky and I woke up each time and was able to wake my wife, who made me a sandwich to get my sugar back up.
So there you have it. Another thing that diabetics get to deal with. The key to bringing down your my is to bring it down gradually. If I go too quickly, my body fights and raises my sugar. If I let my body get used to lower sugars gradually, letting my body get used to the lower values.