We kick off our “Ask a Diabetes Specialist” series with a question that we hear from lots of people: “Why does my blood glucose go up during the night?”

Dr. Jackson’s Answer: Your body never wants to run out of its main fuel, which is the glucose in your blood. So even when you aren’t eating, your liver keeps the glucose above 70 mg/dl by releasing glucose it has stored. Glucagon is the main hormone that controls this release, along with insulin. In type 2 diabetes the liver behaves inappropriately by putting out glucose even when it shouldn’t. This is most noticeable during the night, so that sometimes your morning glucose can be higher than your bedtime glucose.

Another factor is the “dawn phenomenon”, and is part of your body’s natural biorhythms. Your metabolic factory starts working in the early morning, releasing hormones such as cortisol and growth hormone, which help you to get ready for the day. They also raise your blood glucose slightly, and this effect is more noticeable in people with diabetes. It’s not you, it’s your hormones!

Thank you to Dr. Richard Jackson, an endocrinologist in Boston for this fantastic information.  For more about Dr. Jackson, check out his non-profit: GrassRoots Diabetes.


  1. Smithe581

    01/07/2017 at 8:36 PM

    Howdy! This article could not be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I’ll send this information to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read. Thanks for sharing! dakccekgcbedgacd

  2. Smithf390

    01/07/2017 at 8:36 PM

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  3. Rose Vernoy

    01/17/2017 at 11:01 PM

    Very informative.

  4. Edith Harris

    02/15/2017 at 11:43 AM

    Always interested in help for diabetics,l and my family inherited it from our mother. Thank You.

  5. Amber Q

    02/15/2017 at 2:43 PM

    I I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes coming up on 30 years ago. All this time my doctors have been yelling at me and lecturing me because my fasting blood sugar was always high, even when I stuck to a strict diet. I did everything I new to try to lower my fasting BS, but it never worked.

    Now I find out that all those years of being yelled at and berated because I had no willpower or self-control was nothing I had control over in the first place. Doctors need to have a more accepting nature when it comes to the fact that they don’t have all of the answers, no matter how much they studied or how long they’ve been Physicians. I’m glad that there are people like you who strive to help us little people to figure out that all patience are not cookie cutter replicas of each other when it comes to disease. Thank you immensely.

  6. Janice M

    02/20/2017 at 11:15 AM

    This is great information to know. But my question is….are the high numbers every morning doing damage? The reading I’ve done has said numbers over 120 begin to do damage to organs, so consistent high FBS is concerning to me. Just curious.

  7. Bonnie S.

    02/20/2017 at 12:51 PM

    I found this article very interesting and good. I am going to take a copy of this to my endro. I know what she will say. Your’s is high because you eat to many carbs, you need to get out and walk more. I only now am on 3 meals a day and she took away fruits for awhile. I don’t know, maybe it is time to find a new doc.

  8. Linda Birch

    02/20/2017 at 2:08 PM

    Thank you for the article on why your blood glucose is higher in the morning. I am type 2 diabetic and no matter what I do my reading in the morning is high. It seems the harder I try the worse it gets. I am having a real hard time getting e erything under control but little by little I am improving. Am looking forwRd to more articles.

  9. Laarnie Fabico

    02/20/2017 at 4:53 PM

    If this is caused by hormones, is this high BS in the morning something to be bothered with? Do we need to do something about this? How can we remedy this? Thank you!


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