Dawn Phenomenon – Experiment


Everyone, diabetic or not has “dawn phenomenon”, it’s nature’s way of giving our bodies the energy we need to literally get out of bed in the morning. Without it our overnight fasting would drop our blood sugar so low, that we would have a hard time getting up and getting moving.

The bodies normal response to this is to secrete insulin to lower the glucose back down. All of this happens between 4 and 8 am.

People with a problematic “dawn phenomenon” can have a higher glucose reading when they wake up than they do after a meal. It can stay high until you eat, causing that insulin response that will finally bring the glucose down. This is common in diabetics because their bodies don’t create enough insulin to correct it.

Here comes my opinions and theories….


I am not a diabetic, in fact I have a great a1C, well below any borderline levels, but I have significant dawn phenomenon. I wake up in the morning with a blood glucose of 120-140, I don’t eat sugars, I don’t eat carbs…so it’s not that. I also wake up between 5:00 am and 6:00 am without an alarm, every morning no matter what. I thought this was a version of insomnia, or just the way I’m wired…but what if I am getting a sugar rush at 5 am, because my liver dumps all that sugar in my blood for no good reason?!

When I started keto I was on Metformin for metabolic disorder, as my numbers and my health got better, I stopped the Metformin. My weight loss was amazing for those first few months, about 50 pounds in the first 6 months, but after quitting the Metformin, the weight loss slowed and eventually stopped…for about a year. My fasting BG is still very high, even though all my other blood results, including a1C are wonderful and in normal ranges.

Now, on keto we avoid sugar and carbs to maintain ketosis….but my body is dumping large amounts of unwanted sugar in my blood every single morning, this can’t be helpful in maintaining good ketone levels. I talked to my medical professional, we discussed the science behind it and decided I should try Metformin again to see if the dawn phenomenon subsides and the weight loss starts again. I will also be checking my ketones (blood) to see if my levels rise.

I am not suggesting anyone run to their doctor and ask for Metformin or any other medication. I do not want to be on Metformin, and if it does not help, I will stop taking it again….but if it can correct the last symptoms of my metabolic syndrome and I can continue my weight loss I will take it until there are no benefits to it.

UPDATE – The Metformin dropped my BG from the 120-135 range to 112-120 range and I stopped gaining, maybe even lost a tiny bit. I have now added Apple Cider Vinegar twice a day to my life.

2nd Update –The ACV (pills) seem to be working, one month in and my BG numbers are now 103-109.

3rd Update – Another 2 weeks and my levels are consistently under 100.

Final Update – I have quit the Metformin and am still able to maintain 90-105 morning glucose. This is acceptable to me and I will continue with the ACV to keep my numbers under control.


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