Question

Diabetes

Why does my blood sugar go up during the night?

A Answers (1)

  • AWilliam Lee Dubois, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, answered

    Hello. I’d like to introduce you to your liver. Other than your skin, it’s the largest organ in your body.

    Your liver is a multi-tasking organ. It’s a filter. It’s a manufacturing plant for digestive juices. And it’s a giant sugar battery. Let’s talk about that last function.

    Every cell in your body, from a brain cell, to a cardiac muscle cell, to a cell in your little toe nail eats sugar. Sugar is the fuel they use to live and carry out their assorted specialized functions that keep you alive, healthy, and interesting.

    Your body’s primary source of sugar is from eating. Everything you eat, from Twinkies to t-bones, gets broken down into sugar by the body’s digestive system. Of course it isn’t practical to be eating all the time (even though some people try very hard to do just that), so the body has a storage system for extra sugar, and that’s your liver.

    When everything is working right, the liver dribbles sugar back into your blood stream as needed between meals and overnight while you sleep. When everything isn’t working right, like say, when you have diabetes, the liver may dribble too much sugar into the system overnight. This causes your morning blood sugar to be higher than your bedtime sugar even though all you have been doing is sleeping.

    Now, before you freak out on me, I want to make it clear that there’s nothing wrong with your liver. It isn’t broken, or failing. It’s just being a little over zealous in its duties.

    A very safe, effective, and cost-effective medication called metformin (a.k.a. Glucophage) will fix the problem.

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