Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Liver Dump

Something that diabetics might encounter is an increase in blood glucose levels in the morning, above what they might expect when taking account of their bedtime levels and what they have (or haven’t) eaten for breakfast. People who don’t have to regularly test their blood glucose levels might be oblivious to this – if you don’t know the numbers then how can you compare? So, what’s going on? There are two possible reasons that have been put forward – the ‘Dawn Phenomenon’ and the Somagyi Effect’.

Put simply, the dawn phenomenon results from the liver releasing extra stores of glucose to give a person a ‘boost’ as they wake up and face the day. The ‘Somagyi Effect’ results from a person dropping very low during the night, and stress hormones released in response cause the liver to ‘dump’ extra glucose into the bloodstream to bring the levels back up. Sometimes, the liver does more than enough and the person wakes up with high levels. Some people experience these effects more than others. Personally, I have always been fine in the mornings, even on the low side in the early days, but it is interesting to learn yet more about the way the body works, that I previously took for granted.

There’s a great, more detailed, explanation here:


‘Come on Bill, it’s nearly time –
The Sun’s just coming up!’
‘I’ll be there in a minute Spike,
Just let me drink this cup!’

Billy Rubin and Spike Mackay
Were on the early shift,
Their job to stoke the levels high
With a liver glucose lift.

‘We’ll get this fella up to speed
And ready for the day
With all the glucose he will need
So he can work and play!’

‘Remember how, the other night
His level dropped right down?
We called in all the guys on site
And really went to town!’

‘Aye, how we laughed when we found out
His levels went so high!
He didn’t have a clue about
The real reasons why!’

‘But not today, I’ve heard he tests
His blood at three each night,
And if he’s low he snacks and rests
He’s putting up a fight!’

‘We might find out our jobs are gone,
And we’ve been superceded!
There’ll be no Dawn Phenomenon!
We’ll be no longer needed!’

‘Don’t worry Bill, it might get slow,
But there’ll never be a slump –
There’s always work, I know it’s so,
Here at the Liver Dump…’


  1. That's really quite clever.

  2. Hi Dreicht - thanks! Hope you are well and enjoying the poems.