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Question:

From Illinois, USA:

What is meant by "Somogyi reaction," and does it really happen?

Also, if no A.M. ketones are present, can you infer that no low blood sugar occurred during the night? In other words, does low blood sugar (say, under 50) consistently cause the body to release epinephrine and the other hormones? Or can the body react differently to each "low" episode?

Answer:

Dr. Somogyi is the name of the doctor who described in the 1920s that the blood sugar can bounce up high after a preceding low blood sugar. The "Somogyi phenomenon" is another name for "rebound hyperglycemia." Yes, in my experience, the blood sugar does sometimes bounce up high several hours after a low blood sugar. The high blood sugars may last for several days after a low blood sugar.

If there are no ketones in the first morning urine, you cannot be sure that your child did not sleep through an asymptomatic low blood sugar. The only way to make sure your child isn't going low during sleep is to check the blood sugar during the night. The presence of ketones in the morning suggests that there may have been an asymptomatic low blood sugar, the absence does not rule it out.

TGL

Original posting 25 May 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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