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Somogyi effect

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A rebound phenomenon commonly observed in individuals with diabetes mellitus in which the overtreatment of insulin eventually results in hyperglycemia after hypoglycemia


Insulin is supposed to lower blood glucose level. With excessive insulin treatment, an abnormally low blood glucose level called hypoglycemia occurs. However, with prolonged insulin treatment, the body tends to counter the physiological effect of insulin. The body is stimulated to release epinephrine, ACTH, glucagon and growth hormone. With their release, the liver is stimulated to convert stored glycogen into glucose. Thus, the outcome is a rebound hyperglycemia or high blood glucose level following hypoglycemia.

Somogyi effect usually occurs when a nighttime hypoglycemia is untreated, resulting in rebound hyperglycemia in the morning.

Word origin: named after Michael Somogyi, who first described it

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