Feet to Floor Phenomenon is exactly what it sounds like. A rise in blood glucose upon physically waking and standing up. Its cause is unknown and not everyone experiences it. It’s also not clear if it is related to Dawn Phenomenon or not; however, I would surmise that it is different as it is essentially dependent on when you physically wake up and get out of bed. My most educated guess is that Feet to Floor is a result of increased cortisol levels.
Do you experience Feet to Floor Phenomenon?
I do, but not always. And that is the truly frustrating part; I can’t plan for it. I can’t set my basal rate higher, as it is dependent on when I physically get out of bed AND it doesn’t happen consistently.
I’ve noticed a few trends, but they are not consistent. For example, when I do experience this phenomenon, it’s during the week when I’m getting ready for work in the morning. Weekends I have never experienced Feet to Floor. This could have something to do with in increase in cortisol levels (Cortisol is often called the “stress hormone” because of its connection to the stress response… –Hormone Health Network)
Even during the week it is not promised. Take these two CGM graphs as an example, February 13th and 14th, respectively:
(Pictures taken upon arriving at work, after bike ride)
The first graph shows a steady glucose reading until about 7:20 (woke up at 7:00). Since I ride bike to work, I do not like to bolus until I’m physically at work in order to mitigate any lows from insulin and exercise. However, the bike ride spiked me even further. This is very rare and quite questionable. It’s also quite defeating to start the day with such an unexplained, silly, high blood sugar.
The second graph shows a steady glucose reading just like the other. A slight rise starting at 7:30, about 30 minutes after waking. However, this is the funky part; during my morning bike ride to work, my glucose levels started to drop. This is literally the complete opposite effect that I experienced the morning before. The conditions were the same. No active insulin for over 8 hours, no food, etc. Arguably, the intensity of my morning bike ride was probably the biggest influence in the different results, nevertheless, Feet to Floor is annoying.
I would love to hear your take on Feet to Floor Phenomenon. There’s not a lot of research done on it, so I rely on the expertise from my bellow diabuddies!
Just to note: I usually fast from 7pm until 12-noon the next day, so it’s safe to say that I KNOW it doesn’t happen every day. I’m not covering up a possible Feet to Floor spike with a breakfast bolus because I don’t eat breakfast (therefore no morning bolus).