When To Seek Medical Attention In An Emergency
For people with type 1 diabetes, untreated high blood sugar can lead to a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.
When there is no insulin and glucose can’t get into cells, your body starts breaking down fat into a fuel called ketones. If ketones build up in your blood, it becomes dangerously acidic. DKA can cause very serious health complications such as fluid building up in the brain, kidney failure, and cardiac arrest.
If your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dL, you should check your urine for ketones, a sign you may be at risk for DKA. You can do this with an at home test, but you also should contact your doctor. If there are ketones in your urine, you should go to the emergency room. Other symptoms of DKA include:
- Increased respiratory rate, or trouble breathing
- Breath that smells fruity
- Nausea and vomiting
- A very dry mouth
In rare occasions, DKA can occur in people with type 2 diabetes, but the more common complication for people with type 2 is called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state, or HHS. HHS occurs when blood glucose levels are high for an extended period of time. The extra sugar is passed into the urine, causing the person to urinate frequently and become severely dehydrated, just like with DKA.
For people with type 2 diabetes, blood sugar above 600 mg/dL indicates HHS. Other symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
Whats Considered To Be A High Blood Sugar Level
A fasting blood sugar is considered to be high if its above 130 mg/dl. Fasting hyperglycemia is common. A high postprandial, or post-meal, blood sugar is one that is above 180 mg/dl two hours after eating. Keep in mind, too, that your blood sugar goals may be different, so talk with your provider about your own goals.
Of course, blood sugar levels can go much higher for example, diabetic ketoacidosis may occur when blood sugars are above 250 mg/dl. Some people even have blood sugar levels in the 400s or 500s or higher.
Which Foods Increase Blood Sugar Levels
Carbohydrates ultimately break down into glucose. Many people believe that carbs are bad for people with diabetes. This is not true. Carbs are fuel for the body, so they have to be eaten. You just need to be smart about which ones you eat and how much you eat of them. Picking foods that are high in carbs but have no other nutrition is not smart. Examples of these foods are:
- Full fat yogurt or milk
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Follow These 4 Steps To Use Your Mounjaro Pen:
Choose your injection site. Your healthcare provider can help you choose the injection site that is best for you. You or another person can inject the medicine in your stomach, thighs, or the back of your upper arms. Another person should give you the injection in the back of your upper arm.
Pull off the base cap.
Place the base flat on your skin, then unlock.
Press and hold the button for up to 10 seconds. Listen for the first click. It means the injection has started. The second click means that the injection is complete.â¡
â¡These are not the complete instructions for using Mounjaro. Before starting Mounjaro, your healthcare provider should show you how to use the pen. Read the Instructions for Use included with your pen.
Select Safety Information
Gallbladder problems. Gallbladder problems have happened in some people who use Mounjaro. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get symptoms of gallbladder problems, which may include pain in your upper stomach , fever, yellowing of skin or eyes , and clay-colored stools.
What Causes High Blood Sugar
To better manage hyperglycemia, its helpful to know potential triggers. Probably the first thing most people think about is foodin particular, carbohydratesand I would say even more specifically, simple carbohydrates would be the most likely culprit, says Dr. Hong. Foods that have a high glycemic index include things like white bread, potatoes, or rice.
Beyond that, a common cause for a rise in blood sugar is a missed insulin dose, but its not always a matter of forgetting an injection. For example, in patients who are using an insulin pump, if the pump malfunctions or if there is a kink in the tubing or the infusion site is lodged and they are not aware that the insulin is not infusing, then that may happen, says Lorena Wright, M.D., an endocrinologist and the director of the LatinX Diabetes Clinic atUW Medicine. Insulin that is exposed to heat wont work as well either. Its not toxic, but it’s just not as effective, says Dr. Wright. That means your typical dose might not be as potent as youre used to, making the insulin less effective.
What about stress or hormone fluctuations? Yes, absolutely, stress can certainly cause a rise in blood sugars, says Dr. Hong. In regards to hormonal fluctuations, some female patients with type 1 diabetes will experience differences in their blood glucoses depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle but this effect is not often seen in patients with type 2 diabetes.
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How Can I Lower My Blood Sugar Quickly
Science-backed facts to help you control diabetes without medication
Jeff was a type 2 diabetic but, by his third day of eating and exercising at Pritikin, he had lowered his blood sugar quickly – it plummeted to normal, non-diabetic levels.
Within two to three weeks, people with diabetes who adopted the Pritikin Program noticed they lowered their fasting blood sugar by about 19%. For many people this meant that prescription drugs were no longer needed, or dosages were substantially reduced.
Yes, its possible to lower your blood sugar quickly! Not everyones blood sugar levels will tumble in 3 days, but scientific evidence strongly points to the use of a healthy lifestyle can help you reverse diabetes in as quickly as two to three weeks. Nearly 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes. Are you ready to make a change? Heres how you can lower your blood sugar quickly.
Hypoglycemia And Physical Activity
People taking insulin or insulin secretagogues are at risk for hypoglycemia if insulin dose or carbohydrate intake is not adjusted with exercise. Checking your blood sugar before doing any physical activity is important to prevent hypoglycemia . Talk to your diabetes care team to find out if you are at risk for hypoglycemia.
If you experience hypoglycemia during or after exercise, treat it immediately:
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When To Call For Medical Advice
It is important to note that very high blood glucose levels can be dangerous and it is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of the following conditions:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis a short term complication most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes
- Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State a short term complication most commonly associated with type 2 diabetes
If you are struggling to keep your blood glucose levels under control, speak to your GP or consultant who can advise you or refer you onto a diabetes education course.
Best Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
When treated early, you can bring high blood sugar levels down and prevent complications, including DKA.
Some sources suggest that drinking water or eating a high protein snack can quickly lower your blood sugar levels, though there isnt enough research to support this.
If you have high blood sugar and need to lower it fast, try the following methods:
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S To Take In An Emergency
If your symptoms persist or worsen, immediately seek out medical attention. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to more serious conditions like diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state , or a diabetic coma.
Fortunately, if caught quickly, a spike in your blood glucose tends to be easily treated by medical professionals.
First Check Your Ketones
In people with type 1 diabetes, high blood sugars can put you at risk of developing ketones. Blood sugar levels over 250 mg/dL with too little insulin can quickly turn into diabetic ketoacidosis if it continues to rise.
Test your urine for ketones, and contact your doctor or visit an urgent care facility if you measure with moderate to large ketones. When large ketones are present, correcting a high blood sugar with insulin via pump or injection wont be effective. Instead, youll likely need intravenous fluids for a few hours to restabilize.
If you only have moderate ketones or less, you may be able to correct with insulin at home but youll likely need a larger dose than normal. Contact your healthcare team if you test positive for ketones and are unsure of how to safely manage the situation.
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Take A Correction Dose
For those who take fast or rapid-acting insulin Novolog, Humalog, Apidra, Fiasp, Admelog, Afrezza you can take a correction dose to bring a high blood sugar down.
A correction factor is determined with support from your healthcare team. This number tells you how much 1 unit of fast or rapid-acting insulin will lower your blood sugar. For example, a correction factor of 1:50 means that 1 unit of insulin will lower your blood sugar by 50 points.
Its important to keep in mind how much insulin you may already have on board in your bloodstream before taking an additional dose of insulin.
Most fast and rapid-acting insulin stays in your system for approximately 3 to 4 hours, which means taking an additional dose of insulin to correct a high could lead to a severe low blood sugar if you already have a significant amount of insulin from your most recent dose still in your bloodstream.
Also, remember to give that correction dose of insulin at least two hours to make an impact on your blood sugar before getting frustrated and taking another injection. You wont see a significant improvement in your blood sugar until its been in your system for at least 2 to 3 hours .
Eat Less Sugar/refined Carbohydrates
The best way to keep blood sugar levels down without medication is to eat less sugar. The less sugar you consume, the smaller the metabolic response will bekeeping your pancreas and insulin levels healthy. You can cut back on sugars by limiting your intake of processed foods, sauces, fruit juices, candy, and soda, and paying attention to nutrition labels.
In turn, boosting your intake of fruits and veggies can have major benefits. Instead of sauces, opt for sugar-free seasonings and rubs, and try to drink water in place of other beverages. All of this can have immediate benefits for lower blood sugar.
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Only You Can Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Its annoying but true: The best way to lower your blood sugar is to avoid a spike in the first place.
Eating whole foods that are low in sugar and exercising regularly will help keep your blood sugar in check. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, but medications may also be necessary to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
To avoid food-based spikes, try to steer clear of added sugars in your diet. The FDA recommends consuming less than 200 calories a day from added sugars.
That sounds pretty simple, but when you realize that 16 ounces of orange juice has 240 calories , its easy to see how sugar consumption gets out of hand.
Its best to avoid all sugary drinks and check the labels. There are hidden sugars in everything from bread to turkey slices, so double-check your favorite foods to make sure you arent getting any unnecessary sweetness.
Add Probiotics To Your Diet
Probiotics have significant effects on reduction of glucose, HbA1c, insulin levels and insulin resistance in diabetics, according to research. Probiotics encourage a healthy gut microbiome, which improves glucose metabolism. This positively benefits lipid profile, glycemic control, inflammation and blood pressure in diabetes type 2 patients.
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See How Mounjaro Did In Studies
In a 40-week study, Mounjaro 5-mg, 10-mg, and 15-mg doses were compared to Ozempic 1 mg in 1879 adults with type 2 diabetes who were also taking metformin and had a baseline A1C of 8.3%.
For people taking Mounjaro, their A1C was lowered on average by 2.0% on the 5-mg dose, 2.2% on the 10-mg dose, and 2.3% on the 15-mg dose. For people taking the Ozempic 1-mg dose, their A1C was lowered on average by 1.9%.
In a 52-week study, the Mounjaro 5-mg, 10-mg, and 15-mg doses were compared to titrated Tresiba, a basal insulin, in 1444 adults with type 2 diabetes who were also taking metformin with or without another oral diabetes medication. They had an average starting A1C of 8.1 to 8.2%. At the end of the study, 26% of people on Tresiba met the blood sugar goal . The average daily dose of Tresiba was 49 units per day by the end of the study.
For people taking Mounjaro, their A1C was lowered by 1.9% on the 5-mg dose, 2.0% on the 10-mg dose, and 2.1% on the 15-mg dose. For people taking Tresiba, their A1C was lowered by 1.3%.
In a 40-week study, the Mounjaro 5-mg, 10-mg, and 15-mg doses were compared to placebo in 475 adults with type 2 diabetes who were also taking insulin glargine. Some study participants were also taking metformin. They had a starting A1C of 8.2% to 8.4%.
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Talk to your doctor about Mounjaro at your next visit
Ramp Up Your Movement Each Day
Exercise helps improve blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity and the bodys ability to use glucose as energy, according to the American Diabetes Association. In type 2, exercise helps improve insulin resistance, says James G. Beckerman, MD, a cardiologist in Portland, Oregon. The end result is lower blood sugars.
Crandall Snyder tells patients that exercise is like spring cleaning for the body. It takes the stored form of glucose and uses it for energy so the next time you eat carbohydrates there’s a place to put it, she says.
Because exercise can immediately reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, work with your healthcare team to determine the right amount of activity and timing for you. A study published in September 2017 in Frontiers in Endocrinology found exercising 30 minutes after the start of a meal is usually best for maintaining blood sugar controls.
Learn more about managing your blood sugar in Diabetes Daily’s article “HbA1C: Everything You Need to Know.”
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Avoid Eating Large Meals
One way to keep carbs under control is by eating in moderation. I always tell my patients to spread their food out over the day, Weisenberger says. Dont eat small meals to save up for a big dinner. Feeding your body throughout the day helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents highs and lows, Crandall Snyder says.
Both Weisenberger and Crandall Snyder say to keep an eye on carbs, even while snacking. Classically, less than 15 g of carbs per snack is a good standard approach, Crandall Snyder says. Thats about whats found in 1 cup of fruit, she says.
What To Know About Diabetic Macular Edema
Fiber plays a preventative role, too. Studies have found that high-fiber diets can reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 15 to 19 percent compared to low-fiber diets, according to a March 2018 study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.
Youll find fiber in plant foods such as raspberries, peas, and whole grains, according to the Mayo Clinic. Beans are another good source of fiber. People with type 2 diabetes who ate at least a cup of legumes daily for three months had lower blood glucose levels as measured by the A1C test, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Beans also are an excellent source of folate, which is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a common diabetes complication, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Men should aim for 30 to 38 g of fiber per day, and women should eat 21 to 25 g per day, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
Losing weight helps control blood sugar levels. Being overweight is linked to increased incidents of diabetes and greater occurrences of insulin resistance.
Studies show that reducing weight by even only 7 percent can reduce the chances of developing diabetes by 58 percent.
It is important to note that a person does not need to achieve ideal body weight to benefit from losing 1020 pounds and keeping it off. Doing so will also improve cholesterol, reduce the risk of complications, and improve a persons general sense of well-being.
Eating a healthful diet full of fruits and vegetables and getting enough exercise can help a person lose weight or maintain their currently healthy weight.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Closely
High blood sugar levels often do not cause symptoms until they run well over 200 mg/dL. As such, it is essential for a person with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar several times a day. Doing so will mean that blood sugar levels never get that high.
A person with diabetes can use a home glucose monitor to check blood sugar levels. These are available for purchase online.
Recommendations for how frequently to check glucose levels during the day will vary from person to person. A doctor can make the best recommendations regarding blood sugar monitoring to a person with diabetes.
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