What Impacts On Your Health Does High Blood Sugar Have
Having extra sugar in your bloodstream can be very harmful to the vessels in your body, as well as some major organs. Complications of diabetes include and are not limited to:
- Problems with your eyes which could lead to loss of vision
- Increased risk of heart disease and stroke
These complications are not caused by a spike in the blood sugar. They are caused by an increased number of high blood sugar events over a period of time. Do not think that one or two high blood sugars are going to cause you to go blind. However, it is important to know what caused those high sugars so that you can prevent it from happening again. to see what the average blood sugar has been over the past 120 days. Your doctor will check this to see if how your blood sugar levels have been trending.
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The rest of this article explains these in further detail.
Always talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen.
Check your blood sugar levels!
There are critical times that you should check your blood sugar.
There are times when our health is well out of our control. Checking your blood sugar is one way that you can stay in control. Take this control and use it to better your health and your life.
According to the NIDDK, when checking your blood sugar levels, consider the following tips:
How Food Affects Blood Sugar
When you eat food, your body breaks it down into essential parts:
- Vitamins and minerals
All parts are necessary in a healthy diet, but the three types of carbohydrates are particularly important when it comes to your blood glucose level. While the general rule is that the more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood sugar level, not all three types of carbohydrates convert to blood sugar at the same rate.
The foods that fit into each carb category include:
- Starches, or complex carbohydrates: Starchy vegetables, dried beans, and grains
- Sugars: Fruits, baked goods, beverages, and processed food items like cereals or granola bars
- Fiber: Whole wheat products, chickpeas, lentils, berries, pears, and brussels sprouts
The glycemic index helps you find out which foods can increase or help decrease blood sugar levels. Based on a scale ranging from 0 to 100, high-indexed foods are rapidly digested, absorbed, and metabolized, resulting in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels, while low-indexed foods produce smaller fluctuations in your blood glucose.
The American Diabetes Association advises adding lean sources of protein and heart-healthy fats to help reduce the overall glycemic impact of a meal or snack.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Complication Of Severe Hyperglycemia In Type 1 Diabetes
In addition to the complications above, severe hyperglycemia in people with type 1 diabetes can lead to a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis, mentioned above. This condition develops when toxic acids called ketones build up in the blood. It can become serious and lead to diabetic coma or even death. According to the American Diabetes Association, ketoacidosis affects people with type 1 diabetes, but it rarely affects people with type 2 diabetes.
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What Is A Diabetic Coma
Diabetic coma is a life-threatening emergency that can happen to you if you have diabetes. In a diabetic coma, youre unconscious and unable to respond to your environment. Youre either suffering from high blood glucose or low blood glucose . You need immediate medical attention if you go into a diabetic coma.
Low Blood Sugar: What To Watch Out For
Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes who:
- Take too much medication or insulin
- Are late eating a meal or snack
- Have increased physical activity
- Drink too much alcohol
Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling weak, sweaty or clammy, confused, hungry and/or irritable. Sometimes people experience a fast heartbeat and some symptoms may make a person appear to be drunk. A severely low blood sugar can result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma or death especially when a low occurs during the night.
Low blood sugar affects many parts of the body, but the most frustrating part can be that hypoglycemia can happen anytime and anywhere even when you think you are closely following the plan for your diabetes care. If low blood sugar is severe, people may need to go to the hospital to help raise their glucose level or miss work due to the side effects.
It can happen during a date, during a business meeting, or even while driving, which is the most dangerous scenario if there is confusion or loss of consciousness while behind the wheel. Its important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar before you drive to keep yourself and others safe. Frequent testing with your blood sugar meter and taking action when blood sugar is trending low can prevent a severe low and keep your life on track.
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How Long Does It Take For Jardiance To Lower Blood Sugar
In 24-week long studies with Jardiance, the 10 mg or 25 mg daily dose provided statistically significant reductions in A1C, fasting plasma glucose , and body weight when compared to an inactive placebo.
Results showed that 35% of patients taking the 10 mg dose lowered their A1C to less than 7%, with 44% of patients in the 25 mg group and 12% in the placebo group seeing similar results .
Fasting blood glucose was also lowered in both the 10 mg and 25 mg groups. At the beginning of the study, patients had an average fasting blood sugar of 153 mg/dL. Those taking Jardiance 10 mg and 25 mg saw their fasting blood sugar drop 19 and 25 points , respectively, while the placebo group 12 points.
What If It Goes Untreated
Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy.
When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.
Ketoacidosis is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
Talk to your doctor about how to handle this condition.
Great Bedtime Snacks For People Living With Diabetes
For some people, a healthy bedtime snack helps to prevent glucose swings during the night. By eating a small snack that is full of protein and healthy fats , your body may be better able to avoid an overnight high but if you take insulin, be sure to cover the carbohydrates in your snack even if it only requires a small dose of insulin.
Here are some snack ideas:
Plain nuts or seeds try eating a small handful
Raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, or tomatoes, with a small amount of hummus or peanut butter
Plain yogurt, and you can add berries or cinnamon
Personalizing Your Diet Based On Blood Sugar Response
In addition to seeing your healthcare provider, there are steps you can take to reduce your blood sugar levels. If you check your blood sugar after meals and keep track of those measurements, along with the types and amounts of food you ate, you may be able to see which foods are problematic.
Although an increase in blood sugar is usually due to eating high-carb foods, all carbs are not the same when it comes to raising blood sugar. Because starchy foods digest down to glucose very quickly, some starchy foods may end up having a much greater impact on blood sugar than you might expect.
For instance, even though a banana tastes sweeter than a baked potato, the potato may actually have a bigger impact on blood sugar.13
Because high-carb foods have the biggest impact on blood sugar levels, it makes sense to reduce them, no matter what type of diet you follow. The American Diabetes made this point in a 2019 paper on nutrition for people with diabetes.14
Sometimes making gradual changes can work best. Our guide, Eating better: six steps down carb mountain, can help you lower your carb intake, one step at a time.
If youve been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, our guide to the best foods for diabetes can help you make choices that may reduce your need for blood sugar control medications.
If a food or beverage seems to be causing your blood sugar to rise too much, try leaving it out of your diet for a few days to see if you notice a difference.
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High Blood Sugar After Meals And What To Do About It
I will admit to having a bit of a diabetes crush on Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, Type 1, and founder of Integrated Diabetes Services, LLC. And you know what? Im not the only one.
I recently saw Gary give a talk called Strike the Spike at the American Association of Diabetes Educators 2013 conference to a room packed with diabetes educators. The point was to help CDEs understand why managing/avoiding post-meal blood glucose spikes is important and to learn new techniques for how to do so.
I was there because I am constantly struggling with post-meal spikes. I appear to digest food quickly and absorb insulin slowly thats why Im on Symlin, which helps slow down the emptying of my stomach so Ive got some chance of having my insulin start working by the time my food makes it to my blood. But I wanted to hear what other tips Gary might have, and what the responses might be.
Gary started with a seemingly simple question: why should anyone care about post-prandial spikes? At first this question made me furrow my brow I cant imagine that anyone wouldnt care about post-meal blood glucose spikes but I guess that in some cases, health care providers stress the A1c average more than they do the swings in between. Anyway, the audience slowly warmed up, and reasons started pouring in, mostly having to do with complications. Gary nodded along, affirming each one.
I mean, think about it. As he pointed out, having high blood sugar:
So whats a diabetic to do?
Normal Postmeal Blood Sugar Levels
Checking your blood glucose one to two hours after eating can help you understand how your blood sugar reacts to the food you consume. It can also offer insight into whether you’re taking the right dose of insulin or if you need to follow up with your healthcare provider to discuss medication and diet or lifestyle adjustments.
There are two ways you can measure your blood glucose levels: by pricking your fingertip using a glucometer or by using continuous glucose monitoring. How often you should check your glucose levels varies from a few times per week to four to six times each day. As a general rule, the American Diabetes Association recommends keeping blood sugar below 180 mg/dL one to two hours after eating.
However, your target blood sugar range will depend on the following:
- Duration of diabetes
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A Brief Overview Of The Ketogenic Diet The Real Type 2 Diabetes Diet
For those who dont know, the ketogenic diet restricts daily carbohydrates to around 20-30g of net carbs . Restricting carbohydrates to this degree forces your body to burn fat for fuel a process called ketosis. Once your body is in ketosis, your blood sugar levels will decrease and your A1C levels will drop.
For more information on how to start a ketogenic diet to lower blood sugar read our beginners guide to the ketogenic diet.
Here is a brief list of what you should and should not eat on a ketogenic diet:
Do Not Eat:
- Meats fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
- Leafy Greens spinach, kale, etc.
- Above ground vegetables broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
- High Fat Dairy hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.
- Nuts and seeds macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Avocado and berries raspberries, raspberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
- Sweeteners stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
- Other fats coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
If youre new to keto, you can always see our more detailed ketogenic food list >
Before you start, it is important to know that your blood sugar wont drop instantly. Some studies suggest that you may have to stay on a ketogenic diet for 16 weeks before your blood sugar is under control.
However, this doesnt mean that you will have to wait that long. You can lower your blood sugar today especially if you eat the ten foods that lower your blood sugar naturally.
How To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Overnight
The most important thing you can do to stabilize your blood sugar is monitor your glucose levels at bedtime, during the night, and when you wake up to look for patterns. This will help you determine whats going on in your body and how you can fix it. While there are many strategies people use to stabilize blood sugar at night, every person is different youll have to look for trends in your body, experiment with ways to lower glucose levels over a period of time, and learn what works best for your body.
Check your blood sugar before bed. If its already high, your blood sugar levels may remain high throughout the night. To address this, youll want to start by adjusting when you eat your evening meal and what it consists of, and how much mealtime insulin you take to cover it.
Avoid eating lots of food close to bedtime. For diaTribe writer Adam Brown, the key to staying in range overnight is low-carb, early dinners, with no snacking after dinner.
Consider eating less food at night and taking more basal insulin to cover your evening meal.
Check your blood sugar during the night, between midnight and 3am. If you were in range before bed but have high glucose levels between midnight and 3am, you may need to adjust your basal insulin dosage and timing. If you are low during that time, you may experience a rebound high blood sugar later on this is usually associated with overcorrecting the low.
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Why They Happen And How To Try And Reduce Them If You Live With Type 1 Diabetes
Living with type 1 diabetes requires you to regularly check your blood sugar levels before you eat. However, we may not always consider what happens to our sugar levels immediately after we eat where it is very normal for people who dont have diabetes, let alone those who do, to temporarily have high sugar levels. Given that having high sugar levels can give you symptoms like thirst, tiredness and needing to go to the toilet a lot, learning about ways to try and reduce spikes in your sugar levels after meals may make a difference to your overall health and wellbeing.
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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How Long After Eating Does Blood Sugar Return To Normal
I get asked often how long after eating should blood sugar return to normal. Well, the simple answer to that question is blood sugar should return to normal within about 2 hours of eating.
Ideally, blood sugar should be back to normal values at 1 hour and half. That is if you are metabolically competent. Of course, if its taking longer, then your metabolic competence is being called to question.
To fully understand this, I have to explain how this whole blood sugar regulation shenanigan works when you eat. Brace yourself
Here we go
Your pancreas has some some cells scattered inside it called beta cells. These beta cells manufacture, store and release insulin when needed. You will always have some insulin in your blood circulation at any point in time in the 24 hours of the entire day.
You will never have zero insulin level at anytime. This is called Basal Insulin release.
When you eat, your pancreas is called into action straightaway. Eating causes a rise in blood sugar. A blood sugar rise is a clarion call for the beta cells of the pancreas to release insulin over and above the usual basal insulin release.
A blood sugar rise over 100 mg/dl, would trigger a release of the stored insulin to bring back the blood glucose to normal levels. This is called First Phase Insulin Release.
The 1st Phase Insulin Release is triggered within a couple of minutes of commencing your meal.
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