High Blood Sugar Symptoms
The most common symptoms of hyperglycemia are:
- Increased thirst and/or hunger
“If someone has hyperglycemia, it would mean they would be very thirsty, tired, they might be urinating more frequently and basically not feeling well,” says Sam Zager, M.D. a family medicine physician in Maine.
Staying Well While Fasting
If you decide to fast, it is important to test your blood glucose levels more often as your blood sugar levels after fasting eight hours may drop too low . This is more likely to happen if you are unwell, treat your diabetes with insulin or some diabetes medications, or both. Speak to your diabetes team about this.
If you experience the symptoms of a hypo, such as feeling shaky, sweaty and disorientated, you must break the fast immediately and treat it with your usual hypo treatment, like glucose tablets, a sugary drink or GlucoGel, followed by a snack such as a sandwich or a bowl of cereal.
If you have to break your fast for any reason, continue your meals as normal for that day. You may be able to make up the fast at a later date or provide meals to the needy.
If you have type 1 diabetes, there is also a danger that your blood glucose levels may run too high and result in a build-up of ‘ketones’. This could potentially result in a serious condition known as ketoacidosis. The symptoms of high blood glucose levels might include feeling very thirsty, passing a lot of urine or extreme tiredness. If your blood glucose levels stay high and you experience these symptoms, speak to your healthcare team.
What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels
Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:
- skipping meals and snacks
- not eating enough food during a meal or snack
- exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food
- getting too much insulin
- not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise
Also, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:
- taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
- injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
- injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport .
All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.
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How Can I Stop My Blood Sugar From Crashing
Here are a few ways to avoid hypoglycemic episodes:
- Get in the habit of self-monitoring your blood glucose. Keeping track of when your blood sugar drops can help you recognize aspects of your routine that may be contributing to your hypoglycemia. Dr. Klonoff recommends a continuous glucose monitor. Its the best tool for automatically checking your blood glucose levels around the clock, he says.
- Change your meal plan. When, what, how much, and how often you eat all play a big part in your blood glucose levels. A dietitian can teach you about healthy, well-balanced food choices that will make it easier for you to maintain an acceptable blood sugar range.
- Keep a stash of glucose tablets on hand. With your doctor’s recommendation, make sure you always have glucose tablets with you. You can stick them in your briefcase, purse, car, desk, school locker, etc. You may also want to keep snacks nearbyfor example, cheese or peanut butter crackers, although doctors suggest over-the-counter glucose tablets for more accurate dosage. Do not eat a healthy sugar-free candy bar during hypoglycemia, warns Dr. Klonoff. Its lack of sugar means that it will not raise your blood glucose level sufficiently when you want it to.
- Certain drinks can help get your blood sugar up as well. Try 8 oz. of fruit juice, a soft drink , or a cup of milk.
Hypoglycemia Tests And Diagnosis
To diagnose nondiabetic hypoglycemia, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask questions about any medicines you take. Theyâll want to know all about your health and any history of diseases or stomach surgery.
Theyâll check your blood glucose level, especially when you are having symptoms. Theyâll also check to see if you feel better when your sugar goes back to a normal level.
If your doctor suspects hypoglycemia, you may have to fast until you start to have symptoms. Theyâll test your blood glucose level at different times throughout the fast.
To check for reactive hypoglycemia, you may have to take a test called a mixed-meal tolerance test . For this, you take a special drink that raises your blood glucose. The doctor will check your blood glucose levels over the next few hours.
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The Fattest People On Earth
The Pimas of Arizona are among the fattest groups of people in the world. The only populations more obese are people living on some isolated Pacific Islands. On the Gila River reservation in Arizona, children as young as six and seven are so obese they cannot run. They lumber across baseball fields, out of breath before they get to first base.
Control Carbs By Monitoring The Carbs Youre Eating
Look at starchy carbs like rice, bread and pasta and see what they do to your blood sugar.
Try more fruits and vegetables instead of these starchy carbs. And when you do choose these starchy carbs, choose whole foods instead of refined foods like white bread opt for brown rice instead of white rice and sweet potatoes or whole potatoes over mashed potatoes.
Refined carbohydrates can really do a number on your blood sugar. And when you do choose fruit and other forms of carbohydrates, choose those with a lower glycemic index.
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Foods Rich In Chromium And Magnesium Might Help
If your blood sugar remains over 400, then you should add chromium and magnesium in your diet. Micronutrient deficiencies can also lead to high blood sugar. Chromium is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fat.
According to studies, chromium has a long term benefit of controlling your sugar levels. Egg yolks, coffee, high bran cereals, nuts, broccoli, green beans, and meat are chromium-rich foods.
The deficiency of magnesium has shown a direct link to a higher risk of diabetes. Dark leafy vegetables, whole grain, fish, dark chocolate, and avocados are magnesium-rich foods.
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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Structural Analysis And Synthesis
Purified animal-sourced insulin was initially the only type of insulin available for experiments and diabetics. was the first to produce the crystallised form in 1926. Evidence of the protein nature was first given by , , and Philip A. Shaffer in 1924. It was fully proven when Hans Jensen and Earl A. Evans Jr. isolated the amino acids phenylalanine and proline in 1935.
The amino acid structure of insulin was first characterized in 1951 by , and the first synthetic insulin was produced simultaneously in the labs of at the and at in the mid-1960s. was achieved by Chinese researchers in 1965. The complete 3-dimensional structure of insulin was determined by in s laboratory in 1969.
The first genetically engineered, synthetic human insulin was produced using in 1978 by and at the of the in collaboration with at . Genentech, founded by Swanson, Boyer and , went on in 1982 to sell the first commercially available biosynthetic human insulin under the brand name . The vast majority of insulin used worldwide is biosynthetic recombinant human insulin or its analogues. Recently, another approach has been used by a pioneering group of Canadian researchers, using an easily grown plant, for the production of much cheaper insulin.
Two other Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work on insulin. British molecular biologist , who determined the of insulin in 1955, was awarded the 1958 . received the 1977 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the development of the for insulin.
General Tips On How To Keep You Blood Sugar Levels In Control
- Foods to eat
You should eat foods that are high in protein, fiber, and lower in carbohydrates. You should aim at having around 45 to 60 carbs for each meal. Consistency throughout the day is key to keeping blood sugar levels in control. Foods low in fat and high in nutrients should be picked to maximize your nutrition.
Vegetables and fruits are great as well as eggs, fish, beans, and oatmeal. There is also research that shows cinnamon and apple cider vinegar can help lower your sugar.
- Foods to avoid
Avoiding foods like soda, juice, pasta, candy, and other desserts can help keep your sugar from climbing too high. These foods are high in sugars and fat but low in other nutrients.
Avoiding excess alcohol is also better for you. Read the following article that I wrote about drinking alcohol when you have diabetes to learn more about this topic:
- Signs and symptoms
Signs of high blood sugar include: increased thirst and hunger, blurred vision, irritability, dry mouth, tired, and urinating a lot.
- Look for patterns
Patterns can be great because they help you figure out what is causing undesirable blood sugar values. A good way to track of it is to keep a journal of all of the food you eat, activities you do and your blood sugar levels for 1 week. During this week, check your sugar before and after you eat, as well as in between meals. Also document any insulin that you give yourself.
- Test sugar levels regularly
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What Foods Can Help Raise Blood Sugar Fast
Because your blood sugar comes from the foods and beverages you consume, one of the easiest ways to raise your blood sugar fast is to grab a quick snack.
The American Diabetes Association recommends the 15-15 rule if your blood sugar dips below 70 mg/dL: Eat at least 15 grams of carbohydrates, then wait 15 minutes to recheck your blood sugar.
If youre still below 70 mg/dL, have another 15 grams of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and check your levels again.
Among the foods you can try for a quick blood sugar boost are:
- a piece of fruit, like a banana, apple, or orange
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- 4 Starbursts
- 1 tablespoon of sugar in water
Foods that contain protein or fat, such as peanut butter, ice cream, and chocolate, may be helpful if your blood sugar level has dropped but isnt below 70 mg/dL.
These higher-fat foods, as well as whole-grain bread and other high-fiber foods, take longer to absorb into your bloodstream. Because of this, these foods wont raise your blood sugar as quickly as foods that have more simple carbohydrates.
When To Go To The Er
High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.
This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.
DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.
Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:
- ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
- stomach pain
High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.
Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.
High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.
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How Can I Prevent Low Blood Sugar
Your best bet is to practice good diabetes management and learn to detect hypoglycemia so you can treat it earlybefore it gets worse.
Monitoring blood sugar, with either a meter or a CGM, is the tried and true method for preventing hypoglycemia. Studies consistently show that the more a person checks blood sugar, the lower his or her risk of hypoglycemia. This is because you can see when blood sugar levels are dropping and can treat it before it gets too low.
If you can, check often!
- Check before and after meals.
- Check before and after exercise .
- Check before bed.
- After intense exercise, also check in the middle of the night.
- Check more if things around you change such as, a new insulin routine, a different work schedule, an increase in physical activity, or travel across time zones.
When To Lower Blood Sugar
When blood sugar is too high, it is termed hyperglycemia. The World Health Organization recognises hyperglycemia as blood sugar thats above 126 mg/dL or 7.0 mmol/L in a period before eating , or above 200 mg/dL or 11.1 mmol/L two hours after eating.
When blood sugar is at this point, you should take steps to reduce those numbers. It goes without saying that testing blood sugar regularly is ideal, in order to know when youre hyperglycemic.
You may also realise that youre hyperglycemic if youre experiencing some of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Blurred vision
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According to the American Diabetes Association, when blood sugar levels start teetering towards 250 mg/dL or 13.9 mmol/L is when diabetic ketoacidosis can occur.
Ketoacidosis happens because of the bodys need for fuel. With high blood sugar, the body isnt getting any fuel in the form of glucose. Instead, the body tries to burn fat for fuel, but this process leads to ketones essentially acids building up in the bloodstream.
Symptoms of ketoacidosis can include symptoms of hyperglycemia, along with:
- Vomiting or feeling nauseous
- Dry mouth
- Pain in the abdomen
Meanwhile, diabetes.co.uk recommends checking for ketones if your blood sugar levels have been consistently above 13 mmol/L or 230 mg/dL.
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How Fast Is Fast
Have you ever felt a little low, only to check your blood sugar, and it is Ok?
I have always thought that this was due to a rapid drop in blood sugar levels. But that started me thinking exactly how fast is fast? In other words, how fast must BG levels drop to start feeling this way?
Is this feeling really due to a rapid drop in BGs? Or could it be something else, perhaps some intricate balance between blood sugar levels and insulin levels? The body is an amazing machine. The mechanisms that manage blood sugars for people without diabetes are astounding. So maybe theres more to it than just the dropping BG.
What do you do when you feel this way?
Im at 142 mg/dL, about 2.5 hours post-meal. Thats good. But I feel funny like Im low. But 142 mg/dL is not low. The symptoms are so very slight. 8 minutes later, I do another test. 137 mg/dL. Is it really going down, or could that difference be the variance you will find in any two blood sugar checks? If it is really going down, how far will it go?
That depends on how much of that last bolus is still working to lower the blood sugar. I have my insulin duration set to what many people will think is too long. Ive got it set to 5:30. Yes, thats right. 5 hours and 30 minutes. I dont want to go too off-topic on this post, so maybe Ill address that subject at another time in another post.
Still feeling a little off, but I notice that its subsiding a bit. Or maybe Im just getting used to it? Time will tell.
When To Avoid Exercise
People with blood sugar levels above 240 mg/dL should check their urine for ketones before engaging in physical activity. If ketones are present, do not exercise. Ketones are the result of stored fat being broken down for energy. Your liver starts breaking down fat when theres not enough insulin in your bloodstream to absorb blood sugar into cells. When too many ketones are quickly produced, they can cause DKA. In this state, ketones may actually make your blood sugar level go even higher and you may need intravenous fluids to rebalance.
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Eat Fewer Refined Carbs
Refined carbs, otherwise known as processed carbs, are sugars or refined grains.
Some common sources of refined carbs are table sugar, white bread, white rice, soda, candy, breakfast cereals and desserts.
Refined carbs have been stripped of almost all nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Refined carbs are said to have a high glycemic index because they are very easily and quickly digested by the body. This leads to blood sugar spikes.
A large observational study of more than 91,000 women found that a diet high in high-glycemic-index carbs was associated with an increase in type 2 diabetes .
The spike in blood sugar and subsequent drop you may experience after eating high-glycemic-index foods can also promote hunger and can lead to overeating and weight gain .
The glycemic index of carbs varies. Its affected by a number of things, including ripeness, what else you eat and how the carbs are cooked or prepared.
Generally, whole-grain foods have a lower glycemic index, as do most fruits, non-starchy vegetables and legumes.
Refined carbs have almost no nutritional value and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and weight gain.