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How To Know If You Have Blood Sugar Issues

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How Can I Treat And Manage Hyperglycemia

7 Alarming Signs Your Blood Sugar Is Too High

People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can manage hyperglycemia by eating healthy, being active, and managing stress. In addition, insulin is a critical part of managing hyperglycemia for people with type 1 diabetes, while people with type 2 diabetes may need oral medications and eventually insulin to help them manage hyperglycemia.

If you dont have diabetes and have any of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, call your healthcare provider. Together you can work to manage your hyperglycemia.

Signs That May Indicate You Are At Risk For Diabetes

**This article is a repost of an earlier written article. We are reposting because we believe the information is valuable and pertinent to many.**

According to the CDC, over 9% of Americans are living with diabetes. This illness is becoming increasingly common, with 1.5 million Americans being diagnosed with diabetes every year.

There are some serious complications that can come with having high blood sugar such as heart failure and stroke. However, diabetes can be managed with prescription medication, diet, and exercise to help you live a normal, healthy life.

Work With Your Health Care Team

Most people with diabetes get health care from a primary care professional. Primary care professionals include internists, family physicians, and pediatricians. Sometimes physician assistants and nurses with extra training, called nurse practitioners, provide primary care. You also will need to see other care professionals from time to time. A team of health care professionals can help you improve your diabetes self-care. Remember, you are the most important member of your health care team.

Besides a primary care professional, your health care team may include

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You Feel Tiredness And Fatigue Constantly

Fatigue and extreme tiredness are symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar, the ADA says. Simply put, when your body is not processing insulin properly or it doesnt have sufficient amounts of insulin, the sugar is staying in our blood rather than getting into our cells to be used for energy, Zanini says. Also, frequent urination can lead to dehydration, which Bandukwala identifies as another contributing factor to fatigue.

How Do I Prevent Hyperglycemia

10 Warning Signs that You Might Have High Blood Sugar
  • Exercise to help lower blood sugar. Work with your healthcare provider to make a daily activity plan.
  • Follow your meal plan if you have one. Learn how carbohydrates impact your blood sugar, and work with your diabetes care team to find the best meal plan for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit drinking alcohol. Alcohol can raise blood sugar levels, but can also cause dangerously low blood sugar levels. Work with your provider to determine how much is safe to drink.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/11/2020.

References

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Your Hands And Feet Swell

If you have high blood pressure as well as diabetes, the two conditions can damage the kidneys’ ability to filter wastes and fluid over time. As water builds up in your body, your hands and feet may swell — a warning sign that you may have kidney disease. You can preserve the kidney function you have by taking your diabetes and blood pressure medicines as prescribed. Diet changes may help. Work with a nutritionist to keep your blood sugar under control.

How Can I Prevent Low Blood Glucose

All people with diabetes:

  • If you experience low blood glucose often, ask your doctor if setting a higher goal for your A1C level may be appropriate.
  • Ask your doctor to look at the test results from your home blood glucose monitor. These results reveal how often you have low blood glucose and when these episodes occur. Your doctor will look for patterns to see if low glucose happens after exercise or at certain times of day, for example.
  • If you’ve had low blood glucose in the past, consider wearing a medical alert bracelet so that others will know that you have diabetes in the event of an emergency.
  • Keep a fast-acting carbohydrate in your bag, desk drawer, car and other places for easy access. Good options include hard candy, fruit juice or glucose paste or tablets, which can be purchased at most pharmacies.
  • Ask your doctor for an emergency glucagon kit. This kit contains a fast- acting medication that can be injected in case of loss of consciousness because of low blood glucose. Keep one kit at home and one at work or school.
  • Monitor your blood glucose regularly so that low levels can be corrected before symptoms progress.

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Swollen Or Bleeding Gums Which Increase Your Infection Risk

Gum disease is a complication of diabetes, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. It can also make diabetes harder to control, because the bodys response to infection is to release more glucose into the bloodstream, according to the ADA.

Your saliva contains glucose and the more it contains, the more there is to feed the bacteria that combine with food in your mouth to form plaque and cause gum disease. Symptoms can include red or inflamed gums at first. If they are unaddressed, they can progress to periodontitis, which can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, the appearance of pus or ulcers, or even tooth loss, notes the Mayo Clinic. Get your blood sugar under control and see a dental professional to prevent damage to your gums and teeth.

Additional reporting by Diana Rodriguez and Andrea Peirce.

Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes

What I Learned Tracking My Blood Sugar & Why You Should Too (Levels Health CGM)

You might notice:

  • Unplanned weight loss. If your body can’t get energy from your food, it will start burning muscle and fat for energy instead. You may lose weight even though you haven’t changed how you eat. See which foods are high in trans fatty acids.
  • Nausea and vomiting. When your body resorts to burning fat, it makes ketones. These can build up in your blood to dangerous levels, a possibly life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketones can make you feel sick to your stomach.

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Signs Of Low Blood Sugar

You might assume that lower blood sugar is better than high. That’s true, but only up to a certain point: If blood sugar goes too low, it means your child won’t have enough fuel. If it gets really low , your child could have a seizure or even develop brain damage.

A child who doesn’t have diabetes might have an episode of hypoglycemia because they skipped lunch before soccer practice. It’s also possible that a medicine your child takes raises their chances of having low blood sugar. They also could have been born with a condition that affects their metabolism. In any case, unless the cause is clear-cut , you should have your child’s pediatrician investigate.

If your child has low blood sugar, you may notice:

You Develop Sores That Tend To Heal More Slowly Than Usual

Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and other wounds heal more slowly in the presence of uncontrolled blood sugar, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetes causes nerve damage and affects circulation, especially in the lower legs and feet, which can delay healing because there isnt enough blood flow to the area. Even minor wounds are more prone to infections, which can become very serious and even result in amputations of the foot. You may notice drainage seeping onto your socks or an unpleasant smell if you develop a foot ulcer, notes the American Podiatric Medical Association.

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How Can I Tell If My Blood Sugar Is Irregular

Again, only a doctor can diagnose a problem with your blood sugar. But you may be wondering how to know if it’s something you should get checked out. There can be two main issues with your blood sugar — either it’s consistently too high or too low. Even if you don’t have diabetes, there are some signs that your blood sugar levels are not functioning normally.

Hypoglycemia is a condition in which your blood sugar is too low. Signs include an irregular heartbeat, fatigue, shakiness and tingling or numbness in your face. If you consistently feel this way when you get hungry or between meals, talk to your health care provider.

On the flip side, hyperglycemia happens when your blood sugar is too high, and can happen to nondiabetics. Symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst and headache. If you think you’re hyperglycemic and can’t keep fluids or food down, call for emergency medical assistance.

What Causes Low Blood Sugar

low blood sugar in morning symptoms

Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.

Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:

Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.

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Early Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes

1. Frequent urination

When your blood sugar is high, your kidneys expel the excess blood sugar, causing you to urinate more frequently. One of the early warning signs of diabetes is frequent urination that is urgent enough to wake you up to go to the bathroom during sleep.

2. Increased thirst

While your kidneys are working overtime and youre urinating more frequently, valuable fluids will be pulled from your tissues. Frequent urination will make you feel constantly thirsty.

3. Fatigue

When your blood sugar is high, your body works hard to get rid of the excess sugar. Not only does this process take a toll on your body, but it also alters the way that your body uses glucose for energy. Excessively high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, has fatiguing effects among other symptoms. Additionally, the dehydration that accompanies more frequent urination is a common cause of fatigue in diabetics.

4. Blurred vision

High blood sugar can cause damage to the small blood vessels of the eye, resulting in a swollen lens that can cause blurred vision. As blood sugar levels rise and lower, your vision may return to normal or worsen, respectively.

5. Increased hunger

When you have high blood sugar, your body is actively looking to get rid of it. Because your body expels so much of the glucose you’re getting from your food, you may have increased feelings of hunger.

6. Unexplained weight loss

7. Slow healing cuts and wounds

8. Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

9. Skin discoloration

How Do I Measure Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, you probably already keep a watchful eye on your blood sugar through the use of a continuous glucose monitor or a blood sugar meter . Blood sugar measurement is also typically included in routine lab work for people without diabetes — your physician will usually order a glycated hemoglobin test, which measures your average blood sugar over the past two to three months.

Say your A1C test comes back with no sign of diabetes — constantly measuring your blood sugar can still be helpful. For instance, some people experiment with using a CGM to see how their body responds to different types of food. However, it’s good to note that this is a fairly cost-intensive way of figuring out your nutrition, and writing down a food diary that includes how you felt after each meal will also help you figure out what to eat.

Check out these blood sugar monitors if you’re looking for recommendations on how to keep track of your levels at home.

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How Can Parents Help

Nearly every child with diabetes will have an episode of mild hypoglycemia at times. Rarely, an episode will be a serious emergency. You can help make this less likely, and be ready if it does happen. Here are some tips:

  • Follow your childs diabetes care plan. This is the best way to keep their sugars in a healthy range. The plan will guide you on the timing of:
  • blood sugar checks
  • Track and adjust sugar levels before and during exercise. And make sure your child eats snacks as needed to keep or bring blood sugar levels into the healthy range.
  • Keep sugar handy and give it to your child right away if they have symptoms.
  • Teach adult family members, caregivers, and school staff the signs of hypoglycemia, when and how to give glucagon, and when to get emergency medical care.
  • Get your child a medical ID. Your child should wear or carry identification stating they have diabetes and includes who to contact in case of an emergency.
  • If you have questions about how to prevent or treat hypoglycemia, or about the diabetes care plan, call your child’s diabetes health care team.

    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia

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    Hypoglycemia tends to present as a cluster of symptoms, and they often occur together. The most common signs of dangerously low blood sugar include:

    • Dizziness, disorientation, light-headedness, and an inability to think clearly

    • Hunger, especially if youve just eaten

    • Heightened irritability, confusion, and anxiety

    • Clamminess and sweating, with cold hands and feet

    • Drastic mood swings

    If you have one or more of these symptoms contact your doctor.

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    What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels

    Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity can all help. Other tips include:

    • Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
    • Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
    • Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
    • Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
    • Drink water instead of juice or soda.
    • Limit alcoholic drinks.
    • For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
    • Control your food portions .

    Clues Youre Dealing With Insulin Resistance

    When Im working with a patient, my biggest focus is on listening to the story their body is telling.

    Labs can be very helpful , but what your body communicates through symptoms provides the most important insight.

    Theres actually several clues youre dealing with insulin resistance, and these are related to how you feel, your lifestyle choices, and where your body gains weight:

  • Waking up with sugar cravings
  • Craving sweets throughout the day or after meals
  • Eating sweets doesnt relieve cravings
  • Fatigue after meals
  • Feeling hungry soon after a meal or difficulty feeling satiated
  • A lack of adequate protein + healthy fats in your diet
  • Difficulty losing weight and weight gain that occurs primarily in your mid-section
  • These are all clues that youre dealing with blood sugar dysregulation thats leading to insulin resistance!

    So if any of these apply to you, check out my free guide: 4 Steps to Skyrocket Your Energy, where I teach you some of the most effective ways to support happy blood sugar + insulin!

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    You Have Numbness Or Tingling

    Nerve damage can be another sign of chronically elevated blood sugars. It results in numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, or inability to feel pain or temperature changes. See your podiatrist for regular foot exams. People with neuropathy may not realize they have been injured from a cut or that a wound is becoming infected. Or they may be oversensitive to pain. They might experience severe and constant pain from otherwise painless stimulation.

    You’re Thirsty And You Have To Go

    how to treat low blood sugar without diabetes ~ Jani Blood Sugar

    Thirst and frequent urination are two classic diabetes signs caused by too much sugar in your blood. As your kidneys work harder to filter out the sugar, they also pull more fluids from your tissues, which is why you have to go to the bathroom more often than usual. Thirst is your body’s way of telling you it needs to replenish the liquids it’s losing. If you don’t drink more fluids, you can dehydrate.

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    Tingling Hands And Feet

    Over the years, hyperglycemia can begin to impact nerve function and eventually cause nerve damage, called neuropathy, Dr. Hatipoglu says. The most common kind of neuropathy is peripheral, according to the NIDDK, which affects the extremities. You might start noticing feelings of tingling, numbness, or burning in your hands, feet, arms, and legs, per the Mayo Clinic.

    Can Diabetes Be Prevented

    Type 1 diabetes cant be prevented.

    You may be able to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by managing your weight, staying active, and following a healthy diet. However, genetics and other risk factors may increase your risk despite your best efforts.

    If you have any risk factors for diabetes, its important to get regular checkups with your doctor or healthcare professional. This will help prevent diabetes from progressing and causing other serious health complications.

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    How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed

    Hypoglycemia displays differently from person to person. Glucose maintenance is like a thermostat and may require adjustment based on how youre feeling. A blood glucose reading will determine whether youre experiencing hypoglycemia, and your doctor can recommend a home blood glucose meter to self-monitor your own blood sugar levels.

    Low blood sugar is typically defined as 70 milligrams per deciliter, though it varies depending on your body composition. Dangerous levels of low blood sugar are anything below that. Getting into the habit of monitoring your own blood sugar levels with the help of your doctor is the first step in diagnosing and managing your hypoglycemia.

    If a person is acting a bit goofy or boisterous but they deny symptoms of hypoglycemia, then ask them to check their blood glucose level with a blood glucose monitor, advises diabetes specialist David Klonoff, MD. The result might be surprisingly low. In that case, the person can be rescued with oral sugar before their condition worsens to where they are at risk of brain damage associated with going into a hypoglycemic coma.

    Most people are afraid they’re going to die because they have a single episode of hypoglycemia, which simply isnt true, says Dr. Christofides.

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