When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Two hours after a meal.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
Follow Your Diabetes Meal Plan
Make a diabetes meal plan with help from your health care team. Following a meal plan will help you manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Choose fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, chicken or turkey without the skin, fish, lean meats, and nonfat or low-fat milk and cheese. Drink water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt. Learn more about eating, diet, and nutrition with diabetes.
Risks Of Very High Blood Sugar
Hyperglycemia can be dangerous, especially for people with type 1 diabetes. It can lead to a deadly condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis .
The risk for DKA starts at 240 mg/dL, but is more likely in much higher blood sugar levels.
Signs of DKA include nausea or vomiting, fruity-smelling breath, extreme thirst, and frequent urination. You can test for ketones at home using a urine test. If you have high ketones, call your doctor or go to the emergency room.
In people with type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar can cause hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . HHS is potentially fatal and can occur after several days or weeks of sustained high blood sugar.
In people with diabetes, high blood sugar is caused by things like:
- Eating too many carbohydrates
- Not getting enough physical activity
- Stress from an illness or infection
- Taking a corticosteroid, like prednisone
- Skipping or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Sugar Maple Trees
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.
Which Is More Dangerous Blood Sugar Too High Or Too Low
A persons blood sugar levels can be high, but can also below, depending on their lifestyle and diet. Which is more dangerous?
Blood sugar is medically the definition of the amount of sugar content or glucose substances in the blood. Maintaining sugar levels in the body is not only important for diabetics, but also for healthy people.
Because normal blood sugar levels are important for your bodys performance and health. If it is too high or too low, there will be a disturbing complaint. Know which conditions are more dangerous so you can be more alert.
Don’t Miss: What Herbs Help Lower Blood Sugar
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.
Mindfulness Yields Similar Benefits To Diabetes Medication
In the study, recently published online in the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, the authors combined and analyzed results from 28 previous randomized controlled trials in whats known as a meta-analysis.
Earlier studies involved people with type 2 diabetes doing a mind-body practice alongside standard diabetes treatment. Researchers compared them to a second group of people who received only the standard treatment.
In a previous meta-analysis published in 2017, Herpreet Thind, PhD, MPH, associate professor in the department of Public Health at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and her colleagues found that people with type 2 diabetes who did yoga saw improvements in their blood glucose levels.
The new analysis, led by Fatimata Sanogo, a PhD student in the department of Population and Public Health Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, expanded on the previous research and included studies looking at the benefits of other mind-body practices, such as:
However, the majority of studies included in the analysis were yoga interventions.
The results from the new analysis show that mind-body practices led to an average reduction of 0.84% in participants hemoglobin A1c . This is a measure of the average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months.
Also Check: Where To Buy Swerve Brown Sugar Substitute
What Is A Dangerous Blood Sugar Level
A normal blood sugar level is between 70 and 130 after you have been fasting for a few hours. Blood sugar levels can be dangerous if they are too high or too low.
Low blood sugars can be caused by not eating enough, or by trying to lower your sugar too quickly. A blood sugar under 60 is considered dangerous. It can lead to confusion or loss of consciousness, which can be deadly. It is important to have a snack with you at all times in case this happens to you. If it does happen, think about what you did or didnt do that lead to the low number. If it happens often, start writing things down to help you track what the cause is so that you can avoid it.
High blood sugars over 300 are pretty concerning. A lot depends on what your sugar typically runs. If you are normally in the 200s, then a sugar of 320 wouldnt affect you the way that it would for someone whose typically runs 150.
If your blood sugar gets too high, then you may have Ketoacidosis. What happens is that the body does not have enough insulin to use the glucose cells, so it starts to break down fat and muscle for fuel. This causes ketones to enter the bloodstream and causes a pretty bad chemical imbalance. Ketones can also be found in your urine, which is an easy way to test. Signs of Diabetic Ketoacidosis are:
- Fruity smelling breath
- An abnormal increase in blood sugar
You should also seek medical attention for this as well to rehydrate your body before any complications happen.
Use Your Plate As A Portion Guide
If measuring or weighing food isnt appealing, try using your plate or bowl as a portion control guide.
This can help you determine the optimal macronutrient ratio for a well-balanced meal.
A rough guide for each meal is:
- Vegetables or salad: Half a plate
- High-quality protein: Quarter of a plate this includes meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, tofu, beans and pulses
- as whole grains and starchy vegetables
- High-fat foods: Half a tablespoon including cheese, oils and butter
Remember that this is a rough guide, as people have different dietary needs. For example, those who are more physically active often require more food.
As vegetables and salad are naturally low in calories but high in fiber and other nutrients, filling up on these may help you avoid overeating calorie-dense foods.
If you want extra guidance, some manufacturers sell portion-control plates.
Summary Using a plate as a guide for portion control can help you curb total food intake. You can divide your plate into sections based on different food groups.
Read Also: What Is Ideal Fasting Blood Sugar
What Happens If My Blood Glucose Level Becomes Too Low
Sometimes blood glucose levels drop below where they should be, which is called hypoglycemia. For most people with diabetes, the blood glucose level is too low when it is below 70 mg/dL.
Hypoglycemia can be life threatening and needs to be treated right away. Learn more about how to recognize and treat hypoglycemia.
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.
Also Check: How Much Sugar Is In Wendy’s Chili
When Should I Call My Doctor
Its important to monitor diabetes very closely if youre sick. Even a common cold can be dangerous if it interferes with your insulin and blood sugar levels. Make a sick day plan with your healthcare provider so you know how often to check your blood sugar and what medications to take.
Contact your provider right away if you experience:
- Confusion or memory loss.
- Nausea and vomiting for more than four hours.
- Problems with balance or coordination.
- Severe pain anywhere in your body.
- Trouble moving your arms or legs.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Type 2 diabetes is a disease where your body doesnt make enough insulin and cant use sugar the way it should. Sugar, or glucose, builds up in your blood. High blood sugar can lead to serious health complications. But Type 2 diabetes is manageable. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you manage your blood sugar. You may also need medication or insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugar at home regularly and stay in close communication with your healthcare provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/25/2021.
Managing Diabetes: Six Healthy Steps With The Most Benefit
Extra pounds? Lose a little. You dont have to be a biggest loser or get an extreme makeover to enjoy big weight-loss benefits if you have diabetes. In a nationwide study of 5,145 people with type 2 diabetes, those who shed just 5 to 10 percent of their weight were three times more likely to lower their A1C by 0.5 percent, a significant drop. They were also 50 percent more likely to lower their blood pressure by 5 points and twice as likely to lower their triglycerides by 40 points compared with those whose weight remained the same.
Say yes to fiber-rich foods. When people with diabetes increase the fiber in their diet, they can potentially lower blood glucose over a period of 12 weeks or less, according to a major review of 15 studies. Most peoplewith or without diabetesdont get the recommended 21 to 38 grams of fiber daily. Those who participated in these studies increased their intake by an average of 18 grams a daythe amount in a bowl of higher-fiber breakfast cereal plus a couple of extra servings of vegetables. Whenever you can, choose vegetables, whole grains, and fruit over sugary treats and bread, rolls, and other foods made with refined grains.
Know your ABCsand beyond.Because your risk for heart disease is higher with diabetes, its smart to see your doctor regularly for checks, Kalyani says. Have your:
- A1C tested as often as your doctor recommends
You May Like: How To Control High Sugar
How To Improve Blood Circulation If You Have Type 2 Diabetes
Poor circulation is a real concern for people living with type 2 diabetes and can lead to an increased risk of amputation. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your blood flow healthy: Making the right choices about how you exercise and what you do when youre not exercising are the keys to healthy circulation.
Check Your Blood Sugar Often
Talk with your provider about when you should check your blood sugar every day. People who have low blood sugar need to check their blood sugar more often.
The most common causes of low blood sugar are:
- Taking your insulin or diabetes medicine at the wrong time
- Taking too much insulin or diabetes medicine
- Taking insulin to correct high blood sugar without eating any food
- Not eating enough during meals or snacks after you have taken insulin or diabetes medicine
- Waiting too long after taking your medicine to eat your meals
- Exercising a lot or at a time that is unusual for you
- Not checking your blood sugar or not adjusting your insulin dose before exercising
- Drinking alcohol
Also Check: What Are The Sugar Pills In Birth Control For
Causes Of High Blood Sugar
Common causes of high blood sugar in people with diabetes include:
- eating too much sugary or starchy food
- being less active than usual
- missing doses of diabetes medicine
You can also get high blood sugar if your diabetes medicine is not working well, you’re taking certain medicines or you recently had an operation.
How To Prevent It
If you work to keep your blood sugar under control — follow your meal plan, exercise program, and medicine schedule — you shouldnât have to worry about hyperglycemia. You can also:
- Know your diet — count the total amounts of carbs in each meal and snack.
- Test your blood sugar regularly.
- Tell your doctor if you have repeated abnormal blood sugar readings.
- Wear medical identification to let people know you have diabetes in case of an emergency.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Healthiest Non Sugar Sweetener
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:
Signs Of Hypoglycemia Unawareness
What can be especially troubling about low blood sugar is that, in some cases, there are no outward signs. This type of hypoglycemia is called hypoglycemia unawareness. There is a greater risk with this condition, as you only experience symptoms once blood sugar levels have dropped so low that they cause hypoglycemic shock.
In these cases, monitoring glucose levels regularly is essential, especially if youre planning to drive or engage in physical activity.
Hypoglycemia unawareness is most common in those who:
- Have had diabetes for five to 10 years
- Frequently experience hypoglycemia
- Take beta-blockers for high blood pressure
Don’t Miss: Does Vanilla Almond Milk Have Sugar
Manage Your Stress Better
Stress, whether physical, mental or emotional, has been proven to contribute towards changes in blood sugar levels. Dont let work stress follow you home. Similarly, dont let a stressful relationship worsen your diabetes symptoms. One of the best ways to manage stress is to practice yoga and meditation regularly.
What Can You Do If Your Blood Sugar Levels Are Too Low
It is important to react quickly enough and eat or drink something, like dextrose sugar or a sugary drink .
If someone has severe hypoglycemia they may feel drowsy and confused, and might even become unconscious. People who have type 1 diabetes often carry a pre-filled syringe on them in case that happens, containing the hormone glucagon. Glucagon makes the liver release sugar into the bloodstream. Someone else can then inject the hormone if necessary. If this is not possible, it is important to call the emergency services immediately and ask for medical help.
If your blood sugar levels keep on dropping too low, you should see your doctor. It could then be a good idea to change your lifestyle or medication.
You May Like: Can High Blood Sugar Affect Your Vision
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.