Managing Blood Sugar Levels
Many people with diabetes must check their blood sugar levels daily with a glucose meter. This device takes a drop of blood, usually from a finger, and displays the sugar level within a few seconds.
People with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin as their doctor recommends, usually several times a day.
Those with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes may need to change their diet and exercise habits. They may also need to take oral medications or insulin.
A number of strategies can help prevent hyperglycemia.
- check their blood sugar levels as their doctor advises and take the correct amount of insulin, if they have type 1 diabetes
- speak to their healthcare provider or dietitian about which foods to eat or avoid, how much to eat, and how often
- take precautions to avoid infections, for example, through regular hand washing, as illness, such as a cold, can trigger a rise in blood pressure
- plan their food intake and exercise to balance blood sugar levels
- minimize stress, as far as possible, for example, through exercise, getting enough sleep, and stress-reducing activities such as meditation or yoga
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can happen when a person:
- has certain medical conditions
- does a lot of exercise
- skips meals or eats too little
It can also be a side effect of diabetes medicines. Taking too much insulin can result in low blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
- visit a doctor regularly
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.
What Are The Signs Of High And Low Blood Sugar
The symptoms vary depending on whether you have hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Find out how to spot the warning signs and stabilize your glucose.
One of the challenges of managing diabetes is maintaining consistent blood sugar levels. Even with diligence, some situations can cause high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, while others can bring on low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
After all, its not just carbohydrate intake that influences the amount of glucose coursing through your bloodstream when you have type 2 diabetes. Emotional stress and certain medications can increase your blood sugar levels, and a boost in activity can cause it to drop, says Megan ONeill, CDCES, a medical science liaison for diabetes care at Abbott healthcare company in Monterey, California. Sometimes people experience a spike in their blood sugar early in the morning due to the dawn effect, a temporary surge of hormones that occurs as the body prepares to wake, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
For people with diabetes, managing blood glucose levels is especially important, ONeill says. Levels that are too low or high can result in complications that affect your kidneys, heart, and vision, reduce your quality of life, require expensive interventions, or even be fatal.
- Between 80 and 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals
- Less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals
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Fasting Blood Glucose Level Test Preparation
What should you do if your doctor orders a fasting blood sugar test? The preparation is the same as when you take a fasting test for cholesterol. First, be sure to find out if you need to schedule an appointment for your test . Ask your doctor what time is best to take it.
- Schedule your test if necessary
- Ask your doctor if you need to change any of the medications you take on the morning of the test
- If you normally drink coffee or have caffeine, ask your doctor if that is okay. It may not be, since it affects blood sugar levels
- Fast for at least 8 hours before your test. Usually, an overnight fast is most convenient
- You can drink water
Starvation Can Cure Type 2 Diabetes
A new study shows that starvation can cure type 2-diabetes, just like gastric bypass surgery. Again, there is no need to explain the effect of the surgery with other speculative theories. The resulting starvation reverses diabetes. And the starvation isnt even necessary to do that. Guardian: Low-calorie diet offers hope of cure for type 2 diabetes Unnecessary starvation If a type 2 diabetic stops eating the symptoms of diabetes starts to go away. But starvation or surgery are unnecessarily painful ways to do it. Luckily diabetics can eat real food to satiety, as long as they avoid sugar and starch. The food that quickly turns into simple sugars in the gut. Cutting away their stomach or starving themselves is not necessary. All they need is good food. More Across the river for water: Surgery for diabetes PS A Gastric Bypass operation protects from eating too much carbohydrates in two ways. Number one: you can only eat miniature portions of anything. Number two: the smaller amounts of starch you eat is not digestedd as easily as the duodenum with the starch-digesting enzyme amylase is diverted from direct contact with the food.Continue reading > >
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What Is Considered High Blood Sugar Level
Chronically high blood sugar is caused by a number of abnormalities in the body, one of them being the affected vascular walls of small and large arteries in a process called atherosclerosis.
We can say that a blood sugar level is high if we measure glucose level and get the following values more than 110 mg/dL on an empty stomach or at any time more than 200 mg/dL .
High blood sugar levels affect the arteries throughout the body, especially the organs which have the richest blood circulation: heart, brain, kidney, senses, nerves and other organs.
If the high blood sugar is associated with disturbances in lipid metabolism , the abnormalities are more intense. Diabetes is among the risk factors for major non-communicable diseases: cardiovascular disease, cerebral vascular disease and peripheral vascular diseases.
What Is A Diabetic Rash
A diabetic rash is one of the types of rashes that commonly occurs for people who have diabetes, which is known to cause changes in a persons skin. There are several skin changes that are classified as diabetic rashes. These rashes include scleredema diabeticorum and thrush. Diabetic eczema and erythrasma are also skin rashes that occur as a result of diabetes.
Scleredema diabeticorum is one type of skin change that is classified as a diabetic rash. It generally appears on the upper back and neck areas. The skin thickens in these areas and will appear darker than the skin surrounding the patches. Although these patches do not appear as traditional rashes, they are called rashes because of the altering of the skin that occurs. Treating scleredema diabeticorum involves regulating sugar levels through dietary changes and increasing circulation through regular exercise.
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The Classic Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Are Polyuria Polydipsia And Polyphagia
In plain English, that means excessive urination, excessive thirst, and excessive hunger. Any doctor who hears this trio of complaints will reach for a blood glucose meter. But often, the person experiencing these symptoms doesnt notice them right away. This is partly because they often creep up on a person in a gradual fashion, and partly because the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose arent well known among people who dont have diabetes or dont know they have diabetes.
Mild High Blood Sugar
If your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than your target range to 350 mg/dL in adults and 200 mg/dL to 240 mg/dL in children), you may have mild symptoms of high blood sugar. You may urinate more than usual if you are drinking plenty of liquids. Some people who have diabetes may not notice any symptoms when their blood sugar level is in this range. The main symptoms of high blood sugar are:
- Increased thirst.
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How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed
Your doctor will diagnose hypoglycemia based on a physical exam, your health history, your symptoms, and testing of blood glucose. A first step in diagnosis can be to document blood glucose values of less than 70 mg/dL at home when symptoms occur. This may be confirmed with a blood draw.
Timing of hypoglycemia can be important in the diagnosis. Some causes of hypoglycemia are more likely to result in low blood glucose when fasting, while other causes can induce hypoglycemia after meals.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels In Healthy Individuals
Blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels, can be normal, high, or low. The blood sugar levels are generally measured after 8 hours of eating.
A normal blood sugar range for a healthy adult after 8 hours of fasting is > 70 mg/dL. and < 100 mg/dL.
While a normal blood sugar level in a healthy person after 2 hours of eating is between 90 to 100 mg/dL.
Blood glucose levels change throughout the day. Major factors affecting for such change in the blood glucose levels are as follows:
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Expected Blood Glucose After A High
Blood glucose levels normally rise after a high-carbohydrate meal and drop back to normal levels within a few hours. But if your glucose levels rise higher than normal and recover more slowly, you might have diabetes. Your doctor can administer tests that measure your blood glucose levels immediately before you consume a high-carbohydrate meal and for several hours afterward. If you already have diabetes, your doctor might want you to check your blood glucose levels after meals, to make sure you’re keeping your glucose within the expected range.
Headaches And Difficulty Concentrating
Acute hyperglycemia can cause headaches and difficulty concentrating in a fashion similar to polyphagia in which starving cells send out hunger signals because they cant access the glucose circulating in the blood.
Your brain is the biggest glucose hog around. If you dont believe it, consider that while the brain represents about 2 percent of your body weight, it devours fully 25 percent of the glucose you consume. And when brain cells have difficulty getting the fuel they need, they function poorly. This can cause problems with thinking, reasoning, and remembering, difficulty staying focused on tasks, and headaches.
Chronic high blood glucose can also lead to headaches, but by a different route. These headaches are often related to various types of nerve damage. Examples include occipital neuropathy, or damage to the optic nerve from elevated glucose levels, and a variety of diabetic mononeuropathies, which can affect specific cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, or nerve roots all of which can lead to headaches of varying intensities.
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Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Like the fasting plasma glucose test, the oral glucose tolerance test also requires you to fast overnight. When you arrive at your appointment, youll take a fasting blood sugar test. Then youll drink a sugary liquid. After youre done, your doctor will test your blood sugar levels periodically for several hours.
To prepare for this test, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends that you eat at least 150 grams of carbohydrates per day for the three days leading up to the test. Foods like bread, cereal, pasta, potatoes, fruit , and clear broth all contain carbohydrates.
Tell your doctor about any stress or illness youre experiencing. Make sure your doctor knows about all of the medications youre taking. Stress, illness, and medications can all affect the results of the oral glucose tolerance test.
Your doctor will go over your results with you. For an oral glucose tolerance test, heres what your results could mean:
- blood sugar of 200 mg/dL or more after two hours = diabetes
- blood sugar between 140 and 199 mg/dL after two hours = prediabetes
- blood sugar less than 140 mg/dL after two hours = normal
Glucose tolerance tests are also used to diagnose gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels After Eating
Your blood sugar level is influenced by several factors, including the food you eat. During digestion, carbohydrates are converted into sugar which your body uses as an energy source. Excess sugar from any source is stored in your cells for later use. When your cells contain too much sugar, though, it can lead to type 2 diabetes. This is why eating a balanced diet to maintain a normal blood sugar range is important.
Blood sugar levels can vary based on many factors, including age and life expectancy, comorbidities like heart disease, stress, and lifestyle factors like physical activity, smoking, or drinking alcohol.
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How To Check Blood Sugar
There are basically two main tests which are conducted to determine whether someone has diabetes.
Impaired fasting glycemia testWhen being tested for diabetes by a impaired fasting glycemia test, blood sugar levels will normally be taken after around eight hours of fasting.
Impaired glucose tolerance testAn impaired glucose tolerance test involves taking a concentrated amount of glucose and then measuring blood sugar levels after two hours.
In a healthy person, a normal blood glucose level is between 72 mg/dL and 108 mg/dL . Read on how to check blood sugar values.
For checking your blood sugar level, you will need:
Medical alcohol to clean the skin where you will prick your finger, a sterile tool to prick your finger, some test strips and a glucose meter to read the test strip.
|Glucose mg/dL or mmol/L level||Value|
|more than 198 mg/dL or 11.0 mmol/L anytime||possible diabetes|
Is 192 A High Blood Glucose Level
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Who Is Most At Risk For Developing Diabetes
The following categories of people are considered “high-risk” candidates for developing diabetes:
- Individuals who are overweight or obese
- Individuals who are 45 years of age or older
- Individuals with first-degree relatives with diabetes
- Individuals who are African-American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asia American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders,
- Women who developed diabetes while they were pregnant or gave birth to large babies
- Individuals with high blood pressure
- Individuals with high-density lipoprotein below 25 mg/dl or triglyceride levels at or above 250 mg/dl
- Individuals who have impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance
- Individuals who are physically inactive engaging in exercise less than three times a week
- Individuals who have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS
- Individuals who have acanthosis nigricans — dark, thick and velvety skin around your neck or armpits
In addition to testing the above individuals at high risk, the American Diabetes Association also recommends screening all individuals age 45 and older.
What Is Blood Sugar
Blood sugar level is the amount of glucose present in your blood at any given time.
A normal level for a healthy person is somewhere between 72 mg/dL and 108 mg/dL . It, of course, depends on every individual alone. Blood sugar levels might fluctuate due to other reasons .
Typical levels in humans is around 72 mg/dL . After a meal the blood sugar level may increase temporarily up to 140 mg/dL . This is normal.
A blood sugar level between 72 mg/dL and 108 mg/dL is considered normal for a healthy adult.
Note: mg/dL and mmol/L are units of measure. mg/dL is mostly used in USA whereas mmol/L is mostly used in EU and other parts of the world. For easier conversion try our mg/dL mmol/L conversion tool.
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