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 healthcare provider.
On the flipside, 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.
Good To Know: Factors Affecting Blood Glucose
Before you had diabetes, no matter what you ate or how active you were, your blood glucose levels stayed within a normal range. But with diabetes, your blood glucose level can rise higher, and some diabetes medications can make them go lower than normal. Many factors can change your blood glucose levels. Learning about these factors can help you control them.
You can use your blood glucose levels to make decisions about food and activity. These decisions can help you delay or prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. Keeping your diabetes ABCs on track is the most effective way to prevent diabetes-related health problems.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor About High Blood Sugar
Please ask your health care professional about the following:
- How to recognize high blood sugar levels
- How to treat a high blood sugar level when it occurs in you, a family member, or coworkers
- How to prevent the blood sugar level from becoming too high
- How to contact the medical staff during an emergency
- What emergency supplies to carry to treat high blood sugar
- Additional educational materials regarding high blood sugar
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Getting A Second Opinion
You should always feel free to get a second opinion if you have any concerns or doubts about your diagnosis.
If you change doctors, youll want to ask for new tests. Different doctors offices use different laboratories to process samples. The NIDDK says it can be misleading to compare results from different labs. Remember that your doctor will need to repeat any test to confirm your diagnosis.
Strategies To Control Blood Sugar
There are steps you can take to control blood sugar every day.
Educate yourself The more you know about type 2 diabetes, the more confident youll feel about diabetes management. That feeling of self-efficacy is linked with better blood sugar control, taking medication as prescribed, and making lifestyle changes such as improving your diet and exercising, researchers reported in the Summer 2014 issue of Ethnicity & Disease.
Test your blood sugar on schedule When researchers followed adults with type 2 diabetes over the course of a year, they found that those who used a structured blood sugar testing approach throughout the day had better blood sugar control than those who did not, according to an October 2013 study published in Diabetes Care. Common times to test your blood sugar include when you first wake up, before and after meals and exercise, and at bedtime. Talk to your doctor about when and how often you should test.
Exercise Physical activity increases insulin sensitivity, which can help control blood sugar. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days during the week. How to tell if your intensity level is moderate? You should be able to talk but not be out of breath or able to sing out loud, according to the ADA.
Because exercise can lower blood sugar, you should keep a source of fast-acting carbohydrate on hand in case you need to treat hypoglycemia. Test your blood sugar before and after exercise to make sure its in a safe range.
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What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Someone who has high blood sugar can develop a serious problem with a serious-sounding name: diabetic ketoacidosis . This happens if the body gets desperate for a source of fuel. The body wants to use glucose . But without insulin, that glucose stays stuck in the blood and isn’t available to the cells so the body uses fat instead.
But that can sometimes cause problems. Why? Because when the body uses fat, chemicals called ketones are produced. These ketones get into a person’s blood and urine and they can make a person very sick. DKA is a very serious problem for people with diabetes, but the good news is that it can be prevented and treated.
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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What Is A Glucose Tolerance Test
Glucose tolerance tests measure your blood sugar before and after consumption of a drink containing sugar, or glucose. Your fasting blood sugar level is first measured and then you drink the prescribed liquid.
Your blood sugar levels are checked again 1-3 hours later to determine the effects of glucose on your system and your bodys ability to process it. A measurement of 140 mg/dL or lower is normal, 140-199 mg/dL indicates prediabetes, and 200 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes.
If your doctor suspects you have Type 1 diabetes, he may order a blood antibody test to check for specific substances that indicate your body is attacking itself. You may also have your urine tested for ketones, a byproduct produced by your kidneys when your body burns fat for energy.
If you suspect you have diabetes or need regular glucose management, call Northeast Medical, PC to set up your appointment or book online today.
What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning
Commonly known reasons why your blood sugar may be high in the morning include high-carb bedtime snacks and not enough diabetes medications.
Yet two lesser-known reasons may be causing your morning blood sugar woes: the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect. These causes of high morning blood sugar levels are a result of body changes and reactions that happen while you are sleeping.
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Fasting & Elevated Blood Glucose
Type 2 diabetes for 20+ years. Started keto with intermittent fasting in January 2019. Why would my fasting blood glucose numbers during my 18-24-hour fast be elevated, then come down to normal ranges after eating?
Fasting can definitely raise blood glucose. This is due to the effect of insulin falling and the rising counter-regulatory hormones including increased sympathetic tone, noradrenaline, cortisol and growth hormone, in addition to glucagon. These all have the effect of pushing glucose from liver storage into the blood. This is normal. If you are not eating, you want to use some stored glucose. The question is this if you are not eating, and your blood glucose went up, where did that glucose come from? It can only have come from your own body . So, its a natural phenomenon, and the fasting now allows your body to use some of the glucose for energy.
Dr. Jason Fung
Signs That Blood Sugar Levels Are High
People with high blood sugar may:
- pee a lot. When blood sugar levels get too high, the kidneys flush out the extra glucose into your urine , which is why people who have high blood sugar levels need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- drink a lot. Because you’re losing so much fluid from peeing so much, you can get very thirsty.
- lose weight. If there isn’t enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body starts to break down your muscle and fat for energy and you lose weight.
- feel tired. Because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly, you may feel really tired.
High blood sugar levels don’t always cause these symptoms. Sometimes you can have high blood sugar levels without even knowing it. But if left untreated, they can cause serious health problems. That’s why it’s important to work with your parents and diabetes team to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. This can mean checking your blood sugar levels a few times a day, even when you feel fine.
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What Factors Affect Blood Sugar
You can guess that carbohydrate intake and insulin production are at least partly responsible for your blood sugar levels. But the list is much longer — almost every lifestyle choice you make can affect your blood sugar. Here’s just a partial list.
- Exercise can affect insulin sensitivity, leading to lower blood sugar for up to 48 hours.
- Alcohol intake increases insulin production, causing low blood sugar.
- Stress hormones like cortisol can raise blood sugar, because your body wants access to energy in order to escape what it perceives as a dangerous situation.
- Medications, especially statins and diuretics, can raise blood sugar. Statins are used to treat cholesterol, and diuretics for high blood pressure.
- Diet is a major player in blood sugar. Eating too many simple carbs at once can cause levels to skyrocket, while protein intake leads to a slower increase in blood sugar.
- Dehydration raises blood sugar, because with less water in your body the glucose concentration will be higher.
Other surprising factors can affect your blood sugar, like a sunburn or gum disease, so if you’re dealing with a blood sugar issue and can’t figure out what’s causing your spikes and dips, talk to a health care professional.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
In some circumstances, the A1C test isnt valid. For example, it cant be used for pregnant women or people who have a hemoglobin variant. The fasting blood sugar testing may be used instead. For this test, a sample of your blood will be taken after youve fasted overnight.
Unlike the A1C test, the fasting plasma glucose test measures the amount of sugar in your blood at a single point in time. Blood sugar values are expressed in milligrams per deciliter or millimoles per liter . Its important to understand that your results can be affected if youre stressed or sick.
Your doctor will go over your results with you. Heres what your results could mean:
- fasting blood sugar of 126 mg/dL or higher = diabetes
- fasting blood sugar of 100 to 125 mg/dL = prediabetes
- fasting blood sugar less than 100 mg/dL = normal
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Eat The Right Carbohydrates
The two main kinds of carbohydrates simple and complex affect blood sugar levels differently.
Simple carbohydrates are mainly made up of one kind of sugar. They are found in foods, such as white bread, pasta, and candy. The body breaks these carbohydrates down into sugar very quickly, which causes blood sugar levels to rise rapidly.
Complex carbohydrates are made up of three or more sugars that are linked together. Because the chemical makeup of these kinds of carbohydrates is complicated, it takes the body longer to break them down.
As a result, sugar is released into the body more gradually, meaning that blood sugar levels do not rapidly rise after eating them. Examples of complex carbohydrates include whole grain oats and sweet potatoes.
What Is An A1c Lab Test
The A1C lab test shows how well youre controlling your blood sugar levels over time. Usually performed every 2-3 months, the test measures your average blood sugar level over that period.
An A1C result of 5.7% is normal, readings of 5.7%-6.4% indicate prediabetes, and readings of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes. When you have high A1C levels, youre at greater risk of diabetic complications.
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Blood Sugar Highs And Lows
Glucose, or blood sugar, comes from two places the food you eat and your liver. Blood sugar is basically used to supply energy to the body, explains Deborah Jane Wexler, MD, an endocrinologist in practice at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. For instance, one of your most valued organs your brain runs entirely on glucose, she notes.
Insulin moves glucose into cells to be used for energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesnt produce enough insulin or cant effectively use the insulin it does produce. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the blood, leading to high blood sugar levels. You may also experience a rise in blood sugar if you eat a meal high in carbs, if you dont take enough insulin or other diabetes medication, or if you experience physical or emotional stress.
Low blood sugar can occur when you take too much insulin or other diabetes medication, skip a meal or eat fewer carbohydrates than usual, or increase your physical activity.
Monitoring your blood sugar by making sure it doesnt spike too high or dip too low is an important part of managing your type 2 diabetes.
And you can start by learning the signs of low blood sugar and high blood sugar and what steps to take to bring those levels back to normal:
Hypoglycemia: If blood sugar is too low usually below 70 milligrams per deciliter you may have symptoms such as confusion, sweating, nervousness, nausea, and dizziness. You could even pass out, according to the ADA.
How To Lower Blood Sugar
Its best to always talk to your doctor about what to do if a certain situation presents itself. For example, your doctor may recommend you take an additional dose of insulin to lower blood sugar. Make sure youre aware of the dose that should be taken, as well as what level it should be taken at.
While lowering blood sugar for some requires taking insulin or other medication, there are some simple things that can be done to help get blood sugar moving in the right direction.
Drinking water is a simple, effective way to help lower blood sugar. It wont get you all the way back to normal when your blood sugar level is very high, but it will usually help get it moving downward. When your body needs to get rid of extra glucose, it can dispose of it through urine. In order for this to happen, you need to be properly hydrated.
Additionally, exercising can serve as a long term proactive means of lowering average blood sugar. When you exercise, your body becomes more sensitive to insulin in your body and can pull sugar from the blood to use for energy. This is another effective way to lower your blood sugar levels naturally. Make sure that the exercise youre doing isnt too strenuous. Even going for a walk can be the exercise the body needs to use some of the excess glucose in the blood.
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Normal Range Of Fasting Blood Sugar Found Among Men : 74
Ideal values of Fasting blood sugar depending on age :
|Age||Ideal Fasting blood sugar value|
|< 5 years|
|> 100 years||97.79|
If you want your blood test report to be interpreted by Fasting blood sugar specialist, then you can upload your report. Our Fasting blood sugar expert will provide you with the most accurate interpretation of your blood test results and treatment within 12 hours. Upload blood test report now
How Are High Blood Sugar Levels Treated
To treat high blood sugar, it helps to know what is causing it. You might need to take more insulin or diabetes pills because you’re growing and eating more food, or you might need to get more exercise each day.
Having high blood sugar levels every once in a while isn’t a big deal. It happens to everyone with diabetes from time to time. But if your blood sugar levels are high a lot, your diabetes health care team will have to help you figure out how to get them back to a healthy level.
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What Can You Do To Improve Your A1c Levels
People often wonder how long it will take to improve their A1C number. By following your diabetes self-care plan, you can improve your A1C by your next three-month check. Your A1C may continue to go down at each visit if you continue to partner with your healthcare provider and follow the tips above.
Its not helpful to test your A1C more frequently than every three months, and more frequent testing is not always covered by insurance. If you feel like you have followed your healthcare providers recommendations but your A1C level is high, dont take it personally. Again, there are many factors that make diabetes management difficult, and if you continue to work on it, your number will come down.
In summary, the A1C test gives you a picture of your overall glucose levels. There is no bad or good number, just information that helps you and your healthcare provider understand how well your diabetes management plan is working.
Using an A1C calculator can give you an idea of how your A1C translates into an EAG number that you can recognize, using the same unit of measurement as shown on a blood glucose meter. However, remember that A1C goals can be different for each person based on age, treatment goals, access to diabetes supplies, and other health issues present, so dont be afraid to talk with your healthcare professional about setting your unique goals to lead to better diabetes management.