What Should My Blood Glucose Levels Be
Everybody is different, and everybody’s blood glucose management will be different, so it’s important to check with your doctor about the levels you should aim for. But, there are general blood glucose ranges that you can use as guidelines.
Blood glucose levels are measured in units called mmol/L . The ideal ranges are:
- Before meals: 4-7 mmol/L
- Two hours after meals: 8-9 mmol/L
- At bedtime: 6-10 mmol/L
You may need to consult your doctor and change your treatment plan if:
- Blood glucose is consistently lower than 4 mmol/L or higher than 10 mmol/L before meals
- Blood glucose is consistently lower than 6 mmol/L or higher than 12 mmol/L at bedtime
- Blood glucose goals may be modified for children and others who are at greater risk of hypoglycaemia
In the US, blood glucose levels are measured in mg/dl . Thats why youll occasionally read about blood glucose readings that seem very high, like 140 or 220. To convert the American scores back to mmol/L, just divide the number by 18.
High Blood Sugar Causes
Diabetes mellitus is one of several persistent conditions causing high blood sugar levels. For someone with diabetes, hyperglycemia has many possible causes:
- Carbohydrates: Eating food containing too many carbohydrates, a form of sugar. The body of a person with diabetes cannot process high levels of carbohydrates fast enough to convert it into energy. Blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes can rise within hours after eating.
- Insulin control: Not producing enough insulin action . People with diabetes must control blood sugar by a combination of dietary discretion, taking medication, and physical activity. When food, exercise, and insulin are not balanced, blood sugar levels rise.
- Stress: Emotions can play a role in causing hyperglycemia, but should not be used as an excuse for poor control of diabetes.
- Low levels of exercise: Daily exercise is a critical contributor to regulating blood sugar levels.
- Infection, illness, or surgery: With illness, blood sugar levels tend to rise quickly over several hours.
- Other medications: Certain drugs, especially steroids, can affect blood sugar levels.
- Unconsciousness or coma
Ketoacidosis is life-threatening and demands immediate treatment.
The Causes Of High Blood Sugar
In general, higher than normal blood glucose levels can be caused by:
- not taking your diabetes medicine when you’re supposed to or not taking the right amounts
- eating more food than your meal plan allows
- not getting enough exercise
- having an illness, like the flu
- taking other kinds of medicines that affect how your diabetes medicines work
Keeping blood sugar levels close to normal can be hard sometimes, and nobody’s perfect. Grown-ups can help you stay in balance if you have diabetes. Sometimes blood sugar levels can be high because you’re growing and your doctor needs to make some changes in your diabetes treatment plan.
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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.
What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be
When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, your diabetes care team will usually tell you what your blood sugar level is and what you should aim to get it down to.
You may be advised to use a testing device to monitor your blood sugar level regularly at home.
Or you may have an appointment with a nurse or doctor every few months to see what your average blood sugar level is. This is known as your HbA1c level.
Target blood sugar levels differ for everyone, but generally speaking:
- if you monitor yourself at home with a self-testing kit a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal
- if your HbA1c level is tested every few months a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol
The Diabetes UK website has more about blood sugar levels and testing.
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High Blood Sugar Causes Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of high blood sugar. In people with diabetes, it is referred to as diabetes fatigue. Many people with the condition feel tired all the time regardless of how well they sleep, how healthily they eat, or how much they exercise on a regular basis. Research has shown that up to 61% of people who are recently diagnosed with the condition experience fatigue. However, fatigue doesnt just occur in those with diabetes. It can also happen in people with normal or prediabetic blood sugar levels if they experience a sudden spike in their blood sugar.
When the body experiences a spike in blood sugar levels, it goes into overdrive trying to create enough insulin to balance it out. If there isnt enough insulin or the body isnt responding to the insulin as it should, your body will start to pull from fat to create the energy it needs. When this happens, energy is used from the splitting of a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. When ATP expels one of its three phosphates for energy, it turns into another molecule known as adenosine diphosphate, or ADP. If there are no energy sources to pull from, the ATP cannot regain the phosphate it gave away, leading to fatigue.
Work With Your Health Care Team
Regular visits with members of a health care team who are experts in diabetes and pregnancy will ensure that you and your baby get the best care. Your health care team may include
- a medical doctor who specializes in diabetes care, such as an endocrinologist or a diabetologist
- an obstetrician with experience treating women with diabetes
- a diabetes educator who can help you manage your diabetes
- a nurse practitioner who provides prenatal care during your pregnancy
- a registered dietitian to help with meal planning
- specialists who diagnose and treat diabetes-related problems, such as vision problems, kidney disease, and heart disease
- a social worker or psychologist to help you cope with stress, worry, and the extra demands of pregnancy
You are the most important member of the team. Your health care team can give you expert advice, but you are the one who must manage your diabetes every day.
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Diagnosing And Treating Hyperglycemia
Diagnosing hyperglycemia is done by assessing symptoms and performing a simple blood glucose test. Depending on the severity of the condition and which type of diabetes the patient is diagnosed with, insulin and a variety of medication may be prescribed to help the person keep their blood sugar under control. Insulin comes in short, long and fast-acting forms, and a person suffering from type 1 diabetes is likely to be prescribed some combination of these.
Individuals who are either diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or are considered at risk for the disease are recommended to make alterations to their diet, lifestyle habits and exercise routine in order to lower blood sugar and keep it under control. These changes generally help to improve blood glucose control, individuals with type 2 diabetes may require medication eventually. These can include glitazones, acarbose, glucophage or sulphonylureas.
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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Q High Sugar And Creatinine Levels What Might Be The Cause
Hi doctor, My mother-in-law is 56 year old. For the past 10 years she is having diabetes. Since 5-6 months, her sugar levels are very high. She is using insulin Actrapid 20 units. Three years back, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Underwent operation, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cancer is under control with regular checkup and medicines. Current issues are acute colitis, random sugar values mostly higher than 280, high creatinine levels , hemoglobin , urea level 170 and vomiting present. Please refer the reports and prescriptions attached. Doctors are suggesting dialysis after 15 days, if creatinine levels remain high. Please suggest few measures to reduce creatinine levels and also recommend proper diet under these conditions. Thank you. Hello doctor, Thank you for your reply. Please suggest medicine or ways to lower creatinine levels. Is dialysis required? Kindly suggest.Continue reading > >
Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes
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If you have diabetes and plan to have a baby, you should try to get your blood glucose levels close to your target range before you get pregnant.
Staying in your target range during pregnancy, which may be different than when you arent pregnant, is also important. High blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can harm your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy, even before you know you are pregnant. If you have diabetes and are already pregnant, see your doctor as soon as possible to make a plan to manage your diabetes. Working with your health care team and following your diabetes management plan can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
If you develop diabetes for the first time while you are pregnant, you have gestational diabetes.
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Getting High Blood Glucose Into Control
While the causes that lie behind the symptoms of high blood glucose are fascinating, the real value of symptoms is in the message they carry: Blood glucose is too high. The symptoms are warning signs, and we ignore them at our peril. High blood sugar does more than trigger biological and chemical processes that make you feel crummy over time, high blood glucose causes permanent damage to the body.
But you have it in your power to make the symptoms go away, and to keep them from coming back, by keeping your high blood sugar in control. And youre not alone in this task. Talk to your doctor. Make time to see a diabetes educator. Ask your family members for their support in helping you to eat right and keep active. Use the tools available to you, such as your blood glucose meter, to see whether your numbers are in target range most of the time. If they are not, talk to your medical team about adjusting your therapy. And keep reading Diabetes Self-Management!
How Often Should I Be Checking My Blood Glucose Levels
Checking your blood glucose levels and keeping a record of the levels is an important part of taking care of your type 1 diabetes. This allows you to identify the patterns of high or low blood glucose levels. The information will also help you and your doctor or diabetes team to balance food, exercise and insulin doses.
Ideally you should aim to do at least four blood glucose levels checks a day, although some people do many more. To get the most out of monitoring, your healthcare team may advise you to check your blood glucose levels before and then two to three hours after food. Its also a good idea to monitor before, during and after exercise.
If your blood glucose level is high, like when youre feeling unwell, you should also monitor for ketones. You can do this using a blood glucose meter that also measures for ketones or by checking your urine. Ketones in the blood or urine can also indicate that your insulin levels are too low. If this is the case, youll need to take additional insulin as a matter of urgency so your body can use glucose for energy rather than fat.
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When Should I Be Concerned About High Blood Sugar
It can occasionally affect people who do not have diabetes, but usually only people who are seriously ill, such as those who have recently had a stroke or heart attack, or have a severe infection. Hyperglycaemia should not be confused with hypoglycaemia, which is when a person’s blood sugar level drops too low.
What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Is Over 200 Mg
If you test your blood sugar at 182 mg/dl before a meal or snack, then eliminate one starch and one cup milk at the next meal to bring the glucose value as close to 120 mg/dl as a baseline. Although people with diabetes will respond differently to this adjustment, it provides a basic guideline to start with.
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How Can I Prepare For Pregnancy If I Have Diabetes
If you have diabetes, keeping your blood glucose as close to normal as possible before and during your pregnancy is important to stay healthy and have a healthy baby. Getting checkups before and during pregnancy, following your diabetes meal plan, being physically active as your health care team advises, and taking diabetes medicines if you need to will help you manage your diabetes. Stopping smoking and taking vitamins as your doctor advises also can help you and your baby stay healthy.
Under Certain Conditions A Blood Sugar Reading In The 200s Can Damage The Bodys Organs
The longer that your glucose remains very high, the more likely it will cause a lot of problems and this includes blindness. 200
Blood sugar in the 200s isnt dangerous in the short term, and for most people has no real symptoms, but in the long term causes damage, as the bodys organs cant properly use the energy they need to function, says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, and Diplomate American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
Dr. Besser continues, It takes longer with lower high sugars because if the numbers are lower, it means the body is still able to use ingested sugar as fuel, at least to some degree.
The higher the glucose, the less the body is able to use the ingested sugar as energy.
The higher the sugar in the blood, the more likely there will be symptoms of diabetes such as thirst .
Another immediate symptom of abnormally high blood sugar is increased urination.
But this is not from drinking more water from the excessive thirst.
Its from the body attempting to get rid of all the sugar in the circulating blood. The thirst is actually from all the urination. 200
Unexplained weight loss is another outcome of persistent very elevated glucose.
Dr. Besser explains that the body is in essence eating itself for energy because it cant get energy for food. 200
Sugar builds up in the blood. Meanwhile, muscle cells become starved of energy.
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Great Bedtime Snacks For People Living With Diabetes
For some people, a healthy bedtime snack helps to prevent glucose swings during the night. By eating a small snack that is full of protein and healthy fats , your body may be better able to avoid an overnight high but if you take insulin, be sure to cover the carbohydrates in your snack even if it only requires a small dose of insulin.
Here are some snack ideas:
Plain nuts or seeds try eating a small handful
Raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, or tomatoes, with a small amount of hummus or peanut butter
Plain yogurt, and you can add berries or cinnamon
What Causes High Blood Sugar
A variety of things can trigger an increase in blood sugar level in people with diabetes, including:
- missing a dose of your diabetes medicine or taking an incorrect dose
- overtreating an episode of low blood sugar
- taking certain medicines, such as steroids
Occasional episodes of hyperglycaemia can also occur in children and young adults during growth spurts.
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What Are Clinical Trials And Are They Right For You
Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Researchers also use clinical trials to look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. Find out if clinical trials are right for you.
High Blood Sugar Treatment
- Medication change: High blood sugars may be a sign that the person with diabetes needs to take medication, to change medications, or to change the way it is given .
- Other illness: Other illnesses need to be diagnosed and treated if an illness is causing high blood sugar levels. Infection or illness may need to be treated in the hospital, where health professionals can adjust the plan of care.
- Other Medications: A number of medications are available to help control blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. Insulin is also prescribed for people with diabetes .
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