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Check Your Blood Sugar Often

Importance of Normal Blood Glucose Level-Effects of Hyperglycemia & Hypoglycemia | Diabetes Mellitus

Checking your blood sugar levels often and writing down, or using an app to track the results will tell you how well you are managing your diabetes. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about how often you should check your blood sugar.

  • Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their blood sugar every day. But some people may need to check it many times a day.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes, check your blood sugar at least 4 times a day.

Usually, you will test your blood sugar before meals and at bedtime. You may also check your blood sugar:

  • After you eat out, particularly if you have eaten foods you don’t normally eat
  • If you feel sick
  • Before and after you exercise
  • If you have a lot of stress
  • If you eat too much
  • If you are taking new medicines that can affect your blood sugar

Keep a record for yourself and your provider. This will be a big help if you are having problems managing your diabetes. It will also tell you what works and what doesn’t work, to keep your blood sugar under control. Write down:

  • The time of day
  • The amount of carbohydrates or sugar you ate
  • The type and dose of your diabetes medicines or insulin
  • The type of exercise you do and for how long
  • Any unusual events, such as feeling stressed, eating different foods, or being sick

Many glucose meters let you store this information.

What Are Abnormal Glucose Levels And Why Do They Matter

Why is it unhealthy for glucose levels to be too high or too low ?

Hyperglycemia refers to elevated blood glucose levels. This usually occurs because the body does not appropriately remove glucose from the blood this can happen due to many complex reasons. Elevated glucose levels can damage blood vessels and nerves over time this can then lead to problems in the eyes, kidneys, and heart, as well as numbness in the hands and feet. Very high levels can lead to coma and even death in some cases. People with fasting glucose levels higher than 100 mg/dl have impaired glucose tolerance and should speak with their healthcare provider.

Some people may think that to avoid all these issues, they should just keep their blood glucose levels as low as possible. If too high is bad, then low must be good, right? Not exactly. When glucose gets too low, its called hypoglycemia. The threshold for hypoglycemia is typically thought to be when glucose falls below 70 mg/dl. When this happens, the body may release epinephrine , the fight or flight hormone, which can lead to a fast heart rate, sweating, anxiety, blurry vision, and confusion, but also helps the body mobilize glucose into the blood. If blood glucose levels stay too low for too long, it can cause seizures, coma, and in very rare instances, death.

Best Foods For Low Blood Sugar

For patients with diabetes, monitoring blood sugar levels is a part of daily life.

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can occur for many people with diabetes who are on certain medications, including insulin and sulfonylureas. It can occur for a variety of reasons including skipping a meal, exercising strenuously, taking too much insulin or consuming alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.

Low blood sugar can be as minor as a slight inconvenience or as serious as a life-threatening emergency. Thats why it is important to boost blood sugar before it becomes problematic.

Angela Norton, a diabetes educator at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, has diabetes herself, so she knows firsthand the tips and tricks of keeping blood sugar on track. Although blood glucose is considered normal if above 70 mg/dL, Norton says patients with diabetes should not wait until they reach below that threshold to take action.

Treat when you feel the symptoms, even if your blood sugar is not below 70, because as long as it is less than 100, it may be dropping fast, she says.

When it comes to treatment, Norton shares these five foods to help boost low blood sugar.

1. CandyWhen hypoglycemia occurs, patients should follow the 15-15 rule. Consume 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise blood glucose and check your levels again after 15 minutes. When the numbers return to normal, eat a snack to stay on track.

Gummy candies contain carbohydrates, which have a large impact on blood sugar levels.

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What Level Of Blood Sugar Is Dangerous

Higher blood sugar than normal is always a matter of concern. When should you become vigilant looking at your glucometer?

If you are a non-diabetic person then it is a basis of distress if your glucometer shows a number higher than 140mg/dl and in case of diabetic the range increases to 180 200 mg/dl. This condition is known as hyperglycemia and calls for the necessity to consult with a doctor.

Is testing blood sugar the only way to know your hyperglycemia? What would you do if you dont have glucometer at home?

Just be conscious of the following 7 symptoms:

  • Increase in thirst than usual.
  • Blurry vision
  • Rarely cancer and Alzheimers disease
  • Sometimes even with the treatment, elderly diabetic patients develop dementia with time.

    What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels

    Is Fasting blood sugar 188 high, normal or dangerous? What ...

    Your blood sugar levels are a critical part of your overall health and your bodys ability to function properly on a daily basis. For those of us with diabetes, striving to achieve normal blood sugar levels is a constant, hour-by-hour pursuit. And it isnt easy.

    In this article, well look at normal blood sugar levels and goal ranges for a non-diabetics body, and realistic blood sugar goals for people with prediabetes, type 1, and type 2 diabetes.

  • Still frustrated with your blood sugar and A1c results?
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    Signs You Are Experiencing Diabetic Ketoacidosis

    If you are in DKA, its likely that you are nauseous or vomiting. Your breath may have a fruity or acetone odor as your body tries to offload ketones through your breathing. Its likely that you will be dehydrated with very high BG levels and excessive urination. You might have aches and pains, and perhaps blurred vision. Not fun!

    DKA is serious, and can be life-threatening. Because of dehydration and excessive ketone production, the blood becomes acidic. This is caused by a lack of working insulin. Most cells preferentially burn glucose for fuel. Many cells can also burn fat in small amounts. While glucose burns cleanly, fat produces waste products called ketones. Ketones are acid and upset the pH balance, essentially polluting the atmosphere in our bodies.

    We dont tend to burn much fat at a time, so small amounts of ketones can usually be broken down and burned off along with glucose. Its necessary to have enough glucose in the body cells so there is a fuel source, and we also need to have insulin to move the glucose into the cells, where it can be used for energy. If there is no insulin, the glucose cant get inside the cells. The cells are then forced to burn fat as an energy source, and this causes large amounts of ketones to be produced.

    Can Your A1c Be Too Low

    As described above, the answer to this question depends almost entirely on how often you experience hypoglycemia . If you never experience hypoglycemia, your A1c technically cannot be too low. Some people achieve A1c levels below 5% by following a very strict diabetes management and diet regimen and have almost no blood sugar fluctuations.

    HOWEVER, if you often experience hypoglycemia, that will result in an artificial low A1c reading because your hypoglycemia events are lowering your blood sugar average. In that case, focusing on increasing time-in-range is much more important than further lowering your A1c. In fact, you may even benefit from a slightly higher A1c with fewer blood sugar fluctuations.

    Its also important to note that lowering your A1c below the recommended range of 6-7% hasnt been proven to provide any health benefits. Therefore, a very low A1c shouldnt be a goal in itself.

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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.

    Still Frustrated With Your Blood Sugar And A1c Results

    Blood Sugar Test = 81

    Your blood sugars and your insulin or medication needs never stay in one place. If you gain weight or lose weight, your insulin and medication needs will change. If you become more active or less active, your needs will change. If you make drastic or even small changes to your nutrition, your needs will change!

    Working with your diabetes healthcare team, and diabetes coaches who can teach you how to make changes in your overall diabetes management plan are essential. Diabetes is a lifelong learning process.

    Take a deep breath and be patient. If you dont like what youre seeing on your glucose meter, dont get madget studying! Take good notes and work with your team to make changes to reach your goals.

    Read more about improving your A1c in DiabetesStrongs guide, How to Lower Your A1c.

    If you liked this guide to normal blood sugar levels, please sign up for our newsletter using the form below. We send out a weekly newsletter with the latest posts and recipes from Diabetes Strong.

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    What Causes Hypoglycemia In A Child

    Hypoglycemia can be a condition by itself. Or it can be a complication of diabetes or other disorder. Its most often a problem in someone with diabetes. It occurs when theres too much insulin. This is also called an insulin reaction.

    Causes in children with diabetes may include:

    • Too much insulin or oral diabetes medicine

    • The wrong kind of insulin

    • Incorrect blood-glucose readings

    • Tingling feelings around the mouth

    • Seizure

    • Nightmares and confusion on awakening

    The symptoms of hypoglycemia can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

    How Do You Treat Hypoglycemia

    Treatment for hypoglycemia involves both the immediate steps needed to raise your blood sugar level in addition with the later treatment or medication dose adjustment to prevent recurrence.

    To immediately raise your blood sugar level, Dr. Shah advocates the rule of 15eating 15 grams of carbohydrates and then checking your blood sugar level 15 minutes later. Fast-acting carbohydrates include:

    • 4 glucose tablets
    • 4 ounces of fruit juices

    Keep repeating these steps every 15 minutes until your blood sugar reaches above 70 mg/dL, he explains. Once your level has stabilized, its important to then eat a snack or even a full meal to maintain that balance, Dr. Shah adds.

    If your symptoms are more severe and/or a person is unable to swallow, you may need an injection of glucagon, he says.

    To prevent episodes of hypoglycemia in the future, Dr. Shah says that treatment may involve the changing of prescribed regimens and dosages or adjusting your meal plans.

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    How Can I Prevent Insulin

    • Check your blood sugar regularly.
    • Know what causes low blood sugar.
    • Eat at regular mealtimes. Do not delay or skip meals and do not eat partial meals.
    • Take all medicines exactly as prescribed.
    • Check your blood sugar more often when you are exercising more or eating less, or when you are sick, according to your healthcare provider’s recommendations.
    • Keep your follow-up appointments with your provider.

    Who Is Most At Risk For Developing Diabetes

    Normal Fasting Blood Sugar / For example, a 2017 study ...

    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.

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    How To Lower Your A1c

    Now that you have a thorough understanding of A1c and time-in-range, as well as why looking at your A1c in isolation isnt optimal, the obvious question is:

    How do you lower your A1c while improving or sustaining your time-in-range?

    I will cover the four most important things you can do below but its always recommended that you start by having a conversation with your medical team before making changes to your diabetes management.

    Make A Few Changes To Your Diet

    Eating a healthier diet doesnt mean you have to cut out all the things you love. Even making changes to one or two meals a day can have benefits.

    For example, maybe you start eating a very green salad loaded with fresh veggies for lunch instead of that footlong sub-sandwich. Or perhaps you start limiting your soda consumption to one can per day instead of 4 cans per day.

    Pick a couple of places to make changes so it isnt quite so overwhelming. Over time, you may find that you want to keep making improvements to other food choices, too. And remember, the goal doesnt have to be 100 percent perfection. The 80/20 Rule is great: choosing healthy, real food 80 percent of the time, with 20 percent left for less-than-perfect treats.

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    After You Have Low Blood Sugar

    If your low blood sugar was mild , you can return to your normal activities once your blood sugar is back in its target range.

    After you have low blood sugar, your early symptoms for low blood sugar are less noticeable for 48 to 72 hours. Be sure to check your blood sugar more often to keep it from getting too low again, especially before eating, physical activity, or driving a car.

    If you used glucagon because of a severe low , immediately call your doctor for emergency medical treatment. If you have had lows several times close together , you should also tell you doctor. They may want to change your diabetes plan.

    Normal Blood Sugar Levels

    Whats Normal Blood Sugar for a Diabetic?SUGARMD

    It is important to work with your healthcare provider to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The following is a list of healthy blood sugar levels.

    If an individual has type 1 diabetes the blood sugar should be the following:

    • Before meals: From 90 to 130 mg/dL for adults
    • After meals : Less than 180 mg/dL for adults
    • At bedtime: From 90 to 150 mg/dL for adults

    If an individual has type 2 diabetes, levels should be the following:

    • Before meals: From 70 to 130 mg/dL for adults
    • After meals : Less than 180 mg/dL for adults

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    Recommended Blood Sugar Targets

    For people with type 1 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends that blood sugar targets be based on a person’s needs and goals. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about these goals. A general guideline is:

    Before meals, your blood sugar should be:

    • From 90 to 130 mg/dL for adults
    • From 90 to 130 mg/dL for children, 13 to 19 years old
    • From 90 to 180 mg/dL for children, 6 to 12 years old
    • From 100 to 180 mg/dL for children under 6 years old

    After meals , your blood sugar should be:

    • Less than 180 mg/dL for adults

    At bedtime, your blood sugar should be:

    • From 90 to 150 mg/dL for adults
    • From 90 to 150 mg/dL for children, 13 to 19 years old
    • From 100 to 180 mg/dL for children, 6 to 12 years old
    • From 110 to 200 mg/dL for children under 6 years old

    For people with type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association also recommends that blood sugar targets be individualized. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about your goals.

    In general, before meals, your blood sugar should be:

    • From 70 to 130 mg/dL for adults

    After meals , your blood sugar should be:

    • Less than 180 mg/dL for adults

    Does Blood Sugar Level Change With Age

    Many factors changes with age and even sometimes co-morbidities gets added. To adopt with these certain conditions, optimum levels of different substances in blood also changes. So the same goes for the blood sugar. It has been confirmed by different studies that fasting blood sugar level increases with age considering different factors like obesity.

    But, now the question comes, how much increment will be considered as normal? Obviously not random! It has a specific level but the increment varies depending on various conditions.

    It is said that the ideal level of blood sugar increases with the passing of decade through your adult years due to benign physiological changes which decrease the glucose tolerance.

    Basically, if you are quite healthy then, 2mg per 100 ml rise is considered as normal through the advancing years. But this issue is seen to bewilder both clinicians and investigations alike.

    However, this small extent is only for fasting. Besides this, you may notice that your postprandial sugar levels are also escalating. Be conscious! Because it must not increase more than 4mg per 100ml. Again, sugar level may elevate up to 8 to 13mg per 100 ml per decade following a glucose challenge.

    The above-mentioned levels are for those who are comparatively healthy and are not suffering from any other disease apart from diabetes.

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