Monday, October 3, 2022

What Are Good And Bad Blood Sugar Levels

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How Do Doctors Diagnose Prediabetes

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Diabetes is a measure of levels of sugar in your bloodstream. Physicians check this in two different ways:

1. A standard blood glucose test

This requires you to fast before a blood test, so your PCP or endocrinologist can check the level of glucose in your bloodstream at any given time. Ideally, fasting glucose levels should be 99 mg/dL or lower. If your fasting blood glucose levels are between 100 and 125mg/dL, it could be considered prediabetes, says Martha McKittrick RD. I like to have people get a second test done, to make sure its accurate, she says. A reading higher than 126 mg/dL indicates diabetes.

2. An A1C blood test

The test for A1C, or hbA1c, is a non-fasting blood test that measures the average amount of glucose in your blood stream over a period of three months and is measured in percentages. A healthy percentage is under 5.7%. A result between 5.7 and 6.4% suggests prediabetes. Anything higher than 6.5% indicates diabetes.

A person who is prediabetic may not always show symptoms. In fact, the majority dont. Oftentimes, an asymptomatic person will only get a prediabetes diagnosis if their general physician gives them a blood glucose test or checks their hbA1C readings and finds an atypical result.

Although most people dont show noticeable symptoms of prediabetes, if you are experiencing fatigue, excessive hunger, excessive thirst, and frequent urination, its better to be safe than sorry. Make an appointment to get your glucose levels checked ASAP.

When To See A Healthcare Provider

Getting professional medical advice from a healthcare provider like an endocrinologist is the best way to learn more about whether your blood sugar levels are where they should be. Not getting proper treatment for low or high blood sugar levels can be serious and lead to health complications, especially for those with diabetes. Diabetes complications include nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, or heart attacks.

If you see a healthcare provider about your blood sugar levels, be prepared to answer questions about risk factors like what you eat, how much you exercise, and about your family history. Some healthcare providers may want to take a blood sample to test your blood sugar levels. They may also order an A1C test, which is a blood test that measures blood sugar levels over several months. You may have to fast eight hours beforehand to get accurate test results, so its always a good idea to check before your appointment.

If your blood sugar level goes above 250 mg/dL, you should go to the ER for immediate medical attention, says Dr. Tarugu. Emergency rooms are equipped to handle high blood sugar levels and can administer treatments like insulin therapy and fluid or electrolyte replacement.

Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy

The NIDDK states that gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that occurs during pregnancy if you were not diabetic before getting pregnant. Healthy blood sugar during pregnancy can help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. It can also lower the risk of your baby being born prematurely, at a high birth weight, and having respiratory problems.

Blood sugar and insulin levels during the first trimester of pregnancy tend to be lower than usual, but they rise during the late second and early third trimesters. You can be diagnosed with an oral glucose tolerance test .

These are the steps for the 2-step strategy.

  • Drink a solution with 50 grams of glucose about the amount in 1 16-oz. bottle of a soft drink
  • Get your blood drawn after 1 hour. IF the value is high, retest
  • Fast overnight
  • Drink a solution with 100 grams of glucose about the amount in 12 peanut butter cups
  • Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1, 2, and 3 hours

Or, your doctor might use the 1-step strategy with a 2-hour OGTT:

  • Fast overnight
  • Drink a solution with 75 grams of glucose
  • Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1 and 2 hours

These are some values to know from NIDKK related to gestational diabetes and healthy blood sugar in pregnancy.

Time or Situation
Baseline: at least 105 mg/dl1 hour: at least 190 mg/dl2 hours: at least 165 mg/dl3 hours: at least 145 mg/dl

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Causes Of Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar is common for people with type 1 diabetes and can occur in people with type 2 diabetes taking insulin or certain medications. The average person with type 1 diabetes may experience up to two episodes of mild low blood sugar each week, and thats only counting episodes with symptoms. If you add in lows without symptoms and the ones that happen overnight, the number would likely be higher.

Frequently Asked Questions: Faqs

The Only Blood Sugar Chart You

Can diabetes go away?

Yes! Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are reversible conditions for most people who commit to a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.

What are the warning signs for prediabetes?

The primary indicator of prediabetes is a hemoglobin A1C level of 5.7% or greater. Other risk factors include being overweight, being 45 years or older, smoking, physical inactivity, or having a family history of prediabetes.

What level of A1C is dangerous?

An A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4% means your blood sugar is higher than normal. An A1C reading of 6.5% indicates diabetes, and an A1C level of 8% or above is a sign of uncontrolled diabetes, meaning you have a higher risk of developing complications such as kidney damage or stroke.

Whats the best way to reverse prediabetes?

The best way is a combination of 1) whatever way works for you and 2) whatever way is sustainable.

Some people can control their blood sugar with modifications to their diet and lifestyle, while others need medication as well. The most important thing is to collaborate with your doctor to find the treatment plan that gets your blood sugar in check and keeps it there so that you dont develop T2D.

Is diabetes curable?

No, but it is reversible. If you catch your prediabetes before it morphs into type 2 diabetes, you can turn back the process and avoid becoming diabetic. Even T2D can be kicked if it is caught before it is allowed to progress. So, take heart. You can do this!

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Low Blood Sugar: What To Watch Out For

Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes who:

  • Take too much medication or insulin
  • Are late eating a meal or snack
  • Have increased physical activity
  • Drink too much alcohol

Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling weak, sweaty or clammy, confused, hungry and/or irritable. Sometimes people experience a fast heartbeat and some symptoms may make a person appear to be drunk. A severely low blood sugar can result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma or death especially when a low occurs during the night.

Low blood sugar affects many parts of the body, but the most frustrating part can be that hypoglycemia can happen anytime and anywhere even when you think you are closely following the plan for your diabetes care. If low blood sugar is severe, people may need to go to the hospital to help raise their glucose level or miss work due to the side effects.

It can happen during a date, during a business meeting, or even while driving, which is the most dangerous scenario if there is confusion or loss of consciousness while behind the wheel. Its important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar before you drive to keep yourself and others safe. Frequent testing with your blood sugar meter and taking action when blood sugar is trending low can prevent a severe low and keep your life on track.

How Do I Check My Blood Sugar

You use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This device uses a small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level. You can get the meter and supplies in a drug store or by mail.

Read the directions that come with your meter to learn how to check your blood sugar. Your health care team also can show you how to use your meter. Write the date, time, and result of the test in your blood sugar record. Take your blood sugar record and meter to each visit and talk about your results with your health care team.

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What If I Have Trouble Getting To My Blood Sugar Goals

There may be times when you have trouble reaching your blood sugar goals. This does not mean that you have failed. It means that you and your health care team should see if changes are needed. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is often too high or too low. Taking action will help you be healthy today and in the future.

Beyond Normal Goals: Whats An Optimal Glucose Level And Why Does It Matter

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Exact numbers for what is considered optimal glucose levels to strive for while using CGM to achieve your best health are not definitively established this is a question that is individual-specific and should be discussed with your healthcare provider. With that said, research shows that there is an increased risk of health problems as fasting glucose increases, even if it stays within the normal range, making finding your optimal glucose levels all the more important.

While the International Diabetes Federation and other research studies have shown that a post-meal glucose spike should be less than 140 mg/dL in a nondiabetic individual, this does not determine what value for a post-meal glucose elevation is truly optimal for your health. All that number tells us is that in nondiabetics doing an oral glucose tolerance test, researchers found that these individuals rarely get above a glucose value of 140 mg/dL after meals.

So, while this number may represent a proposed upper limit of whats normal, it may not indicate what will serve you best from a health perspective. Many people may likely do better at lower post-meal glucose levels. Similarly, while the ADA states that a fasting glucose less than 100 mg/dL is normal, it does not indicate what value is optimal for health.

The following is a summary of insights from our review of research. You should consult with your doctor before setting any glucose targets or changing dietary and lifestyle habits.

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How To Calculate Your Blood Sugar Level: The Complete Guide

To get an accurate reading of your blood sugar level, the best and most effective method is using a glucose meter. This will involve a small prick in your finger so receive a blood sample. The strip is then inserted into the meter and tested.

You may be wondering what your reading should be. There is no normal reading, an ideal reading differs from person to person. Everyone will get different readings at different times of the day. However, there is a rough range to determining a low, normal and high blood sugar level. Blood sugar level is read in mmol/L, which stands for millimoles per liter. Here is a guide as to what an ideal reading is for each diabetic type and non-diabetic patients:

Child
4 5.9 mmol/L< 7.8 mmol/L 4 5.9 mmol/L< 7.8 mmol/L

It is advised to check it regularly if you are concerned, show regular symptoms or have diabetes. You should check before meals, exercise, before bedtime and after driving. Everyone is different so it is best to ask your doctor if you are unsure how many times and when you should check your blood sugar levels.

Research shows that over 50% who try to estimate their blood sugar level reading are incorrect. This may be due to over underlying medical conditions that did not know they had or poor lack of judgement. Therefore, this suggests it is very important to test at home to check in on your levels regularly to avoid any unnecessary future complications.

How To Reduce Blood Sugar

You can take steps to reach your blood sugar goals as soon as you find out that it is high. This is how to reduce blood sugar if you have a single high reading that may be dangerous:

  • Ask your doctor what to do if you missed a dose of insulin or another diabetes medication
  • Ask your doctor if your medication types and doses are still appropriate for you
  • Drink water to dilute the sugar
  • Exercise for 15 minutes
  • Eat a small protein snack, such as a hard-boiled egg, ½ ounce of peanuts or pistachios or other nuts, ½ cup of beans, or ½ cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese

If you have chronically high blood sugar in prediabetes or diabetes, you can follow this treatment plan:

  • Exercise regularly, assuming your doctor approves it
  • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
  • Eat a higher proportion of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fruit
  • Limit sugary foods and beverages, fried foods, refined starches, and processed and fatty red meats
  • Beware of starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, which can spike your blood sugar. Check out our guide of which veggies to avoid!

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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.

How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar

Is a one

The number of times that you check your blood sugar will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and the type of medicine you take to treat your diabetes. For example, people who take insulin may need to check more often than people who do not take insulin. Talk with your health care team about how often to check your blood sugar.

The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up , before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime. Talk with your health care team about what times are best for you to check your blood sugar.

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What Too Low Blood Sugar Is Considered Dangerous

Amongst diabetics, there is another concern regarding their blood sugar readings: VERY LOW BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS.

They are of great concern, and sometimes, an emergency issue. Various factors contribute to low levels of blood sugar, including the natural changes one is doing, drugs he/she is taking, alcohol drinking, etc.

Therefore, it is compulsory to check for any dangerous levels, especially after having your exercise or taking your drugs, as most probably an episode of low blood glucose will occur .

Moreover, you can prepare your own blood sugar chart together with your doctor, where you can put the dangerously high and low blood glucose ranges.

Therefore, it is much easier for you to monitor your situation.

If you are asking what blood glucose level is considered dangerous then, you should know that it all depends on your current health situation.

However, the dangerous sugar levels, where the symptoms of hypoglycemia will occur, are considered those less than 40 mg/dL.

Shaking, nausea, tremors, sweating or increased heart palpitations are some symptoms to recognize your blood sugar is dropping.

Then, you should take a sweet or a glass of fruit juice or a quarter of sugary water .

What Are Considered Normal Blood Sugar Levels

You might not have diabetes now, but do you know the risk factors?

In 2015, 22% of Canadian adults were pre-diabetic and the number of Canadians suffering from diabetes has increased by 44% in the last 10 years. As the leading cause of blindness, kidney problems, and non-trauma amputations, it is important to protect ourselves against diabetes.

But its not all bad news, diabetes is often a preventable disease. Knowing whether you have normal blood sugar levels is one of the best indicators of risk. If your blood sugar levels are high, mindful eating and lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

Read on for all the hottest tips on how to manage your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.

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Treatment For High Blood Sugar Levels

For those with high blood sugar levels, it is vital to keep track of your blood sugars at home on a daily basis. This can be done with a glucose meter. These test monitors are often provided to diabetic patients so that they can manage their blood sugar levels at home everyday. They are available to purchase online if you are non-diabetic but wish to check on your levels regularly for safety.

Diabetic patients can be prescribed medications to help with insulin levels when their blood sugar is high. Those with type 1 diabetes will be prescribed medication which needs to be taken several times daily. This type of diabetes has no cure but can be managed with the right medication.

Those with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes can treat their high blood sugar with a change in diet or exercise. A healthier balanced diet is usually advised and sometimes, insulin medication is also prescribed if the blood sugar level becomes abnormally higher than the high reading for diabetic patients.

What Is A Prediabetes Diet

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A diet for prediabetes looks a lot different than a typical American one. I like to tell my clients to reserve half of your plate for vegetables, a quarter of your plate for protein, and a quarter of your plate for healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains and fruit, says McKittrick.

A person with prediabetes should not eat processed carbohydrates that are high in sugar, but instead get carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, legumes, and starchy vegetables . If you want to cut out carbs, you certainly can, but you dont have to, McKittrick says. They taste good, they give you energy, and usually it’s not sustainable to give them up completely.

Also shoot for 25-30-grams of fiber from food each day, as fiber-rich foods such as oatmeal and crunchy vegetables improve insulin resistance and keep you fuller, longer.

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