Causes Of Low Blood Sugar
There are many reasons why you may have low blood sugar, including:
- Taking too much insulin.
- Not eating enough carbs for how much insulin you take.
- Timing of when you take your insulin.
- The amount and timing of physical activity.
- Drinking alcohol.
- How much fat, protein, and fiber are in your meal.
- Hot and humid weather.
- Unexpected changes in your schedule.
- Spending time at a high altitude.
- Going through puberty.
Extremely Dry Itchy Skin
Dry, itchy skin
If you have diabetes, youre more likely to have dry skin. High blood sugar can cause this. If you have a skin infection or poor circulation, these could also contribute to dry, itchy skin.
- Tell your doctor about your extremely dry skin. Gaining better control of diabetes can reduce dryness.
- If you continue to have dry skin after you gain better control of your diabetes, a dermatologist can help.
Causes Of Blood Sugar Levels
Whilst the liver and muscles produce some glucose, most comes from the foods we eat. Food and drinks that are high in carbohydrates are most impactful on blood sugar level. What we eat provides us most of the nutrients our body needs and sometimes, does not need. That is not to say that food is a major cause of blood sugar level increasing or decreasing too dramatically.
Typically, if a person has health conditions or poor nutrition, this will lead to a spike or decline in blood sugar level. The causes differ from high to low blood sugar levels and are as follows:
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Is The A1c Test Used During Pregnancy
Health care professionals may use the A1C test early in pregnancy to see if a woman with risk factors had undiagnosed diabetes before becoming pregnant. Since the A1C test reflects your average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months, testing early in pregnancy may include values reflecting time before you were pregnant. The glucose challenge test or the oral glucose tolerance test are used to check for gestational diabetes, usually between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If you had gestational diabetes, you should be tested for diabetes no later than 12 weeks after your baby is born. If your blood glucose is still high, you may have type 2 diabetes. Even if your blood glucose is normal, you still have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the future and should get tested every 3 years.
Family Medicine & Primary Care Practice Located In Amherst Ny & Cheektowaga Ny
Blood sugar testing helps confirm a diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes and, if you have a diabetic condition, evaluates how well your glucose levels are being managed. At Northeast Medical, PC in Amherst and Cheektowaga, New York, Tajinderpal Singh, MD, and his skilled team provide blood sugar testing to help you maintain optimal health. Call today or book online to schedule your appointment for diabetic management support or a general evaluation of your blood sugar.
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Are You At Risk Of Prediabetes
Prediabetes is a condition with increased blood sugar, but how is it measured? Exactly what sugar level range is considered prediabetic, and how is that different from diabetes? Here is what you need to know about blood sugar levels in prediabetes, and what you can do about yours.
If you have been told that you have prediabetes, or you think that you might have it or be at risk for it, you can take your awareness in a positive way. While nobody actually wants to think about having a chronic health condition, being aware of prediabetes can be seen as a fork in the road of life.
On one branch of the fork in the road, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes. Most people who get prediabetes take this branch, and end up with diabetes. However, you can choose to take the other branch in the road because in most cases, prediabetes is reversible.
Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes? Lark Diabetes Prevention Program is a personalized program to help you lower your risk by making healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and increasing physical activity. Your personal Lark coach is available to support you 24/7 on your smartphone. Lark can help you make small changes that fit into your lifestyle and have big results for your health!
Normal Blood Sugar Levels After Eating For Diabetics
The American Diabetes Association recommends that the blood sugar 1 to 2 hours after the beginning of a meal be less than 180 mg/dl for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes. This is typically the peak, or highest, blood sugar level in someone with diabetes. Again, this target may need to be individualized for certain people based on such factors as duration of diabetes, age and life expectancy, cognitive status, other health conditions, cardiovascular complications, and hypoglycemia unawareness. Its important that people with diabetes discuss their target blood sugar goals with their health care provider.
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Factors That Can Affect A1c Results
A1C measures sugar thats attached to hemoglobin in your blood. One type of hemoglobin, hemoglobin A, is the most common. But there are many more types of hemoglobin, known as hemoglobin variants. In some cases, having a hemoglobin variant can affect your A1C results.
About of people around the world are born with hemoglobin variants, and most people dont know they have it. Some hemoglobin variants are more common in people of African, Mediterranean, or Asian heritage.
Having a hemoglobin variant can cause your A1C test result to be incorrectly high or low. If your doctor finds that your A1C results dont seem to be consistent with your symptoms or your other test results, they will likely ask for additional tests.
Some health conditions such as anemia, kidney disease, and liver failure can also affect A1C results. Dont worry your doctor will repeat the tests before making a diagnosis.
How Do I Measure Blood Sugar
If you have diabetes, you probably already keep a watchful eye on your blood sugar through the use of a continuous glucose monitor or a blood sugar meter . Blood sugar measurement is also typically included in routine lab work for people without diabetes — your physician will usually order a glycated hemoglobin test, which measures your average blood sugar over the past two to three months.
Say your A1C test comes back with no sign of diabetes — constantly measuring your blood sugar can still be helpful. For instance, some people experiment with using a CGM to see how their body responds to different types of food. However, it’s good to note that this is a fairly cost-intensive way of figuring out your nutrition, and writing down a food diary that includes how you felt after each meal will also help you figure out what to eat.
Check out these blood sugar monitors if you’re looking for recommendations on how to keep track of your levels at home.
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How Should Blood Sugar Levels Be Before And After Eating
Ideally, before eating , your blood sugars should be between 80-130 mg/dL. One to two hours after eating , your blood sugars should be below 180 mg/dL.
Blood glucose levels can be affected by the type of food consumed, how much, and when but also many other different factors like physical activity, taking other medications, having other medical conditions, stress, age, an illness, and even menstrual periods.
Low Blood Sugar Level Causes
Most low blood sugar level causes are preventable and are caused due to a persons lifestyle and diet habits. Low blood sugar is common among diabetic patients who take medications to increase insulin levels.
All of the above causes are risk factors that may or may not be able to be inhibited. They are important to be aware of and act accordingly to keep yourself from getting a too high or too low blood sugar level.
If a person has medical, lifestyle or diet habits that cause irregular blood sugar levels, symptoms will begin to develop along with the drop or spike in blood sugar, and are as follows:
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Interested In Learning More Read About Normal Blood Glucose Numbers Getting Tested For Type 2 Diabetes And Using Blood Sugar Monitoring To Manage Diabetes
Want to keep track of your blood glucose readings to help you better manage your condition? With our free printable diabetes logbook sheets, youll be able to monitor the effects of food, exercise, medicines and more. One sheet tracks levels for a week. Download your free blood sugar logbook today to start analyzing your patterns!
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
A diagnosis of diabetes is usually made when fasting blood sugar is above 126 mg/dL or the A1Cc is above six percent.
If your fasting blood sugar levels are between 100 and 126 mg/dL you can be diagnosed with prediabetes.
Diabetes develops quite quickly and this can cause even higher blood sugar levels and range between 200 mg/dL and 400 mg/dL or above.
If you have any of the following symptoms, it’s important to speak to your doctor:
- Increased urination
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Slow-healing cuts and bruises
A diagnosis of diabetes is a serious matter, but it doesn’t mean your life has to change dramatically. There are many treatments available that can help you manage your condition and live a long, healthy life. Treatment usually involves a combination of medication, diet, and exercise. You’ll work with your healthcare team to create a treatment plan that’s right for you.
There are two types of diabetes, type one and type two. Type one diabetes is when the pancreas does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body to process glucose from food. Type two diabetes is when the body does not use insulin properly. People with either type of diabetes need to control their blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medication.
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Should I Use A Continuous Glucose Monitor
While a fingerstick blood sugar test gives you a static glimpse of your glucose level at that precise moment in time, a CGM is a more constant flow of information that provides a more complete picture and pattern of how youre doing.
This device monitors glucose levels under the skin, providing real-time results every 1 to 5 minutes. You insert a CGM on your body and wear it for 7 to 14 days, with the diabetes data being streamed to a separate handheld receiver or your smartphone app.
Importantly, you can see in real-time the effects of food and exercise on your glucose levels, and catch cases of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as they happen, avoiding the potentially dangerous consequences. Its also a potentially life-saving tool for people with diabetes who experience hypoglycemia unawareness, alerting them to impending low blood sugars when their own bodies fail to recognize the warning signs.
Research has shown, time and time again, the benefits of CGM in helping people improve their diabetes outcomes. This
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Random Or Casual Plasma Glucose Test
A plasma glucose test is a measure of how much sugar/glucose you have circulating in your blood. Random or Casual simply means that you have blood drawn at a laboratory at any time. Whether you have fasted or recently eaten will not affect the test. A plasma glucose test measurement equal to or greater than 200 milligrams per deciliter indicates that you may have diabetes. To be sure, you will need to have the test results confirmed on another day through another random test, or by taking a fasting plasma glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test.
Blood Sugar Levels In Prediabetes
Blood sugar levels in prediabetes are higher than normal, but not as high as in diabetes. A fasting blood glucose or fasting plasma glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test can assess your blood sugar and can be used to diagnosis prediabetes.
You take the FPG after an overnight fast, without eating or drinking anything with calories. Then you get your blood drawn and wait for your results to come in, which could take hours to weeks depending on your lab and healthcare provider.
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So What Do The Numbers Mean
When it comes to the numbers, there’s no one-size-fits-all target. A1C target levels can vary by each person’s age and other factors, and your target may be different from someone else’s. The goal for most adults with diabetes is an A1C that is less than 7%.
A1C test results are reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher your blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. The A1C test can also be used for diagnosis, based on the following guidelines:
- If your A1C level is between 5.7 and less than 6.5%, your levels have been in the prediabetes range.
- If you have an A1C level of 6.5% or higher, your levels were in the diabetes range.
Now That Youre Checking Your Blood Glucose What Do The Numbers Mean
Depending on your diabetes treatment plan, your doctor or diabetes educator may advise you to check once a week, once a day or up to 10 times a day . But what does it mean when you see a 67, 101, or 350 on your meter? And what is a normal blood sugar, anyway? Great questions! After all, if you dont know what the numbers on your meter mean, its hard to know how youre doing.
The American Diabetes Association provides guidelines for blood glucose goals for people with diabetes, and the goals vary depending on when youre checking your glucose:
Fasting and before meals: 80130 mg/dl
Postprandial : Less than 180 mg/dl
By the way, these guidelines are for non-pregnant adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Children, adolescents and pregnant women may have different goals.
Your blood glucose goals may be different, however. If youre younger, have had diabetes for a shorter amount of time, or are not taking any medicine for your diabetes, your glucose goals might be a little tighter, or lower. Likewise, your blood glucose goals may be higher than what ADA recommends if youre older, have diabetes complications, or dont get symptoms when your blood glucose is low.
Bottom line: talk with your health care provider about the following:
When to check your blood glucose How often to check your blood glucose What your blood glucose goals are
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Tests For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. Youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes , your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.
How Is Insulin Used To Treat Type 1 Diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes almost always take insulin daily to help manage their blood sugar levels. There are two main types of insulin: basal insulin and bolus insulin. Basal insulin, typically taken once per day, provides a constant, low level of insulin. Basal insulin helps keep blood sugars consistent when one is not eating, but it doesnt cover glucose spikes after mealtime. Rapid acting insulin, on the other hand, is given before meals.
Some people with type 1 diabetes also take other medications. For an overview of diabetes drugs, please see diaTribes diabetes drugs resource page.
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Blood Sugar And A1c Levels In Prediabetes
When talking about blood glucose levels in prediabetes and diabetes, you might also hear about A1C. The glycated hemoglobin test, or A1C, is another test that your doctor could order to determine if you have prediabetes or diabetes.
The FBG and OGTT measure blood sugar at the single moment in time when your blood sample is taken. In contrast, A1C helps evaluate your average blood sugar control over the past three months.
The A1C is slightly less common and more expensive than FPG, but not by much. You do not need to fast for the A1C, and it takes only a single blood draw, like the FPG. Here are the A1C values for normal, prediabetes, and diabetes:
Normal Prediabetic Diabetic
- FPG âÃ¢â¢ 100 mg/dl
- A1C âÃ¢â¢ 5.7%, but < 6.4%
- OGTT âÃ¢â¢ 140 mg/dl
- FPB âÃ¢â¢ 126 mg/dl
- A1C âÃ¢â¢ 6.3%
- OGTT âÃ¢â¢ 200 mg/dl