How Can I Check My Blood Sugar
Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.
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Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Conducted after fasting for eight hours, drinking a high-sugar glucose solution, and waiting two more hours a reading of at least 140 mg/dL is considered a sign of prediabetes. A reading of 200 mg/dL or higher is type 2 diabetes. For optimal health, you want to aim for a two-hour glucose of 110 mg/dL or lower.
Changes In Diet Patterns Or Food Content Can Cause Blood Sugar Fluctuations
Changes in Diet can fluctuate blood sugar.
All other people know that high carbohydrate content in the food will spike blood sugars. However, not everybody is aware of the glycemic index. The Glycemic index is an indicator of how fast the blood sugar will spike with the same amount of carbohydrates. For example at 30 g of carbohydrates in apple have a much lower glycemic index and 30 g of carbohydrates in the breakfast cereal. Blood sugar may spike twice or 3 times faster with the breakfast cereal compared to apple with the same amount of carbohydrates.
Another point that You have to be aware of is the fat content in the food. Anytime you eat carbohydrates with high animal fat content your blood sugars may spike much higher and the spike may come delayed many hours after a high fat, high carb meal.
On the contrary, if you eat very healthy and eat very little carbs the medications you have been taking for your regular diet may be too much especially if you are on sulfonylureas or short-acting insulins.
In summary, to prevent blood sugars go up and down or fluctuate too much you have to pay attention to the glycemic index and fat content in your diet in addition to paying attention to carbohydrates.
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What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels
Managing diabetes is like a three-way balancing act because you have to watch:
All three need to be balanced. If any one of these is off, blood sugar levels can be too. 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
- not following the meal plan
- not getting enough exercise
- having an illness, like the flu
- taking other kinds of medicines that affect how your diabetes medicines work
A single high blood sugar reading usually isn’t cause for alarm it happens to everyone with diabetes from time to time. But if you have high blood sugar levels a lot, let your parents and your diabetes health care team know. Insulin or meal plans may need adjusting, or you may have an equipment issue, like an insulin pump that isn’t working right. Whatever the case, make sure you get help so you can get your blood sugar levels back under control.
Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level
A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. Youll learn how it makes you feel, although your symptoms may change over time.
Early signs of a low blood sugar level include:
- seizures or fits
- collapsing or passing out
A low blood sugar level, or hypo, can also happen while youre sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets in the morning.
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How Often Is A1c Tested
To keep A1C levels in check, patients should have the test repeated regularly. If the A1C is less than 5.7, indicating you dont have diabetes, you should have it checked every three years, according to Robert Williams, MD, a family doctor and geriatrician in Lakewood, Colorado, and a medical advisor for eMediHealth. If it is between 5.7 and 6.4, indicating you are at risk of developing diabetes, you should have it rechecked every one to two years. If you have a confirmed diabetes diagnosis, and your blood sugar is well-controlled, you should have an A1C test every six months. If you already have diabetes and your medications change, or your blood sugar is not well-controlled, you should have an A1C test every three months.
What Causes Blood Sugar Fluctuations
Here is Why your blood sugar might be up and down or fluctuate too much:
- Taking the excessive or inadequate amount of diabetes medication
- Changes in diet patterns or food content such as eating fried food or high carbohydrate content
- Change in the activity level such as starting a new activity or exercise
- Stress and anxiety
- Variability in diabetes medication absorption, For example, insulin absorption can vary by up to 20% every injection
- Variability in carbohydrate consumption and incorrect nutritional labels
- Brittle diabetes
Let us elaborate on these topics.
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How Can I Pay For Tests And Diabetes Supplies
Medicareexternal icon, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and fasting blood sugar test as well as some diabetes supplies. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low-cost or free supplies, and see How to Save Money on Diabetes Care for more resources.
If You Regularly Have High Blood Sugar Levels
Having high blood sugar levels regularly is not something you should live with. This is because in the long-term it can increase your risk of developing diabetes complications, such as neuropathy and retinopathy.
If you notice that your blood sugar levels are often high, you should contact your diabetes healthcare team. They will review your treatment and provide you with advice on how to get your blood sugar levels back within your target range. This advice may include increasing your medication.
In the video below, Lynsey talks to Khalida about feeling anxious after getting a high blood sugar level reading. If youre finding it hard to deal with similar feelings, weve got information on emotional health that you may find helpful.
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Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
Learning to recognize the symptoms of hyperglycemia can help you successfully manage your diabetes.
Some people with diabetes immediately feel the symptoms of high blood sugar. Others dont because their symptoms are mild or vague.
Symptoms of hyperglycemia typically begin when your blood glucose goes above per deciliter . Symptoms can worsen the longer its untreated.
Symptoms of a blood sugar spike may include:
- frequent urination
How Can High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning Be Controlled
Once you and your doctor determine how your blood sugar levels are behaving at night, he or she can advise you about the changes you need to make to better control them. Options that your doctor may discuss depend on the cause of the morning high blood sugars.
For dawn phenomenon:
- Changing the timing or type of your diabetes medications
- Eating a lighter breakfast
- Increasing your morning dose of diabetes medication
- If you take insulin, switching to an insulin pump and programming it to release additional insulin in the morning
For Somogyi effect:
- Diabetes Forecast. Why Is My Blood Glucose So High in the Morning? Accessed 8/8/2018.
- American Diabetes Association. Somogyi effect, also called rebound hyperglycemia Accessed 8/8/2018.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. Dawn Phenomenon. Accessed 8/8/2018.
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If My A1c Is Normal My Glucose Is Good
An A1C result thatâs below 5.7% is normal âs standards, but having a result below that number isnât the end of the story. Pregnancy, hemoglobin variants, anemia, liver disease, and certain medications can cause inaccurate A1C results.
Additionally, the A1C test is measuring your average glucose value over the past 3 months, but averages inherently do not capture highs and lows. So, you could have a normal average while also having abnormal glucose spikes. The A1C test should only supplement your regular blood sugar testing, not replace it completely.
Variability In Carbohydrate Consumption And Incorrect Nutritional Labels Can Cause Blood Sugar Fluctuations
Unfortunately, regulatory agencies do not always disclose certain facts. One of the facts is that nutrition facts can also have a certain degree of certainty which is allowed by regulatory agencies and by law. This Uncertainty can be again up to 20%. If you are counting carbs or trying to count carbs, knowing that even nutrition facts are not 100% accurate will make it extremely difficult to stay on track and prevent fluctuations. This means that 100 g that is reported on the nutrition label can actually be 120 g of carbohydrates. Of course, given the variability in the insulin absorption and variability in the nutrition facts will put you at a significant risk for blood sugars to go up and down or fluctuate significantly. This is even more of a problem for patients with type 1 diabetes.
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/5reasons Of High Blood Sugar In Non
Those diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes know that their blood sugar level fluctuates drastically, and they need to monitor it regularly to keep it under control. But the blood sugar level is also influenced by day-to day-activities, so the rise and fall in it is usual even in those not diagnosed with the condition. It becomes problematic when it remains consistently high.
How Can I Track My Blood Glucose
There are two ways to keep track of your blood glucose levels:
Using a blood glucose meter to measure your blood glucose level at that moment
Getting an A1C test at least twice a year to find out your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months
This hand-out was published in Clinical Diabetes, Vol. 36, issue 2, 2018, and was adapted from the American Diabetes Associations Diabetes Advisor handout Factors Affecting Blood Glucose. Visit the Associations Patient Education Library at for hundreds of free, downloadable handouts in English and Spanish. Distribute these to your patients and share them with others on your health care team. Copyright American Diabetes Association, Inc., 2018.
American Diabetes Association
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What Is High Blood Sugar
Elevated blood sugar levels are known as hyperglycemia. Blood sugar levels are measured using a small sample of blood that is tested in a lab. Blood sugar can also be tested using at home devices such as a handheld glucometer. Levels that indicate hyperglycemia are indicative of prediabetes and both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Normal ranges of blood sugar will vary depending on the test being done. In general, a normal fasting glucose level will be between 70-100 mg/dL. After a meal, these levels are expected to rise slightly around 1 to 2 hours after the beginning of a meal, but should be less than 180 ml/dL.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is important not only for metabolic health, but heart health too. Over time, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. People with diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions that raise the risk for heart disease:
- High blood pressure increases the force of blood through your arteries and can damage artery walls. Having both high blood pressure and diabetes can greatly increase your risk for heart disease.
- Too much LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream can form plaque on damaged artery walls.
What Is Pediatric Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose, is defined as having a blood glucose level above your target. It can be caused by too much food, not enough insulin, less activity than usual, stress or illness. Children will sometimes outgrow their insulin dosage, and have high glucose values. Be sure to discuss this with your childs endocrinologist and/or primary care provider.
Normal glucose levels:
- Before a meal: 80 130
- 2 hours after a meal: less than 160
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Stress And Anxiety Can Cause Blood Sugar Fluctuations
Blood sugars can go up and down due to stress and anxiety
Unfortunately when you are under stress and have anxiety our body produces stress hormones. The most commonly known stress hormones are cortisol and adrenaline. These are the same hormones that can increase blood sugars in the morning known as the dawn phenomenon. However, chronically elevated stress and anxiety can lead to elevated cortisol and adrenaline levels which are hormones that reduce the efficacy of insulin. Pain is another reason that can increase blood sugar levels through the same mechanism. Thinking positively and finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety can definitely improve blood sugar levels.
Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
If your test results show you have prediabetes, ask your doctor or nurse if there is a lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in your community. You can also search for an online or in-person program. Having prediabetes puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but participating in the program can lower your risk by as much as 58% .
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Normal Range Of Blood Sugar Levels
The normal range of blood glucose levels for individuals with diabetes is between 80 and 130 milligrams per deciliter . When levels are too low, the person may experience hypoglycemia, which is characterized by shakiness, sweating, dizziness, or confusion. When blood sugar levels are too high, the person may experience hyperglycemia, which is characterized as extreme thirst and urination and blurred vision. Blood glucose levels can be checked by pricking a finger to get a drop of blood and putting it on a glucose meter.
The normal blood sugar range is between 80-120 mg/dL .
- Fruit juice
Grapes are deemed healthy, however, overdoing do them could negatively affect your blood sugar levels, warns Diabetes.co.uk
The health body explains: While there are properties of grape seeds that help to lower blood glucose levels, a single grape contains approximately 1g of carbohydrate.
Because of this, diabetic people should moderate their grape consumption, particularly if they are prone to high blood sugar levels.
If you consider a serving of dried fruit is only a tablespoon and packs in 20g carbs total sugar, you can see how easily this happens, added Diabetes.co.uk
Managing Blood Sugar Levels
Many people with diabetes must check their blood sugar levels daily with a glucose meter. This device takes a drop of blood, usually from a finger, and displays the sugar level within a few seconds.
People with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin as their doctor recommends, usually several times a day.
Those with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes may need to change their diet and exercise habits. They may also need to take oral medications or insulin.
A number of strategies can help prevent hyperglycemia.
- check their blood sugar levels as their doctor advises and take the correct amount of insulin, if they have type 1 diabetes
- speak to their healthcare provider or dietitian about which foods to eat or avoid, how much to eat, and how often
- take precautions to avoid infections, for example, through regular hand washing, as illness, such as a cold, can trigger a rise in blood pressure
- plan their food intake and exercise to balance blood sugar levels
- minimize stress, as far as possible, for example, through exercise, getting enough sleep, and stress-reducing activities such as meditation or yoga
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can happen when a person:
- has certain medical conditions
- does a lot of exercise
- skips meals or eats too little
It can also be a side effect of diabetes medicines. Taking too much insulin can result in low blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
- visit a doctor regularly
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What Are Normal And High Morning Blood Sugar Levels
The term morning blood sugar describes your blood sugar level after you wake up but before you eat anything. This fasting measurement shows how well your body controlled your blood sugar overnight.
When you eat, it leads to an increase in blood sugar. Insulin lets the sugar leave your blood and enter the cells in your body, converting it into useful energy.
If you dont regularly monitor your blood sugar to manage a condition like diabetes, you may not be aware of your fasting blood sugar level. But you might want to understand what your levels mean if you get a result back from your regular physicians checkup.
Consistently high blood sugar can cause tiredness and mental fogginess and can lead to serious health problems if untreated, but most mild cases cause no noticeable symptoms at all.
Most people learn they have high blood sugar after seeing a doctor about something else.
Try Doing More Exercise
Working out uses blood glucose for fuel, moving it from your blood to your muscles. A 2021 review found that exercise helped people living with and without diabetes control their fasting blood glucose.
If you find that you tend to wake up with high blood sugar, try going for a run, following a YouTube workout, or booking yourself into gym classes. This could help you bring down your morning blood sugar spikes.
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