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What Does My Blood Sugar Level Mean

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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels After Eating

What is a normal blood sugar level?

Sugar is your body’s main source of energy. During digestion, carbohydrates are turned into glucose. Your body can use glucose for energy, or store whatever it doesn’t use in your cells for later.

Your blood sugar level is influenced by the food you eat, your age, stress, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol use. Your blood sugar can also be affected by heart conditions and diabetes.

If you want to get an idea of what your normal blood sugar levels are, you’ll need to check them. Your provider might want you to check at different times of the day, but you can start by checking your blood glucose levels one to two hours after eating.

Seeing what your blood sugar is after a meal or snack can help you better understand how your levels are affected by the food you eat as well as when you eat.

If you have diabetes, checking your blood sugar regularly helps you figure out if you’re taking the right dose of insulin .

As a general rule, your blood sugar level should be below 180 mg/dL one to two hours after you start eating a meal or snack.

However, your target blood sugar range will depend on:

What Blood Sugar Levels Are Healthy

This is the big question.

Weve established what normal non-diabetic blood sugar looks like, more or less. And we know what blood sugar goals the medical authorities set for people with diabetes. The problem is that theres some distance between those two levels. Many in the Diabetes Daily community have reasoned that it is best to get their blood sugar as close to normal as is reasonably possible. Should your target be normal blood sugar, the ADA target, or something in between?

The truth is that this is something of a gray area both in the diabetes recommendations and in the medical research. Speaking very generally, the long-term studies that the ADA uses to set its glycemic targets tend to show that the risk of long-term complications such as kidney disease and retinopathy drops off significantly when a patients A1C is lower than 6.5-7 percent. There are plenty of individual studies suggesting that even lower blood sugar levels are as associated with even better health, but the diabetes establishment has not yet made it a priority to issue guidance on the matter.

That leaves us with a situation in which some doctors and endocrinologists tell their patients that an A1C of 7 percent is good enough, while others encourage their patients to try and get as close to normal as possible provided that it doesnt involve an undue risk of hypoglycemia. Some, like the popular Dr. Richard Bernstein, have made the latter approach the guiding philosophy of their practices.

How To Lower High Blood Sugar Rapidly

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Managing Your Dogs Diabetes At Home

Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a common endocrine disorder that affects both humans and dogs. In dogs, the disease can come on at any age and usually requires ongoing treatment. Diabetic dogs often require insulin injections, but determining how much to give them can be a tricky task. The best way to prevent a diabetic dog from developing hypoglycemia is to properly manage their disease on a daily basis. Here are some tips that can help:

Optimize your insulin regimen Dogs with diabetes usually require two daily insulin injections. These should be given at the same time each day, ideally 15 to 30 minutes after a meal. If your dog is refusing to eat, dont administer their insulin, as doing so could push them into hypoglycemia.

Keep a consistent feeding schedule Diabetic dogs do best with timed meals as opposed to free feeding. Aim to feed your dog every 10 to 12 hours or so.

Opt for a prescription diet Prescription diets for diabetic dogs are formulated to keep their blood sugar at healthy levels. Theyre also usually low in fat to prevent your dog from developing pancreatitis. Going with a prescription diet can help owners take some of the guesswork out of their pets nutrition.

How Does Blood Sugar Level Work

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With a lack of nutrients and food that contain glucose, the blood sugar level will begin to decline. This is known as hypoglycemia.

After blood sugar becomes low, the pancreas releases a peptide hormone called glucagon. When this happens, the glucose that is stored in the body for energy is instructed to release due to the liver. This causes the glucose to turn into glycogen, known as the glycogenesis process. This is what can help a body to regain energy as the readily stored glycogen, in the liver and muscles, will release into the body.

On the other hand, the blood sugar can also rise and become too high which is known as hyperglycemia.

When the body does not produce enough of the insulin hormone, blood sugar levels begin to increase. This is because glucose relies on the insulin hormone to help it absorb into the bloodstream. Usually, this occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin, known as type 1 diabetes, or does not respond to insulin correctly, known as type 2 diabetes.

Eating too many processed foods can also cause your blood sugar level to rise. If there is not enough insulin present in the body, too much bad food can cause your blood sugar level to build up.

For those with a normal blood sugar level, this will be due to eating the right foods and your body being able to produce and respond to insulin.

You may be wondering what exactly causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels, so here is a roundup:

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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 High Blood Glucose

People who do not have diabetes typically have fasting plasma blood glucose levels that run under 100 mg/dl.

Your physician will define for you what your target blood glucose should be identifying a blood glucose target that is as close to normal as possible that you can safely achieve given your overall medical health. In general, high blood glucose, also called ‘hyperglycemia’, is considered “high” when it is 160 mg/dl or above your individual blood glucose target. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider what he or she thinks is a safe target for you for blood glucose before and after meals.

If your blood glucose runs high for long periods of time, this can pose significant problems for your long-term increased risk of complications, such as eye disease, kidney disease, heart attacks and strokes and more. High blood glucose can pose health problems in the short-term as well. Your treatment plan may need adjustment if the blood glucose stays over 180 mg/dl for 3 days in a row. It is important to aim to keep your blood glucose under control and treat hyperglycemia when it occurs.

  • Increased thirst
  • Slow healing cuts and sores
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Too little exercise or physical activity
  • Skipped or not enough diabetes pills or insulin
  • Insulin that has spoiled after being exposed to extreme heat or freezing cold
  • Stress, illness, infection, injury or surgery
  • A blood glucose meter that is not reading accurately

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Who Should Get An A1c Test And When

Testing for diabetes or prediabetes:Get a baseline A1C test if youre an adult over age 45or if youre under 45, are overweight, and have one or more risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes:

  • If your result is normal but youre over 45, have risk factors, or have ever had gestational diabetes, repeat the A1C test every 3 years.
  • If your result shows you have prediabetes, talk to your doctor about taking steps now to improve your health and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. Repeat the A1C test as often as your doctor recommends, usually every 1 to 2 years.
  • If you dont have symptoms but your result shows you have prediabetes or diabetes, get a second test on a different day to confirm the result.
  • If your test shows you have diabetes, ask your doctor to refer you to diabetes self-management education and support services so you can have the best start in managing your diabetes.

Managing diabetes:If you have diabetes, get an A1C test at least twice a year, more often if your medicine changes or if you have other health conditions. Talk to your doctor about how often is right for you.

What About Dramatic Changes In Blood Sugar

What I Learned Tracking My Blood Sugar & Why You Should Too (Levels Health CGM)

So far, we have learned that high glucose causes fatigue and low glucose causes fatigue. Guess what, these swings also zap our energy. When we have large swings in blood sugar it increases the amount of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with chronic fatigue. This is just another way in which glucose dysregulation is associated with decreased energy levels, fatigue, and decreased alertness.

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What Does A Blood Sugar Level Of 1000 Mean

Extremely high blood sugar levels can induce diabetic ketoacidosis, which can result in loss of consciousness and death. IV fluids and insulin are used to treat extremely high blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar levels can cause many problems including dry mouth, dry skin, fatigue, weight loss, poor concentration, headache, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, or urinary frequency. If you have diabetes, your doctor will check your blood sugar often. They will do this either by taking a sample of your blood or by using one of the many blood glucose meters on the market. Your doctor may also ask you to test your urine or breath for signs of alcohol or glycemic control products.

Blood sugar levels below 400 mg/dL may be cause for concern because these levels are above those considered normal for non-diabetics. However, low blood sugar readings occur as a natural reaction to stress or exercise. Further testing is required to determine if the reading is an indication of a medical problem such as diabetes or hypoglycemia .

Readers should know that blood sugar levels vary depending on what type of test is used. A blood glucose meter reads plasma glucose. A blood serum glucose test reads serum glucose. Both tests measure the amount of glucose in your blood.

What Are The Recommended Targets For Blood Glucose Levels

Many people with diabetes aim to keep their blood glucose at these normal levels:

  • Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
  • About 2 hours after a meal starts: less than 180 mg/dL

Talk with your health care team about the best target range for you. Be sure to tell your health care professional if your glucose levels often go above or below your target range.

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No Symptoms Be Alarmed

Surprisingly, the most dangerous episodes of hypoglycemia occur with little or no warning. When low blood glucose occurs on a regular basis, the body can become used to the warning signs and the person may stop noticing symptoms. This is a particularly dangerous condition known as hypoglycemic unawareness. People with this condition might not realize they have low blood glucose until its dangerously low seizures and coma are sometimes the first indication of a problem. The good news is that this condition can often be reversed allowing people to once again notice the signs of low blood glucose if hypoglycemia is avoided for a few weeks through careful monitoring of blood glucose.

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What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level

Pin on Diabetes

In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:

  • the effects of medicine especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas , medicines called glinides , or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
  • skipping or delaying a meal
  • not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
  • exercise, especially if it’s intense or unplanned
  • drinking alcohol

Sometimes there’s no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.

Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.

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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels In Healthy Individuals

Blood sugar levels can either be normal, high, or low, depending on how much glucose someone has in their bloodstream. Glucose is a simple sugar thats present in the bloodstream at all times. Blood glucose levels can be measured at any time, for example, when someone fasts , before they eat, or after theyve eaten. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, who havent eaten for at least eight hours is less than 100 mg/dL. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, two hours after eating, is 90 to 110 mg/dL.

Many factors affect blood sugar levels throughout the day:

  • Type of food consumed, how much, and when
  • Physical activity
  • Menstrual periods

An ideal blood sugar level for anyone without diabetes or prediabetes, regardless of age, in the morning should be less than 100 mg/dL. Remember, blood sugar levels can fluctuate throughout the day as a result of the factors previously mentioned.

How Can We Improve Energy Levels With Blood Sugar Management

When we talk about blood sugar and energy we are not referring to the spike in energy that would normally be associated with an energy drink. Most energy drinks contain caffeine or another stimulant that boosts the adrenal system, which can lead to jitters and a delayed energy crash. Instead, when we control our blood sugar, we prolong our baseline energy levels by reducing the occurrence of energy drops. In this way, we can help to sustain our energy levels throughout the day.

Ways in which we can manage our blood sugar include exercise, proper nutrition, tools like GOOD IDEA, and meal sequencing. Exercise can help to improve our insulin sensitivity and more effectively transport glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells to be used as fuel.

Practicing healthy nutritional choices is likely the most effective way that we can control our blood sugar. By choosing foods that do not spike our blood sugar we can reduce the extreme highs and lows that zap our energy. Start by swapping out highly-processed foods and sugary drinks for high-protein and low-sugar options. Individuals who choose to use a continuous glucose monitor can test specific foods and monitor the glucose response to identify foods that do not cause a blood sugar spike. In this way, we can make more informed food choices to appropriately control blood sugar.

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What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels

Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity can all help. Other tips include:

  • Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
  • Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
  • Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
  • Drink water instead of juice or soda.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks.
  • For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
  • Control your food portions .

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