What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level Before Breakfast And 2 Hours After Breakfast
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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.
Sprinkle On The Cinnamon
Need another reason to love this sweet and comforting spice? Research has shown that cinnamon may increase insulin sensitivity and therefore help reduce blood sugar. Bonus: This powerful little spice may also help reduce bad cholesterol levels. So go ahead and sprinkle some into your coffee grounds before brewing, or shake some on top of your oatmeal.
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How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry or have other symptoms, check your blood sugar. Even if you dont have symptoms but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dL, do one of the following immediately:
- Take four glucose tablets.
- Drink four ounces of fruit juice.
- Drink four ounces of regular soda, not diet soda.
- Eat four pieces of hard candy.
Wait for 15 minutes and then check your blood sugar again. Do one of the above treatments again until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above and eat a snack if your next meal is an hour or more away. If you have problems with low blood sugar, ask your doctor if your treatment plan needs to be changed.
Blood Sugar Control Diet And Exercise
Diet and exercise play a very important role in helping control blood sugar levels. Research has shown that by eating a diet with a lower GI and rich in healthy foods, people with diabetes can reduce their average blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications. There are various factors that affect the GI of a food. These include: the types of sugar in the food, the way it is prepared, the type of starch, and its fat and fibre content. Although you dont have to avoid all high GI foods, you should try and combine them with low or intermediate GI foods when possible.
Some tips for maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating the GI index into your daily routine include:
- Follow the dietary guidelines for Australians, trying to incorporate a variety of foods into your eating plan.
- Try and use low GI foods instead of high GI foods when possible.
- Try and have at least 3 low GI foods throughout the day, especially during mealtimes.
Physical activity is an important part of optimizing glucose / diabetic control. It has many benefits, including: helping lower blood sugar levels, reducing weight, improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels and also improving muscle strength and stability. It also helps the body decrease its insulin resistance and burn excess sugar. The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians recommends that at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity be performed on most days of the week.
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Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
Hypoglycemia happens when blood glucose levels drop too low. Low blood sugar can be caused by many things including the two different types of diabetes, certain medications, alcohol, endocrine disorders, eating disorders, pregnancy , and disorders of the liver, kidneys, or heart.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that someone with low blood sugar might experience:
- Tingling lips
If your blood sugar is low you might start to feel some of the first signs of hypoglycemia like dizziness, lightheadedness, or sweating. The only way to know for sure if your blood sugar is low is to test it with a glucose meter or other glucose monitoring device.
If you dont have access to these tools and start to feel the symptoms of low blood sugar, consume 15 grams of carbs or take a quick dissolve glucose tablet to raise your blood sugar levels and avoid further symptoms, according to the American Diabetes Association . Once your blood sugar is back in its target range, you can have a snack or meal to make sure it doesnt drop again.
Here are some other lifestyle and medicinal treatments that can help treat hypoglycemia:
- Eat a healthy diet full of whole foods that are minimally processed.
- Take prediabetes or diabetes medications as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Use a glucagon kit in emergencies. Glucagon is a hormone that raises blood sugar levels quickly.
How Food Affects Blood Sugar
When you eat food, your body breaks it down into essential parts:
- Vitamins and minerals
All parts are necessary in a healthy diet, but the three types of carbohydrates are particularly important when it comes to your blood glucose level. While the general rule is that the more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood sugar level, not all three types of carbohydrates convert to blood sugar at the same rate.
The foods that fit into each carb category include:
- Starches, or complex carbohydrates: Starchy vegetables, dried beans, and grains
- Sugars: Fruits, baked goods, beverages, and processed food items like cereals or granola bars
- Fiber: Whole wheat products, chickpeas, lentils, berries, pears, and brussels sprouts
The glycemic index helps you find out which foods can increase or help decrease blood sugar levels. Based on a scale ranging from 0 to 100, high-indexed foods are rapidly digested, absorbed, and metabolized, resulting in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels, while low-indexed foods produce smaller fluctuations in your blood glucose.
The American Diabetes Association advises adding lean sources of protein and heart-healthy fats to help reduce the overall glycemic impact of a meal or snack.
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Target Blood Sugar Ranges For Pregnant People With Diabetes
Blood sugar targets during pregnancy are lower due to hormonal influences. The ADA, AACE, and Joslin Diabetes Center have slightly different guidelines for target blood sugar levels during pregnancy. In general, pregnant women with diabetes will want to follow individual guidelines provided by their endocrinologist.
The ADA recommends maintaining blood sugar levels of 95-140 mg/dL for pregnant women. However, some providers recommend an even tighter goal of blood glucose levels below 89 mg/dL before a meal and below 120 mg/dL after a meal.
To keep close tabs on levels, most diabetes specialists recommend that women with diabetes during pregnancy check their blood sugar:
- First thing in the morning
- Before all meals
Treatment For Type 1 Diabetes
The impairment of the pancreas ability to produce insulin in type 1 diabetes means that insulin treatment is necessary.
Most people will take insulin by injection with insulin pens. Insulin can also be delivered by wearing an insulin pump. Use of an insulin pump will be considered in people that express an interest in having one and that meet certain eligibility criteria.
It is important that you are given education on how to balance insulin doses with dietary intake and physical activity and how to use blood glucose testing to help you control your diabetes.
Staying physically active and exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet are also important towards maintaining good blood glucose control and minimising the risk of long term diabetes complications. Although diet and exercise have a role to play in type 1 diabetes management, they cannot reverse the disease or eliminate the need for insulin.
- If you have recently been diagnosed, see our newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes guide.
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Stay Away From Stimulants
Stimulants can affect your sleep cycle in a few different ways. Some stimulants have light addictive properties which create a decreased quality of sleep. Also, the brain needs time to wind down and feel relaxed for quality shut-eye so these drugs will not only make you anxious but they’ll also keep you up at night with the inability to fall asleep. One of the well-known stimulants is caffeine that can be found in Cola, coffee, and some teas. Stay away from this and other stimulants before bedtime to have a more natural night’s sleep.
How Do You Know What Your Blood Glucose Level Is
For the most part, you cant feel what your blood glucose level is unless its fairly high or its low. You may not even always have symptoms of either high or low blood glucose in fact, many people with type 2 diabetes dont have the usual symptoms of high blood glucose, and for this reason, its not uncommon for people to go undiagnosed for many years.
The best way to know your blood glucose level is to check it with a glucose meter. This means doing a fingerstick with a lancet and getting a drop of blood onto a test strip, then inserting the strip into the meter for a reading. Your doctor may be able to give you a meter free of charge, but youll likely need to pay for test strips and lancets. But check with your health plan, as there are likely one or two preferred meters that they want you to use.
Another way to know what your glucose levels are up to is to use a continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, which reads glucose in the interstitial fluid about every 5 minutes. Continuous glucose monitoring is expensive and may or may not be covered by your health plan.
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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:
In this condition, your body starts to burn fat to get energy as the cells dont get enough of it. This produces ketones causing the blood to be acidic and creates a life-threatening condition if left untreated.
How Do I Check My Blood Glucose Levels
To check your blood glucose levels, you prick your finger with the lancet and add a small drop of blood onto a blood glucose checking strip. This strip is then inserted into the meter, which reads the strip and displays a number your blood glucose level.
When and how often you should check your blood glucose levels varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Blood glucose levels are measured in millimoles per litre of blood . Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator will help you decide how many checks are needed and the levels to aim for.
Keeping a record of your blood glucose levels can be very helpful for you and your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. You can keep a diary or use a mobile phone app or website to record your levels.
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Why Your Blood Sugar Level May Be Low
If blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, it is below normal levels. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
- Not eating enough or missing a meal or snack
- Reducing the amount of carbohydrates you normally eat
- Alcohol consumption especially if youre drinking on an empty stomach
- Taking too much insulin or oral diabetes medication based on carbohydrates or activity levels
- Increased physical activity
- Side effects from medications
If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose meter and sources of fast-acting glucose close by in case your blood sugar drops. This is especially important for people with hypoglycemia unawareness, which is a condition that causes symptoms of low blood sugar to go unnoticed.
Eating balanced meals and snacks at regular times throughout the day is a big part of maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Check out our article on meal planning for diabetes to better understand the three macronutrients where calories come from and which have the biggest effect on blood sugar.
Everyone will respond differently to certain factors, which is why its important to have individualized target glucose levels. To help you reach your target blood glucose goals, work with your healthcare provider to discuss modifications to your diet, physical activity, or medications, and alert them of other factors like a recent illness or stressful event.
A1c Goals Should Be Individualized
A1c goals should be individualized based on the individual capabilities, risks, and prior experiences, explains Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, founder of Integrated Diabetes, and author of Think Like a Pancreas.
For example, we generally aim for very tight A1c levels during pregnancy and more conservative targets in young children and the elderly.
However, Scheiner highlights important factors that could justify aiming for a higher A1c, like hypoglycemia unawareness, which is described as when a person with diabetes no longer feels the oncoming warning signs of low blood sugar. This can put you at significant risk for severe low blood sugars resulting seizures or death. To reduce that risk, you would aim for higher target blood sugar ranges.
Someone with significant hypoglycemia unawareness and a history of severe lows should target higher blood glucose levels than someone who can detect and manage their lows more effectively, adds Scheiner. And certainly, someone who has been running A1cs in double digits for quite some time should not be targeting an A1c of 6% better to set modest, realistic, achievable goals.
Learn how to lower your A1c in DiabetesStrongsA1C Guide.
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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.
Diseases Associated With Poor Sugar Control
Glucose control has been shown to be very important in helping prevent particular diseases, especially if you have diabetes. Studies have been done, which show that in adults with diabetes, persistently elevated blood sugar levels is associated with an increased risk of peripheral arterial disease, . There have also been studies which show that poor blood sugar control and an unhealthy diet is linked to cardiovascular disease . This is because the bodys ability to use sugar for energy is not optimized and the blood fats are increased, leading to cardiovascular disease.
In the long term, poor control of blood sugar levels in diabetic patients leads to both heart and blood vessel disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, eye problems and heart disease. Gaining optimal control over blood sugar levels is therefore essential to ensure that these long term consequences are avoided.
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How To Lower Blood Sugar Level
A patient with diabetes is at a 5 times greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease than patient without diabetes. One third of all cardiovascular diseases also affect people with diabetes.
Three quarters of diabetics die from cardiovascular disease. Women with diabetes have a 4 times greater risk of death from cardiovascular disease. People suffering from diabetes usually have high cholesterol levels as well.
Disturbances in the metabolism of blood sugar levels are mainly the consequence of heredity , age , poor diet, excessive body weight and physical inactivity. Disturbances in the metabolism of blood sugar were present in 20% of adult Europeans during 2002-2005 a study showed.
RECOMMENDATIONS to decrease elevated blood sugar:Blood sugar level is determined in the fasting state. In a healthy person, a normal blood glucose level is less than 108 mg/dL or 6 mmol/L on an empty stomach.
Possible values are
- normal blood sugar level ,
- disruption of glycemia ,
- diabetes .
What can you do to lower the chance of developing diabetes:
- lose weight be fit,
- sleep more, be rested.
- have a healthy diet with as many vegetables and fruits, a lot of fiber, consume less calories, less fat, less alcoholic beverages and no simple sugars,
- workout at least 30 minutes per day.
Useful resource: blood sugar levels chart: