Why You Should Measure Blood Sugar
As many as 1 in 3 adults in the US has prediabetes. This puts them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Among those, its also suspected that around 80% dont know they have it. Prediabetes often shows no symptoms at all for years.
This means that its important to get your blood glucose levels tested if you have any of the common for diabetes:
A family history of type 2 diabetes
Being older than 45
Having low levels of physical activity
If you fit into one or more of these categories, asking your health care provider for a simple blood test might help you avoid a lifetime of diabetes. It can also lower your risk for other conditions, such as heart disease, kidney conditions, eye problems, and stroke.
Its also crucial to keep track of blood sugar levels in diabetes to avoid serious complications of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia:
, such as coronary artery disease with chest pain, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
What Do The Results Of A Blood Glucose Test Mean
Blood test reports, including blood glucose test reports, usually provide the following information:
- The name of the blood test or what was measured in your blood.
- The number or measurement of your blood test result.
- The normal measurement range for that test.
- Information that indicates if your result is normal or abnormal or high or low.
Blood Sugar Levels And Diabetes
The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose present in the blood. When we eat food, the body breaks down the food to form glucose, which is the main source of energy that is needed by the cells of the body. This glucose is sent to all the cells through the bloodstream as they need the glucose for energy. Diabetes is a problem within the body that causes blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal levels. This happens when the body is not able to produce a hormone called insulin in the required quantity or is not able to use the insulin properly.
Depending on the blood sugar levels, there are different types of diabetes. They are prediabetes, diabetes type 1, diabetes type 2 and gestational diabetes.
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What Is A High Random Glucose Level
Often the diabetes sugar levels is set and the concept of normal is defined. Random glucose means the reading on the blood glucose monitor at any non-specific point in the day. Any reading above the level of 150mg/dL might be considered high. While people may have varied definitions of what they may call high this number could be set as a baseline limit. A reading of 150 or even 160 may not require a correction dose. However, once the sugar levels move upwards and the readings go above, that is when action might be needed.
Another important factor that needs to be taken into consideration here would be why the random glucose is high. In case there is ongoing stress, the consumption of something sweet, improper injection of insulin, etc identify the cause and take appropriate action.
Blood Sugar Level Calculator
If you have your blood sugar levels tested, then what? A blood sugar level calculator can help you put the results into terms you can understand. For example, it can convert mg/dl into mmol, or mmol into mg/dl, depending on which value your test results state for sugar levels. A calculator can also change A1C into EAG, or estimated average sugar.
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How Can I Help My Child Live With Hypoglycemia
Children with type 1 diabetes or other conditions that may cause hypoglycemia need to follow their care plan. Its important to test blood glucose often, recognize symptoms, and treat the condition quickly. It’s also important to take medicines and eat meals on a regular schedule.
Work with your child’s healthcare provider to create a plan that fits your child’s schedule and activities. Teach your child about diabetes. Encourage them to write down questions they have about diabetes and bring them to healthcare provider appointments. Give them time to ask the provider the questions. Check that the answers are given in a way your child can understand. Work closely with school nurses, teachers, and psychologists to develop a plan that’s right for your child.
How To Test Your Blood Sugar Levels
A glucose metre is anexcellent tool for determining your blood glucose level. This entails applyingpressure to the finger with a lancet to squirt a blood sample upon a testingkit, which is then inserted into the metre to obtain a reading. You might beable to get a metre for free from your specialist, but test strips and vialswill cost you.
Using a continuousglucose monitor, or CGM, which measures glucose in the interstitial fluid,typically every five minutes, is another approach to keeping track of yourblood sugar levels. The cost of continuous glucose monitoring is high.
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What Is The Normal Sugar Level After Food
Normal blood sugar levels after having food can vary from person to person, but it should not cross the 140 mg/dL mark. If it does, you might want to report your readings to a doctor. If the blood sugar levels fall in the range of 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL, it indicates prediabetes, and any reading exceeding 200 mg/dL points toward diabetes.
How Do I Prepare For A Blood Glucose Test
If your healthcare provider has ordered a fasting blood glucose test, youll need to not eat or drink anything except water for eight to 10 hours before the test.
If your blood glucose test is part of a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel, you may also need to fast for several hours before your blood draw. In any case, your healthcare provider will let you know if you need to follow any special instructions.
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What Is Hemoglobin A1c
Hemoglobin A1C is a lab test. It indicates an average blood glucose reading for the last 90 days. It is done when you find out you have diabetes, and every 3 months after that at clinic visits. A person without diabetes has a Hemoglobin A1C of less than 5.6%.
Target Hgb A1C is 7.5% for all children and adults with diabetes.
The chart below shows the Hemoglobin A1C result compared with the blood glucose number.
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Symptoms Of High Sugar Level
When blood sugar levels are high above the normal > 180mg/dL, it can be again dangerous and requires medical attention. This condition, also known as hyperglycemia, occurs when the body has insulin deficiency or cannot use it properly.
Some of the common symptoms of high blood sugar levels are:
If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening disease. Moreover, it can also cause heart complications, kidney-related problems, and liver disorders.
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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Range
To understand what the blood sugar level normal range would be, it would first be vital to understand why this topic is given so much importance. Basically, a person with diabetes has to deal with abnormal levels of glucose in their bloodstream. Due to the lack of production of insulin, there is no regulation of the overall glucose levels in the body which leads to a higher level of blood sugar range overall. These high levels, if they persist for a long time, could lead to several fatal complications and consequences in the person. This is why doctors emphasize the regular testing of sugars. If you encounter a person with diabetes or know someone who is living with it, you will almost always see them carry their glucometer around to be able to check their range at any point in time in case they are experiencing symptoms of highs or lows.
You might be thinking about what is the normal range for blood sugar now that you know why it is important to maintain normalcy. For any individual, whether they have diabetes or not, the normal blood sugar range would be 90-110 mg/dL. In a person living with diabetes, they have to struggle hard and make sure that their levels are also within this range for the maximum time. In case they experience too many highs or frequent lows, it may also affect their overall three-monthly HbA1c levels. A constant high HbA1c level could be detrimental and can have severe irreversible long-term impacts.
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People With Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy. Often, it is a temporary condition, but it can lead to pregnancy complications.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with a diagnosis of gestational diabetes aim for blood sugar levels similar to those for people without diabetes, although individual targets may vary.
The ADA offers the following as a guideline:
|Blood sugar level|
A wide range of complications can also result, such as slow wound healing and frequent infections. Other possible complications include:
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.
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What Is A Rather Good Blood Sugar Level In The Morning
If youre planning to take your blood sugar readings in the morning before breakfast, it should be around 70 mg/dL to 100 mg/dL. This range is considered normal and is often reported by non-diabetic people. But if you take the glucose reading after breakfast, the readings can spike. Even in the morning, the normal diabetes level should not exceed 140 mg/dL. If it does, talk to your doctor.
What Is Blood Sugar
When you eat, the carbohydrate in your food is broken down into a usable form of energy called glucose. Glucose also known as sugar enters the bloodstream and a hormone called insulin helps move it into our cells.
This process lowers the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. When this process works efficiently, your muscles and organs have the fuel they need without there being too much glucose remaining in the blood.
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What Is The Normal Sugar Level Before Food
Blood sugar levels are relatively at their lowest before a meal. The normal blood sugar levels after fasting for eight hours or more are usually less than 100 mg/dL. This range can reach up to 140 mg/dL after two hours of having food. If you dont have diabetes, you can witness your blood sugar levels ranging from 70 mg/dL to 80 mg/dL.
What Causes High Or Low Haemoglobin A1c Levels
HbA1c is a measure of your long-term sugar levels and how well you can manage them. It gives you an idea of the overall control you have over your blood sugars and whether or not you need to put in more effort to ensure that they are in the optimal range. This is a blood test that needs to be done every 3 months for people with type 1 diabetes and between 3-6 months for T2Ds.
Your Haemoglobin A1c levels can be affected by the following
- Medical conditions like kidney or liver disease, anemia, etc
- Certain medications like opioids, HIV medications,
- Blood loss or blood transfusions
- Pregnancy and other hormonal conditions like PCOS
- Diet and lifestyle
- Sleep and stress management
A very high HbA1c would mean that the blood sugars are not under control. Identifying the reasons and eliminating them would work best in this case
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For Adults With Type 1 And 2 Children With Type 2
What is considered a normal blood glucose level varies from person to person. Its affected by factors such as weight, age, activity level, and whether you have any health conditions. Your health care provider will generally account for all these factors to develop a target glucose level.
A broad baseline range is between 60 mg/dL and 130 mg/dL when fasting and up to 180 mg/dL 2 hours after you begin eating, or under 7% on an A1c test.
Results that are higher than the range are called , while results that are lower are called . The borders between extremes of the ranges are not precise, but they are useful markers for monitoring general trends.
Careful monitoring is especially important for people with type 1 diabetes, as they are at higher risk of both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.Its also useful for reducing long-term damage to your body, because it helps you stay within the healthy range for as long as possible throughout the day. This is called your time in range, and health care providers generally aim for about 70%, which equals around 16 to 17 hours per day.
How Soon After Waking Up Should I Test My Blood Sugar
Blood sugar testing at home In most cases, doctors ask people to measure fasting blood sugar immediately upon waking and before they have anything to eat or drink. It may also be appropriate to test blood sugar before eating or sometimes 2 hours after a meal when blood sugar has returned to normal levels.
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Why Your Blood Sugar Level May Be High
Based on the ADA guidelines above, if your blood sugar is above 180 mg/dL two hours after a meal, it is considered above the normal range. What might cause your glucose or blood sugar to rise? Consider the following factors:
- Consuming more carbohydrates or a larger meal than usual
- Not taking enough insulin or oral diabetes medication based on carbohydrates or activity levels
- Reduced physical activity
- Side effects from medications like steroids or antipsychotics
What Is High Blood Sugar
If your blood sugar levels are chronically higher than normal, then this is referred to as hyperglycaemia. This is a common issue for those suffering from diabetes. The condition can also affect pregnant women who have gestational diabetes and occasionally those who are severely ill .
Some of the symptoms of hyperglycaemia include:
- Increased thirst
- Issues with concentration and/or thinking
If severe hyperglycaemia is left untreated the condition can lead to organ and tissue damage as the excess glucose present in the body can make it difficult for the organs and cells to function correctly. The disorder can also impair the immune system response in the healing of wounds and cuts.
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What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level
Achieving a normal blood sugar or glucose level is a bit of a misnomer. Often, the word normal is used to reference what someones blood sugars might be if they didnt have diabetes.
However, this terminology is flawed because even people without diabetes do see blood sugar spikes, especially after eating and when consuming something with high amounts of sugar, or a complex carbohydrate like pizza or pasta.
Even though that persons body will immediately start working to counterbalance that rising glucose level by producing more insulin, their blood sugars may still spike for a brief time even beyond those normal ranges. The same can happen with intense exercise or in high-stress situations if the persons natural glucose metabolizing cannot quickly balance everything out.
For those with diabetes, the fact that our bodies dont make or use insulin correctly means we must manually keep tabs on blood sugar levels and take enough insulin or glucose-lowering medication to balance everything out.