Why Test Blood Sugar Levels
If you take certain medication, like insulin or sulphonylureas, checking your blood sugars is a vital part of living with diabetes. It can help you work out when you need to take more medication, when you need to eat something or for when you want to get up and move around more.
Routine checks can help you know when you might be starting to go too low or too high . Its a way of getting to know your body and how it works. It can help you and your healthcare team spot patterns too. Do you write your results down? You might find that helpful.
But importantly, it will help you stay healthy and prevent serious diabetes complications now and in the future. By complications, we mean serious problems in places like your feet and your eyes. This happens because too much sugar in the blood damages your blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow around your body. This can lead to very serious problems like sight loss and needing an amputation.
The higher your blood sugar levels are and the longer theyre high for, the more at risk you are.
Diabetes Is Diagnosed By Any One Of The Following:
Sometimes you may have symptoms of fatigue, excessive urination or thirst, or unplanned weight loss. However, often people have no symptoms of high blood glucose and find a diabetes diagnosis surprising.
Who Should Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar regularly will help you understand how medication like insulin, food, and physical activity affect your blood glucose. It also allows you to catch rising blood sugar levels early. It is the most important thing you can do to prevent complications from diabetes such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.
Other people who may benefit from checking their blood glucose regularly include those:
- Taking insulin
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What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Is High Or Low
High blood sugar can harm you. If your blood sugar is high, you need to know how to bring it down. Here are some questions to ask yourself if your blood sugar is high.
- Are you eating too much or too little? Have you been following your diabetes meal plan?
- Are you taking your diabetes medicines correctly?
- Has your provider changed your medicines?
- Is your insulin expired? Check the date on your insulin.
- Has your insulin been exposed to very high or very low temperatures?
- If you take insulin, have you been taking the correct dose? Are you changing your syringes or pen needles?
- Are you afraid of having low blood sugar? Is that causing you to eat too much or take too little insulin or other diabetes medicine?
- Have you injected insulin into a firm, numb, bumpy, or overused area? Have you been rotating sites?
- Have you been less or more active than usual?
- Do you have a cold, flu, or another illness?
- Have you had more stress than usual?
- Have you been checking your blood sugar every day?
- Have you gained or lost weight?
Normal Blood Sugar Levels In Healthy Individuals
Blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels, can be normal, high, or low. The blood sugar levels are generally measured after 8 hours of eating.
A normal blood sugar range for a healthy adult after 8 hours of fasting is > 70 mg/dL. and < 100 mg/dL.
While a normal blood sugar level in a healthy person after 2 hours of eating is between 90 to 100 mg/dL.
Blood glucose levels change throughout the day. Major factors affecting for such change in the blood glucose levels are as follows:
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Is It Ok To Fast Intermittently Every Day
Fasting on alternate days: Fast every other day.
During fasting days, some of them allow roughly 500 calories. This strategy was employed in many of the lab experiments that showed the health advantages of intermittent fasting. A complete fast every other day may seem excessive, thus it is not suggested for beginners.
What Is A Fasting Blood Sugar Test
A fasting blood glucose test, also known as a fasting plasma glucose test or fasting blood sugar test, is a method for measuring the amount of glucose in the blood after a period of fasting. Most commonly, fasting occurs overnight and the test is performed first thing in the morning.
There are two primary purposes of a fasting blood glucose test:
- To diagnose diabetes
- To understand how different factors affect your blood sugar throughout the day
A fasting blood glucose measurement can be taken by a healthcare professional by blood draw and sent to a lab, or as a fingerstick test performed at home. The two processes are testing the same thing, so they are often referred to in the same way. A healthcare professional may order a lab test to eliminate other variables that may come into play with a fingerstick test, such as substances on the hand or not using a large enough blood drop.
If your healthcare team suspects that you may have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, they may perform a fasting plasma glucose test or an A1C test. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, checking your fasting blood sugar level in the morning gives you a baseline blood sugar reading for your day. These tests can be performed at home as recommended by your healthcare team, using a blood glucose meter. However, the at-home blood glucose meter testing method is not intended for the diagnosis of diabetes.
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What Should Your Blood Sugar Be At Bedtime
What your blood sugar should be at bedtime depends on a few factors. Find out what they are, what may cause your glucose levels to fluctuate at night, and more.
Checking blood sugar isnât just for diabetics anymore. Thereâs a wealth of health information you can learn about your body from continuous glucose monitoring, and you can use this knowledge to help achieve your wellness goals.
As you begin monitoring your glucose around the clock, youâll learn how certain foods, activities, and lifestyle choices affect your blood sugar. Once you get the hang of targeting optimal glucose ranges before and after meals, you might wonder what your ideal blood sugar should be before bed.
Non-diabetics should aim for a blood sugar range of 72â90 mg/dL or 4.0â5.0 mmol/L at bedtime for optimal health.
Non-pregnant adults with diabetes often target a blood sugar range of 80â130 mg/dL or 4.4â7.2 mmol/L. However, blood glucose targets should be individualized for those with diabetes.
Letâs take a deep dive into understanding blood sugar at bedtime and how this may impact your overall health goals.
What A Fasting Blood Sugar Test Shows
A fasting blood sugar test performed by a healthcare professional will return results that will fall into one of three different ranges: Normal range, prediabetes, or diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ADA categorize these ranges with the following results:
|Diabetes||126 mg/dL or higher|
A fasting blood sugar test that is performed by a healthcare professional and sent to a lab can help in the diagnosis of diabetes. An at-home fasting test should not be used to diagnose diabetes because there are many factors of a finger stick test that can affect accuracy, such as environmental conditions, expired or damaged test strips, residue on unwashed fingers, insufficient blood drop, and testing site location. You can read more about the factors that affect accuracy in this article: The Truth Behind the Numbers: What Affects Blood Glucose Meter Accuracy?
At-home fasting blood sugar tests have a different purpose in diabetes management. They provide a baseline blood sugar reading that, when compared to other readings throughout the day, allows people with diabetes to learn what factors affect their blood sugar and by how much. For instance, if you started the day within a normal range and then saw higher levels later on, there is likely a certain trigger that caused your levels to increase maybe it is due to taking a certain medication, eating a big meal, or other factors.
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Is Hyperglycaemia Serious
The aim of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as near to normal as possible.
But if you have diabetes, no matter how careful you are, you’re likely to experience hyperglycaemia at some point.
It’s important to be able to recognise and treat hyperglycaemia, as it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Occasional mild episodes are not usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or may return to normal on their own.
But hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods.
Very high blood sugar levels can cause life-threatening complications, such as:
- diabetic ketoacidosis a condition caused by the body needing to break down fat as a source of energy, which can lead to a diabetic coma this tends to affect people with type 1 diabetes
- hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state severe dehydration caused by the body trying to get rid of excess sugar this tends to affect people with type 2 diabetes
Regularly having high blood sugar levels for long periods of time can result in permanent damage to parts of the body such as the eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels.
If you experience hyperglycaemia regularly, speak to your doctor or diabetes care team.
You may need to change your treatment or lifestyle to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
When Things Go Awry
When we eat food, the pancreas goes to work, releasing enzymes that help to break down food and hormones that help the body handle the influx of glucose. One of these hormones is insulin, and it plays a key role in managing glucose levels in the blood.
And here is where things can go wrong. If the pancreas doesnt make enough insulin or stops making it altogether, in the case of type 1 diabetes glucose levels in the blood can rise too high. Another scenario is that the pancreas makes enough insulin but the cells have trouble using it properly, causing blood glucose levels to rise. This is called insulin resistance and is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
In the short term, high blood glucose levels can make you feel downright bad. Thirst, frequent trips to the bathroom, fatigue and weight loss are all symptoms of high blood glucose . If not treated, more serious issues can occur, such as diabetic ketoacidosis. Chronic high blood glucose levels can lead to complications such as heart, kidney and eye disease, as well as nerve damage. So, its all about the blood glucose.
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Normal Blood Sugar Levels Chart For Diabetic Adults Age Wise
|Chart of Normal Blood Sugar Levels for Diabetic Adults|
|100 to 140 mg/dL|
Healthy blood sugar levels in diabetic adults age wise:
Healthy diabetic adults should maintain a blood sugar level of 70 to 130 mg/dL before meals and less than 180 mg/dL after 2 hours of meals. Pregnant women should maintain a blood sugar level of 95-140 mg/dL to avoid complications. This can be done with the right habits in place that help you maintain your sugar level without getting stressed about it.
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.
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What Is The Fasting Blood Sugar Test Used For
The fasting blood sugar test is also used to test the effectiveness of different medication or dietary changes on people already diagnosed as diabetic
Fasting blood sugar levels are measured by taking a blood test after a period of fasting, usually of 8 hours without food. Typically, fasting blood glucose levels are taken in the morning before any breakfast is eaten. When having your fasting blood glucose levels take, you should not have any drinks apart from water during the period of fasting.
A fasting blood glucose test can be useful to see how well the body is able to manage blood sugar levels in the absence of food. When we do not eat for several hours, the body will release glucose into the blood via the liver and, following this, the bodys insulin should help to stabilise blood glucose levels.
A fasting blood glucose test therefore shows:
- Whether the body is able to bring down the raise in blood glucose levels from the previous meal
- How effectively the body copes with its own release of glucose
The target for fasting blood glucose levels are the same as the targets for before meal readings.
- For adults with diabetes, the target level is between 4 and 7 mmol/l
- For children with diabetes, the target level is between 4 and 8 mmol/l
However, some people may be set individual targets, by their doctor, that differ to the above levels.
Other Reasons For High Morning Blood Sugar Levels
If you continuously wake up with high blood sugar levels and haven’t eaten a bedtime snack the night before, your doctor may need to prescribe you more basal insulin , says Dr. Spratt.
However, if you typically eat a snack that contains carbohydrates before going to bed and don’t counteract it with rapid-acting insulin, your blood sugar levels may be higher in the morning as a result. Switch to a snack that won’t raise your blood sugar levels for example, a pairing of ham and cheese or a few bites of non-sweetened peanut butter, she says.
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Lastly, if your blood sugar levels dip too low in the middle of the night, your body may release hormones that “rescue” you from dangerously low levels, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The result is that your liver releases stored glucose, causing your blood sugar levels to be higher than usual in the morning. This is called the Somogyi effect.
If you’re experiencing low blood sugar in the four to six hours after a meal, that’s a sign that your basal insulin dose is too high, says Dr. Spratt.
“A lot of people have lows of which they are not aware of,” she says. “They wake up and their blood sugar is high and assume they must need more insulin at night.” But, she explains, it’s important to check your blood sugar at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. to make sure you aren’t experiencing a drop in glucose levels.
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What Is Blood Glucose Anyway
Blood glucose, or sugar, is sugar that is in your blood . It comes from the food that you eat foods that contain carbohydrate, such as bread, pasta and fruit are the main contributors to blood glucose. The cells in our bodies need glucose for energy and we all need energy to move, think, learn and breathe. The brain, which is the command center, uses about half of all the energy from glucose in the body.