Medications And Blood Sugar Control
If you are affected by type 2 diabetes, medications may be used as an adjunct to manage your condition at a later stage. Factors such as diet, exercise and loss of weight are very important in managing blood sugars if you have tried to make changes in all these areas and are still not successful in gaining good control of your blood sugars, there are many types of medications that can help you manage your diabetes. These medications are usually taken orally, to help lower blood sugar levels. There are different classes of medications, which work on different parts of the body, to try and alter the levels of insulin and sugar in the body.
How To Measure Your Spikes
The American Diabetes Association recommends you check your blood sugar levels right before mealtime with a blood sample from a finger stick. Then do it again 1 to 2 hours after that first bite of food.
Keep this up for a week or so. Write down the time and the blood sugar number. Make a note about anything you think might affect your levels, like medicine or exercise. And dont forget to log exactly what you ate, along with portion sizes and the amount of carbs.What levels are too high after a meal? Experts vary on what the number should be, but the ADA says a general goal is a blood sugar level under 180 mg/dL, 1 to 2 hours after a meal. Talk to your doctor about what you should aim for, and dont adjust your medicine without speaking to them first.
Levels After Youve Eaten
Many foods have types of carbohydrates called starches and sugars. When you eat foods with these types of carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is a type of simple sugar, and releases the glucose into your bloodstream. Aside from glucose produced by your liver, food is the main source of plasma glucose.
Two hours after eating, your blood sugar levels rise. They rise more when you eat more carbohydrates, when you do not eat fiber, fat, or protein with your carbs, and when you eat certain types of carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and starches.
These are target values from The Joslin Diabetes Center, which include levels for people with diabetes:
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Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, is what happens when blood glucose levels drop too low. People who take insulin may have low blood sugar if they take too much insulin or mistime the insulin dose in relation to food, or if they exercise more than usual when there is fast-acting insulin on board .
Your healthcare provider will tell you when and how to check blood sugar, and when and how to treat low blood sugar. A low blood sugar is generally considered to be less than 70 mg/dL. A dangerously low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL.
Low blood sugar can also be caused by many things including certain medications or combinations of medications, alcohol, endocrine disorders, eating disorders, 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 monitor it with a continuous glucose monitor such as the Dexcom G6.
The Danger Of Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, can become a lot more dangerous more quickly. Hypoglycemia, if left untreated, can quickly result in diabetic coma and death.
Low blood sugars will not lead to permanent complications in most cases but cause frequent, short-term complications in the form of being physically unable to function when experiencing a low. They require fast-acting glucose as treatment.
Symptoms of low blood sugar can hit different people at different times, and some people may not feel their low blood sugars at all , which can be very dangerous.
Continuous glucose monitoring systems and diabetes alert dogs can help people detect their lows earlier, before they become extremely dangerous.
Hypo unawareness occurs in about 40% of people with type 1 diabetes, and less frequently in people with type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, one study showed that the average person with type 1 diabetes experiences two episodes of low blood sugar per week!
Low blood sugars can happen for many reasons, all of which result from too much insulin in the bloodstream and not enough glucose for the body to function properly.
Reasons can be anything from taking too much insulin for food, to accidentally over-bolusing with an insulin pump, to not finishing a meal, to drinking alcohol in excess, or even after physical exertion and exercise while not reducing basal insulin settings appropriately.
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Do You Think Some Carbs Dont Count
Your body breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars, also called glucose. It doesnt matter where these carbs came from. You need to look at total grams of carbs in your food, not just the sugar content.
Pasta, rice, tortillas, they have a lot of glucose, Moreno says. They will increase your sugar levels, sometimes even more than candy.
Natural sugars also count. Its true that you should swap cookies for fruits. But that doesnt mean you can have loads of them, Saeed says. Moderation is key.
Gail Nunlee-Bland, MD, chief of endocrinology at Howard University Hospital, recommends eating no more than two servings of fruit a day. And try to add more non-starchy vegetables to your meals. The green leafy ones are better, she says.
Theres a handy measurement to give you a better idea of which foods, including fruits and veggies, are best for your diabetes. Its called the glycemic index . The ratings tell you how likely a food is to boost your blood sugar. For example, berries are lower on the GI scale and lower in natural sugars than bananas, raisins, or grapes, Saeed says.
Labels on most packaged foods in the U.S. dont list glycemic index ratings. But you can easily find GI calculators online.
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Normal Range For Blood Sugar Two Hours After Eating
Your blood glucose levels can determine whether you have or are at risk for developing diabetes, a condition in which your body no longer effectively processes and absorbs glucose from the bloodstream. Blood glucose levels fluctuate during the day, particularly after meals. Postprandial — which means after eating — glucose levels that rise beyond a certain level may mean you have diabetes or prediabetes. However, two-hour postprandial blood sugar testing is not recommended to screen for or diagnose diabetes.
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Can Prediabetes Be Reversed
For some, prediabetes is reversible if it is the simple result of weight gain and unhealthy habits. For many, however, prediabetes is the result of the bodys gradual destruction of beta-cells.
Beta-cells play a critical role in insulin production. More and more research today regarding type 2 diabetes demonstrates that approximately 60 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are experiencing a lack of insulin production through beta cell dysfunction and destruction.
It is now well recognized that 2 factors are involved: impaired function and insulin resistance, explains John E. Gerich, MD, in a study published by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Prospective studies of high-risk populations have shown insulin-resistance and/or insulin-secretory defects before the onset of impaired glucose tolerance.
This means that while you should absolutely still pursue healthier habits around nutrition, exercise, weight-loss, sleep, quitting smoking, the gradual progression of your disease means your diagnosis is here to stay.
That being said, making any changes you can in your habits can play a tremendous role in whether or not you need to start taking diabetes medications or if you need to start insulin injections to help bring your blood sugars down to a healthy level.
Read more on reversing diabetes: Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?
Prediabetes is diabetes. The sooner you take action, the sooner you improve your health.
Packed And Stacked Food
Diabetes patients should be cautious while choosing snacks. Snacks such as crackers, pretzels, and some other packed snacks should be avoided. Most of the snacks are processed food made from flour and dont provide many nutrients. Also, they contain enough carbs that can result in a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.
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Different Levels And What They Mean
The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.
The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.
If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.
That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.
Looking for the best prediabetes diet? Learn what foods are best to help you manage your prediabetes.
Important Facts About Blood Sugar
- Glucose is a simple sugar and is one of the primary molecules which serve as energy sources for both plants and animals(3Trusted Source
Go to source).
- Uncontrolled or high blood sugar levels can lead to health complications such as blindness, heart disease and kidney disease.
- Increase or decrease in the glucose level in the blood can lead to a condition called “diabetic coma”.
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Make A Few Changes To Your Diet
Eating a healthier diet doesnt mean you have to cut out all the things you love. Even making changes to one or two meals a day can have benefits.
For example, maybe you start eating a very green salad loaded with fresh veggies for lunch instead of that footlong sub-sandwich. Or perhaps you start limiting your soda consumption to one can per day instead of 4 cans per day.
Pick a couple of places to make changes so it isnt quite so overwhelming. Over time, you may find that you want to keep making improvements to other food choices, too. And remember, the goal doesnt have to be 100 percent perfection. The 80/20 Rule is great: choosing healthy, real food 80 percent of the time, with 20 percent left for less-than-perfect treats.
Why Do People Get Blood Sugar Spikes After Meals
When people eat a meal, especially when it contains carbohydrates, it is normal for them to have a temporary spike in their sugar level before the insulin their body produces immediately starts working to lower the spike. For someone with type 1 diabetes, who cant produce their own insulin, these spikes can be higher and last longer.
This is because it can take longer for the type of insulin they inject to start working, in comparison to the insulin that is produced naturally by the body of someone who does not have diabetes, to reduce these post-meal spikes.
Furthermore, it is important to know that people living with type 1 diabetes may have alterations in different digestive enzymes which will cause faster digestion of our meals . This can obviously impact on the size of the spike too.
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Keto Diet And Exercise
Starting on a ketogenic diet can influence your exercise performance in multiple ways, both positive and negative. During the first 1-2 weeks , you will most likely see a decrease in energy and athletic performance across the board while your body adjusts to the new diet. This is perfectly normal and should NOT be a cause for concern or make you abandon the diet.
When your body has adapted to the ketogenic diet, you will most likely experience that cardio returns to its previous level of difficulty, but strength training may or may not be harder.
Normal Blood Sugar Ranges In Healthy Non
For a person without any type of diabetes, blood sugar levels are generally between 70 to 130 mg/dL depending on the time of day and the last time they ate a meal.
Newer theories about non-diabetic blood sugar levels have included post-meal blood sugar levels as high as 140 mg/dL.
Here are the normal blood sugar ranges for a person without diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association:
- Fasting blood sugar : Less than 100 mg/dL
- 1-2 hours after a meal: Less than 140 mg/dL
- 2-3 hours after eating: Less than 100 mg/dL
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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.
Knowing Blood Sugar Levels
If you have diabetes, the frequency of testing your blood glucose level depends on your treatment plan, so follow your doctors advice on the appropriate times for you.
Common times to check are in the morning, before and after meals, before and after exercise, at bedtime, and if you feel sick. Some people may not need to check their blood sugar daily.
What you eat and what you do for physical activity affect your blood sugar. But theres no way to know what effect they have unless you test your blood sugar.
Blood glucose meters are used to test blood sugar levels so you can see if your levels are within the target range. Your doctor will also work with you on your individualized range.
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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.
Normal And Diabetic Blood Sugar Ranges
For the majority of healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows:
- Between 4.0 to 5.4 mmol/L when fasting
- Up to 7.8 mmol/L 2 hours after eating
For people with diabetes, blood sugar level targets are as follows:
- Before meals : 4 to 7 mmol/L for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- After meals : under 9 mmol/L for people with type 1 diabetes and under 8.5mmol/L for people with type 2 diabetes
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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.