But What If Your Fasting Blood Sugar Is Typically In The 90s
Should you be worried?
Yes, you most certainly should be quite concerned if 90-something keeps popping up on the results screen.
The road to diabetes is a continuum, says Stacy Mitchell Doyle, MD, resident physician of FoodTherapyMD and long-time advocate of plant-based nutritional protocols.
Dr. Doyle explains, The closer it is to 100, the more you are moving towards prediabetes.
Its important to check your sugar regularly over time, and if it is consistently in the 90s and creeping up, although not officially prediabetic, it may be moving that way if there are no dietary changes.
Knock back on the pastries, candy, white bread and sugary soda and see what happens.
Fill the void, thats created by eliminating these unhealthy foods, with whole fruit, fruit smoothies, green salads, steamed vegetables, a boiled Russet potato or a big handful of whole nuts such as almonds.
Replace fast-food burgers with tuna salad sandwiches on whole grain bread.
Replace French fries with brown or basmati rice. Replace soda with water, pomegranate juice or homemade lemonade sweetened with Stevia.
Check your fasting blood sugar after several days of sticking to these dietary changes.
Youll be delighted at what youll see! Just make sure youre getting fruitful sleep, since sleep disruptions can yield a fasting glucose in the low 100s.
Another way to get your fasting glucose persistently under 90 is to take up strength training.
How Much Sugar Is High Blood Sugar
Here are the results of the fasting blood sugar test that determine whether you have diabetes or not:
A blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL or 5.6 mmol/L rules out the chances of diabetes. It is the normal blood sugar level.If your fasting blood sugar level ranges between 100 and 125 mg/dL or 5.6 and 6.9 mmol/L, it indicates a prediabetic condition. It is slightly above the normal level of sugar.A blood sugar glucose of 126 mg/dL or 7.0 mmol/L or more after taking the test twice indicates that you have diabetes.
How To Control Blood Sugar With Intermittent Fasting
If youd like to try intermittent fasting for blood sugar control, there are a few things for you to consider, especially if you have diabetes.
Choose an intermittent fasting plan that wont cause you stress. During your fast, your insulin levels decrease. In response, your body releases hormones from your liver, one of which is the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol tells the liver to release more glucose. So if youre in a state of stress, or if you have diabetes, your liver is more likely to over-react and release more glucose than you need. As a result, your blood sugar levels will increase.
If youre your blood sugar goes up, and you havent eaten, its likely your liver release glucose into your bloodstream. Exercise is a vital way to utilize sugar in your blood and help your body return to a fat-burning state.
Its uncommon, but fasting can cause you to experience hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. If you have diabetes, this can potentially be dangerous since diabetes medications already put you at risk for low blood sugar. Talk to your doctor about your intent to start a fast, especially if youre on diabetes medications. Its possible for you to fast safely when your doctor manages your diabetes medications appropriately.
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How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
Signs and symptoms of diabetes are sometimes not clear or may appear slowly. Therefore, the ADA has set some rules for screening this condition. The set of guidelines suggest that the people with the following attributes should take the blood glucose test:
- A body mass index more than 23 or 25.
- A sedentary lifestyle.
- A history of gestational diabetes.
- 45 years old or more.
What If Your Morning Blood Sugar Level Is High
Due to certain hormonal changes, it is quite natural to have a relatively higher blood sugar levels in the morning. If you do not have diabetes, your body will produce enough insulin to bring your blood sugar back to normal again. It may not happen though if you have diabetes.
Your blood glucose levels may stay elevated because of insulin resistance, which refers to a condition in which your body’s fat cells and muscles fail to use insulin effectively. The condition also affects the function of your liver and changes the way it processes and releases sugar, especially at night.
The situation is different when you have type-2 diabetes because the liver starts releasing more glucose than is needed into your blood. It means that your hormones are causing your blood sugar to go up and your liver is also making things worse by releasing more sugar into your system. This leads to a spike in blood sugar levels that stay elevated unless you pay attention to your diet and exercise. You may also have to take medications to manage your blood sugar better.
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Some Ways To Help You Prevent High Morning Readings
What should my blood sugar be when I wake up? It depends if you already have diabetes or not. However, you should also know what you could do to keep your blood sugar levels from rising in the morning. Here are few suggestions:
1. Manage Your Body Weight
If you are overweight, consider losing weight to make it easy to manage your blood sugar levels. It really helps when you have been recently diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. Weight loss usually helps regulate hormones and increase insulin sensitivity to lower your blood sugar levels. To lose weight, pay attention to your diet first avoid processed foods, eat veggies and fruits, and cut the intake of less-healthy foods. Cranking up your physical activity may also help.
2. Have a Bedtime Snack
Eating something before you go to sleep may help stabilize your blood sugar. Your snack should contain no more than 20g of carbs. This keeps your liver from producing excess glucose while you sleep. Some of the most impressive carb-friend snack options are low-fat yogurt, frozen grapes, small piece of fruit, a serving of fresh salsa and tortilla chips, and soybeans.
3. Have an Active Lifestyle
A Quick Tip
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Getting professional medical advice from a healthcare provider like an endocrinologist is the best way to learn more about whether your blood sugar levels are where they should be. Not getting proper treatment for low or high blood sugar levels can be serious and lead to health complications, especially for those with diabetes. Diabetes complications include nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, or heart attacks.
If you see a healthcare provider about your blood sugar levels, be prepared to answer questions about risk factors like what you eat, how much you exercise, and about your family history. Some healthcare providers may want to take a blood sample to test your blood sugar levels. They may also order an A1C test, which is a blood test that measures blood sugar levels over several months. You may have to fast eight hours beforehand to get accurate test results, so its always a good idea to check before your appointment.
If your blood sugar level goes above 250 mg/dL, you should go to the ER for immediate medical attention, says Dr. Tarugu. Emergency rooms are equipped to handle high blood sugar levels and can administer treatments like insulin therapy and fluid or electrolyte replacement.
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Checking Your Blood Glucose Levels Will Help You To:
- Develop confidence in looking after your diabetes.
- Better understand the relationship between your blood glucose levels and the exercise you do, the food you eat and other lifestyle influences such as travel, stress and illness.
- Know how your lifestyle choices and medication, if used, are making a difference.
- Find out immediately if your blood glucose levels are too high or too low , helping you to make important decisions such as eating before exercise, treating a hypo or seeking medical advice if sick.
- Know when to seek the advice of your diabetes health team about adjusting your insulin, tablets, meal or snack planning when blood glucose goals are not being met.
What Can You Do About High Morning Blood Sugar
What to do about high morning blood sugar levels depends on how often you see them and what the causes are. It is important to take steps to address high blood glucose because consistently high morning values can indicate increasing A1C values and a higher risk for diabetes complications.
These are some possible strategies for getting high morning blood pressure into range.
- Increasing physical activity, including in the late afternoon or evening.
- Limiting the carbs you have at dinner or bedtime to 30 to 45 grams, such as 2 slices of bread, a piece of fruit and ½ cup of oatmeal, or a cup of pasta.
- Adjusting the timing and/or dose of insulin or other medications.
- Changing medications.
Your doctor can help you decide how to approach high morning blood glucose values. It is never safe to change medications without asking your doctor.
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Eat Protein In The Morning
To help bring blood sugar levels down eat something when you get up but make sure its a protein or a protien/ veggie breakfast.
Your Blood Sugar Isnt Just Because Of What You Eat
Mainstream media would have you believe that your blood sugar levels are impacted only by what you eat and how much you exercise, but people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who test their blood sugars frequently could tell you otherwise.
Its especially important to keep this mind when looking at your own blood sugars and your goals because there are certain variables and challenges that impact blood sugar levels that you cant always control.
- Menstrual cycles: raises blood sugar and insulin needs
- Adrenaline rushes from competitive sports, heated arguments, rollercoaster rides: raises blood sugar and insulin needs
- The common cold and other illnesses: usually raises blood sugar and insulin needs
- Hormonal changes due to puberty and healthy growth in young adults: raises blood sugar and insulin needs
- An injury which raises overall inflammation levels: raises blood sugar and insulin needs
- Glucogenesis during anaerobic exercise: raises blood sugar
While you cant necessarily prevent these factors that affect your blood sugar from occurring, you can work with your diabetes healthcare team to adjust your insulin, other diabetes medications, nutrition and activity levels to help compensate for them when they do occur.
For example, when engaging in anaerobic exercise like weightlifting many people with type 1 diabetes find it necessary to take a small bolus of insulin prior to or during their workout because anaerobic exercise can actually raise blood sugar.
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How To Prevent Morning Hyperglycemia
While morning hyperglycemia could be the bodys automatic response, you can certainly take steps to try to prevent it.
You could try some general steps that could help lower blood sugar in the night, such as eating your evening meals earlier in the day or having fewer carbs in your evening meal.
Alternatively, you could consider doing exercise in the evening, such as a brisk walk before bed. You might also consider changing your medication doses for the night or changing the type of insulin you use. As always, make such changes in consultation with your healthcare professional.
If you think that the high blood sugar might be caused by the dawn phenomenon, then try to make sure that you are well-rested. If your body is getting enough rest, with a full eight hours of sleep, then it might not think that it needs to release that extra energy. More generally, stress and diabetes leads to higher blood sugar levels so it is worth getting enough sleep.
With the Somogyi phenomenon, youll want to take the opposite steps because you want to prevent low blood sugar during the night. It may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but you might need to take less insulin, or eat more carbs, or do less exercise before bed.
When Should I Check My Blood Glucose Level
When you should check your blood glucose levels and how often you should check varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator will help you decide how many checks are needed and the levels to aim for. Possible times to check are:
- Before breakfast
- Before rigorous exercise
- When you are feeling unwell
Even though your meter may have a memory, it is important to keep a record of your readings in a diary and to take this with you to all appointments with your diabetes health team. This will provide both you and your diabetes health team with important information in deciding if and how your treatment may need to be adjusted.
Most meters on the market have software which allows you to download your records in different formats such as graphs and charts. Even if you can do this, it is still helpful to keep a diary, not only for your checks but also details of your daily activities, the food you eat and other relevant information. There are some apps that record all of this information in one place. Ask your doctor or diabetes educator how you can use a diary to help you to better manage your diabetes.
Checking four times a day is usually recommended for people with type 1 diabetes. However many people check more often, such as those using an insulin pump .
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Determining The Right A1c Goal For You
Just because a normal blood sugar range of 70 to 130 mg/dL is considered the healthiest doesnt necessarily mean thats the appropriate goal range for you especially if you have type 1 diabetes, or take insulin as a person with type 2 diabetes.
The reason this may not be the right goal for you is that extremely tight blood sugar management in people taking insulin can potentially lead to frequent low blood sugars which can be dangerous.
Achieving extremely tight blood sugar management, like a range of 70 to 130 mg/dL, also often requires a strict nutrition plan, more frequent than usual blood sugar monitoring, precise medication management, and most importantly, years of experience studying your own blood sugar levels.
High Blood Sugar Symptoms
Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar. Hyperglycemia happens when the body doesnt have enough insulin or when it cant use insulin correctly. Many things can cause high blood glucose levels like Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, stress, illness, or the dawn phenomenon. If you have hyperglycemia or suspect you may have it, talking with a healthcare provider is always a good idea. A doctor can help you determine whats causing your high blood sugar levels and lower it to a healthy range.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that may indicate hyperglycemia:
- Vision loss
You should seek immediate medical attention if your blood sugar reaches 400 mg/dL or higher.
When patients experience any of these accompanied by elevated blood sugar levels, diabetic patients are advised to go directly to the ER to avoid diabetes-induced coma, says Vikram Tarugu, MD, a gastroenterologist and the CEO of Detox of South Florida. Patients who have elevated blood sugar may also present with frothy, ketone-like smelling breath.
Here are some lifestyle changes and medical treatments that can help treat hyperglycemia:
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Why Your A1c Matters
In a nutshell: your A1c is one of the clearest indicators of your risk for developing diabetes complications like neuropathy , retinopathy , nephropathy , and severe infection in any part of your body that requires healing.
For instance, a small cut on your toe could become infected due to high blood sugars, struggle to heal, and become severe enough that the infection could lead to an amputation.
The general guidelines from the American Diabetes Association recommend an A1c at or below 7.0 percent for the best prevention of diabetes complications. Your risk of developing a diabetes complication continues to drop as your A1c drops closer to 6 percent.
Some people with diabetes aim for A1c levels in the 5s and lower especially those who follow strict low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet and the Bernstein diet. However, this hasnt been proven in research as especially necessary, nor is it reasonably achievable for the larger population of people with diabetes.
Its also important to remember that your blood sugar levels and your A1c are just information that tells you whether your body needs more or less of factors like insulin, other diabetes medications, changes in your nutrition, and changes in your exercise.
If you dont like the number youre seeing on your glucose meter or your A1c results, use that number as motivation to make changes in how you safely manage your diabetes in order to get different results.
Normal Fasting Blood Sugar For Person Without Diabetes
A normal fasting blood glucose for someone who does not have diabetes ranges from 70 to 99 mg/dl. The American Diabetes Association recommends a routine screening for type 2 diabetes starting at age 45. If the results are normal, the screening should be repeated every 3 years.
If have diabetes risk factors, which include being overweight or obese, having a family history of type 2 diabetes, having a history of gestational diabetes, or being of a certain race/ethnicity , you should be screened for diabetes sooner than age 45.
Children and adolescents who have diabetes symptoms or who are overweight and have a family history of type 2 diabetes, are of African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American or Pacific Islander descent, who have signs of prediabetes or a mother who had gestational diabetes should be tested beginning at age 10 and then every 3 years thereafter.
A fasting blood sugar of 100 to 125 mg/dl is indicative of prediabetes, which is a condition where blood sugar levels are above normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Prediabetes is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Its managed by lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.
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