What Is Blood Sugar
Blood sugar is sugar that is in your bloodstream. The specific type of sugar in your blood is called glucose, and blood sugar is the same as blood glucose. You need sugar in your blood because many of the cells in your body use it for fuel, or energy. It is normal and healthy to have some blood sugar, but too much is considered prediabetic.
So how does sugar get into your bloodstream? One way is after you eat a meal with carbohydrates. Another way is from your liver: if your blood sugar dips too low because you have not eaten for a while or for another reason, such as exercising, your liver will sense the lower levels and release stored sugar into your bloodstream. The goal is to keep your levels neither too high, nor too low, at all times.
What About A Low Carb Diet For Prediabetes
A low-carb diet is a great option for prediabetes because it will improve blood sugar, help you lose weight, and help you feel more energetic. Carbohydrates are digested into glucose very easily. A person with prediabetes already has too much sugar in the blood so you donât want to add any more.
To feel satisfied on a low carb diet you have to eat healthy amounts of protein and fat. Many people continue to try to follow a low-fat or fat-free diet while also trying to make low carb choices, and understandably, feel hungry and frustrated because there is nothing tasty to eat. Recent research published in the British Medical Journal debunked the low fat hypothesis .2 People actually are not at a lower risk of prediabetes.
What is the glycemic index?
The easiest way to choose quality carbohydrates by following a low glycemic index diet. With a low glycemic index diet you balance the carbohydrate/sugar content of a meal with enough fiber, fat, and protein so that the meal is digested and absorbed slowly. This gradually releases glucose into the bloodstream, and thus the body does not require a large amount of insulin. It also provides the body with good, steady energy over many hours.
What Causes Insulin Resistance
Researchers dont understand exactly what causes cells to become insulin resistant. But its possible that carrying excess weight and being physically inactive contribute:
- Belly fat can increase inflammation in the body, which may lead to insulin resistance.
- Exercise causes changes in your body that help keep blood sugar levels in balance. Lack of activity makes it difficult to maintain that balance.
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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Physicians focus so much ondisease that we sometimes lose sight of whats healthy and normal. For instance, the American Diabetes Association defines tight control of diabetes to include sugar levels as high as 179 mg/dl when measured two hours after a meal. In contrast, young adults without diabetes two hours after a meal are usually in the range of 90 to 110 mg/dl . What are Normal Blood Sugar Levels? The following numbers refer to average blood sugar levels in venous plasma, as measured in a lab. Portable home glucose meters measure sugar in capillary whole blood. Many, but not all, meters in 2010 are calibrated to compare directly to venous plasma levels. Fasting blood sugar after a night of sleep and before breakfast: 85 mg/dl One hour after a meal: 110 mg/dl Two hours after a meal: 95 mg/dl Five hours after a meal: 85 mg/dl Ranges of blood sugar for healthy non-diabetic adults: Fasting blood sugar: 7090 mg/dl One hour after a typical meal: 90125 mg/dl Two hours after a typical meal: 90110 mg/dl Five hours after a typical meal: 7090 mg/dl * Blood sugars tend to be a bit lower in pregnant women. What Level of Blood Sugar Defines Diabetes and Prediabetes? According to the 2007 guidelines issued by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: Pre-diabetes: : fasting blood sugar 100125 mg/dl Pre-diabetes: : blood sugar 140199 mg/dl two hours after ingesting 75 grams of glucoseContinue reading > >
Is There A Prediabetes Diet
Thereâs no official diet, but four swaps can reverse prediabetes and lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes:
- Choose whole grains and whole-grain products over processed carbs like white bread, potatoes, and breakfast cereals.
- Drink coffee, water, and tea instead of sugary drinks.
- Choose good fats like those in vegetable oil, nuts, and seeds over those in margarine, baked goods, and fried foods.
- Trade red meat and processed meats for nuts, whole grains, poultry, and fish.
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I’ve Been Diagnosed With Prediabetes What Does That Mean
If youve been diagnosed with prediabetes, it means your blood sugar levels are not high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes, but are high enough to indicate a need for change. A normal fasting blood sugar level is below 100 whereas a level of someone with prediabetes is between 100 and 126. Once levels have surpassed 126, it is classified as Type 2 diabetes, which indicates that your body resists insulin or doesnt produce enough of it to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
What we eat affects 60 percent of the glucose in our blood sugars. The other 40 percent of our blood glucose control comes from our liver. During digestion, the pancreas produces insulin, which then binds the glucose in our blood and takes it into our body cell as a source of energy. When you have prediabetes, sugar begins to build up in the blood stream rather than fuel your cells. This is when insulin resistance occurs, which is believed to be the number one cause of prediabetes.
A healthy weight allows insulin to work more efficiently and to keep blood sugars within a normal range. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the best ways to bring your blood sugar levels back to normal.
What are the risk factors for developing prediabetes?
BMI greater than 27
Whats my next step?
Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about diabetes, or if you develop any Type 2 diabetes symptoms.
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Does Prediabetes Always Progress To Type 2 Diabetes
No, not always. People who eat a health-conscious diet, exercise regularly, and keep a healthy weight can lower their blood sugar levels and even bring them back to normal. In fact, learning you have prediabetes gives you a chance to make the lifestyle changes you need to avoid getting type 2 diabetes.
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What Puts Me At Risk Of Having Prediabetes
The biggest risk factor for prediabetes in the general adult population is being overweight or obese, particularly when the extra weight is due to excess fat in your abdomen. Also, the older you get, the higher your risk goes. Black, Hispanic, and Asian people are at higher risk than other races, as well as women who have had gestational diabetes, and people with a family history of diabetes.
Are There Different Recommendations For Blood Sugar Levels In Other Countries
The recommended blood sugar level ranges in countries around the world are very similar. However, there are two different units of measurement that are used when referring to blood sugars, depending on where you live: millimoles per litre and milligrams per decilitre .
The mmol/L measurement is used here in Canada, as well as England, Australia and China, while mg/dL is used in such countries as the United States, France, Japan, Israel and India.
To convert mmol/L to mg/dl, simply multiply by 18. For example, a blood sugar level of 5.0 mmol/L would mean a level of 90 mg/dL .
Here are blood sugar recommendations from some countries other than Canada:
|80 to 130 mg/dL||Less than 180 mg/dL|
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What Is The Hba1c Test
Your HbA1c also known as A1c is a blood test that measures the amount of leftover glucose that have accumulated in your bloodstream during the prior 3 months. The higher your A1c is, the more damage is occurring to your bodys nerve endings and blood vessels in areas like your eyes, your fingers, and toes, and your kidneys.
The higher your blood sugars are each day, the higher your next A1c result will be!
How Do Doctors Diagnose Prediabetes
Diabetes is a measure of levels of sugar in your bloodstream. Physicians check this in two different ways:
1. A standard blood glucose test
This requires you to fast before a blood test, so your PCP or endocrinologist can check the level of glucose in your bloodstream at any given time. Ideally, fasting glucose levels should be 99 mg/dL or lower. If your fasting blood glucose levels are between 100 and 125mg/dL, it could be considered prediabetes, says Martha McKittrick RD. I like to have people get a second test done, to make sure its accurate, she says. A reading higher than 126 mg/dL indicates diabetes.
2. An A1C blood test
The test for A1C, or hbA1c, is a non-fasting blood test that measures the average amount of glucose in your blood stream over a period of three months and is measured in percentages. A healthy percentage is under 5.7%. A result between 5.7 and 6.4% suggests prediabetes. Anything higher than 6.5% indicates diabetes.
A person who is prediabetic may not always show symptoms. In fact, the majority dont. Oftentimes, an asymptomatic person will only get a prediabetes diagnosis if their general physician gives them a blood glucose test or checks their hbA1C readings and finds an atypical result.
Although most people dont show noticeable symptoms of prediabetes, if you are experiencing fatigue, excessive hunger, excessive thirst, and frequent urination, its better to be safe than sorry. Make an appointment to get your glucose levels checked ASAP.
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How To Lower Blood Sugar In Prediabetes
Now what? What should you do if you have prediabetes or risk factors for it? After getting tested, you have the choice. You can choose to take action and delay or prevent type 2 diabetes, or you can choose not to take action, and almost certainly get type 2 diabetes within years.
The great news is that taking action is not so hard! Most people with prediabetes can lower their blood sugar levels without taking medications. You can lower your risk for diabetes by over 50% with modest weight loss and regular moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking most days of the week.
Do you need help losing weight and getting active? Would you like motivation, tips for healthy eating and healthy behavior change, and personal coaching? Lark digital Diabetes Prevention Program offers 24/7 customized coaching via your smartphone, and it may be available to you for free through your health insurance plan.
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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 Impaired Fasting Glycaemia
The WHO has also said that someone has impaired fasting glycaemia if they have:
- A fasting blood glucose between 6.1 to 6.9 mmol/L and
- A blood glucose of less than 7.8 mmol/L after a two-hour oral glucose tolerance test.
NICE states that someone with a fasting blood glucose of 5.5-6.9 mmol/L is at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
If you have impaired fasting glycaemia, you are also thought to have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Your risk of developing cardiovascular disease is also increased but this seems to be lower than if you have pre-diabetes . The rest of this leaflet is about pre-diabetes.
Learn About Managing Prediabetes:
Diagnosed with prediabetes? You are not alone. While a prediabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming and worrying, you have the power to make the lifestyle changes to return your glucose levels back to normal.
Use these resources on how to manage prediabetes to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, including information about the link between PCOS and diabetes, the National Diabetes Prevention Program, and healthy cooking.
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The Surprising Truth About Prediabetes
Its real. Its common. And most importantly, its reversible. You can prevent or delay prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes.
Amazing but true: approximately 88 million American adults1 in 3have prediabetes. Whats more, more than 84% of people with prediabetes dont know they have it. Could this be you? Read on to find out the facts and what you can do to stay healthy.
Is It An Emergency
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Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
The OGTT is a two-hour test that checks your blood sugar levels before and two hours after you drink a special sweet drink. It tells the doctor how your body processes sugar.
- Diabetes is diagnosed at 2 hour blood sugar of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
|140 mg/dl to 199 mg/dl|
|Diabetes||200 mg/dl or higher|
Tests And Diagnosis For Prediabetes
Your doctor will do at least one of these tests:
Fasting plasma glucose test. You wonât eat for 8 hours, and then a technician will take your blood to test the sugar levels. The results are:
- Normal if your blood sugar is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter
- Prediabetes if your blood sugar is 100 to 125 mg/dL
- Diabetes if your blood sugar is 126 mg/dL or higher
Oral glucose tolerance test. First, you’ll have a fasting plasma glucose test. Then, you’ll drink something sugary. Two hours after that, a technician will take and test more blood. The results are:
- Normal if your blood sugar is less than 140 mg/dL after the second test
- Prediabetes if your blood sugar is 140 to 199 mg/dL after the second test
- Diabetes if your blood sugar is 200 mg/dL or higher after the second test
Hemoglobin A1c test. This blood test shows your average blood sugar levels for the past 2 to 3 months. Doctors give it to people who have diabetes to see if their blood sugar levels are under control. They can also use it to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes. The results are:
- Normal if itâs 5.6% or less
- Prediabetes if itâs 5.7 to 6.4%
- Diabetes if itâs 6.5% or above
You may need to take the test again to confirm the results.
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Is Diabetes Diagnosed The Same Way In Every Country
There are four methods of diagnosing diabetes, which are used around the world. They are:
How Is Prediabetes Treated
The best way to treat diabetes is through healthy lifestyle changes. Eating a nutritious diet and getting regular exercise can help prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes.
Even small changes can significantly lower your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:
- Weight loss: Losing 5% to 7% of your body weight can have an impact. For example, a 200-pound person who loses 10 to 14 pounds could see a significant health improvement.
- Regular activity: Aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for a total of 150 minutes a week. Try walking or another activity you enjoy.
Lowering your risk factors for prediabetes can often get your blood sugar levels back to healthy levels. You might:
- Work with a nutritionist or dietitian to plan a healthful diet you can stick with long-term.
- Find ways to reduce or manage stress.
- Diagnose and treat sleep disorders.
- Manage related disorders, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Find support groups where you can meet other people going through the same challenges.
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