What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be
When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, your diabetes care team will usually tell you what your blood sugar level is and what you should aim to get it down to.
You may be advised to use a testing device to monitor your blood sugar level regularly at home.
Or you may have an appointment with a nurse or doctor every few months to see what your average blood sugar level is. This is known as your HbA1c level.
Target blood sugar levels differ for everyone, but generally speaking:
- if you monitor yourself at home with a self-testing kit a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal
- if your HbA1c level is tested every few months a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol
The Diabetes UK website has more about blood sugar levels and testing.
How Lifestyle Changes Can Also Help You Avoid Hyperglycemia
Exercise is one of the best ways to get rid of high blood sugar. But if you have ketoacidosis, you should not exercise but rather go to the emergency room. Youll want to check your urine for ketones to be safe, especially if your glucose reading is 240 mg/dL or higher.
When you exercise, your body uses glucose as its primary energy source. This, in effect, will help bring down your blood sugar levels. Working out regularly will lower your A1C.
The positive effects of regular exercise are unmistakable. According to the American Diabetes Association, working out can lead to blood sugar-reducing effects for up to 24 hours.
Reflect On The Amount Of Sugar In Your Diet
Hyperglycemia occurs when there is too much glucose in the blood.
Therefore, one way of reducing your blood glucose levels is reflecting on where sugar may be consumed in the diet. Think about any refined and processed foods that may be in your diet as these are often high in sugar. This can be achieved through a low carbohydrate diet.
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Being Overweight Increases Your Risk
Theres no one cause of type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Genes and family history can play a role, and there isnt much you can do about that. But when it comes to the factors you can control, maintaining a healthy weight is on the top of the list in preventing the disease, delaying its onset, or slowing its progression.
A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine suggests waist measurement can be as equally important as body mass index a ratio of weight and heightwhen it comes to predicting a persons disease risk, especially in type 2 diabetes.
Men should aim for a waist circumference of 40 inches or less and women should aim for 35 inches or less, according to the American Heart Association. Those who are lower weight, but have a large waist circumferencemeaning, more belly fatare also at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
What Are Risk Factors For Hyperglycemia
Major risk factors for hyperglycemia are:
- You have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- You are African American, Native American, Hispanic or Asian American.
- You are overweight.
- You have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
- You have polycystic ovarian syndrome .
- You have a history of gestational diabetes.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels
Signs of high blood sugar levels include:
- Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
- Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isn’t enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
- Feeling tired: Because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
Symptoms Treatments And Prevention
Hyperglycemia means high glucose in the blood . Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabeteswhen the blood glucose level is too high because the body isnt properly using or doesnt make the hormone insulin.
Eating too many processed foods may cause your blood sugar to rise.
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What To Do If You Eat Too Much Sugar When You Have Diabetes
These five things can help if you’ve overdone it on the sugar, according to a dietitian.
So you’ve overdone it on the sugar. We’ve all been therewe’ve all gone a little too hard at the dessert table, or the donuts at work, or the nighttime bowl of sweet cereal. You’re not alone in that. But, since you have diabetes, the consequences can be a bit more intense, and it’s important to take action to get your blood sugar stabilized. Don’t worrythis dietitian is going to walk to through some steps you can take to recover from a sugar overdose.
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Foods That Lower Blood Sugar
Food can be a wonderful tonic for your overall good health and well-being or it can be devastating to your health. Taking the time and effort to make good choices can save you from a lot of pain and suffering in the future. Here is a list of foods that are great for your health, and especially good for maintaining healthy sugar levels.
Headaches And Difficulty Concentrating
Acute hyperglycemia can cause headaches and difficulty concentrating in a fashion similar to polyphagia in which starving cells send out hunger signals because they cant access the glucose circulating in the blood.
Your brain is the biggest glucose hog around. If you dont believe it, consider that while the brain represents about 2 percent of your body weight, it devours fully 25 percent of the glucose you consume. And when brain cells have difficulty getting the fuel they need, they function poorly. This can cause problems with thinking, reasoning, and remembering, difficulty staying focused on tasks, and headaches.
Chronic high blood glucose can also lead to headaches, but by a different route. These headaches are often related to various types of nerve damage. Examples include occipital neuropathy, or damage to the optic nerve from elevated glucose levels, and a variety of diabetic mononeuropathies, which can affect specific cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, or nerve roots all of which can lead to headaches of varying intensities.
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What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels
Managing diabetes is like a three-way balancing act because you have to watch:
All three need to be balanced. If any one of these is off, blood sugar levels can be too. In general, higher than normal blood glucose levels can be caused by:
- not taking your diabetes medicine when you’re supposed to or not taking the right amounts
- not following the meal plan
- not getting enough exercise
- having an illness, like the flu
- taking other kinds of medicines that affect how your diabetes medicines work
A single high blood sugar reading usually isn’t cause for alarm it happens to everyone with diabetes from time to time. But if you have high blood sugar levels a lot, let your parents and your diabetes health care team know. Insulin or meal plans may need adjusting, or you may have an equipment issue, like an insulin pump that isn’t working right. Whatever the case, make sure you get help so you can get your blood sugar levels back under control.
Diabetes Medication That Can Help You Control Your Blood Sugar
If youve been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will likely discuss medication options to help bring your blood sugar down. If you have prediabetes, on the other hand, youll probably rely on diet and lifestyle changes to help stabilize your numbers, though in some cases, you may need medication, Dodell says.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is treated with emergency insulin and fluids administered intravenously. But the goal with blood sugar control is to prevent this type of medical emergency from happening in the first place. If your blood glucose readings are consistently higher than usual, you may not be getting enough insulin. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your dosage. You should also tell them about any other prescription or over-the-counter medication you take, as these could affect your blood sugar, too. Corticosteroids for inflammation are just one example.
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Natural Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Preventing high blood pressure is key, however, there are natural treatment options available that could help to reduce your blood pressure.
Managing stress with meditation or deep-breathing exercises Quit smoking Eating more food rich in calcium and magnesium
Eating foods rich in potassium can help
In Addition to the options listed above, there are several natural supplements that may also help to lower blood pressure or prevent it from elevating, to begin with.
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What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too High
High blood sugar is also called hyperglycemia . It means that your blood sugar level is higher than your target level or over 180. Having high blood sugar levels over time can lead to long-term, serious health problems.
If you feel very tired, thirsty, have blurry vision, or need to pee more often, your blood sugar may be high.
Check your blood sugar and see if it is above your target level or over 180. If it is too high, one way to lower it is to drink a large glass of water and exercise by taking a brisk walk. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is high more than 3 times in 2 weeks and you dont know why.
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Causes Of High Blood Sugar
The leading causes of high blood sugar or hyperglycemia include:
Diet: Glucose comes from food, so what you are eating causes high blood sugar. Carbohydrates are the most common culprit as they are broken down into glucose very quickly in the body. High-sugar foods, high-fat foods, and processed foods also cause blood glucose spikes and should be replaced with healthier options.
Stress: When you are stressed, more stress hormones and chemicals are released, which drives blood sugar levels up too. If the stress is only temporary, this is not a serious issue, but if you experience chronic stress or an anxiety disorder, you may experience high blood sugar levels more often.
Metabolic Syndrome: These are a collection of conditions that occur at the same time and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. High blood pressures, excess fat around the waist, and high cholesterol or triglycerides are examples of these conditions. When these occur in the body together, your risk for diabetes increases as does your blood sugar and the risk for potential complications.
Physical Inactivity: A lack of physical activity contributes to elevated blood sugar. When you are physically active each day, insulin works more efficiently, and your blood sugar can be maintained.
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Sweet On The Sweet Stuff
You drink a flavored latte. One moment youre wired the next, youre making a beeline to the couch. What gives? Youve just downed too much sugar. Your body goes on a physical and emotional roller coaster after having too much of the sweet stuff. The minute you put a sweet in your mouth, you get a surge of dopamine, a feel-good hormone with addictive properties, says Amanda Bontempo, RD, a nutritionist at NYU Langones Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center. But the high doesnt last.
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Problems Associated With High Blood Sugar
Frequent high blood pressure puts patients at risk of diabetes complications that can be potentially serious. Even when blood sugar does not reach acutely dangerous levels, complications can develop over time if blood sugar is consistently above a patients target range. Serious conditions and complications associated with high blood glucose include:
- Damage to the blood vessels of the eyes
- Nerve damage in the feet and hands
- Increased risk of kidney disease
- Increased risk of heart problems like heart disease
Depending on the type of diabetes a patient has, there are two different extreme forms of hyperglycemia as well. Ketoacidosis is severe hyperglycemia that impacts people with type 1 diabetes. Ketoacidosis occurs when the body runs out of glucose and begins to use ketones, a type of toxic acid, for energy. Ketoacidosis can lead to diabetic coma or even death, and it is extremely serious. Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome is a severe form of hyperglycemia that impacts people with Type 2 diabetes. It occurs when the blood glucose level goes too high and the body tries to rid itself of the excess glucose through frequent urination. If the body becomes dehydrated enough, it can go into a coma.
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Try To Cut Back On Hidden Sugar
We all know that chocolate-covered donuts, three scoops of ice cream drowned in caramel sauce, and a thick slab of strawberry shortcake are sugar bombs. But sugar can also be hidden, in salad dressing and ketchup, tomato sauce, cereal or granola, flavored yogurt, and bread. Unlike sugars that naturally occur in foods like fruit, these added sugars are put in foods during production.
Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, recommends becoming a savvy sugar sleuth. I always suggest, she says, that you scan labels for ingredients such as monosaccharides, disaccharides, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, agave nectar, molasses, cane juice, cane sugar, date sugar, and evaporated cane juice. Any of these could be added sugars. The Food and Drug Administrations new food label requirements make it a cinch to find how much sugar has been added during processing: Just look for the line that says added sugars.
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Whether you struggled to sleep throughout Christmas or youve indulged in too many fatty foods, a certain diet could be a way out of the vicious festive cycle. Eating a specific type of food can help you re-energise. This food is also great for diabetes patients as it can help control blood sugar.
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Raw Cooked Or Roasted Vegetables
These add color, flavor, and texture to a meal. Choose tasty, low-carb veggies, like mushrooms, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and low-carb squashes, like zucchini.
Try them with dips such as low-fat dressings, hummus, guacamole, and salsa, or roasted with different seasonings such as rosemary, cayenne pepper, or garlic.
Can Increase Cellular Aging
Telomeres are structures found at the end of chromosomes, which are molecules that hold part or all of your genetic information.
Telomeres act as protective caps, preventing chromosomes from deteriorating or fusing together.
As you grow older, telomeres naturally shorten, which causes cells to age and malfunction .
Although the shortening of telomeres is a normal part of aging, unhealthy lifestyle choices can speed up the process.
Consuming high amounts of sugar has been shown to accelerate telomere shortening, which increases cellular aging .
A study in 5,309 adults showed that regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with shorter telomere length and premature cellular aging .
In fact, each daily 20-ounce serving of sugar-sweetened soda equated to 4.6 additional years of aging, independent of other variables (
To avoid this energy-draining cycle, choose carb sources that are low in added sugar and rich in fiber.
Pairing carbs with protein or fat is another great way to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable.
For example, eating an apple along with a small handful of almonds is an excellent snack for prolonged, consistent energy levels.
High-sugar foods can negatively impact your energy levels by causing a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash.
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