Who Gets Diabetes What Are The Risk Factors
Factors that increase your risk differ depending on the type of diabetes you ultimately develop.
Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes include:
- Having a family history of Type 1 diabetes.
- Injury to the pancreas .
- Presence of autoantibodies .
- Physical stress .
- Exposure to illnesses caused by viruses.
Risk factors for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American race or Pacific Islander.
- Being overweight.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian-American.
- Being overweight before your pregnancy.
- Being over 25 years of age.
Creating A Blood Sugar Testing Schedule
2-3 Hours after the Meal
4-5 Hours after the Workout
1-2 Hours after the Main Meal
There should be a clear blood sugar testing schedule. It will help you stay organized with your procedures. And following a plan will make it easier to adjust the doses to feel better in the long run. The plan should be based on your health condition and the recommendations from the doctor.
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
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Blood Glucose Testing For Type 1 Diabetes
The 2015 NICE guidelines recommend that people with type 1 diabetes test their blood glucose at least 4 times per day, including before each meal and before bed.
Your doctor should also support you to test more regularly to ensure you test at the following times:
- Before driving and at least once every 2 hours on longer journeys
- Before, during and after exercise
- Testing more regularly during periods of illness
- During pregnancy or breastfeeding or when planning pregnancy
- If you are having regular hypos
- If you have an impaired ability to spot hypo symptoms
- If you are not achieving the target HbA1c of 48 mmol/mol
- If taking part in high-risk activities
Does Eating Sugary Foods Cause Diabetes
Sugar itself doesn’t directly cause diabetes. Eating foods high in sugar content can lead to weight gain, which is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Eating more sugar than recommended American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons a day for women and nine teaspoons for men leads to all kinds of health harms in addition to weight gain.
These health harms are all risk factors for the development of diabetes or can worsen complications. Weight gain can:
- Raise blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Cause fat buildup in your liver.
- Cause tooth decay.
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Why Test My Blood Glucose
Blood testing is the best way to stay in control of your diabetes because it tells you what is happening at any particular moment. It can help determine if you are at risk of a hypoglycaemic episode or a hyperglycaemic episode . You should never change any long-term medication you are taking in response to a one-off high or low reading. You should first try to work out if there is a pattern before making any changes and always talk to your diabetes care team first.
Hours After Eating A Meal
Checking your blood sugar approximately 1 to 2 hours after eating is hugely important, because it tells you if your body has the tools it needs in order to handle your meals. Being consistently higher or lower than your goal range after eating can tell you some very important and clear things about your current diabetes management regimen.
A high blood sugar level 1 to 2 hours after eating could suggest:
- What you ate or drank at your last meal was more than your body could handle on your current diabetes management regimen.
- Your body may need some extra help from a diabetes medication.
- Your current diabetes medications may need a change in dosage.
- Your current diabetes medication may not be the right fit for you.
- Its time to try a different type of diabetes medication.
A low blood sugar level in the hours after eating could suggest:
- Youre getting too much of a certain diabetes medication .
- Your insulin sensitivity or insulin production has improved, which means your medication dosages need to be adjusted by your healthcare team.
Talk to your healthcare team about making any adjustments to your diabetes regimen to help you achieve your blood sugar goals.
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Measuring Sugar In Your Urine Yourself
You can also measure the blood sugar levels in your urine on your own. Having sugar in your urine is usually a sign of very high blood sugar levels. The extra sugar in the bloodstream is usually only removed via the kidneys at blood sugar concentrations of about 10 mmol/l and above. In order to measure the amount of sugar in your urine, you need a urine test strip and a container for collecting urine.
Its important to talk with your doctor about the best time of day to do the urine test, and whether to do it before or after eating. When measuring sugar in your urine yourself, you need a sample of urine that hasnt been in your bladder for long. So you wouldn’t use morning urine which has collected overnight. Instead, its more typical to urinate and collect a sample about an hour after the last time you went to the toilet. The test strip is then dipped into the sample. After about two minutes, the color pads on the test strip show the results.
How Can I Pay For Tests And Diabetes Supplies
Medicareexternal icon, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and fasting blood sugar test as well as some diabetes supplies. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low-cost or free supplies, and see How to Save Money on Diabetes Care for more resources.
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Can Diabetes Be Cured Or Reversed
Although these seem like simple questions, the answers are not so simple. Depending on the type of your diabetes and its specific cause, it may or may not be possible to reverse your diabetes. Successfully reversing diabetes is more commonly called achieving remission.
Type 1 diabetes is an immune system disease with some genetic component. This type of diabetes cant be reversed with traditional treatments. You need lifelong insulin to survive. Providing insulin through an artificial pancreas is the most advanced way of keeping glucose within a tight range at all times most closely mimicking the body. The closest thing toward a cure for Type 1 is a pancreas transplant or a pancreas islet transplant. Transplant candidates must meet strict criteria to be eligible. Its not an option for everyone and it requires taking immunosuppressant medications for life and dealing with the side effects of these drugs.
Its possible to reverse prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes with a lot of effort and motivation. Youd have to reverse all your risk factors for disease. To do this means a combination of losing weight, exercising regularly and eating healthy . These efforts should also lower your cholesterol numbers and blood pressure to within their normal range. Bariatric surgery has been shown to achieve remission in some people with Type 2 diabetes. This is a significant surgery that has its own risks and complications.
When Is Regular Blood Glucose Testing At Home Recommended
For people with type 2 diabetes, regular testing of blood glucose levels at home using a blood glucose test meter is generally not needed unless you are:
- starting or already taking glipizide, gliclazide or glibenclamide this is because the risk of hypoglcaemia is higher with these medicines
- starting or already taking insulin
- at risk of frequent episodes of low blood glucose
- planning a pregnancy or are pregnant.
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How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar
The number of times that you check your blood sugar will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and the type of medicine you take to treat your diabetes. For example, people who take insulin may need to check more often than people who do not take insulin. Talk with your health care team about how often to check your blood sugar.
The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up , before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime. Talk with your health care team about what times are best for you to check your blood sugar.
Why Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
When either insulin or glucose is unbalanced or unregulated, it often results in one of two reactions, including:
Hypoglycemia: When blood glucose levels become too low, hypoglycemia can occur, causing various reactions, including blurred vision, trembling, headaches, tiredness, and lack of concentration. When the bodys blood sugar levels go below 4mmol/L, its often due to a lack of glucose in the body, resulting from skipping a meal, taking too much insulin, drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, and exercising without having carbohydrates or reducing your insulin.
Hyperglycaemia: Hyperglycaemia is the opposite reaction, where the bodys blood glucose levels occur higher than normal. When the bodys blood sugar levels occur higher than 7mmol/L, symptoms such as tiredness, lethargy, headaches, and thirst happen due to the excessive amounts of glucose and lack of insulin to regulate those levels. Stress, over-treating hypoglycemia, missing insulin doses and eating more carbohydrates than recommended often cause this condition.
Both of these conditions can bring on severe complications if not treated properly and can often lead to severe, life-long conditions such as:
- Gum disease
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How Often Do I Need To See My Primary Diabetes Healthcare Professional
In general, if you are being treated with insulin shots, you should see your doctor at least every three to four months. If you are treated with pills or are managing diabetes through diet, you should be seen at least every four to six months. More frequent visits may be needed if your blood sugar is not controlled or if complications of diabetes are worsening.
Importance Of Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels5
Monitoring blood sugar helps to determine if you are meeting your glucose targets which helps to reduce the unpleasant symptoms of high and low blood sugar, and avoid long-term diabetes complications. It is helpful to remember that the numbers are neither good nor bad. They are simply information used to help you learn what is working well and identify areas for improvement in your diabetes management.
One strategy in glucose monitoring is to start by checking blood sugar levels before meals to see if you are achieving your targets. Once readings before a meal are at the target, you can check your blood sugar before a meal and again 1-2 hours after to see how that food directly affected your blood sugar level this is called paired readings and can be tried with different meals and when introducing new activities.
Simply collecting numbers is not useful unless some type of action is also taken. Therefore, it is important to share the information with your healthcare team and regularly meet with a diabetes care and education specialist to learn how to take action and improve the time you spend in target range.
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Best Times Of Day To Check Your Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar can change constantly throughout the day. Checking your blood sugar with test-strips or an FBGM several times throughout the day is just as important as taking your medications.
For example, checking your blood sugar before breakfast tells you how well your body is managing during the 8 hours you were asleep, but it doesnt tell you how well your body handles meals.
Here, well look at the best times to check your blood sugar for the most information about your diabetes management!
Can Diabetes Cause Hearing Loss
Scientists dont have firm answers yet but there appears to be a correlation between hearing loss and diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, a recent study found that hearing loss was twice as common in people with diabetes versus those who didnt have diabetes. Also, the rate of hearing loss in people with prediabetes was 30% higher compared with those who had normal blood glucose levels. Scientists think diabetes damages the blood vessels in the inner ear, but more research is needed.
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Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, your body isnt able to effectively use insulin to bring glucose into your cells. This causes your body to rely on alternative energy sources in your tissues, muscles, and organs. This is a chain reaction that can cause a variety of symptoms.
Type 2 diabetes can develop slowly. The symptoms may be mild and easy to dismiss at first. The early symptoms may include:
What Can Affect My Results
If you consistently see results that arenât expected, recalibrate your meter and check the strips.
The chart below shows you the ideal blood sugar ranges for most adults except for pregnant women. Your ideal range may be different from another person’s and will change throughout the day, so check with your doctor for your targets.
Time of Test
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How To Use A Blood Glucose Meter:
- After washing your hands, insert a test strip into your meter.
- Use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood.
- Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood and wait for the result.
- Your blood glucose level will appear on the meter’s display.
Note: All meters are slightly different, so always refer to your user’s manual for specific instructions.
Better Diabetes Control Means Better Health
There are two common ways that physicians assess how well diabetes is controlled:
- Frequent measurements of blood glucose,
- Measurement of glycohemoglobin .
Each method has its good and bad points, but combined they give a fairly accurate picture of the state of glucose control in a diabetic. Most physicians will use both methods.
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Medications For Type 2 Diabetes
In some cases, lifestyle changes are enough to keep type 2 diabetes under control. If not, there are several medications that may help. Some of these medications include:
- Metformin.This can lower your blood glucose levels and improve how your body responds to insulin. Its the first-line treatment for most people with type 2 diabetes.
- Sulfonylureas. These are oral medications that help your body make more insulin.
- Meglitinides. These are fast-acting, short-duration medications that stimulate your pancreas to release more insulin.
- Thiazolidinediones. These make your body more sensitive to insulin.
- Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors. These are milder medications that help reduce blood glucose levels.
- Glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. These slow digestion and improve blood glucose levels.
- Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitors. These help your kidneys remove sugar in your body through urine.
Each type of medication listed above can cause side effects. It may take some time for you and your doctor to find the best medication or combination of medications to treat your diabetes.
Whats My Target Range
You might be asking, what’s the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer is, there is a healthy range that you should ideally be aiming for. The infographics above show the general guidelines, but your individual target range for your blood sugar levels may be different. Youll healthcare team will agree with you what it is.
Youll get different readings at different times of the day, depending on things like what youve eaten and how much you are moving around. Heres a guide to help you get started on finding your target range:
If youre a child with Type 1 diabetes
- when you wake up and before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- after meals: 5 to 9mmol/l
If youre an adult with Type 1 diabetes
- when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
- before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l
If you have Type 2 diabetes
- before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l
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