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When To Check Blood Sugar After Eating

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How Long After Eating Does It Take For Blood Sugar To Return To Normal

I TESTED MY BLOOD SUGAR.. AFTER EATING 1,000 GRAMS OF SUGAR!

The timing of blood sugar spikes can vary, but they should peak about 90 minutes after eating a meal. In people without diabetes and people who are successfully treating diabetes, blood sugar should start going down again a few hours later. However, blood sugar levels in people with untreated diabetes can stay high even two hours after eating.

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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:

  • Your body may need more rapid-acting insulin for your last meal.
  • If you were high before the meal, and high 2 hours after, your body may need more basal/background insulin.

A low blood sugar level in the hours after eating could suggest:

  • Your body may need less rapid-acting insulin for your last meal.
  • If you also engaged in physical activity after eating, you may need a reduced meal dose.

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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How Long Does It Take For Blood Sugar Levels To Peak After Eating

After consuming foods that contain carbohydrates, its normal to see a rise in blood sugar levels.

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Your blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, will temporarily go up after eating a meal until your bodys insulin is able remove the extra sugar from the bloodstream. In general, blood sugar peaks 90 minutes after you consume a meal, says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of 2-Day Diabetes Diet. But its going to vary based on what you ate.

This type of peak is a normal part of digestion. Sometimes, however, a persons body does not respond as it should, and blood sugar levels rise too high. When this happens, it can indicate a risk for prediabetes or diabetes. Frequent spikes in blood sugar can lead to additional long-term medical problems, as well. Heres what you can do to protect your health.

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Blood Sugar Levels After Eating

Blood sugar level simply means the concentration of a simple sugar in certain amount of blood. In the United States, it is measured in mg/dl or milligrams per deciliter. Glucose concentration in the body fluctuates the whole day. Actually, there can be significant variations from minute to minute. Blood sugar levels after eating normally skyrocket and exercising will normally drop the levels. Doctors are interested in fasting glucose, glucose levels after eating, which is at times tested.

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What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too Low

25 Printable Blood Sugar Charts [Normal, High, Low] á? TemplateLab

Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia . It means your blood sugar level drops below 70. Having low blood sugar is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. Anyone with diabetes can have low blood sugar. You have a greater chance of having low blood sugar if you take insulin or certain pills for diabetes.

Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry, check your blood sugar. Even if you feel none of these things, but think you may have low blood sugar, check it.

If your meter shows that your blood sugar is lower than 70, do one of the following things right away:

  • chew 4 glucose tablets
  • drink 4 ounces of fruit juice
  • drink 4 ounces of regular soda, not diet soda or
  • chew 4 pieces of hard candy

After taking one of these treatments, wait for 15 minutes, then check your blood sugar again. Repeat these steps until your blood sugar is 70 or above. After your blood sugar gets back up to 70 or more, eat a snack if your next meal is 1 hour or more away.

If you often have low blood sugar, check your blood sugar before driving and treat it if it is low.

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How Do I Check Blood Sugar Level

Checking blood sugar level is very simple thanks to the availability of easy-to-use handheld glucometers. These consumer glucometers have made it very easy to always keep an eye on your blood sugar level. They are an absolute essential for diabetics and also for people trying to maintain their blood glucose level.

They operate by taking pin-pricks of blood onto a small electrode slip, which when inserted into the device gives a digital readout of the amount of glucose content in the blood. These devices have become extremely popular for their convenience, reliability and accuracy.

An essential laboratory test of blood glucose level is the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test or OGTT. It is a diagnostic test for DM or any glucose intolerance. Here, a blood sugar reading is taken after a 10-12 hour fast. Then another reading is taken after 2 hours after ingesting a measured amount of glucose. This test shows the bodys ability to absorb glucose, thus is a confirmatory test for DM.

Fasting Blood Sugar Test

This test can be done in the lab or the healthcare providers office with a simple finger stickor your doctor may prescribe a meter and have you test regularly at home.

A fasting blood sugar level indicates what your blood sugar is when you havent eaten for at least 8 hours. For adults without diabetes, a normal fasting blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL. A fasting blood sugar level of 100-125 mg/dL indicates prediabetes, and 126 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes.

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Before During & After Exercise

Checking your blood sugar around exercise is especially important for people who take insulin or other diabetes medications that can cause low blood sugar. Remember to always carry fast-acting carbohydrates with you while exercising.

Especially if youre new to exercise , its extremely important to check your blood sugar before, during, and after exercise to identify and prevent low blood sugars. The more you study the way different types of exercise impact your blood sugar, the more you can develop a consistent plan around meals and exercise to prevent highs and lows.

A low blood sugar level before, during, or after exercising could suggest:

A high blood sugar level during, or after exercising can happen, too. Certain types of exercise like weightlifting, spinning, sprinting can trigger your liver to release stored sugar for extra fuel and the conversion of lactic acid into glucose. Many people take a small bolus of insulin before or during these anaerobic types of exercise to prevent high blood sugars.

Talk to your healthcare team about making any adjustments to your diabetes regimen to help you achieve your blood sugar goals.

Preventing Low Blood Sugar Levels

Clearing Up Myths About Blood Sugars After Eating

Here are some other tips to help you avoid low blood sugar levels:

  • Eat all your meals and snacks on time and try not to skip any.
  • Take the right amount of insulin.
  • If you exercise longer or harder than usual, have an extra snack.
  • Don’t take a hot bath or shower right after an insulin shot.
  • Stick to your diabetes management plan.
  • Check your blood sugar levels regularly, so you can tell if your blood sugars are running too low and your treatment plan needs adjustment.
  • Carry something containing sugar with you at all times and take it right away if you have symptoms. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms will go away they may get worse!

Alcohol and drugs can cause major problems with your blood sugar levels, so avoiding them is another way to prevent diabetes problems. Drinking can be particularly dangerous even deadly for people with diabetes because it messes up the body’s ability to keep blood glucose in a normal range. This can cause a very rapid drop in blood glucose in people with diabetes. Drug or alcohol use is also dangerous because it may affect someone’s ability to sense low blood sugar levels.

Learning how to recognize the signs of low blood sugar levels and get them back to normal is an important part of caring for diabetes. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels and recording lows when they occur will help you and your diabetes health care team keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

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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 help you lower it to a healthy range.

Here are some of the most common symptoms that may indicate hyperglycemia:

  • Fruity-smelling breath

Your healthcare provider will give you a treatment plan that indicates when you should seek immediate medical attention.

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:

How Can I Tell If My Blood Sugar Is Irregular

Again, only a doctor can diagnose a problem with your blood sugar. But you may be wondering how to know if it’s something you should get checked out. There can be two main issues with your blood sugar — either it’s consistently too high or too low. Even if you don’t have diabetes, there are some signs that your blood sugar levels are not functioning normally.

Hypoglycemia is a condition in which your blood sugar is too low. Signs include an irregular heartbeat, fatigue, shakiness and tingling or numbness in your face. If you consistently feel this way when you get hungry or between meals, talk to your health care provider.

On the flip side, hyperglycemia happens when your blood sugar is too high, and can happen to nondiabetics. Symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst and headache. If you think you’re hyperglycemic and can’t keep fluids or food down, call for emergency medical assistance.

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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels In Healthy Individuals

Blood sugar levels can either be normal, high, or low, depending on how much glucose someone has in their bloodstream. Glucose is a simple sugar thats present in the bloodstream at all times. Blood glucose levels can be measured at any time, for example, when someone fasts , before they eat, or after theyve eaten. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, who havent eaten for at least eight hours is less than 100 mg/dL. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, two hours after eating, is 90 to 110 mg/dL.

Many factors affect blood sugar levels throughout the day:

  • Type of food consumed, how much, and when
  • Physical activity
  • Menstrual periods

An ideal blood sugar level for anyone without diabetes or prediabetes, regardless of age, in the morning should be less than 100 mg/dL. Remember, blood sugar levels can fluctuate throughout the day as a result of the factors previously mentioned.

Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy

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The NIDDK states that gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that occurs during pregnancy if you were not diabetic before getting pregnant. Healthy blood sugar during pregnancy can help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. It can also lower the risk of your baby being born prematurely, at a high birth weight, and having respiratory problems.

Blood sugar and insulin levels during the first trimester of pregnancy tend to be lower than usual, but they rise during the late second and early third trimesters. You can be diagnosed with an oral glucose tolerance test .

These are the steps for the 2-step strategy.

  • Drink a solution with 50 grams of glucose about the amount in 1 16-oz. bottle of a soft drink
  • Get your blood drawn after 1 hour. IF the value is high, retest
  • Drink a solution with 100 grams of glucose about the amount in 12 peanut butter cups
  • Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1, 2, and 3 hours

Or, your doctor might use the 1-step strategy with a 2-hour OGTT:

  • Drink a solution with 75 grams of glucose
  • Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1 and 2 hours

These are some values to know from NIDKK related to gestational diabetes and healthy blood sugar in pregnancy.

Time or Situation
Baseline: at least 105 mg/dl1 hour: at least 190 mg/dl2 hours: at least 165 mg/dl3 hours: at least 145 mg/dl

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The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Sugar

Blood sugar monitoring is the primary tool you have to find out if your blood glucose levels are within your target range. This tells you your blood glucose level at any one time.

Its important for blood sugar levels to stay in a healthy range. If glucose levels get too low, we can lose the ability to think and function normally. If they get too high and stay high, it can cause damage or complications to the body over the course of many years.

The logging of your results is vital. When you bring your log to your healthcare provider, youll have a good picture of your bodyâs response to your diabetes care plan. To help keep track of your levels, we have a glucose log. We also have a blood glucose log available for purchase that is smaller so you can carry it with you.

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Why The Test Is Performed

Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of diabetes . More than likely, the doctor will order a fasting blood sugar test.

The blood glucose test is also used to monitor people who already have diabetes.

The test may also be done if you have:

  • An increase in how often you need to urinate
  • Recently gained a lot of weight

SCREENING FOR DIABETES

This test may also be used to screen a person for diabetes.

High blood sugar and diabetes may not cause symptoms in the early stages. A fasting blood sugar test is almost always done to screen for diabetes.

If you are over age 45, you should be tested every 3 years.

If you’re overweight and have any of the risk factors below, ask your health care provider about getting tested at an earlier age and more often:

  • High blood sugar level on a previous test
  • Blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher, or unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • History of heart disease
  • Member of a high-risk ethnic group
  • Woman who has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes
  • Polycystic ovary disease
  • Close relative with diabetes
  • Not physically active

Children age 10 and older who are overweight and have at least two of the risk factors listed above should be tested for type 2 diabetes every 3 years, even if they have no symptoms.

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What Is The Normal Blood Sugar Range

Your doctor is the best person to ask what your blood sugar goals should be. Since everyone is different and unique, your goals may be different from the standard ranges. Things like age, your health, how long youve had diabetes, pregnancy, might change what the doctor wants you toaim for.

The top two blood sugar ranges or targets are:

  • Fasting or before meal blood sugar This is your blood sugar number before a meal. It is usually your lowest number. It is best between 4.0 and 7.0 mmol/L.
  • After meal blood sugar This is your blood sugar number two hours after a meal. It is usually your highest number. It is best between 5.0 and 10.0 mmol/L.

No one isperfect and in range all the time. But if your numbers are too high, that is called Hyperglycemia. If your numbers are too low, that is called Hypoglycemia. In both situations, your doctor will want to know how you are feeling to make sure you are alright and tell you how to get back into range.

A Need To Update Older Guidelines

How to Test Your Blood Sugar

Aldasouqi also points out that specialists currently recognize that eating before undergoing a blood cholesterol test is unlikely to affect relevant measurements. Therefore, having a meal before going in for a test may actually be better than fasting and potentially losing consciousness on the way to the laboratory.

He adds that the idea of fasting before a blood test comes from antiquated sets of guidelines from the 1970s, which specialists in Canada and most European countries no longer use.

For this reason, he says that United States-based specialists may want to consider revising their own guidelines to better fit the needs of their patients.

According to the studys findings, only 35 percent of participants had received advice about how to prevent a FEEHD event before going in for a blood cholesterol test.

We encourage patients who receive orders for a lab test, explains Aldasouqi, to ask their doctor if fasting is really necessary, and if so, how they should handle their diabetes medications during the fasting period to account for the changes in their blood sugar levels.

FEEHD is overlooked in clinical practice, and we aim to bring this problem to light and further educate doctors and patients about the consequences of fasting while on diabetes medications, he adds.

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