Blood Glucose Control (blood Sugar Levels)
Introduction to blood sugar levels Our blood glucose level, or blood sugar level, is the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The amount of glucose in the blood is measured in millimoles per litre (mmol/l). Glucose levels are measured most commonly to diagnose or to monitor diabetes. It is also important to keep an eye on blood glucose levels during certain situations – for example: during pregnancy, pancreatitis and with increasing age. Normally, blood sugar levels stay within a narrow range during the day. A good level is between 4 to 8mmol/l. After you consume food, your blood sugar level will rise and after you have had a night’s rest, they will usually be lowest in the morning. Diabetes is a common disease in our society, affecting 2-5% of the general population, with many more people unaware that they may be affected by this condition. Diabetes results from a lack of insulin, or insensitivity of the body towards the level of insulin present. Thus if you have diabetes, your blood sugar level may move outside the normal limits. Why is controlling blood sugar levels so important? Carbohydrate foods are the body’s main energy source. When they are digested, they break down to form glucose in the bloodstream. If you make sure you eat regular meals, spread evenly throughout the day, you will help maintain your energy levels without causing large rises in your blood sugar levels. It is also important to maintain a stable and balanced blood sugar level, as there is a limited range of blood sugar levels in which the brain can function normally. Regular testing of your blood sugar levels allows you to monitor your level of control and assists you in altering your diabetes management strategy if your levels aren’t within the expected/recommended range. Long term c Continue reading >>
Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High
Hyperglycemia means high (hyper) glucose (gly) in the blood (emia). Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabetes—when the blood glucose level is too high because the body isn't properly using or doesn't make the hormone insulin. You get glucose from the foods you eat. Carbohydrates, such as fruit, milk, potatoes, bread, and rice, are the biggest source of glucose in a typical diet. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, and then transports the glucose to the cells via the bloodstream. Body Needs Insulin However, in order to use the glucose, your body needs insulin. This is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps transport glucose into the cells, particularly the muscle cells. People with type 1 diabetes no longer make insulin to help their bodies use glucose, so they have to take insulin, which is injected under the skin. People with type 2 diabetes may have enough insulin, but their body doesn't use it well; they're insulin resistant. Some people with type 2 diabetes may not produce enough insulin. People with diabetes may become hyperglycemic if they don't keep their blood glucose level under control (by using insulin, medications, and appropriate meal planning). For example, if someone with type 1 diabetes doesn't take enough insulin before eating, the glucose their body makes from that food can build up in their blood and lead to hyperglycemia. Your endocrinologist will tell you what your target blood glucose levels are. Your levels may be different from what is usually considered as normal because of age, pregnancy, and/or other factors. Fasting hyperglycemia is defined as when you don't eat for at least eight hours. Recommended range without diabet Continue reading >>
What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level?
The aim of diabetes treatment is to bring blood sugar (“glucose”) as close to normal as possible. What is a normal blood sugar level? And how can you achieve normal blood sugar? First, what is the difference between “sugar” and “glucose”? Sugar is the general name for sweet carbohydrates that dissolve in water. “Carbohydrate” means a food made only of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. There are various different kinds of sugars. The one our body uses most is called “glucose.” Other sugars we eat, like fructose from fruit or lactose from milk, are converted into glucose in our bodies. Then we can use them for energy. Our bodies also break down starches, which are sugars stuck together, into glucose. When people talk about “blood sugar,” they mean “blood glucose.” The two terms mean the same thing. In the U.S., blood sugar is normally measured in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dl). A milligram is very little, about 0.00018 of a teaspoon. A deciliter is about 3 1/3 ounces. In Canada and the United Kingdom, blood sugar is reported in millimoles/liter (mmol/L). You can convert Canadian or British glucose levels to American numbers if you multiply them by 18. This is useful to know if you’re reading comments or studies from England or Canada. If someone reports that their fasting blood glucose was 7, you can multiply that by 18 and get their U.S. glucose level of 126 mg/dl. What are normal glucose numbers? They vary throughout the day. (Click here for a blood sugar chart.) For someone without diabetes, a fasting blood sugar on awakening should be under 100 mg/dl. Before-meal normal sugars are 70–99 mg/dl. “Postprandial” sugars taken two hours after meals should be less than 140 mg/dl. Those are the normal numbers for someone w Continue reading >>
How To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar
If you are one of the millions of people who has prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome or any other form of “insulin resistance,” maintaining normal blood sugar levels can be challenging. Over the past several decades, these chronic disorders have swept through the U.S. and many other nations, reaching epidemic proportions and causing serious, but often preventable, side effects like nerve damage, fatigue, loss of vision, arterial damage and weight gain. Elevated blood sugar levels maintained for an extended period of time can push someone who is “prediabetic” into having full-blown diabetes (which now affects about one in every three adults in the U.S.). (1) Even for people who aren’t necessarily at a high risk for developing diabetes or heart complications, poorly managed blood sugar can lead to common complications, including fatigue, weight gain and sugar cravings. In extreme cases, elevated blood sugar can even contribute to strokes, amputations, coma and death in people with a history of insulin resistance. Blood sugar is raised by glucose, which is the sugar we get from eating many different types of foods that contain carbohydrates. Although we usually think of normal blood sugar as being strictly reliant upon how many carbohydrates and added sugar someone eats, other factors also play a role. For example, stress can elevate cortisol levels, which interferes with how insulin is used, and the timing of meals can also affect how the body manages blood sugar. (2) What can you do to help avoid dangerous blood sugar swings and lower diabetes symptoms? As you’ll learn, normal blood sugar levels are sustained through a combination of eating a balanced, low-processed diet, getting regular exercise and managing the body’s most important hormones in othe Continue reading >>
Goals For Blood Glucose Control
Discuss blood glucose (sugar) targets with your healthcare team when creating your diabetes management plan. People who have diabetes should be testing their blood glucose regularly at home. Regular blood glucose testing helps you determine how well your diabetes management program of meal planning, exercising and medication (if necessary) is doing to keep your blood glucose as close to normal as possible. The results of the nationwide Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) show that the closer you keep your blood glucose to normal, the more likely you are to prevent diabetes complications such as eye disease, nerve damage, and other problems. For some people, other medical conditions, age, or other issues may cause your physician to establish somewhat higher blood glucose targets for you. The following chart outlines the usual blood glucose ranges for a person who does and does not have diabetes. Use this as a guide to work with your physician and your healthcare team to determine what your target goals should be, and to develop a program of regular blood glucose monitoring to manage your condition. Time of Check Goal plasma blood glucose ranges for people without diabetes Goal plasma blood glucose ranges for people with diabetes Before breakfast (fasting) < 100 70 - 130 Before lunch, supper and snack < 110 70 - 130 Two hours after meals < 140 < 180 Bedtime < 120 90- 150 A1C (also called glycosylated hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c or glycohemoglobin A1c) < 6% < 7% < = less than > = greater than > = greater than or equal to < = less than or equal to Information obtained from Joslin Diabetes Center's Guidelines for Pharmacological Management of Type 2 Diabetes. Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Level
The fluctuation of blood sugar (red) and the sugar-lowering hormone insulin (blue) in humans during the course of a day with three meals. One of the effects of a sugar-rich vs a starch-rich meal is highlighted. The blood sugar level, blood sugar concentration, or blood glucose level is the amount of glucose present in the blood of humans and other animals. Glucose is a simple sugar and approximately 4 grams of glucose are present in the blood of humans at all times. The body tightly regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic homeostasis. Glucose is stored in skeletal muscle and liver cells in the form of glycogen; in fasted individuals, blood glucose is maintained at a constant level at the expense of glycogen stores in the liver and skeletal muscle. In humans, glucose is the primary source of energy, and is critical for normal function, in a number of tissues, particularly the human brain which consumes approximately 60% of blood glucose in fasted, sedentary individuals. Glucose can be transported from the intestines or liver to other tissues in the body via the bloodstream. Cellular glucose uptake is primarily regulated by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Glucose levels are usually lowest in the morning, before the first meal of the day, and rise after meals for an hour or two by a few millimoles. Blood sugar levels outside the normal range may be an indicator of a medical condition. A persistently high level is referred to as hyperglycemia; low levels are referred to as hypoglycemia. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by persistent hyperglycemia from any of several causes, and is the most prominent disease related to failure of blood sugar regulation. There are different methods of testing and measuring blood sugar le Continue reading >>
Is There A 'safe' Blood Sugar Level?
What is the "safe" blood sugar level? I have heard several opinions from other diabetics, and I am very confused. I was told that it was 154 about a year ago, and my doctor didn't recommend daily monitoring. At one time on a morning fasting, my level was 74. — Theresa, Alabama Yes, there is a safe blood sugar level. It is the optimum range that safely provides the body with adequate amounts of energy. For the average person, it is 70 to 105 mg/dl in a fasting state. (Diabetes is diagnosed when the fasting blood glucose level is at or above 126 mg/dl.) Glucose values vary depending on the time of day, your activity level, and your diet. Your sugar level of 154 mg/dl, which is high, may not have been determined while you were fasting. If it had been, a physician would have repeated the test. Your doctor did, and your level was determined to be normal at 74 mg/dl. In this case, daily monitoring is probably not necessary. If your levels are elevated in the future, you will be diagnosed with diabetes. Treatment can include lifestyle modification, diet, and exercise. If these strategies are not adequate to control your blood glucose level, your physician may prescribe oral medicines or insulin. Having a laboratory examination during your yearly physical and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are adequate for now. Why is it important to keep your glucose level within a normal range? An excess of glucose in the bloodstream causes various chemical changes that lead to damage to our blood vessels, nerves, and cells. Each cell in the body has a function that requires energy, and this energy comes primarily from glucose. The energy allows you to perform various tasks, including talking and walking. It allows your heart to beat and your brain to produce chemicals and signals that hel Continue reading >>
Must Read Articles Related To High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia)
A A A High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia) Whenever the glucose (sugar) level in one's blood rises high temporarily, this condition is known as hyperglycemia. The opposite condition, low blood sugar, is called hypoglycemia. Glucose comes from most foods, and the body uses other chemicals to create glucose in the liver and muscles. The blood carries glucose (blood sugar) to all the cells in the body. To carry glucose into the cells as an energy supply, cells need help from insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, an organ near the stomach. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood, based upon the blood sugar level. Insulin helps move glucose from digested food into cells. Sometimes, the body stops making insulin (as in type 1 diabetes), or the insulin does not work properly (as in type 2 diabetes). In diabetic patients, glucose does not enter the cells sufficiently, thus staying in the blood and creating high blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels can be measured in seconds by using a blood glucose meter, also known as a glucometer. A tiny drop of blood from the finger or forearm is placed on a test strip and inserted into the glucometer. The blood sugar (or glucose) level is displayed digitally within seconds. Blood glucose levels vary widely throughout the day and night in people with diabetes. Ideally, blood glucose levels range from 90 to 130 mg/dL before meals, and below 180 mg/dL within 1 to 2 hours after a meal. Adolescents and adults with diabetes strive to keep their blood sugar levels within a controlled range, usually 80-150 mg/dL before meals. Doctors and diabetes health educators guide each patient to determine their optimal range of blood glucose control. When blood sugar levels remain high for several hours, dehydration and more serious complicat Continue reading >>
Is My Blood Sugar Normal?
“Is my blood sugar normal?” seems like a simple question – but it’s not! The answer can vary dramatically based on your situation. Let’s look at some of the factors to consider. Please remember: you should figure out your personal goals in consultation with your doctor. Normal Blood Sugar in Diabetic vs. Non-Diabetic First, a quick note on how we measure blood sugar. In the USA, blood sugars are measured by weight in milligrams per deciliter, abbreviated as mg/dL. Most everyone else uses millimole per liter, abbreviated mmol. If you are in the USA, look at the big numbers, most everyone else look at the small numbers. In a person without diabetes, blood sugars tend to stay between 70 and 100 mg/dL (3.8 and 5.5 mmol). After a meal, blood sugars can rise up to 120 mg/dL or 6.7 mmol. It will typically fall back into the normal range within two hours. In a person with diabetes, the story is much more complex: Below 70 mg/dL Below 3.8 mmol Low Blood Sugars (Hypoglycemia). When blood sugars drop below this level, you may start feeling hunger, shakiness, or racing of the heart. Your body is starved for sugar (glucose). Read how to detect and treat low blood sugars. 70 mg/dL to 140 mg/dL 3.8 mmol to 7.7 mmol Normal Blood Sugar. In this range, the body is functioning normally. In someone without diabetes, the vast majority of the time is spent in the lower half of this range. 140 mg/dL to 180 mg/dL 7.7 mmol to 10 mmol Elevated Blood Sugars. In this range, the body can function relatively normally. However, extended periods of time in this zone put you at risk for long-term complications. Above 180 mg/dL Abovoe 10 mmol High Blood Sugars. At this range, the kidney is unable to reabsorb all of the glucose in your blood and you begin to spill glucose in your urine. Your bo Continue reading >>
What Are The Ideal Levels Of Blood Sugar?
A blood sugar or blood glucose chart identifies ideal blood sugar levels throughout the day, including before and after meals. Doctors use blood sugar charts to set target goals and monitor diabetes treatment plans. Blood sugar charts also help those with diabetes assess and self-monitor blood sugar test results. What is a blood sugar chart? Blood sugar charts act as a reference guide for blood sugar test results. As such, blood sugar charts are important tools for diabetes management. Most diabetes treatment plans involve keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal or target goals as possible. This requires frequent at-home and doctor-ordered testing, along with an understanding of how results compare to target levels. To help interpret and assess blood sugar results, the charts outline normal and abnormal blood sugar levels for those with and without diabetes. In the United States, blood sugar charts typically report sugar levels in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). In the United Kingdom and many other countries, blood sugar is reported in millimoles per liter (mmol/L). A1C blood sugar recommendations are frequently included in blood sugar charts. A1C results are often described as both a percentage and an average blood sugar level in mg/dL. An A1C test measures the average sugar levels over a 3-month period, which gives a wider insight into a person's overall management of their blood sugar levels. Blood sugar chart guidelines Appropriate blood sugar levels vary throughout the day and from person to person. Blood sugars are often lowest before breakfast and in the lead up to meals. Blood sugars are often highest in the hours following meals. People with diabetes will often have higher blood sugar targets or acceptable ranges than those without the condition. These Continue reading >>
Print Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often appear suddenly and are often the reason for checking blood sugar levels. Because symptoms of other types of diabetes and prediabetes come on more gradually or may not be evident, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended screening guidelines. The ADA recommends that the following people be screened for diabetes: Anyone with a body mass index higher than 25, regardless of age, who has additional risk factors, such as high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, a history of polycystic ovary syndrome, having delivered a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds, a history of diabetes in pregnancy, high cholesterol levels, a history of heart disease, and having a close relative with diabetes. Anyone older than age 45 is advised to receive an initial blood sugar screening, and then, if the results are normal, to be screened every three years thereafter. Tests for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and prediabetes Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you'll have with sugar attached. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates that you have diabetes. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates prediabetes. Below 5.7 is considered normal. If the A1C test results aren't consistent, the test isn't available, or if you have certain conditions that can make the A1C test inaccurate — such as if you're pregnant or have an uncommon form of hemoglobin (known as a hemoglobin variant) — your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose diabetes: Random blood sugar Continue reading >>
What Are Blood Sugar Target Ranges? What Is Normal Blood Sugar Level?
Understanding blood sugar target ranges to better manage your diabetes As a person with diabetes, you may or may not know what your target ranges should be for your blood sugars first thing in the morning, before meals, after meals, or at bedtime. You may or may not understand what blood sugar ranges are for people without diabetes. You may or may not understand how your A1C correlates with your target ranges. How do you get a clear picture of what is going on with your blood sugar, and how it could be affecting your health? In this article, we will look at what recommended blood sugar target ranges are for people without diabetes. We will look at target ranges for different times of the day for people with diabetes. We will look at target ranges for Type 1 versus Type 2 diabetes. Is there a difference? We will also look at what blood sugars should be during pregnancy for those with gestational diabetes. We will look at other factors when determining blood sugar targets, such as: Age Other health conditions How long you’ve had diabetes for Stress Illness Lifestyle habits and activity levels We will see how these factors impact target ranges for your blood sugars when you have diabetes. We will learn that target ranges can be individualized based on the factors above. We will learn how target ranges help to predict the A1C levels. We will see how if you are in your target range, you can be pretty sure that your A1C will also be in target. We will see how you can document your blood sugar patterns in a notebook or in an “app,” and manage your blood sugars to get them in your target ranges. First, let’s look at the units by which blood sugars are measured… How is blood sugar measured? In the United States, blood sugar is measured in milligrams per deciliter (by w Continue reading >>
How To Lower Blood Glucose Levels
Blood sugar (glucose) is at the heart of diabetes management. Diabetes develops when your pancreas can no longer produce insulin in sufficient quantity, or your body becomes less sensitive to the insulin you produce. Without enough effective insulin, your blood sugar levels can get out of control. High blood glucose (hyperglycemia) is most common in type 2 diabetes. But any person with diabetes can have bouts of high blood sugar. Lowering your blood sugar is crucial to both short-term and long-term diabetes management. When left untreated, hyperglycemia can cause: eye damage cardiovascular disease kidney failure nerve damage (neuropathy) skin and gum infections joint problems diabetic coma Many people with diabetes can detect hyperglycemia. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of high blood sugar start to develop when levels reach more than 200 mg/dL. Some common symptoms include: sudden, excessive fatigue severe headaches blurry vision increased urination abdominal pain nausea dry mouth confusion The goal is to prevent hyperglycemia before it starts. It can develop suddenly, but in many cases high blood sugar develops over the course of several days. Symptoms worsen the longer you experience elevated blood sugar. The key is knowing where your blood sugar levels stand. Regular blood glucose monitoring is essential, especially in type 2 diabetes. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a range of 70 to 130 mg/dL before meals, and blood glucose less than 180 mg/dL after eating. Dietary changes are among the first actions taken by diabetics. Not only does a healthy diet make you feel good, but you can also lower your blood sugar during the process. Carbohydrates are often a source of criticism because they affect glucose more than any other food group. But it’s im Continue reading >>
Low Blood Glucose (hypoglycemia)
What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose or low blood sugar, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below normal. For many people with diabetes, that means a level of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less. Your numbers might be different, so check with your health care provider to find out what level is too low for you. What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia? Symptoms of hypoglycemia tend to come on quickly and can vary from person to person. You may have one or more mild-to-moderate symptoms listed in the table below. Sometimes people don’t feel any symptoms. Severe hypoglycemia is when your blood glucose level becomes so low that you’re unable to treat yourself and need help from another person. Severe hypoglycemia is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. This condition is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. Hypoglycemia Symptoms Mild-to-Moderate Severe Shaky or jittery Sweaty Hungry Headachy Blurred vision Sleepy or tired Dizzy or lightheaded Confused or disoriented Pale Uncoordinated Irritable or nervous Argumentative or combative Changed behavior or personality Trouble concentrating Weak Fast or irregular heart beat Unable to eat or drink Seizures or convulsions (jerky movements) Unconsciousness Some symptoms of hypoglycemia during sleep are crying out or having nightmares sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up What causes hypoglycemia in diabetes? Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of insulin or other types of diabetes medicines that help your body make more insulin. Two types of diabetes pills can cause hypoglycemia: sulfonylureas and meglitinides . Ask your health care team if your diabetes medicine can cause hypoglycemia. Although ot Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Or Blood Glucose: What Does It Do?
Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is sugar that the bloodstream carries to all the cells in the body to supply energy. Blood sugar or blood glucose measurements represent the amount of sugar being transported in the blood during one instant. The sugar comes from the food we eat. The human body regulates blood glucose levels so that they are neither too high nor too low. The blood's internal environment must remain stable for the body to function. This balance is known as homeostasis. The sugar in the blood is not the same as sucrose, the sugar in the sugar bowl. There are different kinds of sugar. Sugar in the blood is known as glucose. Blood glucose levels change throughout the day. After eating, levels rise and then settle down after about an hour. They are at their lowest point before the first meal of the day, which is normally breakfast. How does sugar get into the body's cells? When we eat carbohydrates, such as sugar, or sucrose, our body digests it into glucose, a simple sugar that can easily convert to energy. The human digestive system breaks down carbohydrates from food into various sugar molecules. One of these sugars is glucose, the body's main source of energy. The glucose goes straight from the digestive system into the bloodstream after food is consumed and digested. But glucose can only enter cells if there is insulin in the bloodstream too. Without insulin, the cells would starve. After we eat, blood sugar concentrations rise. The pancreas releases insulin automatically so that the glucose enters cells. As more and more cells receive glucose, blood sugar levels return to normal again. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen, or stored glucose, in the liver and the muscles. Glycogen plays an important role in homeostasis, because it helps our body function du Continue reading >>