What You Should Know About Managing Glucose Levels
If you have diabetes, managing your blood glucose level is an important part of managing your condition. That’s because high blood sugar levels can cause long-term complications. When you have diabetes, your body isn’t able to get the sugar from blood into cells, or make enough or any insulin. This causes high levels of blood sugar, or high glucose levels. After meals, it’s the foods that have carbohydrates that cause blood sugar levels to go up. When we eat foods that contain carbohydrates, the digestion process turns them into sugars that are released into the blood. Those sugars are then transported through the blood and travel to the cells. The pancreas, a small organ in the abdomen, releases a hormone called insulin to meet the sugar at the cell. Insulin will connect onto spots on some cells of the body and act as a “bridge,” allowing the sugar to go from the blood and into the cell. The cell uses the sugar for energy, and blood sugar levels go down. With diabetes, there’s either a problem with the cells using insulin, a problem with the pancreas producing insulin, or both. With type 1 diabetes, the body stops making insulin completely. With type 2 diabetes, it’s usually a mix of the cells not using insulin well, which is called insulin resistance. And the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. With prediabetes, it is usually a problem with the cells not using insulin well. Keep reading to learn more about checking and managing your glucose levels. Talk to you doctor or healthcare providers about the best times to check your blood glucose, as optimal times vary by person. Some options include: after fasting (after waking or not eating for eight to 12 hours) or before meals before and after meals, to see the impact that the meal had on your blood suga 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 >>
What Is Normal Blood Sugar Levels?
Frequency of hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia unawareness After taking all of these factors into consideration, your doctor will be able to determine what blood glucose targets are best for you. For example, if you are considered to be a healthy, younger individual with diabetes, your blood sugar targets will likely be set to reflect tighter or more rigid blood sugar control. Elderly people with type 2 diabetes may not need to have blood sugar targets so strict because they are at increased risk of having low blood sugars or because they have other health related issues. Women with gestational diabetes have blood sugar targets that are lower than non pregnant people with diabetes to protect the unborn fetus and children with type 1 diabetes have blood sugar targets that are less stringent, especially if they experience episodes of hypoglycemia unawareness. We know healthy eating is key to help manage diabetes, but that doesn't make it easy. Our free nutrition guide is here to help. Sign up and receive your free copy! The table below compares the general recommendations of the two sets of guidelines for both blood glucose pre and post meals as well as hemoglobin A1C (three month average of blood sugar). Plasma blood glucose and A1C goals from the ADA and ACE for most non pregnant adults A Good Way to Determine Your Blood Sugar Levels is Self Blood Glucose Monitoring (SBGM)? Checking your blood glucose levels throughout the day will help you to figure out how to keep your blood sugar in good control. Your numbers can help you pattern manage and learn how to identify how food, exercise, stress, and illness, to name a few, affects your blood sugar control. First thing in the morning (when you are fasting for at least 8 hours) before breakfast, two hours after a meal and befor Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Levels For Adults With Diabetes
Each time you test your blood sugar, log it in a notebook or online tool or with an app. Note the date, time, results, and any recent activities: What medication and dosage you took What you ate How much and what kind of exercise you were doing That will help you and your doctor see how your treatment is working. Well-managed diabetes can delay or prevent complications that affect your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes doubles your risk for heart disease and stroke, too. Fortunately, controlling your blood sugar will also make these problems less likely. Tight blood sugar control, however, means a greater chance of low blood sugar levels, so your doctor may suggest higher targets. Continue reading >>
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels?
Normal blood sugar levels are less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least eight hours. And they're less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating. During the day, levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people without diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals hover around 70 to 80 mg/dL. For some people, 60 is normal; for others, 90 is the norm. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: "Your Guide to Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2." American Diabetes Association: "Checking Your Blood Glucose;" "Type 2 Diabetes Complications;" and ''National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2011.'' Robertson, R. 2003. Diabetes, Brownlee, M. 1994. Diabetes, Wautier, J. 1994. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Christiansen, J. "What Is Normal Glucose?" presentation at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting, September 13, 2006. Fuller, J. 1980. Lancet, Riddle, M. 1990. Diabetes Care, Rao, S. 2004. American Family Physician, Cryer, P. 1993. American Journal of Physiology, Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on December 19, 2017 National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: "Your Guide to Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2." American Diabetes Association: "Checking Your Blood Glucose;" "Type 2 Diabetes Complications;" and ''National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2011.'' Robertson, R. 2003. Diabetes, Brownlee, M. 1994. Diabetes, Wautier, J. 1994. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Christiansen, J. "What Is Normal Glucose?" presentation at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting, September 13, 2006. Fuller, J. 1980. Lancet, Riddle, M. 1990. Diabetes Care, Rao, S. 2004. American Family Physician, 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 >>
Diabetes - Low Blood Sugar - Self-care
Low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia. A blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) is low and can harm you. A blood sugar level below 54 mg/dL (3.0 mmol/L) is cause for immediate action. You are at risk for low blood sugar if you have diabetes and are taking any of the following diabetes medicines: Insulin Glyburide (Micronase), glipizide (Glucotrol), glimepiride (Amaryl), repaglinide (Prandin), or nateglinide (Starlix) Chlorpropamide (Diabinese), tolazamide (Tolinase), acetohexamide (Dymelor), or tolbutamide (Orinase) Know how to tell when your blood sugar is getting low. Symptoms include: Weakness or feeling tired Shaking Sweating Headache Hunger Feeling uneasy, nervous, or anxious Feeling cranky Trouble thinking clearly Double or blurry vision Fast or pounding heartbeat Sometimes your blood sugar may be too low even if you do not have symptoms. If it gets too low, you may: Faint Have a seizure Go into a coma Talk with your health care provider about when you should check your blood sugar every day. People who have low blood sugar need to check their blood sugar more often. The most common causes of low blood sugar are: Taking your insulin or diabetes medicine at the wrong time Taking too much insulin or diabetes medicine Not eating enough during meals or snacks after you have taken insulin or diabetes medicine Skipping meals Waiting too long after taking your medicine to eat your meals Exercising a lot or at a time that is unusual for you Not checking your blood sugar or not adjusting your insulin dose before exercising Drinking alcohol Preventing low blood sugar is better than having to treat it. Always have a source of fast-acting sugar with you. When you exercise, check your blood sugar levels. Make sure you have snacks with you. Talk to your provider about r Continue reading >>
This information describes diabetes, the complications related to the disease, and how you can prevent these complications. Blood Sugar Control Diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar runs too high, usually due to not enough insulin. It can cause terrible long-term complications if it is not treated properly. The most common serious complications are blindness ("retinopathy"), kidney failure requiring dependence on a dialysis machine to stay alive ("nephropathy"), and foot and leg amputations. The good news is that these complications can almost always be prevented if you keep your blood sugar near the normal range. The best way to keep blood sugar low is to eat a healthy diet and do regular exercise. Just 20 minutes of walking 4 or 5 times a week can do wonders for lowering blood sugar. Eating a healthy diet is also very important. Do your best to limit the number of calories you eat each day. Put smaller portions of food on your plate and eat more slowly so that your body has a chance to let you know when it's had enough to eat. It is also very important to limit saturated fats in your diet. Read food labels carefully to see which foods are high in saturated fats. Particular foods to cut down on are: whole milk and 2% milk, cheese, ice cream, fast foods, butter, bacon, sausage, beef, chicken with the skin on (skinless chicken is fine), doughnuts, cookies, chocolate, and nuts. Often, diet and exercise alone are not enough to control blood sugar. In this case, medicine is needed to bring the blood sugar down further. Often pills are enough, but sometimes insulin injections are needed. If medicines to lower blood sugar are started, it is still very important to keep doing regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Keeping Track of Blood Sugar Checking blood sugar wi Continue reading >>
Diabetes By The Numbers
When you have type 2 diabetes, you’ve got to know your numbers. It’s not just about blood sugar. To successfully manage diabetes, there are several measurements that you should take, or have taken, on a regular basis. Keeping track of the following numbers can help you live well with type 2 diabetes and lower your risk of complications. Blood sugar levels. This is probably the type 2 diabetes measure you’re most familiar with. Testing your blood sugar regularly allows you to see how certain foods, exercise, and other activities affect your blood sugar levels on a day-to-day basis. Many people with type 2 diabetes need to test once or twice a day to make sure blood sugar levels are in target range. If your blood sugar is very well controlled, you may only need to check a few times a week, according to the National Institutes of Health. The American Diabetes Association recommends aiming for a blood sugar level between 70 to 130 mg/dl before meals and less than 180 mg/dl one to two hours after a meal. To keep your blood sugar within this range, follow a healthy, well-rounded diet and eat meals and snacks on a consistent schedule. If your blood sugar is not well controlled, talk to your doctor about adjusting your diabetes management plan. A1C level. This is a blood test, typically given at doctor's appointments, that measures your average blood sugar levels over a longer period. “It gives you a picture of what’s been going on over the past two to three months,” says Dawn Sherr, RD, a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Essentially, your A1C result shows how well your diabetes treatment plan is working. Depending on your results, you may need to have the test from two to four times a year. For most pe Continue reading >>
15 Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
High blood sugar occurs when your body can't effectively transport sugar from blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes. One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic (1). This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally: Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction. If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should routinely check your levels. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low (2). Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels. Your body breaks carbs down into sugars (mostly glucose), and then insulin moves the sugars into cells. When you eat too many carbs or have problems with insulin function, this process fails and blood glucose levels rise. However, there are several things you can do about this. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends controlling carb intake by counting carbs or using a food exchange system (3). Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, which may further improve blood sugar control (4, 5). Many studies also show that a low-carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood s Continue reading >>
Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them To Manage Your Diabetes
Checking your blood sugar, also called blood glucose, is an important part of diabetes care. This tip sheet tells you: why it helps you to know your blood sugar numbers how to check your blood sugar levels what are target blood sugar levels what to do if your levels are too low or too high how to pay for these tests Why do I need to know my blood sugar numbers? Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss. As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change. How is blood sugar measured? There are two ways to measure blood sugar. Blood sugar checks that you do yourself. These tell you what your blood sugar level is at the time you test. The A1C (A-one-C) is a test done in a lab or at your provider’s office. This test tells you your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. How do I check my blood sugar? You use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This device uses a small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level. You can get the meter and supplies in a drug store or by mail. Read the directions that come with your meter to learn how to check your blood sugar. Your health care team also can show you how to use your meter. Write the date, time, and result of the test in your blood sugar record. Take your blood sugar record and meter to each visit and talk about your results with your h Continue reading >>
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 >>
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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 >>
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High Blood Sugar Symptoms: How High Blood Sugar Affects The Body - Health
Glucose, or sugar, is the fuel that powers cells throughout the body. Blood levels of this energy source ebb and flow naturally, depending what you eat (and how much), as well as when you eat it. But when something goes wrongand cells aren't absorbing the glucosethe resulting high blood sugar damages nerves, blood vessels, and organs, setting the stage for dangerous complications. Normal blood-sugar readings typically fall between 60 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl. A blood test called a hemoglobin A1c measures average blood sugar levels over the previous three months. A normal reading is below 5.7% for people without diabetes . An excess of glucose in the bloodstream, or hyperglycemia, is a sign of diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes dont make insulin, the hormone needed to ferry sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Type 2 diabetes means your body doesnt use insulin properly and you can end up with too much or too little insulin. Either way, without proper treatment, toxic amounts of sugar can build up in the bloodstream, wreaking havoc head to toe. Thats why its so important to get your blood sugar levels in check. If you keep glucose levels near normal, you reduce the risk of diabetes complications, says Robert Ratner, MD, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. Heres a rundown of the major complications and symptoms of high blood sugar. Often, high blood sugar causes no (obvious) symptoms at all, at least at first. About 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but one in four has no idea. Another 86 million have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes . That's why its a good idea to get your blood sugar tested if you are at risk for diabetes. That includes people who are overwei 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 >>