Can I Have Elevated Blood Sugar Without Having Diabetes?
Yes, a number of things can cause high blood sugar but most of the time it is due to having diabetes. But it can also be due to other causes. These include medications such as beta blockers, epinephrine, thiazide diuretics, corticosteroids, niacin, pentamidine, protease inhibitors and some antipsychotics. Illegal drug use of amphetamine can produce high blood sugar. Some of the newer, double action anti-depressants like Zyprexa and Cymbalta can also cause significant high blood sugar. Another cause of high blood sugar is when the body is in a state of physical stress associated with critical illness like a stroke or heart attack. An active blood infection, known as sepsis, is often seen with blood sugar levels that are high. During these times of stress, the body releases its own hormones that can raise blood sugar. The level that the blood sugar reaches can change from person to person and should not be used as a diagnosis of diabetes. Further testing, such checking blood sugar levels after not eating for 8 hours or checking a special test of red blood cells can show if there really is a diagnosis of diabetes. Continue reading >>
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Normal Blood Glucose
[Science of Diabetes] One of the most common questions asked by people with diabetes is: "What are normal blood sugar levels?" Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question, because it depends on how you define normal. It’s like deciding when someone is rich or poor, tall or short, thin or fat, or young or old. Most people would agree that a very skinny person was thin and a very fat person was fat. But how about the sizes in between? When does underweight become normal and when does normal become overweight? It’s all a matter of definitions and cutoff points set by one group or another. The definitions of normal, prediabetes, and diabetes are usually made by august committees of diabetes experts, and they change from time to time. For example, not too long ago, it was decided that you’re diabetic if your fasting BG level is 126 mg/dL [to convert to mMol/L, divide by 18] or higher, instead of the previous cutoff of 140. There are some guidelines about "nondiabetic" BG levels, for instance, "Nondiabetics never go over 140 mg/dL, no matter what they eat, and return to premeal levels in 2 or 3 hours" or "Nondiabetic fasting levels are 70 to 100 mg/dL." Textbooks that plot BG levels during the day in diabetic and nondiabetic individuals often show the nondiabetic levels as ranging from about 80 mg/dL before meals to close to 100 after some meals and about 120 after the largest meal of the day. However, real life doesn’t always correspond to the textbooks. Some nondiabetic people, especially young, fit persons, keep their BG levels much more stable than that. Many people with diabetes have used their home meters to measure their nondiabetic spouses and friends. Some find that the nondiabetic family members stay in the 80s no matter what they eat. Others Continue reading >>
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Tips For Controlling Diabetes
By Betsy Dokken, NP, PhD, (formerly) assistant professor, Endocrinology, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson 1. Diet: There is no such thing as a “diabetic diet.” (That was so 1970s!) Follow general recommendations for a healthy, balanced diet. Of the three major nutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat), carbohydrate has, by far, the greatest effect on the blood sugar level. All sugars (sucrose, fructose, lactose) and starches are converted to glucose when absorbed into the circulation. Eating a high carbohydrate meal is literally “dumping” glucose into your blood. For help with this, ask your health care provider for a referral to a registered dietitian (RD). 2. Attain or maintain a healthy weight. Although weight loss is not always a “cure” for type 2 diabetes, excess body fat interferes with the ability of insulin to control blood sugar levels. Most sensible weight loss plans are safe for diabetic patients. 3. Exercise AT LEAST 150 minutes every week. The most effective exercise for blood sugar control is a combination of aerobic or “cardio” training, like walking or cycling, AND strength training, like weight lifting or using a resistance band. Resistance bands are inexpensive, versatile, and effective at strengthening muscles, and can be found (along with instructions) at most department or fitness stores, or online. 4. Monitor your blood sugar. If you don’t monitor your blood sugar, you will not know if it is in the target range, both before and after meals. The first step in controlling blood sugar is to know whether it is within the target range, or above it, and if it is above target, what might be causing this. All insurance plans are required to cover basic blood glucose monitoring supplies with a prescription. Keep a record Continue reading >>
Managing Diabetes With Blood Glucose Control
There are two common ways that physicians assess how well diabetes is controlled:  Frequent measurements of blood glucose, and  measurement of glycohemoglobin (A1c). 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. Why Tight Blood Glucose Is Important Measurement of Blood Glucose (Blood Sugar) When we speak about measuring blood glucose levels, it can be done 2 different ways. Blood glucose can be measured randomly from a sample taken at any time (called a "random blood sugar" or RBS). Blood glucose can also be measured in the "fasting" state, meaning that the person has not eaten or taken in any calories in the past 8 hours (usually this is done overnight and it is referred to as an overnight fast and is called a "fasting blood sugar" or FBS). In a person with normal insulin production and activity (a non-diabetic) blood sugar levels will return to "fasting" levels within 3 hours of eating. People with diabetes (type 1 and type 2) may not be able to get their blood glucose down this quickly after a meal or drinking a calorie-containing drink. More about this can be found on our Diagnosing Diabetes page. Learn More about How to Manage Diabetes Remember, the normal fasting blood glucose level is between 70 and 110 mg/dL. Frequent Measurements of Blood Glucose. The goal in this part of diabetes management is to strive to keep fasting blood sugars under 140 mg/dL and preferably closer to the 70 to 120 mg/dL range. Ideally, one could monitor blood sugars 4 times per day (or more) to follow how well the sugars are controlled. This information could be used to adjust your diet and medications to achieve this goal. Usually blood glucose measureme Continue reading >>
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Common Questions About Blood Sugar
How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>
Pregnancy And Diabetes: When And Why Your Blood Sugar Levels Matter Most
The following is an excerpt from the book Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes by Ginger Vieira and Jennifer Smith, CDE & RD There are two things you can definitely expect will be said to you by total strangers, friends, and several family members because you have diabetes: “Doesn’t that mean your baby will be huge?” “So, is your baby probably going to get diabetes, too?” Both questions are rather rude–sure–but both implications are also very far from accurate. Yes: persistent high blood sugars during pregnancy can lead to a larger baby…but people without diabetes have very large babies, too. And people with diabetes have good ol’ fashioned regularly sized babies, too. There is no way to assure the size of a baby at birth. Skinny women can have huge babies just like an overweight woman can give birth to a very small baby. Women who eat a lot during pregnancy can have small babies! Very little of this is in our control. In the end, you can manage your diabetes extremely tightly and still have a larger than average baby because blood sugar control is not the only thing that impacts the size of your baby at birth, and more importantly, a larger baby is not the only or even most important complication a baby can experience due to mom’s elevated blood sugar levels. No: just because you have diabetes definitely does not mean your baby will have diabetes! And guess what, there’s nothing you can do during pregnancy to prevent or reduce your baby’s risk of developing diabetes…at least not that science and research is aware of at this time. So take a very deep breath, mama, because that is not something you can control, and your baby’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes is actually only about 2 percent higher than the risk of a non-diabetic woman’s baby de Continue reading >>
Hyperglycaemia (high Blood Sugar)
Hyperglycaemia is the medical term for a high blood sugar (glucose) level. It's a common problem for people with diabetes. It can affect people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as pregnant women with gestational diabetes. It can occasionally affect people who don't have diabetes, but usually only people who are seriously ill, such as those who have recently had a stroke or heart attack, or have a severe infection. Hyperglycaemia shouldn't be confused with hypoglycaemia, which is when a person's blood sugar level drops too low. This information focuses on hyperglycaemia in people with diabetes. Is hyperglycaemia serious? The aim of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as near to normal as possible. But if you have diabetes, no matter how careful you are, you're likely to experience hyperglycaemia at some point. It's important to be able to recognise and treat hyperglycaemia, as it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Occasional mild episodes aren't usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or may return to normal on their own. However, hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods. Very high blood sugar levels can cause life-threatening complications, such as: diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a condition caused by the body needing to break down fat as a source of energy, which can lead to a diabetic coma; this tends to affect people with type 1 diabetes hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS) – severe dehydration caused by the body trying to get rid of excess sugar; this tends to affect people with type 2 diabetes Regularly having high blood sugar levels for long periods of time (over months or years) can result in permanent damage to parts Continue reading >>
Normal Blood Sugar Goals And Why 3
My blood sugar goals: truly normal blood sugars. In other words, normal blood sugar for non-diabetics. It’s common sense right? Who would want ab-normal blood sugar levels? The devil is in the details. What are truly normal blood sugar ranges What happens when you exceed normal ranges Our bodies are designed to maintain a very tight range of glucose in our blood. If we exceed a certain level, insulin is secreted. If we go below certain levels, glucose is secreted. Why is our body designed to maintain such a tight range of blood sugar levels? Elevated blood sugars, hyperglycemia is toxic to every cell Truly low blood sugars , hypoglycemia can lead to death Note: I will periodically update a list at the end of this post with studies showing the advantages of maintaining ‘truly’ normal blood sugars. These studies are under the ‘Additional References” section. Complications of Elevated Blood Sugar We know that diabetes related complications occur at higher levels of blood sugar. High blood sugar is toxic to every cell in the body. Toxic levels of blood sugar harm all of our cells and our organs. This toxicity causes retinopathy, neuropathy, organ failure, amputations, heart disease, etc. Why in the hell would I want diabetic blood sugar levels? Our bodies are designed to run at a certain narrow blood sugar range. I want that range. Below we will look at studies showing the effects not ‘just’ for diabetic levels of blood sugar, but for higher levels of so-called normal blood sugar ranges. Blood Sugar and Dementia In this Article, “Dementia risk tied to blood sugar level, even with no diabetes” “A Joint Group Health-University of Washington (UW) study in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that higher blood sugar levels are associated with higher 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 >>
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 >>
Can Surgery Cause Increased Blood Sugar In Non-diabetics?
Yes. As was noted in the prior answer, the stress that your body endures during surgery causes a stress response which increases blood sugar. In addition, (depending on what kind of surgery you needed), if you are getting steroids to reduce inflammation, your blood sugar would also increase. Steroids can increase circulating blood sugar and make it more difficult for your body to transport the glucose into cells, further increasing circulating glucose levels. Studies have shown that patients with normal blood sugars have better outcomes and fewer complications than those with high blood sugar. For that reason, we constantly check people’s blood sugar in the ICU that I work at, and often have to give insulin to patients who are not diabetic for this reason. Many patients are concerned that they will need to take insulin forever, but its generally only temporary. Yes, because of the stress it causes will induce higher levels of stress hormones mainly cortisol, which will raise you blood glucose levels. Know that many middle aged diabetics aren’t aware of the fact that they’ve diabetes at all, having a raised threshold for urinary loss of glucose it won’t cause peeing a lot = polyuria, which most lay people associate with having diabetes, in the US that would be one in every 4 persons having diabetes: Yes. Surgery can lead to high blood sugars even in non-diabetics. As part of evolution, a surgery is identified as a physical stress for the body. The body gears up for a speedy recovery and during this period, our body mobilizes energy i.e. glucose to overcome this stress. Certain hormones too are released to overcome this stress. Amongst many others like cortisol, these hormones include insulin and glucagon, both of which work in combination to maintain our blood su Continue reading >>
Normal Range For Blood Sugar After Eating A Meal
When you have diabetes your blood sugar levels can be quite fragile. What are normal blood sugar levels? Blood sugar levels depend on what, when and how much you eat, as well as how effectively your body produces and uses insulin. Your blood sugar levels are an excellent indicator of your risk of developing diabetes; the higher your blood sugar, the greater your risk. Chronic high blood sugar can be a wake-up call, telling you that it’s time to lose weight and make healthier food choices. Normal Blood Glucose / Blood Sugar Level Ranges before Eating Target blood sugar levels depend on the time of day and if you already have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Before you eat, called a fasting or pre-prandial glucose level, a non-diabetic should have a glucose level between 3.88 and 5.3 mmol/L.. If your reading is higher than 5.33 mmol/L. but lower than 6.94mmol/L, you may have insulin resistance or pre-diabetes. Glucose readings above 7 mmol/L indicate you have diabetes. Ideally, if you have type 2 diabetes you should have a fasting glucose level between 3.88 mmol/L and 7.22 mmol/L, when your diabetes is under control due to a combination of diet, exercise and medication if needed. Normal Blood Sugar Ranges after Eating Your blood sugar or blood glucose levels starts to rise soon after you start to eat and is at its highest 1 to 2 hours after your meal. Normal postprandial, which means “after eating,” glucose levels are 6.67 mmol/L and below for non-diabetics, 8.83 mmol/L. and below for those with pre-diabetes and 10 mmol/L for diabetics. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease suggest that two hours after eating, diabetics should have a blood sugar reading of 10 mmol/L or less. If your blood sugar is higher than 18 mmol/L two hours after eating, Continue reading >>
What Is Ok For A Sugar Level?
Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Levels Your body uses glucose for energy. When you wake up in the morning after fasting for at least eight hours, your blood sugar should fall between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL. Levels between 100 and 120 mg/dL in the morning indicate that you have pre-diabetes, a condition that makes it likely that you'll develop type II diabetes in the future, the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse warns. Blood Sugar After Eating What you eat and how much you eat influences how high your blood sugar level rises after eating. If you have a normal blood sugar level, your level even after eating normally won't rise above 125 mg/dL most of the time, according to MedlinePlus. When testing for diabetes, a level of less than 200 mg/dL one hour after ingesting a high-glucose drink or snack and less than 140 mg/dL two hours after ingestion is considered non-diabetic, MedlinePlus also reports. A blood sugar level that is between 140 to 199 mg/dL zero to two hours after ingestion indicates pre-diabetes, however. Diabetic Fasting Levels The American Diabetes Association says diabetics should maintain a normal fasting blood sugar level between 70 to 130 mg/dL. Some diabetics are prone to hypoglycemia, a condition in which blood glucose levels are less than 70 mg/dL. Hypoglycemia can lead to shakiness, sweating, trouble concentrating and loss of consciousness if not treated. If you have a tendency toward hypoglycemia, your doctor might suggest testing your blood sugar level more frequently or changing your diet. Diabetic Levels After Eating Compared to non-diabetics, blood sugar level in diabetics generally rises higher after a meal. According to the ADA, blood sugar level of diabetics should remain less than 180 mg/dL even after eating. If yo Continue reading >>
8 Sneaky Things That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels
Skipping breakfast iStock/Thinkstock Overweight women who didn’t eat breakfast had higher insulin and blood sugar levels after they ate lunch a few hours later than they did on another day when they ate breakfast, a 2013 study found. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 21 percent higher chance of developing diabetes than those who didn’t. A morning meal—especially one that is rich in protein and healthy fat—seems to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. Your breakfast is not one of the many foods that raise blood sugar. Here are some other things that happen to your body when you skip breakfast. Artificial sweeteners iStock/Thinkstock They have to be better for your blood sugar than, well, sugar, right? An interesting new Israeli study suggests that artificial sweeteners can still take a negative toll and are one of the foods that raise blood sugar. When researchers gave mice artificial sweeteners, they had higher blood sugar levels than mice who drank plain water—or even water with sugar! The researchers were able to bring the animals’ blood sugar levels down by treating them with antibiotics, which indicates that these fake sweeteners may alter gut bacteria, which in turn seems to affect how the body processes glucose. In a follow-up study of 400 people, the research team found that long-term users of artificial sweeteners were more likely to have higher fasting blood sugar levels, reported HealthDay. While study authors are by no means saying that sugary beverages are healthier, these findings do suggest that people who drink artificially sweetened beverages should do so in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Here's what else happens when you cut artificial sweetener Continue reading >>
Definition: Normal Blood Sugar Ranges
What are normal blood sugar ranges for non-diabetic people? The term “normal” blood sugars applies to a set of standards recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). From time to time these standards have been adjusted to more adequately diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetes. The most recent changes in ADA standards lowered the thresholds for diagnosing diabetes and for diagnosing pre-diabetes. The revised ADA standards mean that more people now fall into the category of having pre-diabetes. This allows for earlier detection of people at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. What are the blood sugar ranges for diagnosing pre-diabetes? Blood sugar levels higher than normal, but lower than diabetic ranges,classify a person as having impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), both of which are used to diagnose pre-diabetes. To check for pre-diabetes, and see how a person reacts to a glucose load, an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) may be given to check blood sugar levels 2 hours after being given 75 grams of glucose to drink. The following general guidelines are for normal blood sugar ranges in non-diabetics are from the American Diabetes Association. These guidelines are not intended for “target blood sugar” ranges for people with diabetes. Young children, people newly diagnosed with diabetes, or who are beginning insulin pump therapy will have different target ranges set by their doctor. Fasting Blood Sugar Ranges (per the American Diabetes Association Guidelines) Fasting Glucose Ranges Indication From 70 to 99 mg/dL, or 3.9 to 5.5. mmol/L Normal glucose tolerance, not diabetic From 100 to 125 mg/dL, or 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L Impaired fasting glucose (IGF), or Pre-diabetes 126 mg/dL or higher, or 7.0 or higher Diabetes Note: Morning Continue reading >>