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How Can Blood Sugar Be High Without Eating

Should You Skip A Meal If Your Blood Glucose Is High?

Should You Skip A Meal If Your Blood Glucose Is High?

High blood glucose levels can damage the small arteries and nerves in your eyes, kidneys, heart, brain and feet over time. If you have diabetes, high blood sugar is defined as higher than 130 mg/dL when fasting and above 180 mg/dL two hours after eating, unless your doctor has specified a different target for you. Managing your blood glucose levels closely is the key to healthy living with diabetes. If your blood glucose levels are high, don't skip a meal; rather, try to understand the causes behind your high reading and do some damage control by eating healthy and exercising. The Cause If your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be, start by determining what caused the rise. Did you eat more carbohydrates than usual? Carbohydrates found in grains, potatoes and sugar increase your blood sugar levels the most, and eating too much can result in high glucose levels. Are you more stressed than usual or are you feeling sick? Stress and illness also increase your blood sugar levels. Did you skip your usual walk or did your forget to take your medications? Both exercise and prescribed medications decrease your blood sugar levels. Keeping a journal of what you eat, how you feel, how much you exercise and the medications and supplements you take can help you figure out the cause of your high blood sugar. Skipping Meals Skipping meals can actually increase your blood glucose levels. If your body doesn't get a regular supply of energy from food, your liver may panic and start releasing glucose into your bloodstream. This glucose can come from stored liver glycogen or can be newly synthesized from protein. Skipping a meal can cause you to have high blood glucose levels, so don't skip a meal in an attempt to lower high blood sugar. Healthy Meal Instead of skipping a mea Continue reading >>

How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar (without Eating Everything In Sight)

How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar (without Eating Everything In Sight)

We’ve all been in the position of having a bad low, where all you want to do is eat everything in sight. There’s no reasoning with yourself. It’s like a demon has hijacked your self-control! It makes perfect sense–your body just wants to get your blood sugar back up to a safe level, and it’s doing its best to ensure that the low is corrected. But eating your weight in carbs is just going to result in a high blood sugar, and then you are dealing with the opposite problem. What’s a person with diabetes to do? First of all, fix the low. Get your blood glucose level above 70 mg/dl (4 mmol/L). It’s best to use a dextrose-based treatment, like glucose tablets or gel, to get the BG up to a safe level. Using something high glycemic index is important when you are very low and need to quickly raise the blood glucose, especially if you have a lot of insulin on board. Be careful to treat with the right amount of carb, as opposed to over-treating. If you weigh less than 60 lbs, a gram of carb will raise your BG about 6 points. If you weigh 100-160 lbs, a gram of carb should raise your BG about 4 points. If you weigh 160-220 lbs, a gram of carb might raise you 3 points. And give the carbohydrates 15-20 minutes to raise the BG. Do a follow-up fingerstick because there is a lag time with sensors, and the BG you get with a fingerstick will be a more accurate reflection of your response to your treatment. If you are still low, repeat the treatment. I remember a low where I munched my way through the pantry, and I neglected to count my carbs as I was doing it. I had absolutely no idea how much to bolus for! Boy, did I learn my lesson. I never did that again – I’ve always made sure to carb count and take insulin to cover whatever I eat that’s in excess of what I needed Continue reading >>

Why Is Blood Sugar High In The Morning?

Why Is Blood Sugar High In The Morning?

Here you'll find info about why blood sugar is high in the morning, along with tips and resources to lower those numbers! A while back I had a client sending me her blood sugar charts every few days and on those charts she always made some notes if she had questions. Every time she sent them through, I noticed she had 3 big question marks (???) against her morning blood sugar results. And on another morning when her morning blood sugar levels were high at 160 mg/dl (or 8.9 mmol/l). She had written: I don't understand. 97 mg/dl (or 5.5mmol/l) last night when I went to sleep. I didn't eat anything because I didn't feel well. Humm… I was also over in one of the online diabetes groups I'm involved in today and this message popped up. I'm struggling with my morning BS number. When I went to bed around 11PM my BS was 107. I'm waking up with my BS between 120 – 135. I did put two pieces of string cheese next to my bed and when I woke up around 3am, I ate one. Since I was told to eat protein at night. When I woke up 3 hours later my BS was 130. I didn't want to eat anything large since it's so close to 140 (my goal is to keep it below 140). So I had 1 piece of toast (sugar free wheat bread) and just a tiny bit of peanut butter. I checked it an hour later and it was 161! What am I doing wrong? Do these morning situations sound familiar to you? Are you constantly questioning: Why is blood sugar high in the morning? I mean, logically we'd think that it should be at it's lowest in the morning right? Well don't panic, there is a reason for it, so let's explore why morning blood sugar is often higher. And at the end, I'll also point you toward some resources to help you lower those levels. Why Is Blood Sugar High In The Morning? Although it would seem logical that your body would Continue reading >>

How You Can Have High Blood Sugar Without Carbs

How You Can Have High Blood Sugar Without Carbs

Can you have high blood sugar without carbs? Well, it’s important to look at common beliefs about high blood sugar first. “High blood sugar is bad. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar. Therefore carbohydrates are bad.” The theory is simple, and yet incredibly flawed. The truth is, you can have chronically high blood sugar even while religiously avoiding every starch and sugar in sight. Low-carb forums are littered with posts asking a very relevant question: Why is my blood sugar so high when I’m not eating any carbs? The answer is simple, yet often overlooked. If the body were an engine, glucose would be its fuel. Most people think glucose only comes from carbohydrates (sugar and starch), but protein can also be turned into glucose when there aren’t enough carbs around to do the job. This is called gluconeogenesis, and it’s performed by one of the major stress hormones cortisol. When you have high cortisol levels (from diet, lifestyle, etc.), the cortisol rapidly breaks down protein into glucose, which can raise blood sugar levels considerably. For some folks, this results in chronically high blood sugar–even if they are on a low-carb diet. The trouble is, cortisol isn’t just breaking down the protein you eat. It’s doing something far more destructive. The body is quite a smart machine, and it has no problem taking detours to get energy if necessary. If your body isn’t getting the energy it needs from your diet, it has a back-up source: its own tissue. It sounds kind of cannibalistic, eating your own lean body tissue for energy. I mean, I seriously doubt any one of you would relish cutting off a chunk of your leg for dinner. I know I wouldn’t. But every time your body uses cortisol to break down lean tissue for energy, this is basically what you are do Continue reading >>

Controlling The Dawn Phenomenon

Controlling The Dawn Phenomenon

Do you wake up with a blood glucose level that’s higher than when you went to bed? You might wonder how this could be. Is this “dawn phenomenon” serious, and what can you do about it? Our reader Mishelle commented here, “I don’t eat [much] during the day. [I take metformin morning and night.] My blood sugar is still too high in the morning…sometimes 125–140ish.” How can Mishelle’s glucose levels go up if she didn’t eat anything? She probably has a mild case of dawn phenomenon. Her glucose is going up from sources other than digested food. Some of it is produced by the liver from stored starch and fatty acids. Livers that produce too much glucose are one of the main ways diabetes causes high blood glucose levels. Other organs also produce small amounts of glucose. This is called “gluconeogenesis” for you science freaks out there. Organs do this to keep blood glucose from going too low at night or other times of not eating. From about 2 AM to 8 AM, most people’s bodies produce hormones, including cortisol, glucagon, and epinephrine. All these hormones increase insulin resistance and tell the liver to make more glucose. The idea is to get you enough glucose to get out of bed and start the day. The whole process is apparently started by growth hormones. Everyone has a dawn phenomenon. Otherwise they’d be too weak to get breakfast. But in people without diabetes, insulin levels also increase to handle the extra glucose. People with diabetes can’t increase insulin levels that much, so their early morning blood glucose levels can rise dramatically. Experts disagree on how many people have a dawn phenomenon. Estimates range from 3% to 50% of Type 2s and from 25% to 50% of Type 1s. Is dawn phenomenon a serious problem? It can be serious. According t Continue reading >>

3 Easy Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Fast

3 Easy Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Fast

Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management. Extremely high blood sugar levels can be dangerous, and they can cause lasting health complications. Remember: if you ever have blood sugar readings that remain high for more than 24 hours without coming down (and after an effort has been made to lower them), you need to be addressed by a doctor. That being said, we've all had those days when we get a random high blood sugar reading and we are not sure what caused it…or we forget to give insulin, or we eat a delicious dessert without realizing how much sugar is actually in it. For whatever reason, those out of the ordinary high blood sugar readings happen and need to be treated. No need to rush to the doctor for every high blood sugar reading though. There are some simple steps you can take to lower blood sugar fast. Watch for signs of high blood sugar You know the feeling: extreme thirst, sluggishness, nausea, blurred vision, a downright sick feeling. And your family or friends may tell you that extreme irritability is a major sign you need to check your blood sugar to see if it is high. The best thing to do is to catch it before it gets really high, or it will be harder to bring down quickly, causing havoc on your blood sugar readings for days. If you do not take insulin as a part of your treatment plan, these tips will show you how to lower your blood sugar fast. If you take insulin, you will first want to give the appropriate amount of insulin to correct the blood sugar. Continue reading >>

8 Signs You Might Have High Blood Sugar

8 Signs You Might Have High Blood Sugar

You’ve heard people complain about having low blood sugar before and may have even experienced it yourself. But high blood sugar is also an issue that can a) make you feel like crap and b) cause serious health issues if it happens too often. First, a primer: High blood sugar occurs when the level of glucose (i.e. sugar) in your blood becomes elevated. We get our glucose from food, and most foods we eat impact our blood sugar in one way or another, certified dietitian-nutritionist Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., CEO of NY Nutrition Group, tells SELF. “However, foods that are higher in carbohydrates and sugar, yet lower in fat and fiber, such as baked goods, white-flour breads, soda, and candy usually have a bigger impact on blood sugar levels,” she says. In the short-term, they cause sudden rises in blood sugar (i.e. high blood sugar), which can immediately give you a jolt of energy but will inevitably be followed up by a crash. These foods are also usually not great for you, Moskovitz points out, and can cause excess weight gain, high cholesterol, and bodily inflammation. Having high blood sugar here and there happens, and it will basically just make you feel off. You’ll feel worn-out, headachy, all-around tired, cranky, and may have difficulty concentrating, Jessica Cording, a New York-based R.D., tells SELF. But the major problem lies in having chronically high blood sugar, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, a condition in which your body can’t properly regulate blood sugar. If you get chronic high blood sugar, you’ll also often experience the need to pee frequently, increased thirst, and even have blurred vision, Alissa Rumsey, M.S., R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells SELF. But if you’re not suffering from chronic high blood su Continue reading >>

Missing Meals? Avoid Dangerous Blood Sugar If You Have Diabetes

Missing Meals? Avoid Dangerous Blood Sugar If You Have Diabetes

Skipping a meal is typically no big deal. But if you have diabetes, missing meals can throw off the important balancing act between food intake and medication. The result is blood sugars that are too low (hypoglycemia) or too high (hyperglycemia) — and that’s dangerous. “If you take medications for diabetes that can cause low blood sugars, you should try not to skip meals,” says registered dietician Dawn Noe. “If you’re just not up to eating on a regular schedule, talk to your doctor about diabetes medications that won’t cause low blood sugars,” she says. Monitoring sugars is vital When you’re ill or just don’t feel like eating much, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels more closely than ever. How often depends on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and what medications you take. For type 1 diabetes: Be sure to monitor your blood sugar before meals and before bedtime, typically four times per day, says diabetes specialist Bartolome Burguera, MD. Beyond that, check your blood sugars if you notice symptoms of low blood sugar. Those symptoms include: Hunger Shakiness or nervousness Sweating Dizziness or light-headedness Sleepiness Confusion Difficulty speaking Anxiety Weakness For type 2 diabetes: If you are taking a sulfonylurea medication, check your blood sugars at least twice a day — in the morning and at bedtime. “It’s important to keep in mind that sulfonylureas may cause blood sugar to drop during the day if you don’t eat anything after taking your medication,” Dr. Burguera says. If your only treatment is metformin, you may not need to check your blood sugar more than once a day. This medication doesn’t typically cause hypoglycemia. It is important to be aware of the symptoms associated with low blood sugars and Continue reading >>

10 Surprising Causes Of Blood Sugar Swings You Probably Didn’t Know

10 Surprising Causes Of Blood Sugar Swings You Probably Didn’t Know

1 / 11 What Causes Blood Sugar to Rise and Fall? Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the disease for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled. Proper blood sugar control is key for helping ward off potential diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you keep your levels in check on a daily basis, it will help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood. You’ll know if your diabetes is poorly controlled if you experience symptoms such as frequent urination, sores that won’t heal, blurred vision, and unexplained weight loss. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and use of a blood glucose meter to track your numbers routinely can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose be 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) before meals, and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an A1C test, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals. Learning how different habits can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate can help you better predict how your levels will swing. You may be more likely to experience hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar if you have advanced-stage diabetes, according to the ADA. Meanwhile, high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, may be caused by factors such as not using enough insulin or other diabetes medication, not following a prop Continue reading >>

How Does Eating Affect Your Blood Sugar?

How Does Eating Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Part 1 of 8 What is blood sugar? Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, comes from the food you eat. Your body creates blood sugar by digesting some food into a sugar that circulates in your bloodstream. Blood sugar is used for energy. The sugar that isn’t needed to fuel your body right away gets stored in cells for later use. Too much sugar in your blood can be harmful. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that is characterized by having higher levels of blood sugar than what is considered within normal limits. Unmanaged diabetes can lead to problems with your heart, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. The more you know about how eating affects blood sugar, the better you can protect yourself against diabetes. If you already have diabetes, it’s important to know how eating affects blood sugar. Part 2 of 8 Your body breaks down everything you eat and absorbs the food in its different parts. These parts include: carbohydrates proteins fats vitamins and other nutrients The carbohydrates you consume turn into blood sugar. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher the levels of sugar you will have released as you digest and absorb your food. Carbohydrates in liquid form consumed by themselves are absorbed more quickly than those in solid food. So having a soda will cause a faster rise in your blood sugar levels than eating a slice of pizza. Fiber is one component of carbohydrates that isn’t converted into sugar. This is because it can’t be digested. Fiber is important for health, though. Protein, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals don’t contain carbohydrates. These components won’t affect your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, your carbohydrate intake is the most important part of your diet to consider when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels. Part 3 Continue reading >>

Exactly What I Ate To Get My Blood Sugar Under Control For Good

Exactly What I Ate To Get My Blood Sugar Under Control For Good

When Thomas Rupp was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he was stunned. Despite having a challenging career (he was working in corporate finance and for FEMA), he managed to exercise regularly, and he rarely ate fast food or sweets. Sure, he weighed 245 pounds, but at 6 feet tall that didn't seem so terrible. He didn't consider that his weight pushed his BMI into the obese category—and he didn't realize that many of the "healthy" foods he was eating were actually loaded with tons of sugar and calories. Rupp's doctor started him on four different medications. The side effects were bothersome, but what really kicked him into gear was learning that he'd need to start injecting himself with insulin nightly. Instead, he turned to the Diabetes Reversal Program at Tufts Medical Center, where he met with the founding director, Michael Dansinger, MD. They worked together to closely examine Rupp's diet and uncover pitfalls that Rupp had trouble spotting on his own. (You can control your blood sugar with food and without insulin by making healthy lifestyle changes. Try the easy plan in The Natural Way To Beat Diabetes.) For instance, while adding some cream and sugar to a cup of coffee might not be a big deal for some people, Rupp often downed 10 cups of coffee a day to power himself through long days in the office. (Here are 8 physical signs you drink way too much coffee.) And he was putting cream and sugar in each cup. "That's 10 containers of cream and 10 teaspoons of sugar a day I was adding to my diet," he says. And even though he worked out, "I was drinking green juices at the gym, or protein smoothies with mango, once again without realizing the sugar content." Other seemingly healthy choices—like salads—also concealed stealth sugar bombs. "I would add vinaigrette dressi Continue reading >>

Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)

Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)

Untreated, high blood sugar can cause many problems and future complications. Recognizing signs of high blood sugar levels and knowing how to lower them can help you prevent these complications and increase the quality and length of your life. Topics covered (click to jump to specific section) High blood sugar level symptoms and signs Symptoms of high blood sugar include: Increased thirst Tired all the time Irritability Increased hunger Urinating a lot Dry mouth Blurred vision Severe high blood sugar can lead to nausea and fruity smelling breath The signs and symptoms for high blood sugar are the same for both type 1 and type 2. Signs usually show up quicker in those who have type 1 because of the nature of their diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to stop making insulin altogether. Type 2 is caused by lifestyle factors when the body eventually stops responding to insulin, which causes the sugar to increase slowly. People with type 2 can live longer without any symptoms creeping because their body is still making enough insulin to help control it a little bit. What causes the blood sugar levels go to high? Our bodies need sugar to make energy for the cells. Without it, we cannot do basic functions. When we eat foods with glucose, insulin pairs with it to allow it to enter into the cell wall. If the insulin is not there, then the glucose molecule can’t get through the wall and cannot be used. The extra glucose hangs out in the bloodstream which is literally high blood sugar. The lack of insulin can be caused by two different things. First, you can have decreased insulin resistance which means that your insulin doesn’t react the way that it is supposed to. It doesn’t partner with glucose to be used as fuel. Secondly, you can have no insuli Continue reading >>

Dealing With Unexplained Blood Sugar Spikes

Dealing With Unexplained Blood Sugar Spikes

You can do everything right to keep your diabetes under control — eat a smart diet, exercise, take medications as prescribed, and follow your doctor’s instructions for blood sugar monitoring — and still wake up in the morning with unexplained blood sugar spikes. Even in people who don’t have diabetes, blood sugars fluctuate constantly, says Linda M. Siminerio, RD, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh's Diabetes Institute. But when you have diabetes and wake up with an increase in blood sugar levels, you shouldn’t ignore it. If high blood sugar happens once in a while and you're able to get it under control quickly with insulin or exercise, it may be nothing serious. “Maybe you have high blood sugar in the morning because you went to a party last night and had a bigger piece of birthday cake,” Dr. Siminerio says. “Or it snowed, and you couldn’t go for your morning run the day before.” But if you consistently wake up with blood sugar spikes and don’t know why, you need to investigate the cause. You may need to adjust your diabetes treatment plan, possibly changing your medication. You won’t feel right if you have high blood sugar, a condition known as hyperglycemia, says Anuj Bhargava, MD, president of the Iowa Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center in Des Moines and founder of My Diabetes Home, an online platform that helps users track their blood sugar and manage their medication. When your blood sugar is too high for a few days or weeks, it can cause more frequent urination, increased thirst, weight loss, blurry vision, fatigue, and nausea. It also can make you more susceptible to infections. When you have high blood sugar for a long time, it can damage the vessels that supply blood to your heart, kidneys, nerves, and eyes, and caus Continue reading >>

Don’t Eat If Your Blood Sugar Is Over 150 Mg/dl

Don’t Eat If Your Blood Sugar Is Over 150 Mg/dl

Q: Recently I read an article in Post Graduate Medicine (“Effective Insulin Use,” Vol. 95, No. 8, June 1994, pgs. 52, 54, 58-60, 63-64, and 67). The article suggests the patient not eat if the blood glucose is greater than 150 mg/dl. I would appreciate you reading this article and giving me your opinion. Donna Doty, RN, BSN, CDE Methodist Hospital Gary, IN [Editor: An excellent question. We encourage all our readers to send us questions to answer. Coincidentally, the article you ask about was written by one of DIABETES IN-TERVEIW’s advisory board members: Nancy Bohannon, MD. We submitted your question to our board member Peter Lodewick, MD, diabetes expert and author of A Doctor Looks at Diabetes: His and Yours. Before we print his answer to your question, we’re presenting an excerpt from Dr. Bohannon’s article.] “My routine advice is as follows: if the blood glucose value is over 150 mg/dl before a meal, insulin should be taken and the meal postponed (not skipped) until the blood glucose is below 150 mg/dl. The glucose level should be checked hourly until it is below 200 mg/dl and then every 1/2 hour until it is below 150 mg/dl. A level that is still high after 1 1/2 to 2 hours without the patient’s eating is an indication that it was a good thing the patient didn’t eat! In the past, most patients would have eaten, saying, ‘my doctor told me never to miss or be late for a meal because I could get hypoglycemia.’ However, if the insulin was taken 3 hours previously and the blood glucose level remained above 150 mg/dl, food obviously was not necessary. “What happens if the blood glucose level is still high after 2 to 3 hours? A few more units of insulin should be taken and the meal again postponed until the glucose level is below 150 mg/dl. Occasiona Continue reading >>

Non-diabetic Hypoglycemia

Non-diabetic Hypoglycemia

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: What is non-diabetic hypoglycemia? Non-diabetic hypoglycemia is a condition that causes the sugar (glucose) in your blood to drop too low. This can happen in people who do not have diabetes. The 2 types of non-diabetic hypoglycemia are fasting hypoglycemia and reactive hypoglycemia. Fasting hypoglycemia often happens after the person goes without food for 8 hours or longer. Reactive hypoglycemia usually happens about 2 to 4 hours after a meal. When your blood sugar level is low, your muscles and brain cells do not have enough energy to work well. What causes non-diabetic hypoglycemia? Fasting hypoglycemia: Certain medicines or herbal supplements such as fenugreek, ginseng, or cinnamon Alcohol Exercise Medical conditions such as liver disease, hypothyroidism, and tumors Eating disorders or malnutrition Stomach surgery or hemodialysis Reactive hypoglycemia: The causes of reactive hypoglycemia may be unknown. Hyperinsulinism Meals high in refined carbohydrates such as white bread or foods high in sugar Prediabetes Any surgery of the digestive system What are the signs and symptoms of non-diabetic hypoglycemia? Blurred vision or changes in vision Dizziness, lightheadedness, or shakiness Fatigue and weakness Fast or pounding heartbeat Sweating more than usual Headache Nausea or hunger Anxiety, Irritability, or confusion How is non-diabetic hypoglycemia diagnosed? Blood tests are done to measure your blood sugar levels. These tests may also be done to find the cause of your hypoglycemia. Fasting tests may be done. You may have an overnight fasting test or a 72-hour fasting test. After you have fasted overnight, your blood sugar levels will be tested 2 times. For a 72-hour fasting test, you will not be given food for a period of up to 72 hours. During th Continue reading >>

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