* What Is A Normal Blood Sugar?
Normal blood sugars after a high carbohydrate breakfast eaten at 7:30 AM. The blue line is the average for the group. The brown lines show the range within which most readings fell (2 standard deviations). Bottom lines show Insulin and C-peptide levels at the same time. Click HERE if you don't see the graph. Graph is a screen shot from Dr. Christiansen's presentation cited below. The term "blood sugar" refers to the concentration of glucose, a simple, sugar, that is found in a set volume of blood. In the U.S. it is measured in milligrams per deciliter, abbreviated as mg/dl. In most of the rest of the world it is measured in millimoles per liter, abbreviated as mmol/L. The concentration of glucose in our blood changes continually throughout the day. It can even vary significantly from minute to minute. When you eat, it can rise dramatically. When you exercise it will often drop. The blood sugar measures that doctors are most interested in is the A1c, discussed below. When you are given a routine blood test doctors usually order a fasting glucose test. The most informative blood sugar reading is the post-meal blood sugar measured one and two hours after eating. Doctors rarely test this important blood sugar measurement as it is time consuming and hence expensive. Rarely doctors will order a Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, which tests your response to a huge dose of pure glucose, which hits your blood stream within minutes and produces results quite different from the blood sugars you will experience after each meal. Below you will find the normal readings for these various tests. Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Fasting blood sugar is usually measured first thing in the morning before you have eaten any food. A truly normal fasting blood sugar (which is also the blood sugar a norm Continue reading >>
How Blood Sugar Affects Your Body
When you have diabetes, your blood sugar (glucose) levels may be consistently high. Over time, this can damage your body and lead to many other problems. How much sugar in the blood is too much? And why is high glucose so bad for you? Here’s a look at how your levels affect your health. They're less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least 8 hours. And they're less than 140 mg/dL 2 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. What's a low sugar level? It varies widely, too. Many people's glucose won't ever fall below 60, even with prolonged fasting. When you diet or fast, the liver keeps your levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar. A few people's levels may fall somewhat lower. Doctors use these tests to find out if you have diabetes: Fasting plasma glucose test. The doctor tests your blood sugar levels after fasting for 8 hours and it’s higher than 126 mg/dL. Oral glucose tolerance test. After fasting for 8 hours, you get a special sugary drink. Two hours later your sugar level is higher than 200. Random check. The doctor tests your blood sugar and it’s higher than 200, plus you’re peeing more, always thirsty, and you’ve gained or lost a significant amount of weight. He’ll then do a fasting sugar level test or an oral glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis. Any sugar levels higher than normal are unhealthy. Levels that are higher than normal, but not reaching the point of full-blown diabetes, are called prediabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 86 million people in the U.S. have this condition, which can lead to diabetes Continue reading >>
How To Manage Blood Sugar Spikes After Meals
If you're trying to manage diabetes, you already know it's important to keep track of your blood sugar levels. But how do you handle a spike that comes after you eat? It's called "postprandial" blood glucose, and if you take some simple steps, you can get it under control and help avoid health problems. When your blood sugar is high, you can get symptoms like a foggy-headed feeling that makes it hard to focus or think clearly. Your energy may also take a dive, and you may feel nervous or moody. If your levels go too low, you could even pass out. In the long run, if your blood sugar stays up, you could be at risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, or other problems. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends you check your blood sugar levels right before mealtime with a blood sample from a finger stick. Then do it again 1 to 2 hours after that first bite of food. Keep this up for a week or so. Write down the time and the blood sugar number. Make a note about anything you think might affect your levels, like medicine or exercise. And don't forget to log exactly what you ate, along with portion sizes and the amount of carbs. What levels are too high after a meal? Experts vary on what the number should be, but the ADA says a general goal is a blood sugar level under 180 mg/dL, 1 to 2 hours after a meal. Talk to your doctor about what you should aim for, and don't adjust your medicine without speaking to him first. Get medicine that works for you. The right insulin or medication program can make a big difference. In general, to cover after-meal spikes, those that kick in quickly and for a short time are a better choice than ones that work slowly over a long period. Your doctor can explain your options. Keep blood sugar in check before meals. That way, even if 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 >>
Two-hour Postprandial Glucose
Does this test have other names? Glucose, postprandial; glucose, two-hour postprandial; two-hour PPG; two-hour postprandial blood sugar What is this test? This is a blood test to check for diabetes. If you have diabetes, your body doesn't make enough insulin to keep your blood sugar in check. This means your blood sugar levels are too high, and over time this can lead to serious health problems including nerve and eye damage. This test is done to see how your body responds to sugar and starch after you eat a meal. As you digest the food in your stomach, blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels rise sharply. In response, your pancreas releases insulin to help move these sugars from the blood into the cells of muscles and other tissues to be used for fuel. Within two hours of eating, your insulin and blood glucose levels should return to normal. If your blood glucose levels remain high, you may have diabetes. Why do I need this test? You may need this test if your healthcare provider wants to see if you have diabetes or another insulin-related disorder, especially if you have symptoms such as: Frequent urination Unusual thirst Blurred vision Tiredness Repeated infections Sores that heal slowly If you're pregnant, you may have this test to screen for gestational diabetes, diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. Treating gestational diabetes reduces the risk for health problems for you and your baby. What other tests might I have with this test? Your healthcare provider may order other tests to confirm or evaluate whether you have diabetes. These may include: Fasting blood glucose test. This measures the amount of sugar in your blood. A1C (glycosylated hemoglobin) test. This measures your average blood sugar level over the last 2 to 3 months. Glucose tolerance test. This m Continue reading >>
- Postprandial Blood Glucose Is a Stronger Predictor of Cardiovascular Events Than Fasting Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Particularly in Women: Lessons from the San Luigi Gonzaga Diabetes Study
- Advice to walk after meals is more effective for lowering postprandial glycaemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus than advice that does not specify timing: a randomised crossover study
- The Effect of Walking on Postprandial Glycemic Excursion in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes and Healthy People
When “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)
In the last article I explained the three primary markers we use to track blood sugar: fasting blood glucose (FBG), oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and hemoglobin A1c (A1c). We also looked at what the medical establishment considers as normal for these markers. The table below summarizes those values. In this article, we’re going to look at just how “normal” those normal levels are — according to the scientific literature. We’ll also consider which of these three markers is most important in preventing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Marker Normal Pre-diabetes Diabetes Fasting blood glucose (mg/dL) <99 100-125 >126 OGGT / post-meal (mg/dL after 2 hours) <140 140-199 >200 Hemoglobin A1c (%) <6 6-6.4 >6.4 But before we do that, I’d like to make an important point: context is everything. In my work with patients, I never use any single marker alone to determine whether someone has a blood sugar issue. I run a full blood panel that includes fasting glucose, A1c, fructosamine, uric acid and triglycerides (along with other lipids), and I also have them do post-meal testing at home over a period of 3 days with a range of foods. If they have a few post-meal spikes and all other markers or normal, I’m not concerned. If their fasting BG, A1c and fructosamine are all elevated, and they’re having spikes, then I’m concerned and I will investigate further. On a similar note, I’ve written that A1c is not a reliable marker for individuals because of context: there are many non-blood sugar-related conditions that can make A1c appear high or low. So if someone is normal on all of the other blood sugar markers, but has high A1c, I’m usually not concerned. With all of that said, let’s take a look at some of the research. Fasting blood sugar According to cont Continue reading >>
Controlling Blood Sugar In Diabetes: How Low Should You Go?
Diabetes is an ancient disease, but the first effective drug therapy was not available until 1922, when insulin revolutionized the management of the disorder. Insulin is administered by injection, but treatment took another great leap forward in 1956, when the first oral diabetic drug was introduced. Since then, dozens of new medications have been developed, but scientists are still learning how best to use them. And new studies are prompting doctors to re-examine a fundamental therapeutic question: what level of blood sugar is best? Normal metabolism To understand diabetes, you should first understand how your body handles glucose, the sugar that fuels your metabolism. After you eat, your digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars that are small enough to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Glucose is far and away the most important of these sugars, and it's an indispensable source of energy for your body's cells. But to provide that energy, it must travel from your blood into your cells. Insulin is the hormone that unlocks the door to your cells. When your blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the beta cells of your pancreas spring into action, pouring insulin into your blood. If you produce enough insulin and your cells respond normally, your blood sugar level drops as glucose enters the cells, where it is burned for energy or stored for future use in your liver as glycogen. Insulin also helps your body turn amino acids into proteins and fatty acids into body fat. The net effect is to allow your body to turn food into energy and to store excess energy to keep your engine running if fuel becomes scarce in the future. A diabetes primer Diabetes is a single name for a group of disorders. All forms of the disease develop when the pancreas is unable to Continue reading >>
What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like.
The American Diabetes Association cites the following symptoms as indicative of high blood sugar: High blood glucose [Editor’s note: Duh] High levels of sugar in the urine Frequent urination Increased thirst And if high blood sugar goes untreated? “Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy. When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.” – ADA website But what does a high blood sugar feel like? Because when you see someone who is working through an elevated blood sugar, they may not look terribly out of sorts. But what is happening inside of them is real, and plays out in a myriad of ways for every person with diabetes. I’ve tried to write about it several times, but each high is different, and affects me in different ways: “It’s a thick feeling in the base of your brain, like someone’s cracked open your head and replaced your gray matter with sticky jam. I find myself zoning out and staring at things, and my eyeballs feel dry and like they’re tethered to my head by frayed ropes instead of optic nerves. Everything is slow and heavy and whipped with heavy cream.” – Oh, High! “There’s something about a high blood sugar that makes my body feel weighted down, l Continue reading >>
Why Do My Blood Sugars Rise After A High Protein Meal?
Complex issues often require more detail than you can pack into a Facebook post. One such area of confusion and controversy is gluconeogenesis and the impact of protein on blood sugar and ketosis. Some common questions that I see floating around the interwebs include: If you are managing diabetes, should you avoid protein because it can convert to glucose and “kick you out of ketosis”? If you’ve dropped the carbs and protein to manage your blood sugars, should you eat “fat to satiety” or continue to add more fats until you achieve “optimal ketosis” (i.e. blood ketone levels between 1.5 and 3.0mmol/L)? Then, if adding fat doesn’t get you into the “optimal ketosis zone”, do you need exogenous ketones to get your ketones up so you can start to lose weight? This article explores: the reason that some people may see an increase in their blood sugars and a decrease in their ketones after a high protein meal, what it means for their health, and what they can do to optimise the metabolic health. You’re probably aware that protein can be converted to glucose via a process in the body called gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is the process of converting another substrate (e.g. protein or fat) to glucose. Gluco = glucose Neo = new Genesis = creation Gluconeogenesis = new glucose creation As shown in the table below, all but two of the amino acids (i.e. the building blocks of protein) can be converted to glucose. Five others can be converted to either glucose or ketones depending on the body’s requirements at the time. Once your body has used up the protein, it needs to build and repair muscle and make neurotransmitters, etc. any “excess protein” can be used to refill the small protein stores in the blood stream and replenish glycogen stores in the liv Continue reading >>
Managing Blood Sugar: Insulin Resistance And Hypoglycemia In Fitness.
*The closer the triglycerides are to the cholesterol, the worse the problem. Ideally they will be a 2:1 ratio or more (i.e. Total cholesterol=180, triglycerides=90). Understand that these are merely patterns and there are many more issues to consider. These are very general guidelines to help you get started. Please see a qualified medical professional for an accurate diagnosis. A quick and easy way you can check this yourself is by purchasing a glucometer. They usually cost around $50 and give you the ability to look at your blood sugar throughout the day. Here are some ways how you can use it: First thing in the morning. Blood sugar should be between 85 and 100. Two hours after a meal, it will ideally be between 85 and 100 depending on the size and quality of the meal. You could eat a meal, and then track your blood sugar at 30 minute intervals for 2 hours following a meal. Some people believe a glycemically balanced meal will not raise it much above 120. For example, if you eat celery and almond butter, or a salad with grilled chicken, your blood sugar should not go above 120 at any point after the meal. A good protein-based meal with adequate levels of healthy fat and fibre should not raise your blood sugar levels too high. If it does, either the macronutrient ratio was off, the meal was too large, or in some cases, you might have a sensitivity to the food that causes a stress response and elevates blood sugar. For most of you, the first step toward eating properly for blood sugar management is starting with the Precision Nutrition System . Indeed, over 85% of our clients see the types of results theyre looking for by followingthis program. However, for the other 15% that use the program and still need to go a bit deeper, working with a coach through Precision Nutr Continue reading >>
Questions And Answers - Blood Sugar
Use the chart below to help understand how different test results can indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes Fasting Blood Glucose Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) Random Blood Sugar (taken any time of day with or without fasting) A1C Ideal Result Less than 100mg/dl Less than 140 mg/dl Less than 140 (even after eating a large meal) Less than 5.7% Pre-diabetes 100-125mg/dl 140-199mg/dl 140-200 5.7% to 6.4% Diabetes 126mg/dl and greater 200 mg/dl and greater 200 or greater 6.5% or more Q: I have been told that I have diabetes, or "pre-diabetes", or that I am in the "honeymoon period" . My readings are all over the place: sometimes in the 120's, others in the 90's, sometimes, but rarely in the 150-170's. My doctor does not want to put me on medication yet. I exercise regularly and am not overweight though my diet is variable. I certainly like sweets, pizza, and pasta. What is the long term effect of these continued high blood sugar levels? A: Firstly, kudos for your physician for giving diet/lifestyle changes a chance to work. Reduction of body fat often is the first best start. This may or may not be true in your case but certainly sweets, pizza, etc. are affecting your numbers. If you can discipline yourself at this time to eat unrefined foods and be more active, your beta cells that produce insulin may get the rest they need to become efficient again. Our diabetes management booklet has many referenced foods/supplements that may help to stabilize your glucose levels. In time, your favorite foods may be reintroduced in moderate amounts. You appear to be more in the pre-diabetes range at this time. Complications are a long process. If your daytime levels stay under 120-140, that is good. Fasting levels are higher due to hormonal activity nighttime; these levels are a much sl Continue reading >>
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 >>
7 Techniques To Reduce Post-meal Spikes During Pregnancy
“Gary, I think I need more insulin at breakfast.” “Why do you say that, Julianne?” “Because I’m always having high readings right afterwards, and my obstetrician said I shouldn’t spike after I eat.” “And what happens after the spike?” “It usually comes down to normal before lunch. So do you think I should take more insulin?” After-meal blood sugar spikes can create quite a quandary for anyone with diabetes, particularly during pregnancy. Research has shown that fetal macrosomia (overgrowth of the baby) becomes more common when post-meal blood sugars exceed 120 mg/dl (6.7 mmol). With post-meal readings above 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol), the risk more than doubles from baseline. Fetal macrosomia can cause many problems during pregnancy. When the baby grows and develops too rapidly, it can lead to a premature and more complicated birth. It may also cause injuries to occur to the baby during delivery. Why do after-meal blood sugars have such a major influence on the baby’s growth? Nobody knows for certain. Perhaps, when the mother’s blood sugar “spikes” suddenly after meals, the baby is fed more sugar than its pancreas can “cover” with insulin, and high fetal blood sugar results. And because the baby’s kidneys spill almost all excess sugar from the baby’s bloodstream back into the amniotic fluid, the baby then drinks in the extra glucose and winds up growing more than it should. Suffice to say that post-meal blood sugar spikes are something to avoid during pregnancy. But how do we do it? Getting back to Julianne’s question, if she takes more insulin, she’ll probably wind up hypoglycemic before lunch. Luckily, we have some excellent techniques for preventing the after-meal highs without having to take more mealtime insulin. What Causes Sp Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar And Diabetes
Blood sugar control is at the center of any diabetes treatment plan. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, is a major concern, and can affect people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes . There are two main kinds: Fasting hyperglycemia. This is blood sugar that's higher than 130 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) after not eating or drinking for at least 8 hours. Postprandial or after-meal hyperglycemia. This is blood sugar that's higher than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after you eat. People without diabetes rarely have blood sugar levels over 140 mg/dL after a meal, unless it’s really large. Frequent or ongoing high blood sugar can cause damage to your nerves, blood vessels, and organs. It can also lead to other serious conditions. People with type 1 diabetes are prone to a build-up of acids in the blood called ketoacidosis. If you have type 2 diabetes or if you’re at risk for it, extremely high blood sugar can lead to a potentially deadly condition in which your body can’t process sugar. It's called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS). You’ll pee more often at first, and then less often later on, but your urine may become dark and you could get severely dehydrated. It's important to treat symptoms of high blood sugar right away to help prevent complications. Your blood sugar may rise if you: Eat too many grams of carbohydrates for the amount of insulin you took, or eat too many carbs in general Have an infection Are ill Are under stress Become inactive or exercise less than usual Take part in strenuous physical activity, especially when your blood sugar levels are high and insulin levels are low Early signs include: Increased thirst Trouble concentrating Frequent peeing Fatigue (weak, tired feeling) Blood sugar more than 180 mg/dL Ongoing high blood sugar Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Too High? Blood Sugar Too Low?
If you have diabetes, your blood sugar doesn't call your cell phone and say, "My readings are too high right now." Instead, blood sugar rises slowly and gradually, causing complications that may damage your organs -- heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, feet, and even skin are at risk. Sometimes you wonder, "Is my blood sugar too high? Too low?" because "normal" levels are so important. "Diabetes is not a 'one-size-fits-all' condition, and neither are blood sugar readings. Different targets are established for different populations," says Amber Taylor, M.D., director of the Diabetes Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Targets may vary depending on a person's age, whether they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and for how long, what medications they're taking, whether they have complications, and, if the patient is a female, whether she is pregnant. "Patients on insulin may need to test more frequently than someone on oral agents," says Taylor. "Those with type 1 diabetes always require insulin, but many with type 2 diabetes also need it." Target Blood Sugar Levels If you have diabetes, these are target "control" blood glucose levels, using a rating of milligrams to deciliter, or mg/dl: Blood sugar levels before meals (preprandial): 70 to 130 mg/dL Blood sugar levels one to two hours after the start of a meal (postprandial): less than 180 mg/dL Blood sugar levels indicating hypoglycemia or low blood glucose: 70 or below mg/dL Types of Blood Sugar Tests Blood glucose testing can screen, diagnose, and monitor. Glucose is measured either after fasting for eight to ten hours, at a random time, following a meal (postprandial), or as part of an oral glucose challenge or tolerance test. You can compare your levels to these results for specific tests, based on clinical Continue reading >>
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