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How Long Should You Wait To Check Your Blood Sugar After Eating?

Ultimate Guide To The A1c Test: Everything You Need To Know

Ultimate Guide To The A1c Test: Everything You Need To Know

The A1C is a blood test that gives us an estimated average of what your blood sugar has been over the past 2-3 months. The A1c goes by several different names, such aswa Hemoglobin A1C, HbA1C, Hb1C, A1C, glycated hemoglobin, glycohemoglobin and estimated glucose average. What is Hemoglobin? Hemoglobin is a protein in your blood cells that carries oxygen. When sugar is in the blood, and it hangs around for a while, it starts to attach to the red blood cells. The A1C test is a measurement of how many red blood cells have sugar attached. So, if your A1C result is 7%, that means that 7% of your red blood cells have sugar attached to them. What are the Symptoms of a High A1C Test Level? Sometimes there are NO symptoms! That is probably one of the scariest things about diabetes, your sugar can be high for a while and you may not even know it. When your blood sugar goes high and stays high for longer periods of time you may notice the following: tired, low energy, particularly after meals feel very thirsty you may be peeing more than normal, waking a lot in the middle of the night to go dry, itchy skin unexplained weight loss crave sugar, hungrier than normal blurred vision, may feel like you need new glasses tingling in feet or hands cuts or sores take a long time to heal or don’t heal well at all frequent infections (urinary tract, yeast infections, etc.) When your blood sugar is high, this means the energy that you are giving your body isn’t getting into the cells. Think about a car that has a gas leak. You put gas in, but if the gas can’t get to the engine, the car will not go. When you eat, some of the food is broken down into sugar and goes into your bloodstream. If your body can’t get the sugar to the cells, then your body can’t “go.” Some of the sugar tha Continue reading >>

Testing Blood Sugar Levels

Testing Blood Sugar Levels

Why are we testing and monitoring blood sugar levels? Anyone diagnosed with gestational diabetes should regularly test their blood sugar levels. Sometimes ladies that are higher risk or classed as borderline, or those that have had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies may also be advised to test and monitor levels. This is the best way to see what is happening with your blood sugar levels and how much glucose is remaining in your blood after eating and therefore being passed on to your baby. It's just a guide These capillary tests are a 'guideline' only and not 100% accurate. The only way to get an accurate blood glucose test result is from a blood test which has been analysed in a sterile laboratory environment. Therefore if you test multiple fingers, one after another, you could get different readings each time. Many ladies get frustrated when they hear this and think what is the point if the tests are not 100%, but for a mobile device they do a pretty good job of building up a good picture as to what's happening and a guide is much better than not be aware at all. If you feel there are any inaccuracies with your test monitor then please consult your healthcare professional. Large differences in readings may mean that your machine is faulty or could need calibrating. Test times and targets Different test times and targets are used all across the UK and Ireland, even a hospital a few miles away may have different guidance to yours. Please follow the guidance YOU have been given from your diabetes team/consultant and medical professionals. You may wish to take additional tests, but it important to provide your diabetes team with the information they require. Here are some examples of test times used: one hour post meals two hours post meals pre meals pre meals a Continue reading >>

7 Techniques To Reduce Post-meal Spikes During Pregnancy

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 >>

Two-hour Postprandial Glucose

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 >>

Preparing For A Test

Preparing For A Test

What to know about fasting before your lab test With certain blood tests, you may be instructed to fast for up to eight hours before your appointment. Fasting before a blood draw means you don’t eat or drink anything except water. Don’t wait until the day of your blood draw to ask if you should fast. That could cause your appointment to be rescheduled. If at any point you’re unsure if fasting is required, contact your doctor. Why do I have to fast before certain lab tests? Nutrients and ingredients in the food and beverages you consume are absorbed into your bloodstream and could impact factors measured by certain tests. Fasting improves the accuracy of those tests. Why is water okay to drink while I’m fasting? Water hydrates your veins. Hydrated veins are easier to find. And that means easier to draw from. Drink plenty of water before having any blood test. How long do I have to fast for a blood test? It depends on the test. Fasting for a lab test typically lasts eight hours. Your doctor should give you any special instructions related to your tests, including fasting requirements. Always follow her or his instructions. What types of blood tests require fasting? Glucose testing that checks blood-sugar levels and tests that determine your cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels usually require fasting. Other lab tests may require fasting, which is why you should ask your doctor. If you think fasting might be a problem, schedule your appointment for the early morning and bring a snack for after the appointment. Can I eat before other types of blood tests? If it’s a test that does not require fasting then, yes, please eat something before having your blood drawn. Can I continue taking medications before a blood test? Unless your doc Continue reading >>

Am I Diabetic? How To Test Your Blood Sugar To Find Out

Am I Diabetic? How To Test Your Blood Sugar To Find Out

If you have not been diagnosed with diabetes but suspect you might have something wrong with your blood sugar, there is a simple way to find out. What you need to do is to test your blood sugar after you have eaten a meal that contains about sixty grams of carbohydrates. You can ask your doctor to test your blood sugar in the office if you have an appointment that takes place an hour or two after you've eaten or, if this isn't an option, you can use an inexpensive blood sugar meter to test your post-meal blood sugar yourself at home. You do not need a prescription to buy the meter or strips. One advantage of testing yourself at home is that with self-testing you do not run the risk of having a "diabetes" diagnosis written into your medical records which might make it impossible for you to buy health or life insurance. To run a post-meal blood sugar test do following: Borrow a family member's meter or buy an inexpensive meter and strips at the drug store or Walmart. The Walmart Relion meter store brand meters sold at pharamcies like CVS, Walgreens, etc are usually the least expensive. Some meters come with 10 free strips. Check to see if the meter you have bought includes strips. If it doesn't, buy the smallest package size available. Strips do not keep for very long once opened, so don't buy more than you need for a couple tests. Familiarize yourself with the instructions that came with your meter so that you know how to run a blood test. Practice a few times before you run your official test. Each meter is different. Be sure you understand how yours works. The first thing in the morning after you wake up but before you have eaten anything, test your blood sugar. Write down the result. This is your "fasting blood sugar." Now eat something containing at 60 - 70 grams of Continue reading >>

How Soon After A Meal Should I Test?

How Soon After A Meal Should I Test?

Last February I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and so far have been able to control it without medication, just diet and exercise. I was told to get my peak blood sugar results, two hours after eating. Recently I decided to test one hour after eating, and was shocked at the 238 reading. At two hours, my blood sugar was 150. Should I be concerned, or just continue to check at two hours after eating? Thank you. Bill Koile Omaha, Nebraska Abnormal values of the fasting blood sugar reading (>126 mg/dl) and two-hour postprandial reading following a glucose load (>200) are associated with diabetic complications. The practical applications of a two-hour post-meal blood sugar, however, are limited. As in your case, the peak blood sugar may vary considerably within one or two hours after a meal. In fact, 50 percent of the insulin that your pancreas secretes occurs regardless of a meal. This leaves 50 percent to be secreted following a meal. The maximal post-meal insulin secretion occurs in the morning following breakfast. The insulin response diminishes with each subsequent meal. I would suggest that you continue to record your one-hour-post-meal blood sugar. I typically suggest that my patients check a fasting blood sugar and also check one to two hours following lunch. If your peak blood sugar is 238, I would suggest more intense intervention. Your physician may want to consider repaglanide (Prandin) along with diet and exercise. Prandin taken 15 minutes before meals augments insulin secretion by your pancreas. This may control the blood sugar elevation following meals. David Scott, MD St. Albans, New York Donna Schulz, a registered nurse from Lodi, California, offers this answer: After eating, food is broken down into sugar to give us energy. Our blood sugar is the highe Continue reading >>

When To Test Blood Sugar After Meals

When To Test Blood Sugar After Meals

For some reason the past week brought me a bunch of emails all asking the same question: Are we supposed to test our blood sugar one hour after we start or end a meal? As is true with everything involving diabetes the answer is not simple due to variations in individual blood sugar responses. The reason we test one hour after a meals is to learn how high our blood sugar goes in response to the specific meal. So we want to be testing at the moment when our blood sugar is at its peak. Studies tell us something about the average time it takes for the carbohydrate in our food to turn into blood sugar (carbohydrates are the main nutrient that causes elevated blood sugars). Such studies suggest that most Americans who eat our meals fairly quickly will see a peak somewhere between one hour and seventy-five minutes after we start eating. But because studies only come up with averages, they don't take into account individual variations--and you are, of course, an individual. And when we move from group averages to individual response we learn that when the blood sugar peak occurs depends on a multitude of factors that include how fast we eat our meals, how much we eat at each meal, how tightly bound the glucose is in the carbohydrates we eat, and how efficient our digestive system is at digesting the carbohydrate bound in our food. That explains why the same meal consumed at the same time by two different people may peak at different times--and why I can't tell you exactly when to test. That's why you might try varying the time at which you test a carefully chosen test meal to see if your personal peak is later than average. Choose a simple meal that contains a known quantity of carbohydrate--a single measured portion of something rather than a meal where you have to guess what Continue reading >>

How Soon After Ingestion Of Food Does Blood Sugar Rise?

How Soon After Ingestion Of Food Does Blood Sugar Rise?

After eating, your blood sugar levels begin to rise within 15 to 30 minutes, but only if your meal or snack includes carbohydrates. The speed and level of the increase depend on the type of carbohydrates and other nutrients found in the foods you eat, as well as on your body's ability to manage your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are the main constituent of food that can raise your blood sugar levels. The amount and the type of carbohydrates you eat influence how quickly your blood sugar levels change after eating. Carbohydrates from liquids, such as juices and soft drinks, are usually digested more rapidly, while carbohydrates from solid foods, such as pasta and fruits, take a bit more time to break down. Foods that don't contain carbohydrates or only very little, such as non-starchy vegetables, butter, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and nuts, do not have the ability to significantly influence your blood sugar levels. Glycemic Index and Blood Sugar Only carbohydrate-containing foods have a glycemic index, which can be used to assess how quickly and how high your blood sugar levels will rise in response to different foods. Many high-glycemic foods can raise your blood sugar levels within as little as 15 minutes after eating, including white and whole-wheat bread, most breakfast cereals, rice, potatoes, french fries, scones and pretzels. Low-glycemic foods have a more modest effect on your blood sugar levels and it may take a bit longer to see a rise. The rise in your blood sugar levels is first seen in your venous blood, the blood drawn at the lab, and it takes a bit longer for the changes in your blood sugar levels to be measured in your capillary blood, the blood used when testing your blood sugars at home. Fat, Fiber and Mixed Meals Other foods you eat with car Continue reading >>

Understanding Gestational Diabetes: Glucose Monitoring

Understanding Gestational Diabetes: Glucose Monitoring

Fetal Monitoring, Gestational Diabetes, Integrative Medicine, Pregnancy and Birth, Weight Management What is self blood glucose monitoring? Once you are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes, you and your health care providers will want to know more about your day-to-day blood sugar levels. It is important to know how your exercise habits and eating patterns affect your blood sugars. Also, as your pregnancy progresses, the placenta will release more of the hormones that work against insulin. Testing your blood sugar level at important times during the day will help determine if proper diet and weight gain have kept blood sugar levels normal or if extra insulin is needed to help keep the fetus protected. Self blood glucose monitoring is done by using a special device to obtain a drop of your blood and test it for your blood sugar level. Your doctor or other health care provider will explain the procedure to you. Make sure that you are shown how to do the testing before attempting it on your own. Some items you may use to monitor your blood sugar levels are: Lancet–a disposable, sharp needle-like sticker for pricking the finger to obtain a drop of blood. Lancet device–a springloaded finger sticking device. Test strip–a chemically treated strip to which a drop of blood is applied. Color chart–a chart used to compare against the color on the test strip for blood sugar level. Glucose meter–a device which “reads” the test strip and gives you a digital number value. Your health care provider can advise you where to obtain the self-monitoring equipment in your area. You may want to inquire if any places rent or loan glucose meters, since it is likely you won't be needing it after your baby is born. How often and when should I test? You may need to test your blo Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar After Exercise?

High Blood Sugar After Exercise?

back to Overview Markus, one of our great German-language authors, wrote about struggling with high blood sugar after exercise. I know it's a common problem, and one I've struggled with personally, so I want to make sure you get to see it, too. From Markus Berndt: It’s one of the first recommendations you get after being diagnosed with diabetes. “Get active, do more exercise, it’s good for you!” And since we’ve been a child we’ve heard that exercise is healthy. If we do it consistently we’re rewarded, literally, with an awesome beach body. Adding exercise into our day is also good for our diabetes. We’re taught that exercise lowers blood sugar, right? But can the opposite also be true? Can you have high blood sugar after exercise? Up close We now know that physical activity usually lowers blood sugar because it reduces how much insulin is needed to move sugar into the cells. While, in the past, most experts advised frequent training intervals at moderate intensity, but recent studies have shown that even short, intense workouts are very effective. For example, a 15-minute intense weight training lowered blood sugar even more than what’s seen in some endurance training. So activity lowers blood sugar – but not always! Personally, I experienced this very early on and was extremely irritated! I just learned that exercise lowers blood sugar, but an intense 45-minute run consistently resulted in higher blood sugars than when I started! What in the world? At first, I was confused and felt like I didn’t understand the world anymore. Then it was more of a “would you look at this?” kind of thing. And finally, I was determined to figure out what was happening. I knew there had to be an explanation. Why does exercise sometimes raise blood sugar? Exercise Continue reading >>

When To Test Your Blood Sugar

When To Test Your Blood Sugar

Checking your blood glucose as recommended can help you see how your meals, medications and activities affect your blood sugar. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that you routinely test blood sugar levels to aid in managing your diabetes.1 Routine or daily testing For people using an insulin pump or insulin injections throughout the day, the ADA recommends testing multiple times daily.1 If you take another kind of medication, test your blood sugar level as often as your healthcare team recommends. You and your healthcare team will determine when you should check your blood sugar based on your current health, age and level of activity, as well as the time of day and other factors. They may suggest that you test your blood sugar at any of the following times:1,2,3 Before each meal 1 or 2 hours after a meal Before a bedtime snack In the middle of the night Before physical activity, to see if you need a snack During and after physical activity If you think your blood sugar might be too high, too low or falling When you're sick or under stress Structured testing Short-term, structured testing means checking your blood sugar at specific times over a few days. It can help you recognize patterns and problem-solve around how the things you do are connected to your blood sugar. You may want to consider structured testing, in addition to your routine or daily testing, if you: Adjust your insulin or oral medication Begin a new medication unrelated to diabetes Change your activity level, meal plan or schedule There are different ways to perform structured testing, depending on your goals. The Accu-Chek® 360° View tool is a simple paper tool that helps you track your blood sugar over 3 days, so you and your doctor can quickly identify patterns that can guide adjust Continue reading >>

How Long After Eating Does Blood Sugar Peak?

How Long After Eating Does Blood Sugar Peak?

After consuming carbs, your blood sugar levels temporarily go up until insulin steps in to remove the extra sugar. This type of peak is a normal part of digestion. A bigger concern is how high your blood sugar goes after eating. Frequent spikes in blood sugar can lead to long-term medical problems, but you can protect your health through dietary choices. Video of the Day Two types of carbs -- sugars and starches -- are responsible for increasing your blood sugar. After you eat these carbs, digestive enzymes break them down into simple sugars, which are absorbed into your bloodstream. The pancreas responds to the influx of sugar by releasing insulin, which returns sugar levels back to normal. Blood sugar begins to rise about 20 minutes after you eat. It can peak at that time if you consumed quickly digested carbs, such as hard candy or juice. After a balanced meal containing protein, fat and fiber, blood sugar peaks about one to two hours after eating. Your blood sugar should drop back down to its lowest level two to four hours after a meal. Blood Sugar Spikes Portion sizes, the type of foods in your meal and when you eat can all influence how high and how quickly your blood sugar peaks. Carbohydrates that do not contain fiber, such as products made from processed white flour and white rice, cause high blood sugar. High-carb beverages, such as sugar-sweetened drinks, have a significant effect. Bigger portions of carbs also cause a larger spike of sugar. Starches in whole grains and beans are digested slowly, so they have a small impact. You can also keep blood sugar better balanced by eating meals at regular intervals. Glycemic Index Guidelines The glycemic index is a rating system used to show the impact of carb-containing foods on blood sugar. Carbs are assigned a scor Continue reading >>

Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them To Manage Your Diabetes

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 >>

The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal

The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal

Q: I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Should I check my blood glucose two hours from when I start eating or after I finish eating my meal? A: Most of the food you consume will be digested and raises blood glucose in one to two hours. To capture the peak level of your blood glucose, it is best to test one to two hours after you start eating. The American Diabetes Association recommends a target of below 180 mg/dl two hours after a meal. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a lower target: below 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal. Ask your doctor which target is right for you. Postmeal blood glucose monitoring (and record-keeping) is important because it helps you see how your body responds to carbohydrates in general and particular foods. Managing postmeal blood glucose can help reduce your risk of developing heart and circulation problems. Virginia Zamudio Lange, a member of Diabetic Living's editorial advisory board, is a founding partner of Alamo Diabetes Team, LLP in San Antonio. Continue reading >>

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