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How Much Blood Sugar Is Dangerous

What Is High Blood Sugar?

What Is High Blood Sugar?

Have you ever tried to fly a remote control airplane or helicopter? If you steer too sharply one way, your plane will crash into the ground. And if you go too far in the opposite direction, the plane will nose directly upward, making it difficult to control. For people with diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels (or blood glucose levels) is kind of like piloting that plane. To stay in the air and have the most fun, you have to keep blood sugar levels steady. Having a blood sugar level that's too high can make you feel lousy, and having it often can be unhealthy. The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and it's carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Hyperglycemia (pronounced: hi-per-gly-SEE-me-uh) is the medical word for high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels happen when the body either can't make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can't respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can cause serious health problems if it's not treated. Hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. However, these health problems can occur in adulthood in some Continue reading >>

Signs Of High And Low Blood Sugar

Signs Of High And Low Blood Sugar

One of the challenges of managing diabetes is maintaining consistent blood sugar (glucose) levels. Even with diligence, some situations can cause high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, while others can bring on low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. So it’s important to know the signs of both high and low levels, and what actions to take to bring them back within a desired range. Monitoring your blood sugar levels with a glucose meter will do a lot to help you keep those levels steady and avoid the complications that can come with diabetes. According to the Mayo Clinic, how often you check your blood sugar level depends on many factors, including your age, the type and severity of your diabetes, the length of time that you've had the condition, and the presence of any diabetes-related complications. About High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia) Common signs of high blood sugar include frequent urination, fatigue, dry or itchy skin, feeling thirsty, more frequent infections, and eating more food but not gaining as much weight as usual, says Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute in San Diego, California. A blood sugar reading above 180 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered above normal and can bring on these symptoms, although it’s possible to have high blood sugar without any symptoms, Dr. Philis-Tsimikas says. A reading above 300 mg/dL is considered severe. If your blood sugar is above 250 mg/dL for two days, Philis-Tsimikas advises informing your doctor and asking for specific treatment recommendations. Blood sugar levels above 300 mg/dL can cause nausea, drowsiness, blurred vision, confusion, and dizziness, especially when standing up from a sitting or lying position. Ways to treat high blood sugar include: Taking your prescribed medicati Continue reading >>

What Are The Dangers Of A Sugar Count Over 500?

What Are The Dangers Of A Sugar Count Over 500?

Blood sugar control is a critical aspect of diabetes management. People without diabetes typically have fasting blood sugar readings below 100 milligrams per deciliter. If you are diabetic, your doctor sets an individualized blood sugar goal that you aim for with the help of an individualized treatment regimen. A reading higher than your target indicates your blood sugar is not under control, and having a reading over 500 is a medical emergency. Your body needs glucose to function properly, but it's unhealthy for high levels to circulate in your bloodstream. The hormone insulin regulates blood sugar by allowing glucose to get into your cells. Typically, blood sugar is considered high when it's 160 milligrams per deciliter or above your glucose target, notes the Joslin Diabetes Center. Your doctor may need to adjust your treatment plan if your glucose remains above 180 milligrams per deciliter for three consecutive days. If glucose stays elevated for a long time, it can affect your eyes, kidneys and heart. Ketoacidosis A dangerously high blood sugar level increases your risk for diabetes-related ketoacidosis. When glucose circulates in your bloodstream and can't get into your cells, your cells don't get the energy they need. To compensate, your body begins to burn fat for fuel, producing acids called ketones. These acids build up in your bloodstream and can poison your body when levels get too high. This happens when your body doesn't have enough insulin and is more common with Type 1 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends checking your urine for ketones when your glucose is higher than 240 milligrams per deciliter. Hyperosmolar Syndrome Your kidneys typically excrete extra glucose to help compensate for high blood sugar levels, but when glucose is extrem Continue reading >>

Diabetes - Low Blood Sugar - Self-care

Diabetes - Low Blood Sugar - Self-care

Low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia. A blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) is low and can harm you. A blood sugar level below 54 mg/dL (3.0 mmol/L) is cause for immediate action. You are at risk for low blood sugar if you have diabetes and are taking any of the following diabetes medicines: Insulin Glyburide (Micronase), glipizide (Glucotrol), glimepiride (Amaryl), repaglinide (Prandin), or nateglinide (Starlix) Chlorpropamide (Diabinese), tolazamide (Tolinase), acetohexamide (Dymelor), or tolbutamide (Orinase) Know how to tell when your blood sugar is getting low. Symptoms include: Weakness or feeling tired Shaking Sweating Headache Hunger Feeling uneasy, nervous, or anxious Feeling cranky Trouble thinking clearly Double or blurry vision Fast or pounding heartbeat Sometimes your blood sugar may be too low even if you do not have symptoms. If it gets too low, you may: Faint Have a seizure Go into a coma Talk with your health care provider about when you should check your blood sugar every day. People who have low blood sugar need to check their blood sugar more often. The most common causes of low blood sugar are: Taking your insulin or diabetes medicine at the wrong time Taking too much insulin or diabetes medicine Not eating enough during meals or snacks after you have taken insulin or diabetes medicine Skipping meals Waiting too long after taking your medicine to eat your meals Exercising a lot or at a time that is unusual for you Not checking your blood sugar or not adjusting your insulin dose before exercising Drinking alcohol Preventing low blood sugar is better than having to treat it. Always have a source of fast-acting sugar with you. When you exercise, check your blood sugar levels. Make sure you have snacks with you. Talk to your provider about r Continue reading >>

15 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

15 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

High blood sugar symptoms Glucose, or sugar, is the fuel that powers cells throughout the body. Blood levels of this energy source ebb and flow naturally, depending what you eat (and how much), as well as when you eat it. But when something goes wrong—and cells aren't absorbing the glucose—the resulting high blood sugar damages nerves, blood vessels, and organs, setting the stage for dangerous complications. Normal blood-sugar readings typically fall between 60 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl. A blood test called a hemoglobin A1c measures average blood sugar levels over the previous three months. A normal reading is below 5.7% for people without diabetes. An excess of glucose in the bloodstream, or hyperglycemia, is a sign of diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes don’t make insulin, the hormone needed to ferry sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Type 2 diabetes means your body doesn’t use insulin properly and you can end up with too much or too little insulin. Either way, without proper treatment, toxic amounts of sugar can build up in the bloodstream, wreaking havoc head to toe. That’s why it’s so important to get your blood sugar levels in check. “If you keep glucose levels near normal, you reduce the risk of diabetes complications,” says Robert Ratner, MD, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. Here’s a rundown of the major complications and symptoms of high blood sugar. No symptoms at all Often, high blood sugar causes no (obvious) symptoms at all, at least at first. About 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but one in four has no idea. Another 86 million have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That's why it’s a good idea to get your blood sugar test Continue reading >>

Understanding Diabetes

Understanding Diabetes

This information describes diabetes, the complications related to the disease, and how you can prevent these complications. Blood Sugar Control Diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar runs too high, usually due to not enough insulin. It can cause terrible long-term complications if it is not treated properly. The most common serious complications are blindness ("retinopathy"), kidney failure requiring dependence on a dialysis machine to stay alive ("nephropathy"), and foot and leg amputations. The good news is that these complications can almost always be prevented if you keep your blood sugar near the normal range. The best way to keep blood sugar low is to eat a healthy diet and do regular exercise. Just 20 minutes of walking 4 or 5 times a week can do wonders for lowering blood sugar. Eating a healthy diet is also very important. Do your best to limit the number of calories you eat each day. Put smaller portions of food on your plate and eat more slowly so that your body has a chance to let you know when it's had enough to eat. It is also very important to limit saturated fats in your diet. Read food labels carefully to see which foods are high in saturated fats. Particular foods to cut down on are: whole milk and 2% milk, cheese, ice cream, fast foods, butter, bacon, sausage, beef, chicken with the skin on (skinless chicken is fine), doughnuts, cookies, chocolate, and nuts. Often, diet and exercise alone are not enough to control blood sugar. In this case, medicine is needed to bring the blood sugar down further. Often pills are enough, but sometimes insulin injections are needed. If medicines to lower blood sugar are started, it is still very important to keep doing regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Keeping Track of Blood Sugar Checking blood sugar wi Continue reading >>

Are My Daily Low Blood-sugar Spells Dangerous?

Are My Daily Low Blood-sugar Spells Dangerous?

I tend to get low blood sugar at times throughout the day. I work out on a regular basis and have difficulty knowing when to eat, what to eat, how much to eat before a workout. So, information on that would be helpful. Also I am curious what kind of internal damage, if any, am I doing each time I experience low blood sugar? Dear Beth: Thanks for your question. Many people worry about low blood sugar, but in reality this is rarely a problem for other than diabetics under tight blood sugar control. Those few nondiabetics can usually avoid it with small frequent snacks containing carbohydrates. In order to be considered hypoglycemic the person has to have: 1) Symptoms of hypoglycemia, 2) A documented low blood sugar (less than 60 mg/dl) using a laboratory measurement -- not a personal glucometer -- and 3) relief of the symptoms after consumption of sugar. The symptoms of low blood sugar are sweating, trembling, a sensation of warmth, anxiety, nausea, palpitations, a fast heart rate and hunger. Most true hypoglycemic people have three or four of these symptoms and not all of them. Very low blood sugar can cause fatigue, dizziness, headache, visual disturbances, drowsiness and ultimately loss of consciousness and seizures. Again, all people with very low blood sugar will most likely not have all symptoms. Occasionally, people get hypoglycemia because they're taking certain drugs such as aspirin-like drugs, quinine-like drugs and antipsychotics such as haloperidol, or consuming alcohol. Extreme exercise also can lead to this condition. By far the most common cause of hypoglycemia is treatment of diabetes that is too strict. Some diabetics can actually get hypoglycemic by missing a meal or having a meal with fewer starches and carbohydrates than expected. Very rarely, hypoglyc Continue reading >>

What Type 2s Can Do When Blood Sugar Soars

What Type 2s Can Do When Blood Sugar Soars

The emergency condition most type 2s dread is hypoglycemia, where plummeting blood sugar levels can bring on a dangerous semi-conscious state, and even coma or death. However, hyperglycemia, high-blood sugar levels consistently above 240 mg/dL, can be just as dangerous. Left untreated, at its most extreme high-blood sugar, can induce ketoacidosis, the build-up of toxic-acid ketones in the blood and urine. It can also bring on nausea, weakness, fruity-smelling breath, shortness of breath, and, as with hypoglycemia, coma. However, once they’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, most type 2s have taken steps to prevent or lessen the most dangerous effects of high-blood sugar levels. Their concern shifts to dealing with unexpected, sometimes alarming spikes in blood sugar levels. The symptoms of those spikes are the classic ones we associate with the onset of diabetes—unquenchable thirst, excessive urination, fatigue, weight loss, and headaches. When you do spike, what can you do right away to bring blood sugar levels down? Immediate Steps You Can Take: 1. Insulin—If you are on an insulin regimen; a bolus injection should drive numbers down fairly rapidly. 2. If you are not on insulin or don’t use fast-acting insulin, taking a brisk walk or bike ride works for most people to start bringing their numbers down. 3. Stay hydrated. Hyperglycemic bodies want to shed excess sugar, leading to frequent urination and dehydration. You need to drink water steadily until your numbers drop. 4. Curb your carb intake. It does not matter how complex the carbs in your diet are, your body still converts them to glucose at some point. Slacking off on carb consumption is a trackable maneuver that lets you better understand how to control your numbers. Preventative Steps: These are extensions 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 >>

What Are The Ideal Levels Of Blood Sugar?

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 >>

Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High

Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High

Hyperglycemia means high (hyper) glucose (gly) in the blood (emia). Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabetes—when the blood glucose level is too high because the body isn't properly using or doesn't make the hormone insulin. You get glucose from the foods you eat. Carbohydrates, such as fruit, milk, potatoes, bread, and rice, are the biggest source of glucose in a typical diet. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, and then transports the glucose to the cells via the bloodstream. Body Needs Insulin However, in order to use the glucose, your body needs insulin. This is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps transport glucose into the cells, particularly the muscle cells. People with type 1 diabetes no longer make insulin to help their bodies use glucose, so they have to take insulin, which is injected under the skin. People with type 2 diabetes may have enough insulin, but their body doesn't use it well; they're insulin resistant. Some people with type 2 diabetes may not produce enough insulin. People with diabetes may become hyperglycemic if they don't keep their blood glucose level under control (by using insulin, medications, and appropriate meal planning). For example, if someone with type 1 diabetes doesn't take enough insulin before eating, the glucose their body makes from that food can build up in their blood and lead to hyperglycemia. Your endocrinologist will tell you what your target blood glucose levels are. Your levels may be different from what is usually considered as normal because of age, pregnancy, and/or other factors. Fasting hyperglycemia is defined as when you don't eat for at least eight hours. Recommended range without diabet Continue reading >>

Suppress Deadly After-meal Blood Sugar Surges

Suppress Deadly After-meal Blood Sugar Surges

High blood sugar is fast becoming the leading preventable killer of maturing individuals in the United States. In addition to the 26 million Americans with diabetes, the Centers for Disease Control estimate that more than a third of the general population is now pre-diabetic.1 This may be just the tip of the iceberg. As Life Extension® members know, recent data confirm that risk for most degenerative diseases and death rise dramatically when fasting blood glucose exceeds 85 mg/dL.2 Yet the medical establishment persists in defining readings up to 99 mg/dL as "safe." By this measure, virtually all of us are vulnerable to diabetic complications. Even more alarming is widespread physician ignorance of the stealth danger posed by blood sugar surges after meals that can reach diabetic levels and last for hours—or even days. These after-meal glucose "spikes" inflict silent damage to cells via multiple mechanisms and have been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney failure,and retinal damage.3-16 The good news is there are documented ways to suppress deadly after-meal glucose surges. The most recent is a green coffee bean extract shown to neutralize a key enzyme that facilitates after-meal glucose surges. When tested on humans in a placebo-controlled study, this natural extract produced an extraordinary 24% drop in after-meal blood sugar in just 30 minutes!17 Silent Epidemic of High Blood Sugar The percentage of adults suffering from dangerous, chronically high blood sugar has been vastly underestimated. Currently, you aren’t considered diabetic unless your fasting blood glucose is higher than 125 mg/dL. The range from 100-125 mg/dL is considered "pre-diabetic," while anything lower is defined as normal. Unfortunately, your risk for age-re Continue reading >>

How To Recognize And Manage A Blood Sugar Spike

How To Recognize And Manage A Blood Sugar Spike

Blood sugar spikes are caused when a simple sugar known as glucose builds up in your bloodstream. Most of the food you eat is broken down into glucose. Your body needs glucose because it’s the fuel that makes your muscles, organs, and brain work properly. Glucose can’t be used as fuel until it enters your cells. Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, unlocks cells so that glucose can enter them. Without insulin, glucose would keep floating around in your bloodstream with nowhere to go, becoming increasingly more concentrated over time. When glucose builds up in your bloodstream, your blood glucose, or sugar, levels rise. Blood sugar spikes occur in people with diabetes because they’re unable to use insulin effectively. Untreated high blood sugar can be dangerous, leading to a serious condition called ketoacidosis. Chronic high blood sugar increases the likelihood of serious diabetes complications like heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney failure. Learning to recognize the symptoms of hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose, can help you keep your diabetes in control. Some people with diabetes immediately feel the symptoms of high blood glucose, but others go undiagnosed for years because their symptoms are so mild. Symptoms of hyperglycemia typically begin when your blood glucose goes above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Symptoms get worse the longer you go untreated. Learn more about blood sugar tests » Symptoms of a blood sugar spike include: frequent urination fatigue increased thirst blurred vision headache Keep reading: What does high blood sugar feel like? » It’s important to know the symptoms of hyperglycemia. If you suspect that you have high blood sugar, perform a finger stick to check your number. Exercising and drinking water Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Hyperglycemia

Diabetes And Hyperglycemia

Tweet Hyperglycemia occurs when people with diabetes have too much sugar in their bloodstream. Hyperglycemia should not be confused with hypoglycemia, which is when blood sugar levels go too low. You should aim to avoid spending long periods of time with high blood glucose levels. What is hyperglycemia? Hyperglycemia, the term for expressing high blood sugar, has been defined by the World Health Organisation as: Blood glucose levels greater than 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dl) when fasting Blood glucose levels greater than 11.0 mmol/L (200 mg/dl) 2 hours after meals Although blood sugar levels exceeding 7 mmol/L for extended periods of time can start to cause damage to internal organs, symptoms may not develop until blood glucose levels exceed 11 mmol/L. What causes hyperglycemia? The underlying cause of hyperglycemia will usually be from loss of insulin producing cells in the pancreas or if the body develops resistance to insulin. More immediate reasons for hyperglycemia include: Missing a dose of diabetic medication, tablets or insulin Eating more carbohydrates than your body and/or medication can manage Being mentally or emotionally stressed (injury, surgery or anxiety) Contracting an infection What are the symptoms of hyperglycemia? The main 3 symptoms of high blood sugar levels are increased urination, increased thirst and increased hunger. High blood sugar levels can also contribute to the following symptoms: Regular/above-average urination Weakness or feeling tired Increased thirst Vision blurring Is hyperglycemia serious? Hyperglycemia can be serious if: Blood glucose levels stay high for extended periods of time - this can lead to the development of long term complications Blood glucose levels rise dangerously high - this can lead to short term complications In the shor Continue reading >>

Why Low Blood Sugar Is Dangerous

Why Low Blood Sugar Is Dangerous

Hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar, is often known as a 'hypo'. It can make you feel unwell and affect your ability to drive. Simple steps will reduce the risk, and allow you to treat a hypo early, before it causes more serious complications. Blood sugar - what's normal? Under normal circumstances, your body does a remarkable job of keeping your blood sugar (in the form of glucose) stable. Usually your body releases a hormone called insulin, produced by your pancreas, in response to rises in blood sugar. Your body's cells need glucose as fuel to allow them to function. Insulin acts as a 'key', opening the door of your cells to allow glucose in. Another hormone helps raise your blood sugar if it gets too low. Your blood sugar, which is measured in millimoles per litre or mmol/L, is usually maintained between 4 and 6 mmol/L when you're fasting, and up to 7.8 mmol/L two hours after a meal. Diabetes is diagnosed on the basis of raised blood glucose. Hypos - what causes them? People with type 1 diabetes need insulin in injection form, because they don't produce any insulin of their own. People with type 2 diabetes sometimes need insulin if their blood sugar can't be controlled with other tablets. If you're using insulin injections, the amount of insulin you need depends on lots of factors, including how much food you've eaten. More insulin than you need can drop your blood sugar below normal levels, causing a 'hypo'. So too can some tablets used in type 2 diabetes, particularly sulfonylureas, nateglinide and repaglinide, which act by making your body produce more insulin. What symptoms do hypos cause? If your blood sugar drops below about 4 mmol/L, you may experience: Feeling weak or tired and hungry. Feeling shaky and sweaty, with cold, clammy skin. Irritability and poor con Continue reading >>

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