When To Test Blood Sugar In Type 2
One of the topics that comes up a lot in the email I get from visitors to my What They Don't Tell You About Diabetes web site is the question of when is the best time to test your blood sugar. A lot of doctors still tell people with Type 2 to test first thing in the morning and before meals. That was what I was told at diagnosis in 1998. People who test using this schedule may tell you their blood sugar is usually 120 mg/dl, which sounds pretty good, except that since this is a fasting number it usually hides the information that the person's blood sugar maybe going to 250 mg/dl or higher after every meal. Research has shown that for people with Type 2 diabetes--especially those who have been diagnosed recently and still retain some beta cell function--it is the high spikes after meals that contribute most heavily to raising the A1c and causing complications. If you only test your fasting blood sugar, you will not know anything about how high your blood sugar is spiking after meals, so you won't know which foods are toxic to you because they cause dangerous spikes. If you are like most people with Type 2 your access to the very expensive blood sugar testing strips is limited. You may have to pay for strips yourself or your insurance may pay for a single box each month. That means that you need to use each strip as efficiently as possible. Here are some strategies that you can use to get the information out of your blood tests that will let you drop your A1c back into the healthy zone. Keep a written log that matches what you eat with the test result you get. Even though your meter may keep a list of your readings, these readings are meaningless unless you know what food you ate that resulted in each particular reading. If you write down what portion size of which food y Continue reading >>
How To Lower Your Blood Sugar Fast
If you find yourself in a situation where you can't get to a doctor or administer your insulin, here are two ways to lower your blood sugar quickly and naturally. 1. Flush Out the Sugar With Water Drink two glasses (8 oz.) of water quickly. Wait for five minutes and drink a third glass. Urinate as soon as possible. Water dilutes the blood and flushes out the sugar from your bloodstream. 2. Burn Off the Sugar With Exercise Use up the glucose in your bloodstream with physical movement. Jog, if you can. Ride on a stationary bicycle or do some calisthenics like jumping jacks. If you are confined to a wheelchair, swing your arms in circular movements. You could also try taking a brisk walk. Keep up the activity for at least five minutes. Do be careful not to overdo it as overexercise can prompt the liver to release more glucose. Test your blood sugar after five minutes of movement. According to the American Diabetes Association, if you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dl or higher, check your urine for ketone presence first. If you have ketones, do not exercise and seek emergency treatment. When to See a Doctor According to the Mayo Clinic guidelines for hyperglycemia, you should call 911 or get emergency medical help if: You're sick and can't keep any food or fluids down Your blood glucose levels remain above 240 mg/dL after attempting to reduce them and you have ketones in your urine Make an appointment with your doctor if: You experience ongoing diarrhea or vomiting, but you're able to take some foods or drinks You have a fever that lasts over 24 hours Your blood glucose is over 240 mg/dL (13 mmol/L) even if you've taken your diabetes medication You can't keep your blood glucose within the desired range Symptoms That Require Emergency Room Treatmen Continue reading >>
Could Slightly High Blood Sugar Cause Neuropathy?
My glucose levels usually run between 120 and 135 with a nonfasting blood test, though do not have a diagnosis of diabetes. I suffer greatly with my feet and been told by a podiatrist that it is neuropathy. Is it possible that my high glucose levels are causing the neuropathy? Dear Terry, Thanks for your question. I like to think of blood glucose values as a spectrum of numbers with no clear cutoff between nondiabetic and diabetic. In similar manner there is a gray area of blood glucose that defines pre-diabetes. Many people use blood sugar and blood glucose interchangeably. The definition of diabetes has changed over time. The numbers you quote might very well be considered diagnostic of diabetes today whereas they were not 20 years ago. In 1997, the American Diabetes Association definition of normal blood glucose decreased from 120 to 110 mg/dL (6.1 mmol/L). In 2002, the American Diabetes Association defined a normal fasting blood glucose as less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). Today we consider fasting blood sugars of 100 mg/dl to 125mg/dl to be in the realm of glucose intolerance which is sometimes called pre-diabetes. These patients are at increased risk for developing frank diabetes. Several fasting glucose levels over 125 or a single random glucose over 200 mg are considered diagnostic of diabetes. There are other tests used to make the diagnosis of pre-diabetes or diabetes. Pre-diabetes is defined as a blood sugar of 140 to 199 mg/dL (7.8 to 11.0 mmol/L) two-hour after drinking 75 grams of an oral glucose solution. The diagnosis of diabetes is confirmed with a blood sugar of 200 mg/dL or greater, two hours after ingestion of the glucose solution. Hemoglobin A1C is a blood test that gives an estimate of blood sugar levels over the previous three months. Persons with 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 >>
Blood Sugar Testing 101 For People With Type 2 Diabetes: Why, When & What To Do
The Why I am a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, have run Diabetes Centers in hospitals, have a private practice in medical nutrition therapy specializing in metabolic syndrome, weight loss, and type 2 diabetes, and have written a NY Times Bestselling book on the same topics. January 10, 2012 was the world-wide release of my newest book, The Diabetes Miracle. I have had type 2 diabetes for 15 years. Guess what? If you asked me what my blood sugar is right now, I have no idea. Neither do you! Did you know that unless your blood sugar is over 200mg/dL, you most likely will have none of the traditional diabetes symptoms such as excessive thirst, urination, fatigue, hunger, or wounds that will not heal? If you’ve run blood sugar over 200mg/dL for a period of time, you probably won’t even have symptoms when your sugar exceeds that 200mg/dL point. If you have been prescribed medication for diabetes that is aimed at reducing your blood sugar and you begin to feel shaky, dizzy, nauseated, can’t speak clearly, can’t think, feel wiped out….you may assume that you are hypoglycemic. Are you? Without testing, you really have no idea…your once high readings may have returned to normal range…and your body may assume you are hypoglycemic when you are far from it! If you grab some juice or glucose tabs, you will push that normal sugar right back into the very high range. Or maybe those symptoms really are hypoglycemia and if you don’t treat it, you will lose consciousness, fall down the stairs, drop your child, run off the road. Your Hemoglobin A1C might be 6.3 and you think to yourself: “Wow, my blood sugar is now normal…why should I spend the money and take the time to test?” Do you realize that hemoglobin A1C is your average blood sugar 24 ho Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Diabetes: Preventing High Blood Sugar Emergencies
Introduction High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) in diabetes occurs when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood rises above normal. For a person who has diabetes, high blood sugar may be caused by missed diabetes medicine (insulin or pills), by eating too much food, by skipping exercise, or by illness or stress. Unlike low blood sugar, high blood sugar usually develops slowly over hours or days. Blood sugar levels well above your target range may make you feel tired and thirsty. If your blood sugar level stays higher than your target range, your body will adjust to that level. If your blood sugar continues to rise, your kidneys will produce more urine and you can become dehydrated. If you become severely dehydrated, you can go into a coma and possibly die. Over time, high blood sugar damages the eyes, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, and nerves. Unless you fail to notice the symptoms, you usually have time to treat high blood sugar so that you can prevent an emergency. Three things can help you prevent high blood sugar problems: Test your blood sugar often, especially if you are sick or not following your normal routine. You can see when your blood sugar is above your target range, even if you don't have symptoms of high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, and fatigue). Then you can treat it early. Call your doctor if you have frequent high blood sugar or your blood sugar is consistently above your target range. Your medicine may need to be adjusted or changed. Drink extra water or noncaffeinated, nonsugared drinks to prevent dehydration. More information about diabetes can be found in these topics: Return to topic: 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 >>
How To Get Blood Glucose Below 200
1 Eat a controlled amount of carbohydrates at each meal and snack. Carbohydrates cause your blood sugar to increase after meals. Eating large quantities could contribute to a blood glucose result over 200. According to the American Diabetes Association, limiting carbohydrates to 45 to 60 grams per meal is a good place start for most people with elevated blood glucose. Consult a registered dietitian for a tailored meal plan. 2 Record your food intake throughout the day after each meal or snack. This information allows you to correlate your food intake with when your blood glucose level rises above 200. You can then make changes to your eating habits to lower your blood sugar. Include the portion size, total grams of carbohydrates and the time of day you ate. 3 Monitor your blood glucose throughout the day if you have a glucose meter for home use. Record this information along with your food intake. Checking your glucose level two to four hours after a meal helps you better understand the influence food has on your blood sugar. Take note of what you ate when your blood glucose rose above 200; these are areas to make changes in. 4 Decrease your carbohydrate intake slightly and observe the effect on your blood glucose. Typically decreasing carbohydrate intake decreases blood glucose after meals. For example, if you currently eat 70 grams of carbohydrates per meal and you experience a glucose level over 200 after meals, decrease your carbohydrate intake to 60 grams per meal and note any decrease in blood glucose. 5 Choose complex carbohydrate sources instead of simple or refined carbohydrates to lower your blood glucose below 200. Complex carbohydrates from whole foods, such as beans, vegetables and whole grains, contain dietary fiber, which may slow the absorption of sugar Continue reading >>
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What Are The Consequences Of Having A Blood Sugar Level Over 300?
Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is now regarded as a global health problem and can say this is a pandemic of human faces. This is especially true in the treatment of both in terms of number of users and sick, and the complications experienced by people with the disease. What is the danger? A large part of medical research has shown that diabetes have blood glucose dangerous areas. That's when your blood sugar is too low or too high. Low blood glucose above 60 mg / dl can lead to coma and even death higher blood glucose level 180mg / dl can be more damage to the vital organs of the body such as the heart, blood vessels, cause eyes, kidneys and nerves. On average there are 10 persons 8 persons with diabetes, heart disease and up to 75% of deaths in patients with type 2 diabetes are related to cardiovascular diseases, mainly as a result of myocardial infarction and cerebral stroke. Diabetic nephropathy is the most common cause of end-stage renal failure and diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness. Dangerous areas of diabetes as a concept is not new to doctors but also patients with diabetes are a lot of people do not know or have known, but did not understand the importance and significance of this concept. The biggest obstacle in the successful treatment of diabetes today is not due to lack of equipment, drugs, lack of processors or the lack of specialist that the subjective and lack of understanding of the disease. There are many people in spite of warning, but still have not seen all the dangers of diabetes as "not found" no complications. Therefore, they are less concerned had their blood sugar, need to change the lifestyle of how the disease under control. As a result of ignorance about the disease, so this little visit and test artery, perhaps 2-3 months Continue reading >>
What Is Hyperglycemia?
Hyperglycemia, a high level of sugar in the blood, is a hallmark of diabetes. Your blood sugar levels fluctuate over the course of a day: Levels are higher right after meals, as carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (sugar), and lower after exercise, when glucose has been burned to fuel the activity. In someone who doesn't have diabetes, blood sugar levels stay within a narrow range. Between meals, the concentration of sugar in the blood ranges from about 60 to 100 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter). After meals it may reach 120 to 130 mg/dl, but rarely goes higher than 140 mg/dl. But if you have type 2 diabetes, blood sugar levels can go much higher — to 200, 300, or even 400 mg/dl and beyond — and will go much higher unless you take the necessary steps to bring them down. Hyperglycemia Symptoms High blood sugar doesn't always produce symptoms, so it's important to check your blood sugar regularly, as indicated by your doctor. Hyperglycemia symptoms include: Frequent urination Extreme thirst Feeling tired and weak Blurry vision Feeling hungry, even after eating Causes of Hyperglycemia If you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a treatment plan is put in place to lower blood sugar and keep it as close to the normal range as possible. But even after you start treatment, you may still develop hyperglycemia at times. When you have diabetes, it's almost impossible not to have hyperglycemia — and high blood sugar can happen for no identifiable reason. Some of the reasons blood sugar may go too high include: Missing prescribed medicines or taking medication at the wrong times or in the wrong amounts High food intake or larger consumptions of carbohydrate than expected or intended Lack of sleep Emotional stress Intense exercise Illness is another important — and Continue reading >>
Diabetes is a high sugar (glucose) level in your blood. It is often diagnosed in people without symptoms, but classic symptoms are feeling very thirsty, urinating frequently, and losing weight despite eating high quantities of food. Your doctor can diagnose diabetes with a blood test. If a fasting (no food for over eight hours) sugar in your doctor’s office is greater than 126, random sugar greater than 200, or average blood sugar over three months (hemoglobin A1c) is greater than 6.5%, this may suggest the diagnosis of diabetes. Your doctor will likely repeat the blood test to confirm the diagnosis. What problems can a high blood sugar cause? High sugar levels can damage body organs and cause tissue damage. As a result, complications can occur such as nerve damage, heart attacks, strokes, peripheral vascular disease (causing leg pain and ulcers in the feet), cataracts, loss of vision and kidney damage. High sugar passes through the kidneys and causes an increased volume of urine, which can lead to increased thirst. Although the sugar is high in the blood, it cannot be used for energy by the body, which is the reason that people with poorly controlled diabetes may lose weight ("starvation in the midst of plenty"). Why do diabetics have an elevated fasting morning blood sugar if they have not been eating all night? The rise in sugar after meals comes primarily from the carbohydrates in the diet. However, the fasting blood sugar (the glucose level which is measured in the morning before breakfast, after an overnight fast) comes from the liver. The liver stores sugar in the form of starch (glycogen). The liver normally releases sugar (which becomes available when the starch is broken down in the liver) during the night to prevent the blood sugar from going too low during Continue reading >>
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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 >>
Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)
Hi, I just found this site and would like to participate. I will give my numbers, etc. First, my last A1c was 6.1, the doc said it was Pre-diabetes in January of 2014, OK, I get it that part, but what confuses me is that at home, on my glucometer, all my fastings were “Normal” however, back then, I had not checked after meals, so maybe they were the culprits. Now, I am checking all the time and driving myself crazy. In the morning sometimes fasting is 95 and other times 85, it varies day to day. Usually, after a low carb meal, it drops to the 80’s the first hour and lower the second. On some days, when I am naughty and eat wrong, my b/s sugar is still low, and on other days, I can eat the same thing, and it goes sky high, again, not consistent. Normally, however, since February, my fbs is 90, 1 hour after, 120, 2nd hour, back to 90, but, that changes as well. In February, of 2014, on the 5th, it was horrible. I think I had eaten Lasagne, well, before, my sugars did not change much, but that night, WHAM-O I started at 80 before the meal, I forgot to take it at the one and two hour mark, but did at the 3 hour mark, it was 175, then at four hours, down to 160, then at 5 hours, back to 175. I went to bed, because by that time, it was 2 AM, but when I woke up at 8:00 and took it, it was back to 89!!!! This horrible ordeal has only happened once, but, I have gone up to 178 since, but come down to normal in 2 hours. I don’t know if I was extra stressed that day or what, I am under tons of it, my marriage is not good, my dear dad died 2 years ago and my very best friend died 7 months ago, I live in a strange country, I am from America, but moved to New Zealand last year, and I am soooo unhappy. Anyway, what does confuse me is why the daily differences, even though I may Continue reading >>