Managing Your Blood Sugar
Know the basic steps for managing your diabetes. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to many health problems. Know how to: Monitor your blood sugar (glucose) Find, buy, and store diabetes supplies If you take insulin, you should also know how to: Give yourself insulin Adjust your insulin doses and the foods you eat to manage your blood sugar during exercise and on sick days You should also live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Do muscle strengthening exercises 2 or more days a week. Avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time. Try speed walking, swimming, or dancing. Pick an activity you enjoy. Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise plans. Follow your meal plan. Take your medicines the way your health care provider recommends. Checking your blood sugar levels often and writing down the results will tell you how well you are managing your diabetes. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about how often you should check your blood sugar. Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their blood sugar every day. But some people may need to check it many times a day. If you have type 1 diabetes, check your blood sugar at least 4 times a day. Usually, you will test your blood sugar before meals and at bedtime. You may also check your blood sugar: After you eat out, especially if you have eaten foods you don't normally eat If you feel sick Before and after you exercise If you have a lot of stress If you eat too much If you are taking new medicines Keep a record for yourself and your provider. This will be a big help if you are having problems managing your diabetes. It will also tell you what works and what doesn't work, to keep your blood sugar under control. Write down: The time of day Your blood sugar level Th Continue reading >>
Healthy Blood Sugar Targets
If you have been told your blood sugar is higher than normal, you may wonder what blood sugar levels you should be aiming for to ensure ongoing health. Doctors and organizations like the American Diabetes Association suggest various blood sugar targets, but before you adopt any such target, it is worth remembering that the point of setting and adhering to any blood sugar target is to avoid diabetic complications. "Complications" is a euphemism for some very ugly outcomes that include blindness, amputation, kidney failure and death. So the obvious question to ask about any blood sugar target is "What evidence suggests that this blood sugar level is low enough to prevent complications." Research conducted with human patients, mice, and pancreas beta cell cultures all point to a single threshold at which elevated blood sugars cause permanent damage to your body. What is that level? 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L) after meals You can read in detail about the research that establishes this as the highest level you should allow your blood sugars to rise after meals here: Research Connecting Blood Sugar Level with Organ Damage The AACE Recommends A Post-Meal Blood Sugar Target Below 140 mg/dl In 2007, The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, an organization of specialists who treat diabetes, published a White Paper recommending that blood sugar should not be allowed to rise above 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal. The white paper explained this stating: . .a large number of highly robust cross-sectional and prospective epidemiologic studies have clearly implicated a close association between postchallenge or postprandial hyperglycemia and cardiovascular risk. These studies encompass diverse populations and disparate geographic regions, from Honolulu to Chicago to Islington Continue reading >>
Essential Notes On Blood Sugar And Insulin
You have approximately 5 liters (about 21 cups) of blood traveling around in your blood vessels and heart at any given moment. In these 5 liters of blood, you need only about one teaspoon of sugar for all of your regular activities. If you regularly have more than a teaspoon of sugar floating through your blood vessels, the excess sugar can slow down your circulation, which, over time, can cause all of the problems you would expect to have if you had thick maple syrup clogging up your blood vessels. This is essentially what happens when a person becomes diabetic. In order to keep the amount of sugar floating through your blood vessels at around a teaspoon, your body releases insulin whenever you eat foods that release sugar into your bloodstream. Eating sugary foods, most sweeteners, grains, cookies, pastries, cakes, pasta, and starchy vegetables like potatoes all lead to a release of sugar into your bloodstream. Insulin works by stimulating your cells to sponge up this excess sugar out of your bloodstream. Once inside your cells, sugar is used for energy, with any excess amount being converted to fat tissue. If you regularly eat sugary foods and highly processed carbohydrates, your body will have released so much insulin that it will begin to lose its sensitivity to insulin, which means that your cells won’t receive as strong a signal to sponge up excess sugar out of your blood. This will lead to excess sugar floating around your blood vessels and all the health problems that come with this scenario. Just a few years ago, 110 - 120 mg/dL (6.1 - 6.7 mmol/L) was widely considered the upper range for a normal fasting blood sugar level. Today, a fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is considered normal, while anything within 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to Continue reading >>
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 >>
Checking Blood Glucose In Newborn Babies
Go to: What is blood glucose? One of your baby’s most important sources of energy is sugar, in particular, a type of sugar called ‘glucose’. Glucose is carried to every cell in the body by the circulation of blood. Healthy babies keep themselves well supplied with energy by keeping their blood glucose levels within a normal, safe range. Go to: Why is blood glucose important to my newborn baby? A good supply of food energy, particularly glucose, is important for normal activity, growth and development. In rare cases, blood glucose levels can fall too low and a baby may become unwell. When a baby is unwell, the blood glucose level should be checked without delay. The concern is that long periods of low blood glucose in a sick baby may cause brain damage. Go to: Where do babies get their glucose from? In the uterus (womb), babies get glucose from their mother through the placenta and umbilical cord. Some glucose is used immediately as energy and some is stored in preparation for birth. Newborn babies are able to make glucose from these stores. In this way, healthy, well-grown babies keep their blood glucose levels normal for the first few days of life and until they are feeding well. Once a supply of breastmilk is established (usually by the baby’s third day of life), milk becomes the main source of sugar for the baby. The lactose sugar in milk is converted to glucose in the body. In addition to using sugar from milk for activity and growth, your baby will again store sugar to avoid low blood glucose between feeds. Go to: Why is blood glucose low in some babies? Another name for low blood glucose is ‘hypoglycemia’. In healthy babies, blood glucose levels are lowest at 1 hour to 2 hours of age, while the baby gets used to being outside the womb; in most cases, b Continue reading >>
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- Exercise and Glucose Metabolism in Persons with Diabetes Mellitus: Perspectives on the Role for Continuous Glucose Monitoring
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 >>
Could Your Child Have Diabetes?
More than 15,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 every year. Make sure you know the telltale signs -- they're all too easy to dismiss. When Chloe Powell started begging for one more drink of water every night, her father, Charles, thought his then 7-year-old was using a common bedtime stall tactic. "I was irritated that she wouldn't go to sleep," admits Dr. Powell, who's a family physician in Dallas. With all she was drinking, he wasn't surprised when she began wetting the bed. But when Chloe couldn't make it through a conversation without having to use the bathroom, he became concerned. "I figured she had a urinary-tract infection, and she'd take some antibiotics and feel better," says Dr. Powell. He wasn't at all prepared for what his daughter's urine test showed: a dangerously high level of sugar that was a clear indicator of type 1 diabetes. In an instant, Chloe, now 10, went from being a kid who never thought twice about the foods she ate or the energy she burned to one who'd face a lifetime of carbohydrate counting, finger pricks, and insulin injections. A Disease on the Rise Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body's immune system to mistakenly destroy healthy cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin. (Type 2, on the other hand, occurs when the body doesn't respond to the insulin that's being made.) Insulin ensures that sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream gets into the body's cells where it's needed for energy; without insulin, sugar builds up in the blood, which can be deadly. It's important to begin insulin therapy as soon as possible because high blood-sugar levels can cause permanent vision and nerve problems as well as damage to blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. Since the 198 Continue reading >>
Blood Test That Provides Prior Blood Sugar Average Now Recommended For Diabetes Screening, Diagnosis
New official guidelines for diabetes screening and diagnosis now include a blood test that gives a person’s average blood glucose level over the previous 2-3 months. The A1C test is not new. It has been used since the late 1970s as a way to get a snapshot of how well glucose control is going in people with diabetes. But only in the last 15 years has its use and scoring become more standardized and reproducible from place to place and time to time than other diabetes blood glucose tests. Now, in an annual supplement to the journal Diabetes Care, published Dec. 29 by the American Diabetes Association, the A1C test is given a prominent role in the 2010 guidelines for diabetes screening, diagnosis and prevention. In particular, the section “Revisions to the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes,” recommends that the A1C be used to identify people with “pre-diabetes,” those at increased risk for developing the type 2 form of disease. Unlike type 1 diabetes with its sudden onset, type 2 develops gradually and without symptoms. But its damage to health and longevity can be equally severe. At least 50 million adults and children in the U.S. may be well on their way to developing type 2 diabetes, according to John Buse, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and endocrinology chief at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Buse is former ADA president for medicine and science and a member of the International Expert Committee whose report in July 2009 strongly recommended the A1C assay for diabetes diagnosis and for identifying people at high risk for diabetes. “One big advantage of the A1C test is that it doesn’t require fasting. The patient can come in any day, at any time. It’s also not as skittish as the older blood sugar test which can be increased by Continue reading >>
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 >>
Glycohemoglobin (hba1c, A1c)
A A A Test Overview Glycohemoglobin (A1c) is a blood test that checks the amount of sugar (glucose) bound to the hemoglobin in the red blood cells. When hemoglobin and glucose bond, a coat of sugar forms on the hemoglobin. That coat gets thicker when there's more sugar in the blood. A1c tests measure how thick that coat has been over the past 3 months, which is how long a red blood cell lives. People who have diabetes or other conditions that increase their blood glucose levels have more glycohemoglobin than normal. An A1c test can be used to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes. The A1c test checks the long-term control of blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. Most doctors think checking an A1c level is the best way to check how well a person is controlling his or her diabetes. A home blood glucose test measures the level of blood glucose only at that moment. Blood glucose levels change during the day for many reasons, including medicine, diet, exercise, and the level of insulin in the blood. It is useful for a person who has diabetes to have information about the long-term control of blood sugar levels. The A1c test result does not change with any recent changes in diet, exercise, or medicines. Glucose binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells at a steady rate. Since red blood cells last 3 to 4 months, the A1c test shows how much glucose is in the plasma part of blood. This test shows how well your diabetes has been controlled in the last 2 to 3 months and whether your diabetes treatment plan needs to be changed. The A1c test can also help your doctor see how big your risk is of developing problems from diabetes, such as kidney failure, vision problems, and leg or foot numbness. Keeping your A1c level in your target range can lower your chance for problems. Why It Is Continue reading >>
Normal Blood Sugar Level-dilemma Of Every Diabetic
When you got diagnosed with diabetes, you may have never heard about normal blood sugar level The Blood Sugar Dilemma She was a housewife and I remember her often talking about her blood sugar. She didn’t have glucometer with her but I remember paying a visit to doctor with her every month or two. But that time, the number made no sense to me; I was very young and the boring medical terminologies were the last thing I wanted to know about. When I got diagnosed and got my numbers, I didn’t know what to interpret from it. I got my report late in the evening from the lab and it was around 300mg/dl (fasting) and with that numbers I was praying to be nondiabetic!! Most of us have still had a dilemma about normal blood sugar levels. At what time should I prick to check my sugar level? I keep my blood sugar under normal range, still, I face new complications? These questions haunt every diabetic around. And the questions get more troublesome for a parent whose child got diagnosed with diabetes recently. Imagine the difficulty of a parent whose 3-year-old child got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes; Imagine the fear of mother every time she goes for night sleep and waking up with the thought of her child low blood sugar; Imagine the plight of a child who had no choice but to be careful about everything he eats, every time he runs and every time he travels. Salute to the diabetics around who are fighting this forced condition and giving every effort to maintain normal blood sugar level Share your diagnosis story by clicking this link and I will publish on the website so that our diabetic community can benefit from it. When should I test my Blood sugar? To get more understanding about your body responds to various food, it’s advisable to test blood as follows: a. Fasting Blood Continue reading >>
When Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 1)
In the next two articles we’re going to discuss the concept of “normal” blood sugar. I say concept and put normal in quotation marks because what passes for normal in mainstream medicine turns out to be anything but normal if optimal health and function are what you’re interested in. Here’s the thing. We’ve confused normal with common. Just because something is common, doesn’t mean it’s normal. It’s now becoming common for kids to be overweight and diabetic because they eat nothing but refined flour, high-fructose corn syrup and industrial seed oils. Yet I don’t think anyone (even the ADA) would argue that being fat and metabolically deranged is even remotely close to normal for kids. Or adults, for that matter. In the same way, the guidelines the so-called authorities like the ADA have set for normal blood ￼sugar may be common, but they’re certainly not normal. Unless you think it’s normal for people to develop diabetic complications like neuropathy, retinopathy and cardiovascular disease as they age, and spend the last several years of their lives in hospitals or assisted living facilities. Common, but not normal. In this article I’m going to introduce the three markers we use to measure blood sugar, and tell you what the conventional model thinks is normal for those markers. In the next article, I’m going to show you what the research says is normal for healthy people. And I’m also going to show you that so-called normal blood sugar, as dictated by the ADA, can double your risk of heart disease and lead to all kinds of complications down the road. The 3 ways blood sugar is measured Fasting blood glucose This is still the most common marker used in clinical settings, and is often the only one that gets tested. The fasting blood glucose Continue reading >>
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No matter what we're doing, even during sleep, our brains depend on glucose to function. Glucose is a sugar that comes from food, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the body's cells and is carried to them through the bloodstream. When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia. Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that need immediate medical treatment. Blood sugar levels in someone with diabetes are considered low when they fall below the target range. A blood sugar level slightly lower than the target range might not cause symptoms, but repeated low levels could require a change in the treatment plan to help avoid problems. The diabetes health care team will find a child's target blood sugar levels based on things like the child's age, ability to recognize hypoglycemia symptoms, and the goals of the diabetes treatment plan. Low blood sugar levels are fairly common in people with diabetes. A major goal of diabetes care is to keep blood sugar levels from getting or staying too high to prevent both short- and long-term health problems. To do this, people with diabetes may use insulin and/or pills, depending on the type of diabetes they have. These medicines usually help keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, but in certain situations, might make them drop too low. Hypoglycemia can happen at any time in people taking blood sugar-lowering medicines, but is more likely if someone: skips or delays meals or snacks or doesn't eat as much carbohydrate-containing food as expected when taking the diabetes medicine. This is common in kids who develop an illness (such as a stomach virus) that causes loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting. takes too much insulin, ta Continue reading >>
What Are “normal” Blood Sugar Levels?
Physicians focus so much ondisease that we sometimes lose sight of what’s healthy and normal. For instance, the American Diabetes Association defines “tight” control of diabetes to include sugar levels as high as 179 mg/dl (9.94 mmol/l) when measured two hours after a meal. In contrast, young adults without diabetes two hours after a meal are usually in the range of 90 to 110 mg/dl (5.00–6.11 mmol/l). What are Normal Blood Sugar Levels? The following numbers refer to average blood sugar (glucose) levels in venous plasma, as measured in a lab. Portable home glucose meters measure sugar in capillary whole blood. Many, but not all, meters in 2010 are calibrated to compare directly to venous plasma levels. Fasting blood sugar after a night of sleep and before breakfast: 85 mg/dl (4.72 mmol/l) One hour after a meal: 110 mg/dl (6.11 mmol/l) Two hours after a meal: 95 mg/dl (5.28 mmol/l) Five hours after a meal: 85 mg/dl (4.72 mmol/l) (The aforementioned meal derives 50–55% of its energy from carbohydrate.) Ranges of blood sugar for healthy non-diabetic adults: Fasting blood sugar: 70–90 mg/dl (3.89–5.00 mmol/l) One hour after a typical meal: 90–125 mg/dl (5.00–6.94 mmol/l) Two hours after a typical meal: 90–110 mg/dl (5.00–6.11 mmol/l) Five hours after a typical meal: 70–90 mg/dl (3.89–5.00 mmol/l) * Blood sugars tend to be a bit lower in pregnant women. What Level of Blood Sugar Defines Diabetes and Prediabetes? According to the 2007 guidelines issued by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: Pre-diabetes: (or impaired fasting glucose): fasting blood sugar 100–125 mg/dl (5.56–6.94 mmol/l) Pre-diabetes: (or impaired glucose tolerance): blood sugar 140–199 mg/dl (7.78–11.06 mmol/l) two hours after ingesting 75 grams of glucose Continue reading >>
Diabetes, Cholesterol, Bp: Normal Is No Longer Normal
Pre-diabetes On 10 June 2014 there were global headlines about a ‘condition’ called pre-diabetes. From the Mail telling us that “A third of adults have ‘borderline’ diabetes – but most don’t know: Rising tide of obesity means number who have ‘pre-diabetes‘ has trebled since 2006″ to the Huffington Post proclaiming “Most People In England Have Borderline Diabetes, New Study Reveals“. One third was never most people when I did proportions, but anyway. Here is the summary of the study and findings from a journal web site and here is the original (full) article. A quick review of the article should have made the media far more challenging, instead of just taking the press release headlines: 1) The study used data already gathered for Health Survey England (HSE), which started in 1991. The number of adults involved in the HSE, from whom blood samples were taken, was 7,455 in 2003; 6,347 in 2006 and 1,951 in 2009. I can’t find the numbers for 2011, but they are likely to be small if the trajectory continues. There are over 40 million adults in England. Using 2009 as a guide, projections on this concept of ‘pre-diabetes’ have been made based on 0.0048% of the population. I can’t get my head around such numbers. 2) People were diagnosed with pre-diabetes if they had glycated haemoglobin (an indicator of blood sugar levels) between 5.7% and 6.4%. This is the US guideline for ‘pre-diabetes’. The UK guideline is 6.0-6.4%. This would have over-predicted the idea of having a pre-condition. 3) The introduction to the full article in the BMJ is worth a read. The introduction notes that England set up a scheme to offer people aged between 40 and 74 a health check to try to pick up blood glucose concerns (and other things). Then it admits that “the Continue reading >>
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