diabetestalk.net

Understanding Blood Sugar Levels

Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet To Understanding Blood Sugar

Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet To Understanding Blood Sugar

We’re back this week on the blog with more resources to educate and decode how to best manage (and digest) all of the health information flying around out there. If you’re currently rocking an activity tracker (such as a Fitbit or a Jawbone UP band) you’re not alone – one in 10 Americans use devices like these (known as wearables) to track their day-to-day activity and help quantify their efforts to stay active, healthy, and/or fit. You’ll no doubt see the rise in this “one in 10” number over the next few years, but it won’t be limited to step counters and run trackers. Consumers can look forward to an explosion of sensors that will monitor important body information, such as breathing and heart rate. An advantage of personal trackers is that they are easy to use, and give real time updates on your habits and data – with this information, you have the opportunity to take action and improve or decrease health risks. As such, there is one biomarker that is seen as the “Holy Grail” with regards to the next breakthrough in wearable monitoring: Blood Sugar aka glucose. According to a recent Forbes piece, big players like Apple are rumored to be the closest to this breakthrough. Why glucose? Because with glucose monitoring, we could gain insights beyond activity, and dive into what someone has actually eaten. This is a crucial data point because diet has been regarded as having a far greater impact on health than activity. Your cheat sheet on glucose is below. Are there others you’d like us to cover? Leave suggestions in the comments! Glucose is a type of sugar that circulates in your blood. (This is just one type. The blood also contains another sugar, called fructose) It provides your body’s cells with the energy they need. Often when you eat there Continue reading >>

Understanding Your Blood Sugar Levels

Understanding Your Blood Sugar Levels

Periodic blood draws at the clinic and glucose checks with a home test glucometer are familiar routines for diabetics. Glucose, sugar levels are not only used for diagnosing patients and regulating medication use, but also analyzes how well the organs are functioning in regards to sugar control, says Dr. Joel Rubio, M.D., endocrinologist at Health Partners, L.L.C. Many know about insulin and that it has something to do with the pancreas. In actuality it’s more complicated. Sugar control is a minute part of a dynamic metabolic system that involves all cells and a cascade of multiple hormones and enzymes, Rubio says. Generally, if your metabolic system gets affected, it can affect sugar levels. This is why even at a fasting state, our sugar levels can still spike up. During stressful situations like an infection, heart attack or stroke, patients have erratic glucose levels and tight monitoring at the hospital is necessary. “Treatment is done with insulin, but you have to treat the underlying disease or you will never control it. This is where you really need your doctor,” says Dr. Rubio. “Afterwards, they think back and remember, ‘oh, I wasn’t feeling too well then or I was getting up a lot at night to urinate, or I was feeling very dry-mouthed and very thirsty. I was eating a lot but I was losing weight.’” Dr. Joel Rubio, M.D., endocrinologist He recommends healthy patients get a checkup at least once a year. Part of that checkup is getting routine blood work. Initial symptoms are very mild and common. “Most diabetics these days are diagnosed with blood sugar measurements, meaning they think they feel fine when they walk into the clinic or hospital,” says Dr. Rubio. “Afterwards, they think back and remember, ‘oh, I wasn’t feeling too well then o Continue reading >>

Understanding Your Average Blood Sugar

Understanding Your Average Blood Sugar

A1c is an average of all your blood sugars. It does not tell you your blood sugar patterns. Use it only as yet another indicator of how well you’re doing. Glysolated Hemoglobin (or A1c) is a measure of your average blood glucose control over the previous three months. Glucose attaches to hemoglobin the oxygen carrying molecule in red blood cells. The glucose-hemoglobin unit is called glycosolated hemoglobin. As red blood cells live an average of three months, the glycosolated hemoglobin reflects the sugar exposure to the cells over that time. The higher the amount of glucose in the blood, the higher the percentage of hemoglobin molecules that will have glucose attached. Think of the A1c as a long-term blood glucose measure that changes very gradually as red blood cells die and are replaced by new cells. The A1c doesn’t replace self blood-glucose monitoring. Because the A1c is an average of all your blood sugars, it does not tell you your blood sugar patterns. For example, one person with frequent highs and lows can have the same A1c as another person with very stable blood sugars that don’t vary too much. So what’s the point? A1c is yet another indicator of how well you’re doing. An A1c measurement between 4-6% is considered the range that someone without diabetes will have. The American Diabetes Association goal is an A1c less than 7%. Research has shown that an A1c less than 7% lowers risk for complications. The American College of Endocrinology goal is an A1c less than 6.5%. For some people with diabetes an A1c goal of less than 6% is appropriate. Talk with your doctor about your A1c goal. Use this chart to view A1c values and comparable blood glucose values: A1c Estimated Average Glucose mg/dL 5% 97 6% 126 7% 154 8% 183 9% 212 10% 240 11% 269 12% 298 A not Continue reading >>

Understand Your Blood Glucose Test Results

Understand Your Blood Glucose Test Results

Get the most out of your blood glucose test results – know what they mean, when to test, and how to respond. Daily glucose tests, routine A1C lab tests – that’s a lot of numbers to make sense of, which can be intimidating. Try to see them as your body talking to you. It’s telling you if there are things that throw your blood glucose levels off, when this is happening, and if you need to do something about it. Knowing what your numbers mean can help you take control of your diabetes and have more days feeling at your best. What Is A Normal Glucose Level The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) recommends an A1C of less than 7 per cent.1 For blood glucose, the recommended target ranges are 4-7 mmol/L before meals and 5-10 mmol/L two hours after a meal. It’s a good idea to sit down with your healthcare professional and discuss what target ranges are right for you. Things like your age, medications and time of day can impact your levels. If you start the day with a fasting test A fasting blood glucose test sets a “benchmark” for the day. It tells you how you did through the night, and also reveals how well your liver is working – which is responsible for releasing glucose as you sleep. If you test 2 hours after meals This is an immediate way to know how your meal plan might be affecting your blood glucose levels. The CDA recommends an after-meal target of 5-10 mmol/L.1 Your results will tell you if you need to adjust what you eat or by how much. If your glucose is low, take action right away It’s normal for glucose levels to go up and down over the course of a day. But know when they’re too low. Hypoglycemia happens when your blood glucose (measured with your meter) goes below 4 mmol/L. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia and ways to manag Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Monitoring

Blood Glucose Monitoring

One of the main aims of diabetes treatment is to keep blood glucose levels within a specified target range. The key is balancing your food with your activity, lifestyle and diabetes medicines. Blood glucose monitoring can help you understand the link between blood glucose, food, exercise and insulin. Over time your readings will provide you and your health professionals with the information required to determine the best management strategy for your diabetes. Maintaining good blood glucose control is your best defence to reduce the chances of developing complications from diabetes. Self-blood glucose monitoring allows you to check your blood glucose levels as often as you need to or as recommended by your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. To test blood glucose levels, you need: A blood glucose meter A lancet device with lancets Test strips. Blood glucose meters are usually sold as kits giving you all the equipment you need to start. There are many different types, offering different features and at different prices to meet individual needs. Most of these are available from Diabetes Australia in your state or territory, pharmacies and some diabetes centres. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you choose the meter that’s best for you, and your Credentialled Diabetes Educator or pharmacist can show you how to use your meter to get accurate results. To test your blood glucose levels, you prick your finger with the lancet and add a small drop of blood onto a testing strip. This strip is then inserted into the meter, which reads the strip and displays a number – your blood glucose level. When and how often you should test your blood glucose levels varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being us Continue reading >>

Understanding Your Blood Glucose Results

Understanding Your Blood Glucose Results

Understanding your blood glucose level is a beneficial part of diabetes self-management and can help you and your healthcare team to decide which treatment is best for you. This can help towards reducing your risk of diabetes complications. ••••• There are 2 main ways your glucose level can be measured: The HbA1c blood test measures the amount of glucose that has stuck to a part of the red blood cells and is being carried around the body. This test is usually done on a sample of blood taken from a vein in your arm and the result shows your overall control of glucose levels over the last 2-3 months. You will have this test at least once per year. HbA1c targets are a guide and for most adults with diabetes the expected HbA1c target is 48 - 58mmol/mol. This is the target your health team will strive for since evidence shows that this success can reduce the risk of developing complications from diabetes. However, your target should be set after you have discussed this with your doctor or nurse to see what is right for you. If you have a glucose meter and test strips you will be able to self-test your glucose level. The result will be your current glucose level. If you are self-testing it is important you know what your target blood glucose levels are and what your glucose results mean. Your diabetes doctor or nurse will discuss your glucose levels with you and you can agree on your goals. There are many different opinions about the ideal range for glucose levels due to the fact that each person with diabetes is an individual with different needs and responses to therapy. This is why it is important to consider your needs before setting glucose targets and goals. The target blood glucose ranges below are indicated as a guide for adults with diabetes. – 3.5–5.5m Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Level Ranges

Blood Sugar Level Ranges

Tweet Understanding blood glucose level ranges can be a key part of diabetes self-management. This page states 'normal' blood sugar ranges and blood sugar ranges for adults and children with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and blood sugar ranges to determine people with diabetes. If a person with diabetes has a meter, test strips and is testing, it's important to know what the blood glucose level means. Recommended blood glucose levels have a degree of interpretation for every individual and you should discuss this with your healthcare team. In addition, women may be set target blood sugar levels during pregnancy. The following ranges are guidelines provided by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) but each individual’s target range should be agreed by their doctor or diabetic consultant. Recommended target blood glucose level ranges The NICE recommended target blood glucose levels are stated below for adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and children with type 1 diabetes. In addition, the International Diabetes Federation's target ranges for people without diabetes is stated. [19] [89] [90] The table provides general guidance. An individual target set by your healthcare team is the one you should aim for. NICE recommended target blood glucose level ranges Target Levels by Type Upon waking Before meals (pre prandial) At least 90 minutes after meals (post prandial) Non-diabetic* 4.0 to 5.9 mmol/L under 7.8 mmol/L Type 2 diabetes 4 to 7 mmol/L under 8.5 mmol/L Type 1 diabetes 5 to 7 mmol/L 4 to 7 mmol/L 5 to 9 mmol/L Children w/ type 1 diabetes 4 to 7 mmol/L 4 to 7 mmol/L 5 to 9 mmol/L *The non-diabetic figures are provided for information but are not part of NICE guidelines. Normal and diabetic blood sugar ranges For the majority of healthy ind Continue reading >>

Slideshow: A Visual Guide To Type 2 Diabetes

Slideshow: A Visual Guide To Type 2 Diabetes

If you experience symptoms of severe increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, increased hunger, tingling of your hands or feet -- your doctor may run a test for diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 29 million children and adults in the U.S., or over 9% of the population, have diabetes today. Yet, millions of Americans are unaware that they have diabetes, because there may be no warning signs. To confirm the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, your doctor will order a fasting plasma glucose test or a casual plasma glucose. The fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) is the preferred method for diagnosing diabetes, because it is easy to do, convenient, and less expensive than other tests, according to the American Diabetes Association. Before taking the blood glucose test, you will not be allowed to eat anything for at least eight hours. During a blood glucose test, blood will be drawn and sent to a lab for analysis. Normal fasting blood glucose -- or blood sugar -- is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL for people who do not have diabetes. The standard diagnosis of diabetes is made when two separate blood tests show that your fasting blood glucose level is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL. However, if you have normal fasting blood sugar, but you have risk factors for diabetes or symptoms of diabetes, your doctor may decide to do a glucose tolerance test (see below) to be sure that you do not have diabetes. Some people have a normal fasting blood sugar reading, but their blood sugar rapidly rises as they eat. These people may have impaired glucose tolerance. If their blood sugar levels are high enough, they may be diagnosed with diabetes. Continue reading >>

Understanding Your Lab Test Results

Understanding Your Lab Test Results

Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires an enormous amount of self-care and that can affect many parts of the body. Because of this, people who have diabetes are generally advised to visit their doctors multiple times a year and also to see various specialists (such as endocrinologists, podiatrists, and eye doctors) periodically to screen for potential problems and treat any complications that arise. Along with blood pressure readings and inspection of the feet and eyes, there are a number of laboratory tests recommended by the American Diabetes Association. These tests are used to track blood glucose control, kidney function, cardiovascular health, and other areas of health. Although you certainly can’t and won’t be expected to analyze the lab report when your test results come back, knowing a little bit about what your report says can be a way for you to more fully understand and take charge of your health. If it isn’t already your doctor’s regular practice to give you copies of your lab reports, ask for a copy the next time you have lab tests done. Use the information in this article to learn more about what lab reports show, and discuss your results with your doctor to learn what your results mean with regards to your health. Lab reports All lab reports share certain standard features, regardless of the test(s) they show. A Federal law, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act, regulates all aspects of clinical laboratory testing. It states exactly what information must be included in your lab test report. Some of the standard features include the following: • Your name and a unique identification number, which may be either your birth date or a medical record number assigned to you by the lab. • The name and address of the lab that tested your bloo Continue reading >>

What Are Blood Sugar Target Ranges? What Is Normal Blood Sugar Level?

What Are Blood Sugar Target Ranges? What Is Normal Blood Sugar Level?

Understanding blood sugar target ranges to better manage your diabetes As a person with diabetes, you may or may not know what your target ranges should be for your blood sugars first thing in the morning, before meals, after meals, or at bedtime. You may or may not understand what blood sugar ranges are for people without diabetes. You may or may not understand how your A1C correlates with your target ranges. How do you get a clear picture of what is going on with your blood sugar, and how it could be affecting your health? In this article, we will look at what recommended blood sugar target ranges are for people without diabetes. We will look at target ranges for different times of the day for people with diabetes. We will look at target ranges for Type 1 versus Type 2 diabetes. Is there a difference? We will also look at what blood sugars should be during pregnancy for those with gestational diabetes. We will look at other factors when determining blood sugar targets, such as: Age Other health conditions How long you’ve had diabetes for Stress Illness Lifestyle habits and activity levels We will see how these factors impact target ranges for your blood sugars when you have diabetes. We will learn that target ranges can be individualized based on the factors above. We will learn how target ranges help to predict the A1C levels. We will see how if you are in your target range, you can be pretty sure that your A1C will also be in target. We will see how you can document your blood sugar patterns in a notebook or in an “app,” and manage your blood sugars to get them in your target ranges. First, let’s look at the units by which blood sugars are measured… How is blood sugar measured? In the United States, blood sugar is measured in milligrams per deciliter (by w Continue reading >>

A Simple Blood Sugar Level Guide - Charts, Measurements, Levels And Management

A Simple Blood Sugar Level Guide - Charts, Measurements, Levels And Management

What do you know about blood sugar levels? Depending on your experience, you may associate them with kids who have had way too much candy and are frantically running around the house. Or, if you suffer from diabetes, you probably think of regularly jabbing yourself with a needle to make sure you don’t need to immediately consume a candy bar. It can be a confusing topic if you don’t know the terms or what normal levels look like. That’s where we come in. In this article, we’re going to give you the what and why of blood sugar. We’re going to dive into what causes blood sugar levels to get high or low, and what what a normal blood sugar level should look like. Consider this a layman’s guide. It won’t give you every detail (you really should talk to your doctor), but it will guide you through the major points and help you understand what to keep an eye on. Let’s get started. What’s The Difference Between Sugar and Glucose? What comes to mind when you think of sugar? Probably the white granular stuff that you would secretly eat when you were a kid, right? But it’s actually more complicated than that. Sugar is the general name given to sweet carbohydrates that dissolve in water. There are a number of different types of sugars. Your body most frequently uses glucose. Fructose is found in fruit and lactose is found in milk. When you guzzle a big glass of milk or eat an apple, your body takes the lactose or fructose and converts it to glucose. Once everything is converted to glucose, your body can use it for energy. Starches, like those found in white bread, are sugars stuck together and are converted by your body into glucose. So far so good, right? Now, this is important. When people say “blood sugar”, they mean “blood glucose”. The terms can be us 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 >>

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 >>

Is My Blood Sugar Normal?

Is My Blood Sugar Normal?

“Is my blood sugar normal?” seems like a simple question – but it’s not! The answer can vary dramatically based on your situation. Let’s look at some of the factors to consider. Please remember: you should figure out your personal goals in consultation with your doctor. Normal Blood Sugar in Diabetic vs. Non-Diabetic First, a quick note on how we measure blood sugar. In the USA, blood sugars are measured by weight in milligrams per deciliter, abbreviated as mg/dL. Most everyone else uses millimole per liter, abbreviated mmol. If you are in the USA, look at the big numbers, most everyone else look at the small numbers. In a person without diabetes, blood sugars tend to stay between 70 and 100 mg/dL (3.8 and 5.5 mmol). After a meal, blood sugars can rise up to 120 mg/dL or 6.7 mmol. It will typically fall back into the normal range within two hours. In a person with diabetes, the story is much more complex: Below 70 mg/dL Below 3.8 mmol Low Blood Sugars (Hypoglycemia). When blood sugars drop below this level, you may start feeling hunger, shakiness, or racing of the heart. Your body is starved for sugar (glucose). Read how to detect and treat low blood sugars. 70 mg/dL to 140 mg/dL 3.8 mmol to 7.7 mmol Normal Blood Sugar. In this range, the body is functioning normally. In someone without diabetes, the vast majority of the time is spent in the lower half of this range. 140 mg/dL to 180 mg/dL 7.7 mmol to 10 mmol Elevated Blood Sugars. In this range, the body can function relatively normally. However, extended periods of time in this zone put you at risk for long-term complications. Above 180 mg/dL Abovoe 10 mmol High Blood Sugars. At this range, the kidney is unable to reabsorb all of the glucose in your blood and you begin to spill glucose in your urine. Your bo Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Managing Glucose Levels

What You Should Know About Managing Glucose Levels

If you have diabetes, managing your blood glucose level is an important part of managing your condition. That’s because high blood sugar levels can cause long-term complications. When you have diabetes, your body isn’t able to get the sugar from blood into cells, or make enough or any insulin. This causes high levels of blood sugar, or high glucose levels. After meals, it’s the foods that have carbohydrates that cause blood sugar levels to go up. When we eat foods that contain carbohydrates, the digestion process turns them into sugars that are released into the blood. Those sugars are then transported through the blood and travel to the cells. The pancreas, a small organ in the abdomen, releases a hormone called insulin to meet the sugar at the cell. Insulin will connect onto spots on some cells of the body and act as a “bridge,” allowing the sugar to go from the blood and into the cell. The cell uses the sugar for energy, and blood sugar levels go down. With diabetes, there’s either a problem with the cells using insulin, a problem with the pancreas producing insulin, or both. With type 1 diabetes, the body stops making insulin completely. With type 2 diabetes, it’s usually a mix of the cells not using insulin well, which is called insulin resistance. And the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. With prediabetes, it is usually a problem with the cells not using insulin well. Keep reading to learn more about checking and managing your glucose levels. Talk to you doctor or healthcare providers about the best times to check your blood glucose, as optimal times vary by person. Some options include: after fasting (after waking or not eating for eight to 12 hours) or before meals before and after meals, to see the impact that the meal had on your blood suga Continue reading >>

More in blood sugar