What You Can Do To Stop The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster
If you find that your blood sugars often fluctuate from too high to too low (and vice versa), you’re on the blood sugar rollercoaster. To learn how to eliminate the extremes, you’ll have to do a little sleuthing on your own. Get out your blood glucose meter, and for a week try testing before and after a variety of meals, activities, and destressors to figure out what’s making it go up and down to stop it for good! Your blood sugars are affected by a large number of things, including what you ate (especially refined “white” carbohydrates), how long ago you ate, your starting blood glucose level, physical activity, mental stress, illness, sleep patterns, and more. If you take insulin and use it to treat highs, you can easily end up overcompensating and developing low blood sugars. If you develop a low, it’s easy to overeat and end up high again. Large fluctuations in blood sugars may make you feel cruddy and are bad for your long-term health, so it’s time to learn how to stop the rollercoaster! Physical Activity Effects: During this week, your goal is to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity on three days at varying times of day, and check and record your blood glucose levels before and after the activity. Physical Activity Trial #1: For this first activity, pick one that you normally do (like walking or cycling) and try to do it at your usual time of day. Check and record your blood sugar immediately before starting and within an hour of completing the 30 minutes of activity. You will find that your body responds differently to varying types of physical activities, particularly when the time of day varies as well. If you exercise first thing in the morning (before breakfast and medications), it is not unusual to experience a modest increase in blood s Continue reading >>
Do Blood Sugar Levels Affect Mood Swings?
Blood sugar levels that become too high or too low can cause a variety of health problems and can even be life-threatening. Mild, moderate and severe blood sugar fluctuations can also affect your mood and behavior. If your blood sugar levels tend to spike and drop and you notice changes, you need to speak with your physician to learn how to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Video of the Day After a meal, the food you eat is broken down into glucose and either used right away for energy or stored for use later on. Glucose is also made by the liver and pancreas. In order for the cells to use glucose, the hormone insulin must be present. If you have diabetes your body either does not produce insulin or cannot use it properly. Without enough insulin your blood sugar levels can get too high. Non-diabetics can also experience fluctuations in blood sugar levels when skipping meals as a side effect of medications or from various other illnesses. Blood sugar levels are considered high if they climb to greater than 100mg/dL, and diabetes is diagnosed when the level reaches 126 mg/dL or more, according to MedlinePlus. A blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL is considered low. Both high and low blood glucose levels can cause a variety of symptoms, including mood swings. Your brain, like all areas of the body, relies on a steady supply of glucose to function properly. If you take too much insulin, skip meals, take certain medications, are extremely physically active or drink too much alcohol, your blood sugar levels can drop too low. A low blood sugar level is called hypoglycemia. Mild cases of low blood sugar can cause you to feel nervous or anxious, while more severe cases can lead to feeling irritable or tired, notes the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Along with moo Continue reading >>
What Does It Mean To Have High Blood Sugar?
What is hyperglycemia? Have you ever felt like no matter how much water or juice you drink, it just isn’t enough? Does it seem like you spend more time running to the restroom than not? Are you frequently tired? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have high blood sugar. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, primarily affects people who have diabetes. It occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin. It can also happen when your body is unable to absorb insulin properly or develops a resistance to insulin entirely. Hyperglycemia can also affect people who don’t have diabetes. Your blood sugar levels can spike when you’re ill or under stress. This occurs when the hormones that your body produces to fight off illness raise your blood sugar. If your blood sugar levels are consistently high and left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. These complications can involve problems with your vision, nerves, and cardiovascular system. You generally won’t experience any symptoms until your blood sugar levels are significantly elevated. These symptoms can develop over time, so you may not realize that something is wrong at first. Early symptoms can include: increased urinary frequency increased thirst blurred vision headaches fatigue The longer the condition remains untreated, the more serious symptoms can become. If left untreated, toxic acids can build up in your blood or urine. More serious signs and symptoms include: vomiting nausea dry mouth shortness of breath abdominal pain Your diet may cause you to have high blood sugar levels, particularly if you have diabetes. Carbohydrate-heavy foods such as breads, rice, and pasta can raise your blood sugar. Your body breaks these foods down into sugar molecules during digestion. One of these Continue reading >>
What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like? Signs & Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia
I get my first cup of coffee and sit on the sun deck with the birds singing. I feel as if I have not slept a wink, and my head aches. I could go back to bed and sleep all day, but work awaits. It’s a beautiful, sunny day, but my body feels heavy, and stuck to the chair. It hurts to lift my arms. My blood sugar was 381 this morning. Again. I think about having to face the day at the office. Driving down the interstate, the lines are blurry. I know that if the DMV got wind of it, I might not be driving as high as my A1C had been. When I get to the office, I walk in with a dark fog feeling surrounding me, and take some deep breaths at my desk. As I begin to review the end of the month reports, the numbers get fuzzy, and I can’t concentrate on them. My 36 ounce water bottle with only a few sips left beads sweat on the desk, and it’s across the building to get to the bathroom. Sometimes it’s a race to get there in time. My body is taught and swollen, like the Blueberry Girl from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. My blood sugar is a blue river of sticky blueberry filling as I roll down the hall toward the bathroom. I feel that if I had a needle, I could pop myself. That would surely be a mess. My skin is so dry and flaky that no amount of lotion will hydrate it. No amount of water can quench my thirst, and my mouth feels like the Sahara Desert. With one hand on the water cooler, and the other hand on the bathroom door, I guzzled down what I could until the feeling hit that I wasn’t going to be able to wait any longer. I was out of regular insulin, and I had taken my long acting insulin. I was not so patiently waiting for it to kick in. This morning was not starting out so well. I’d have to tackle the reports in my current brain fog. I did have a doctor’s appoin 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 >>
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 >>
Why Does High (or Low) Blood Sugar Give Me Headaches?
Susan B. Sloane, BS, RPh, CDE, has been a registered pharmacist for more than 20 years and a Certified Diabetes Educator for more than 15 years. Her two sons were diagnosed with diabetes, and since then, she has been dedicated to promoting wellness and optimal outcomes as a patient advocate, information expert, educator, and corporate partner. Headaches can be debilitating, and patients with diabetes can get headaches from blood sugars dropping too low or climbing too high. As if we didn’t have enough to think about, right? There are many factors that can trigger headaches or even migraines, and blood sugar fluctuations are just one of those factors. The key to avoiding blood sugar-related headaches is keeping blood sugars from spiking or dropping too rapidly. For example, when you are treating a low blood sugar, don’t go on a high carbohydrate-eating binge, even though you may be ravenous. Eat a sensible meal with some protein as directed by your healthcare provider. When blood sugar is too low One of the suspected causes of low blood sugar-caused headaches has to do with the blood vessels in your brain. Your brain needs a readily available supply of glucose in order to function properly. If the brain senses it does not have enough sugar, blood vessels in the brain can spasm, triggering a headache. In the fasting state, stress hormones are also released which can cause vasoconstriction leading to headache. There is also a type of headache that can be seen in patients with diabetes that experience frequent low blood sugars, which are followed by rebound high blood sugars. This rebound phenomenon is often due to hormones that the body releases in response to a low blood sugar in an attempt to regulate itself. When blood sugar is too high High blood sugars can cause l Continue reading >>
8 Tips To Avoid Blood Sugar Dips And Spikes
If you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar levels are racing up and down like a roller coaster, it's time to get off the ride. Big swings in your blood sugar can make you feel lousy. But even if you aren't aware of them, they can still increase your risk for a number of serious health problems. By making simple but specific adjustments to your lifestyle and diet, you can gain better blood-sugar control. Your body uses the sugar, also known as glucose, in the foods you eat for energy. Think of it as a fuel that keeps your body moving throughout the day. Blood Sugar Highs and Lows Type 2 diabetes decreases the body’s production of insulin, which is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and can damage nerves and blood vessels. This increase of blood sugar also increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Over time, high blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, can lead to more health problems, including kidney failure and blindness. "Keeping blood sugar stable can help prevent the long-term consequences of fluctuations," says Melissa Li-Ng, MD, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Dr. Li-Ng explains that high blood sugar can cause a number of symptoms that include: Fatigue Increased thirst Blurry vision Frequent urination It's also important to know that you can have high blood sugar and still feel fine, but your body can still suffer damage, Li-Ng says. Symptoms of high blood sugar typically develop at levels above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). "You can have high blood sugar that's between 150 and 199 and feel perfectly fine," Li-Ng says. Over time, your body can also get used to chronically high blood sugar levels, so you don’t feel the symptoms, she says. On the flip side, if you Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar After Meals And What To Do About It
I will admit to having a bit of a diabetes crush on Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, Type 1, and founder of Integrated Diabetes Services, LLC. And you know what? I’m not the only one. I recently saw Gary give a talk called “Strike the Spike” at the American Association of Diabetes Educators’ (AADE) 2013 conference to a room packed with diabetes educators. The point was to help CDEs understand why managing/avoiding post-meal blood glucose spikes is important – and to learn new techniques for how to do so. I was there because I am constantly struggling with post-meal spikes. I appear to digest food quickly and absorb insulin slowly — that’s why I’m on Symlin, which helps slow down the emptying of my stomach so I’ve got some chance of having my insulin start working by the time my food makes it to my blood. (I love my Symlin.) But I wanted to hear what other tips Gary might have, and what the responses might be. Gary started with a seemingly simple question: why should anyone care about post-prandial (i.e. post-meal) spikes? At first this question made me furrow my brow — I can’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t care about post-meal blood glucose spikes — but I guess that in some cases, health care providers stress the A1c average more than they do the swings in between. Anyway, the audience slowly warmed up, and reasons started pouring in, mostly having to do with complications. Gary nodded along, affirming each one. I was still struggling with the whole concept of not caring, and so I was caught off guard — as was most of the audience — when he pointed out a very important reason that post-prandial spikes matter, one that none of the certified diabetes educators in the room had pointed out (and, oddly, which I myself hadn’t even thought of): because th Continue reading >>
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 >>
Exactly What I Ate To Get My Blood Sugar Under Control For Good
When Thomas Rupp was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he was stunned. Despite having a challenging career (he was working in corporate finance and for FEMA), he managed to exercise regularly, and he rarely ate fast food or sweets. Sure, he weighed 245 pounds, but at 6 feet tall that didn't seem so terrible. He didn't consider that his weight pushed his BMI into the obese category—and he didn't realize that many of the "healthy" foods he was eating were actually loaded with tons of sugar and calories. Rupp's doctor started him on four different medications. The side effects were bothersome, but what really kicked him into gear was learning that he'd need to start injecting himself with insulin nightly. Instead, he turned to the Diabetes Reversal Program at Tufts Medical Center, where he met with the founding director, Michael Dansinger, MD. They worked together to closely examine Rupp's diet and uncover pitfalls that Rupp had trouble spotting on his own. (You can control your blood sugar with food and without insulin by making healthy lifestyle changes. Try the easy plan in The Natural Way To Beat Diabetes.) For instance, while adding some cream and sugar to a cup of coffee might not be a big deal for some people, Rupp often downed 10 cups of coffee a day to power himself through long days in the office. (Here are 8 physical signs you drink way too much coffee.) And he was putting cream and sugar in each cup. "That's 10 containers of cream and 10 teaspoons of sugar a day I was adding to my diet," he says. And even though he worked out, "I was drinking green juices at the gym, or protein smoothies with mango, once again without realizing the sugar content." Other seemingly healthy choices—like salads—also concealed stealth sugar bombs. "I would add vinaigrette dressi Continue reading >>
Must Read Articles Related To High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia)
A A A High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia) (cont.) If hyperglycemia persists for at least two or three days, or if ketones appear in the urine, call a doctor. Generally, people with diabetes should test their blood sugar levels at least four times a day: before meals and at bedtime (or following the schedule advised by the prescribed individual diabetes care plan). The urine should be checked for ketones any time the blood sugar level is over 250 mg/dL. When blood sugar stays high despite following a diabetic diet and plan of care, call the nurse, diabetes health educator, or physician for adjustments in the diet. If blood sugars are high because of illness, check for ketones and contact a health professional. Vomiting Confusion Sleepiness Shortness of breath Dehydration Blood sugar levels that stay above 160 mg/dL for longer than a week Glucose readings higher than 300 mg/dL The presence of ketones in the urine Ketoacidosis or diabetic coma is a medical emergency. Call 911 for emergency transport to a hospital or similar emergency center. Please ask your health care professional about the following: How to recognize high blood sugar levels How to treat a high blood sugar level when it occurs in you, a family member, or coworkers How to prevent the blood sugar level from becoming too high How to contact the medical staff during an emergency What emergency supplies to carry to treat high blood sugar Additional educational materials regarding high blood sugar Check blood sugar levels with a blood glucose meter. If blood sugar level is higher than normal, but there are no symptoms, continue routine care such as: Take all diabetes medications on schedule. Eat regular meals. Drink sugar-free and caffeine-free liquids. Take a blood sugar reading every four hours (write it down) u Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar In Cats
Hyperglycemia in Cats The term hyperglycemia refers to higher than normal levels of glucose in the blood. A simple carbohydrate sugar that circulates in the blood, glucose is a major source of energy for the body, of which normal levels range between 75-120mg. Insulin, a hormone that is produced and released by the pancreas into the bloodstream when glucose levels rise, plays a pivotal role in maintaining the blood sugar levels within normal limits. If insulin concentration is too low or there is absolute deficiency of insulin, levels of glucose rise sharply leading to hyperglycemia. Some of the causes for hyperglycemia may be pancreatitis, and the resulting inability to produce insulin; normally occurring hormones, especially in female cats; diet; and infections of the body (such as teeth, or urinary tract). Middle aged and older cats are more at risk for developing hyperglycemia, but otherwise, no breed is particularly disposed to this condition. Neutered male cats are at increased risk. Cats in general are prone to high blood sugar, typically during times of stress, where glucose levels may reach 300-400mg. This is often a temporary increase in blood sugar, and while it warrants further observation, it may not be cause to diagnose chronic hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus. Symptoms and Types Clinical symptoms may vary depending on the underlying disease/condition. Your cat may not be showing any serious symptoms, especially those if the increased sugar is thought to be temporary, hormonal, or stress induced hyperglycemia. Some of the more common symptoms include: Depression Weight loss Excessive hunger Dehydration Bloodshot eyes (due to inflamed blood vessels) Liver enlargement Nerve damage in legs Severe depression (in cases of very high blood sugar levels) Non-hea Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar Symptoms
If you’ve had diabetes for any length of time at all, you’ve probably seen lists of the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose dozens of times. Doctors and diabetes educators hand them out. Hundreds of websites reprint them. Most diabetes books list them. You likely know some of the items on the list by heart: thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, slow healing of cuts, and more. But have you ever stopped to wonder why these symptoms occur? How does high blood glucose cause frequent urination, make your vision go blurry, or cause all of those other things to happen? Here are some answers to explain what’s going on in your body when you have high blood glucose. Setting the stage for high blood glucose High blood glucose (called hyperglycemia by medical professionals) is the defining characteristic of all types of diabetes. It happens when the body can no longer maintain a normal blood glucose level, either because the pancreas is no longer making enough insulin, or because the body’s cells have become so resistant to insulin that the pancreas cannot keep up, and glucose is accumulating in the bloodstream rather than being moved into the cells. What is high blood sugar? Blood glucose is commonly considered too high if it is higher than 130 mg/dl before a meal or higher than 180 mg/dl two hours after the first bite of a meal. However, most of the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose don’t appear until the blood glucose level is higher than 250 mg/dl. Some of the symptoms have a rapid onset, while others require a long period of high blood glucose to set in. It’s important to note that individuals differ in their sensitivity to the effects of high blood glucose: Some people feel symptoms more quickly or more strongly than others. But each sign or sympt Continue reading >>
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 >>