Missing Meals? Avoid Dangerous Blood Sugar If You Have Diabetes
Skipping a meal is typically no big deal. But if you have diabetes, missing meals can throw off the important balancing act between food intake and medication. The result is blood sugars that are too low (hypoglycemia) or too high (hyperglycemia) — and that’s dangerous. “If you take medications for diabetes that can cause low blood sugars, you should try not to skip meals,” says registered dietician Dawn Noe. “If you’re just not up to eating on a regular schedule, talk to your doctor about diabetes medications that won’t cause low blood sugars,” she says. Monitoring sugars is vital When you’re ill or just don’t feel like eating much, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels more closely than ever. How often depends on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and what medications you take. For type 1 diabetes: Be sure to monitor your blood sugar before meals and before bedtime, typically four times per day, says diabetes specialist Bartolome Burguera, MD. Beyond that, check your blood sugars if you notice symptoms of low blood sugar. Those symptoms include: Hunger Shakiness or nervousness Sweating Dizziness or light-headedness Sleepiness Confusion Difficulty speaking Anxiety Weakness For type 2 diabetes: If you are taking a sulfonylurea medication, check your blood sugars at least twice a day — in the morning and at bedtime. “It’s important to keep in mind that sulfonylureas may cause blood sugar to drop during the day if you don’t eat anything after taking your medication,” Dr. Burguera says. If your only treatment is metformin, you may not need to check your blood sugar more than once a day. This medication doesn’t typically cause hypoglycemia. It is important to be aware of the symptoms associated with low blood sugars and Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Levels Chart
Below chart displays possible blood sugar levels (in fasting state). Units are expressed in mg/dL and mmol/L respectively. Additional topics: What is diabetes? How do you know if you have diabetes? How to test for diabetes? Why is it important to measure your blood sugar levels frequently? Diet for people with diabetes You can also download or print this chart by clicking here. Reference: American Diabetes Association, Additional topics: What is diabetes? How do you know if you have diabetes? How to test for diabetes? What is normal blood sugar level? Why is it important to measure your blood sugar levels frequently? Diet for people with diabetes Continue reading >>
How Reliable Are Non-fasting Blood Sugar Levels?
That number you see in your glucose meter after eating is very important. The non-fasting value of blood sugar levels can indicate the possibility of prediabetes or diabetes. “The timing of non-fasting blood glucose levels is important,” says Alison Massey, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian and diabetes educator at the Center for Endocrinology, Mercy Medical Center of Baltimore, whom I interviewed for this article. “Typically, if someone has diabetes we suggest they monitor before meals (target 80-130 mg/dL) and sometimes post-prandially (two hours after meals) which should be less than 180 mg/dL. “Monitoring a pre- and a two-hour after meal blood glucose provides individuals with diabetes a better idea of how the food they are consuming is impacting their blood glucose level.” Values for Non-Fasting Glucose (Blood Sugar) and What They Mean • For non-diabetics, the normal glucose reading two hours after a meal should be less than 140 mg/dL. • You will likely be diagnosed with diabetes if any random blood sugar reading is at least 201. Not all people with undiagnosed diabetes have symptoms (unintentional weight loss, fatigue, excessive hunger, excessive thirst or urination), though a few of these symptoms can also slip under the radar because the person blames them on “I’m getting old” or “I’m getting out of shape.” Some people may blame unplanned weight loss or excessive hunger on stress. Alert: A glucose reading (either fasting or non-fasting) that’s in the prediabetic range, should not be the be-all, end-all for being diagnosed with prediabetes. Blood sugar can be elevated due to chronic stress, long-term insomnia or even short-term sleep difficulties. You'll Also Like: Continue reading >>
Dangers Of High Blood Sugar Levels
It seems that few people are aware of the dangers high blood sugar levels can have on their long-term health. Furthermore, most people consider sugar and other concentrated carbohydrate sources like bread, pasta, rice, cereals, etc. To be fairly benign substances that are okay to include in their diet in substantial amounts and on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the truth is that sugar and concentrated sources of carbohydrate can do far more harm to our bodies than we first thought! The problem we have is that society's beliefs about the safety of sugar and other concentrated carbohydrate sources have been created by clever marketers within the food industry, particularly from the companies who sell these products! To make matters worse, these large food manufacturers also influence government recommendations, provide funding to universities (so academics spout the same incorrect nutritional recommendations) and pour millions into marketing their products under the loosely veiled guise of 'healthy'! At the same time they suppress and criticise information that covers the potential dangers that their products may pose! In this article our goal is to expose the truth about high carbohydrate diets, why you must carefully control your carbohydrate intake, especially if you have insulin resistance, what happens in your body when you eat too much carbohydrate, and the long-term impact a high-carbohydrate diet has on your overall health and body functioning. What the research says about high blood sugar levels Over the last 60 years thousands of research studies have been conducted on laboratory animals of virtually all species with reference to calorie restriction in combination with adequate nutrition, i.e. the animals had low food intakes but high nutrient intakes. The rese Continue reading >>
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Diabetic Alert Dogs Sniff Out Dangerous Blood Sugar Levels
| Birgitta von Gyldenfeldt | “LILITH, go find sugar!” The Labrador Retriever, lying quietly on the driveway of a family home in the German town of Eckernfoerde, leaps to her feet and around the corner towards three T-shirts placed side by side on the ground. She sniffs at them, grabs one and runs back to her mistress, Stephanie Klameth. Lilith is a diabetic alert dog. She has picked out a T-shirt previously worn by a diabetic suffering from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If Lilith detects chemical signals of incipient hypoglycemia in her mistress, she’s been trained to respond by fetching Klameth a sugary drink. Were Klameth to become incapacitated, she would use her paw to press a large alarm button to summon help. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease in which the body is unable to properly produce or use insulin, a hormone that helps to get glucose – or sugar – from food into cells for use as energy. The disease results in elevated levels of blood sugar (hyperglycemia), which over time seriously damages the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. According to the World Health Organization, 422 million adults worldwide have it, and it’s directly responsible for some 1.6 million deaths a year. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1, once known as juvenile diabetes; and Type 2, which is more common and largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity. Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes who, for example, take too much insulin or diabetes medication, skip a meal, or exercise harder than usual. It can lead to seizures and loss of consciousness. Klameth was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 10. Her teenage years were difficult, said the now 45-year-old, because the disease upset her career plans. “I wanted Continue reading >>
Effects And Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar Levels
One of the side effects of diabetes suffered by many individuals is low blood sugar. In the case of diabetes the body is not able to process blood sugar or glucose which subsequently damages bodily systems and organs. The treatment for low glucose levels is to use oral hypoglycemic or injectable insulin which assists the body in producing energy by drawing glucose into the cellular system. The insulin or oral hypoglycemic medications require that the individual have a enough blood sugar upon which it will work. In some cases an individual will also have a condition that is known as “brittle” or hard to control diabetes. These individuals find that they have problems with low blood sugar and high blood sugar which happened during both the daytime and night time. Low Blood Sugar Definition Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is the medical term used to describe when blood sugar falls below what the body requires to stay alive. The normal blood sugar range level is between 70 and 99 mg/dL Low blood sugar is defined when the level, measured in mg/dL, falls below 65. When it falls very low, such as below 20, it is considered a dangerous blood sugar level; individuals can get confused, drowsy and even lose consciousness. The blood sugar levels are necessary in order to maintain significant brain activity. If this blood sugar drops during pregnancy it can permanently harmed the baby. Individuals who do not suffer from brittle diabetes can produce low blood sugar by taking too much insulin, not eating enough food, exercise when it wasn’t planned for, drinking too much alcohol or exercising and not eating. Each of these situations causes an environment in the body in which the amount of blood sugar drops and there continues to be insulin present that works on the remaining b Continue reading >>
Can You Have Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes?
back to Overview Know-how Type 2 A tag-team approach on low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. Markus recently wrote an article on our German language blog talking about low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. The question (“can I have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes?”) is very common, and it’s easy to see why it’s of concern. So I’ve helped Markus bring his German post to life here in English. I hope it helps! Here’s Markus: Low blood sugar In 2014, results from the DAWN2 study were announced. It was the largest study of its kind (15,000 participants) on the “fears & needs of people with diabetes and their families.” One result stood out: The gravest fears are related to low blood sugars, especially at night. Up to 69% of the participants share this fear! So! Can you have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? Yes! Of course! But let’s think about who exactly is at risk – and why. It’s common to think: Type 1 diabetes = at risk for lows Type 2 diabetes = not at risk for lows But that isn’t correct at all, so we should wipe it from our mind. So… what do I need to know? Maybe it’s more accurate to say that people with type 2 diabetes who take certain types of medication are more at risk for lows. We’re getting closer! But to get to the truth, we should take a look at someone without diabetes. Is it possible for them to have lows, too? Theoretically yes, especially if doing long-lasting physical activities without proper food intake. Additionally, extreme stress and binge drinking are also common causes of low blood sugar for people without diabetes. However, it’s pretty rare because as soon as BG’s drop below 80 mg/dl (4.4 mmol/L), the natural counterregulatory system kicks in, raising blood sugar back to normal levels. I’ve never exp Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Level Chart And Information
A - A + Main Document Quote: "A number of medical studies have shown a dramatic relationship between elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in people who are not very active on a daily or regular basis." A doctor might order a test of the sugar level in a person's blood if there is a concern that they may have diabetes, or have a sugar level that is either too low or too high. The test, which is also called a check of blood sugar, blood glucose, fasting blood sugar, fasting plasma glucose, or fasting blood glucose, indicates how much glucose is present is present in a person's blood. When a person eats carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread or fruit, their body converts the carbohydrates to sugar - also referred to as glucose. Glucose travels through the blood to supply energy to the cells, to include muscle and brain cells, as well as to organs. Blood sugar levels usually fluctuate depending upon what a person eats and how long it has been since they last ate. However; consistent or extremely low levels of glucose in a person's blood might cause symptoms such as: Anxiety Sweating Dizziness Confusion Nervousness Warning signs of dangerously high levels of blood sugar include sleepiness or confusion, dry mouth, extreme thirst, high fever, hallucinations, loss of vision, or skin that is warm and dry. A blood sugar test requires a finger prick or needle stick. A doctor might order a, 'fasting,' blood glucose test. What this means is a person will not be able to drink or eat for 8-10 hours before the test, or the doctor may order the test for a random time or right after the person eats. If a woman is pregnant, her doctor might order a, 'glucose-tolerance test,' which involves drinking glucose solution and having blood drawn a specified amount of time later. The re Continue reading >>
We Train Diabetes Assist Dogs To Help People With Type I Diabetes.
Diabetes Assist Dogs are trained to monitor smells in the air for a specific scent on the human breath that is related to rapidly dropping or low blood sugar levels. They are then trained to “alert” the person with diabetes, usually by touching them in a significant way such as pawing or nudging them. This alerts the person to check his or her blood sugar level. It also informs them that they should get something to eat to prevent hypoglycemia, or their blood sugars getting to a dangerous level. The canine partner can also be trained to retrieve juice or glucose tabs, get an emergency phone, or get help from another person in the house. Diabetes Assist Dogs wear a backpack identifying them as an assistance dog. This backpack has pockets where medical information, a sugar source, and emergency contact information can be stored. This provides an extra safety net in case the person with diabetes is unable to get help in time. Anyone finding the person unconscious or acting abnormally would know it may be a medical emergency and know how to get help. How can a dog detect low blood sugar? The dogs are evaluated throughout “puppy-hood” for a willingness to work and a sensitive nose. Once we have identified their interest in smells, they begin scent training. A person experiencing hypoglycemia produces a particular scent, found on the breath, due to chemical changes in their body. All people produce the same scent when they have low blood sugar. Our training methods are similar to those used to train drug sniffing or search and rescue dogs trained to find people. Due to the generosity of supporters like you all of our assistance dogs are provided to clients free of charge. LEARN MORE AND APPLY FOR A DIABETES ASSIST DOG Continue reading >>
Print Overview A diabetic coma is a life-threatening diabetes complication that causes unconsciousness. If you have diabetes, dangerously high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can lead to a diabetic coma. If you lapse into a diabetic coma, you're alive — but you can't awaken or respond purposefully to sights, sounds or other types of stimulation. Left untreated, a diabetic coma can be fatal. The prospect of a diabetic coma is scary, but fortunately you can take steps to help prevent it. Start by following your diabetes treatment plan. Symptoms Before developing a diabetic coma, you'll usually experience signs and symptoms of high blood sugar or low blood sugar. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) If your blood sugar level is too high, you may experience: Increased thirst Frequent urination Fatigue Nausea and vomiting Shortness of breath Stomach pain Fruity breath odor A very dry mouth A rapid heartbeat Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) Signs and symptoms of a low blood sugar level may include: Shakiness or nervousness Anxiety Fatigue Weakness Sweating Hunger Nausea Dizziness or light-headedness Difficulty speaking Confusion Some people, especially those who've had diabetes for a long time, develop a condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness and won't have the warning signs that signal a drop in blood sugar. If you experience any symptoms of high or low blood sugar, test your blood sugar and follow your diabetes treatment plan based on the test results. If you don't start to feel better quickly, or you start to feel worse, call for emergency help. When to see a doctor A diabetic coma is a medical emergency. If you feel extreme high or low blood sugar signs or symptoms and think you might pass out, call 911 or your local emergency nu Continue reading >>
The Dangers Of Skipping Meals When You Have Diabetes
It's tempting -- and even sounds logical -- to skip meals: You're busy, you're not hungry, you're trying to lose weight, or your blood sugar is too high. Skipping meals, however, may actually increase your blood sugar and cause you to gain weight. Here are seven rewards of eating regularly scheduled meals when you live with diabetes. Reward 1: Improve fasting blood glucose numbers. During sleep, when you're not eating, the liver sends more glucose into the blood to fuel the body. For many people during the early years of having type 2 diabetes, the liver doesn't realize there is already more than enough glucose present. "Your morning (fasting) blood sugars have much more to do with your liver and hormonal functions than what you ate for dinner last night," says Kathaleen Briggs Early, Ph.D., RD, CDE, assistant professor of biochemistry and nutrition at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, Washington Get more information about why your morning blood sugar is high and tips to help control fasting blood sugar. Real-life example: Until recently, if Cheryl Simpson's blood glucose meter flashed a high reading before breakfast, she might delay eating until midafternoon in an attempt to lower that number. Now Cheryl, PWD type 2, won't leave home without eating breakfast. Her blood glucose numbers have improved. "Plus, eating breakfast makes it a whole lot easier to make good food choices later on," she says. Tip: Pack a grab-and-go breakfast with these 13 quick-fix ideas! Reward 2: Stay off the blood sugar roller coaster. Irregular eating can have you "bouncing back and forth between normal blood sugars and high blood sugars," Early says. A meager meal can give you a meager rise in blood sugar. If you take one or more blood glucose-lowering medications tha Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Levels
In diabetics, dangerous blood sugar levels can occur if oral drugs do not work or if the diabetes has not been diagnosed. Sometimes diabetics forget to take their oral tablets or insulin or are in a situation where they cannot or they even may be taking some medications, which adversely affect their sugar levels. At such times, their sugar levels can go very high or even low. Normal blood sugar levels read 70-100 mg per deciliter of blood. The sugar levels vary throughout the day: when you wake up in the morning your levels are low and when you eat a carbohydrate/sugar rich meal, levels can go up. If you experience the mid-morning slump, your sugar levels are probably low. The highest level is reached two hours after a meal. Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels in a diabetic start at 180 mg/dl. However, some people, especially those who have undiagnosed diabetes can have dangerous blood sugar levels in the range of over 250-800 mg/dl. It is not just a short time high level that is dangerous, but when high levels persist or are dangerously high, they can cause more problems and even lead to emergency situations. Dangerous levels can lead to: Coma Stroke Blindness Nerve damage Blood vessel damage Kidney disease DKA or diabetic ketoacidosis – more common in people with type 1 diabetes Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS) – more common in people with type 2 diabetes. For diabetics, monitoring sugar levels are of utmost importance and can prevent dangerous complications. What Causes Dangerous Blood Sugar Levels? Blood sugar levels can go high in different situations and can be caused by: Not taking enough insulin Eating too much high sugar/carbohydrate foods Missing an insulin dose Less than usual exercise Drinking alcohol Stress Illness Injury Medic Continue reading >>
Pregnancy And Diabetes: When And Why Your Blood Sugar Levels Matter Most
The following is an excerpt from the book Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes by Ginger Vieira and Jennifer Smith, CDE & RD There are two things you can definitely expect will be said to you by total strangers, friends, and several family members because you have diabetes: “Doesn’t that mean your baby will be huge?” “So, is your baby probably going to get diabetes, too?” Both questions are rather rude–sure–but both implications are also very far from accurate. Yes: persistent high blood sugars during pregnancy can lead to a larger baby…but people without diabetes have very large babies, too. And people with diabetes have good ol’ fashioned regularly sized babies, too. There is no way to assure the size of a baby at birth. Skinny women can have huge babies just like an overweight woman can give birth to a very small baby. Women who eat a lot during pregnancy can have small babies! Very little of this is in our control. In the end, you can manage your diabetes extremely tightly and still have a larger than average baby because blood sugar control is not the only thing that impacts the size of your baby at birth, and more importantly, a larger baby is not the only or even most important complication a baby can experience due to mom’s elevated blood sugar levels. No: just because you have diabetes definitely does not mean your baby will have diabetes! And guess what, there’s nothing you can do during pregnancy to prevent or reduce your baby’s risk of developing diabetes…at least not that science and research is aware of at this time. So take a very deep breath, mama, because that is not something you can control, and your baby’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes is actually only about 2 percent higher than the risk of a non-diabetic woman’s baby de Continue reading >>
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Take Care Of Yourself When Sick Or Under Stress
When we're stressed, our bodies need extra energy to help us cope and recover. This is true whether bodies are under stress from illness or injury or are dealing with the effects of emotional stress, both good and bad. To meet the demand for more energy, the body responds by releasing into the bloodstream sugar that's been stored in the liver, causing blood sugar levels to rise. In someone without diabetes, the pancreas responds to the rise in blood sugar by releasing enough insulin into the bloodstream to help convert the sugar into energy. This brings blood sugar levels back down to normal. In someone with diabetes, the extra demand usually means needing to take more diabetes medicine (insulin or pills.) To make sure your body is getting enough medicine to help keep your blood sugar levels close to normal, you'll need to test more often when you are: Sick Recovering from surgery Fighting an infection Feeling upset Under more stress than usual Traveling Type 1 Diabetes In people with type 1 diabetes, blood sugar levels rise in response to stress, but the body doesn't have enough insulin to turn the sugar into energy. Instead, the body burns stored fat to meet energy needs. When fat is burned for energy, it creates waste products called ketones. As fat is broken down, ketones start to build up in the bloodstream. High levels of ketones in the blood can lead to a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which can cause a person to lose consciousness and go into a diabetic coma. Type 2 Diabetes In people with type 2 diabetes, the body usually has enough insulin available to turn sugar into energy, so it doesn't need to burn fat. However, stress hormones can cause blood sugar levels to rise to very high and even dangerous levels. People with type 2 diabetes Continue reading >>
Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)
Untreated, high blood sugar can cause many problems and future complications. Recognizing signs of high blood sugar levels and knowing how to lower them can help you prevent these complications and increase the quality and length of your life. Topics covered (click to jump to specific section) High blood sugar level symptoms and signs Symptoms of high blood sugar include: Increased thirst Tired all the time Irritability Increased hunger Urinating a lot Dry mouth Blurred vision Severe high blood sugar can lead to nausea and fruity smelling breath The signs and symptoms for high blood sugar are the same for both type 1 and type 2. Signs usually show up quicker in those who have type 1 because of the nature of their diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to stop making insulin altogether. Type 2 is caused by lifestyle factors when the body eventually stops responding to insulin, which causes the sugar to increase slowly. People with type 2 can live longer without any symptoms creeping because their body is still making enough insulin to help control it a little bit. What causes the blood sugar levels go to high? Our bodies need sugar to make energy for the cells. Without it, we cannot do basic functions. When we eat foods with glucose, insulin pairs with it to allow it to enter into the cell wall. If the insulin is not there, then the glucose molecule can’t get through the wall and cannot be used. The extra glucose hangs out in the bloodstream which is literally high blood sugar. The lack of insulin can be caused by two different things. First, you can have decreased insulin resistance which means that your insulin doesn’t react the way that it is supposed to. It doesn’t partner with glucose to be used as fuel. Secondly, you can have no insuli Continue reading >>