Blood Glucose Control (blood Sugar Levels)
Introduction to blood sugar levels Our blood glucose level, or blood sugar level, is the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The amount of glucose in the blood is measured in millimoles per litre (mmol/l). Glucose levels are measured most commonly to diagnose or to monitor diabetes. It is also important to keep an eye on blood glucose levels during certain situations – for example: during pregnancy, pancreatitis and with increasing age. Normally, blood sugar levels stay within a narrow range during the day. A good level is between 4 to 8mmol/l. After you consume food, your blood sugar level will rise and after you have had a night’s rest, they will usually be lowest in the morning. Diabetes is a common disease in our society, affecting 2-5% of the general population, with many more people unaware that they may be affected by this condition. Diabetes results from a lack of insulin, or insensitivity of the body towards the level of insulin present. Thus if you have diabetes, your blood sugar level may move outside the normal limits. Why is controlling blood sugar levels so important? Carbohydrate foods are the body’s main energy source. When they are digested, they break down to form glucose in the bloodstream. If you make sure you eat regular meals, spread evenly throughout the day, you will help maintain your energy levels without causing large rises in your blood sugar levels. It is also important to maintain a stable and balanced blood sugar level, as there is a limited range of blood sugar levels in which the brain can function normally. Regular testing of your blood sugar levels allows you to monitor your level of control and assists you in altering your diabetes management strategy if your levels aren’t within the expected/recommended range. Long term c Continue reading >>
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What Is Normal Blood Sugar Level
The blood sugar concentration or blood glucose level is the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood of a human or an animal. The body naturally tightly regulates blood glucose levels (with the help of insulin that is secreted by pancreas) as a part of metabolic homeostasis. If blood sugar levels are either increased or decreased by a greater margin than expected this might indicate a medical condition. Diabetic patients must monitor their blood sugar levels as body’s inability to properly utilize and / or produce insulin can pose a serious threat to their health. Navigation: Definition: What is blood sugar? What is diabetes? Diagnosis: Diabetes symptoms Levels and indication Normal blood sugar levels Low blood sugar levels High blood sugar levels Managing: How to lower blood sugar level? Children blood sugar levels Blood sugar levels chart Checking for BS: How to check blood sugar? Treatment: How to lower blood sugar level? Can diabetes be cured? Accessories Diabetic Socks Diabetic Shoes What is blood sugar? What does it mean when someone refers to blood sugar level in your body? Blood sugar level (or blood sugar concentration) is the amount of glucose (a source of energy) present in your blood at any given time. A normal blood glucose level for a healthy person is somewhere between 72 mg/dL (3.8 to 4 mmol/L) and 108 mg/dL (5.8 to 6 mmol/L). It, of course, depends on every individual alone. Blood sugar levels might fluctuate due to other reasons (such as exercise, stress and infection). Typically blood sugar level in humans is around 72 mg/dL (or 4 mmol/L). After a meal the blood sugar level may increase temporarily up to 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L). This is normal. A blood sugar level between 72 mg/dL (4 mmol/L) and 108 mg/dL (6 mmol/L) is considered normal for a h Continue reading >>
The Bedtime Snack Unraveled
Despite what you may have heard, it is not only “okay,” but actually VERY IMPORTANT to eat a bedtime snack! The common response to this is, “But I thought we weren’t supposed to eat after (insert time here)?” Let’s unravel this myth, by looking at the following three arguments: 1) Bedtime snacks provide unnecessary calories. If it were all about calories, then this argument may be legit, but…it’s not. So much more goes into metabolism than just calories; food quality and the type of macronutrients (P, F and C) consumed, timing of when you’re eating, hormone regulation, sleep, and the list goes on! The reason it’s important to eat a bedtime snack is because, in order to support your metabolism and therefore maintain your weight/promote weight loss, you need stable blood sugar levels. The reasoning for the combination of carbohydrate and fat before bed is because the carbs bring your blood sugar levels back up slightly (they’ve been falling since dinner or the time you last ate) and the fat slows the assimilation of the carbs into your blood stream, promoting nice stable blood sugar levels all night long. When blood sugar levels are stable, your fat BURNING hormone, glucagon, can do it’s awesome job (not to mention, the other sweet benefits of balanced blood sugar levels, including consistent energy levels, focus, stable moods, and no cravings just to name a few). If you take your blood sugar levels for a daily—maybe hourly—rollercoaster ride, you are creating an enviroment that your fat STORING hormone, insulin, THRIVES in! By following the Three-Three Rule that I outline in my article, Back to the Basics, you’re setting yourself up for success by promoting stable blood sugar levels all day long. Who wouldn’t want to create this same type Continue reading >>
It’s 3 Am. Do You Know What Your Blood Glucose Is?
The other night, I woke up at 1:20 AM, 10 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off. I’d set the alarm for 1:30 because, as I got ready for bed two hours earlier, I checked my blood glucose and got a reading of 79 mg/dl. Not too low and not dangerous. At least, not really. You see, earlier that night I had a pretty intense workout at the gym, and as I mentioned in last week’s entry (“What Causes Stress and Relieves It at the Same Time?”), I’m still not certain about when my “second lows” happen. I do know that I continue to burn more sugar than usual for several hours after I work out, and I knew that I needed to do something to bring my blood glucose up around 120 mg/dl, especially since, even on a nonexercise night, I wouldn’t intentionally fall asleep with a reading in the 70’s or 80’s. In fact, I fear any reading lower than the century mark at bedtime. So after drinking a glass of skim milk (12 grams of carbohydrate) mixed with a scoop of some powdered Slim-Fast (18 g/c), I regained confidence in my ability to avoid “nocturnal hypoglycemia.” But, just in case, I set my alarm for 1:30 so that I could wake up and check again, to make sure I wouldn’t go low. And, as I said, I woke up at 1:20, which is when I should have checked my blood glucose. Instead, I rolled over, turned off the alarm, and then pretty quickly the warm comforter overpowered my good intentions and sucked me back in. I did that thing, that stupid thing, where, half-awake, I lay in bed but could’ve sworn I was down in the kitchen going through the motions with the test kit. Ahh, the dream-imagined blood glucose reading! I can’t remember the numbers I created for that reading, but what I did—going back to sleep without checking—was stupid. When I know I need to c Continue reading >>
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Goals For Blood Glucose Control
People who have diabetes should be testing their blood glucose regularly at home. Regular blood glucose testing helps you determine how well your diabetes management program of meal planning, exercising and medication (if necessary) is doing to keep your blood glucose as close to normal as possible. The results of the nationwide Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) show that the closer you keep your blood glucose to normal, the more likely you are to prevent diabetes complications such as eye disease, nerve damage, and other problems. For some people, other medical conditions, age, or other issues may cause your physician to establish somewhat higher blood glucose targets for you. The following chart outlines the usual blood glucose ranges for a person who does and does not have diabetes. Use this as a guide to work with your physician and your healthcare team to determine what your target goals should be, and to develop a program of regular blood glucose monitoring to manage your condition. Time of Check Goal plasma blood glucose ranges for people without diabetes Goal plasma blood glucose ranges for people with diabetes Before breakfast (fasting) < 100 70 - 130 Before lunch, supper and snack < 110 70 - 130 Two hours after meals < 140 < 180 Bedtime < 120 90- 150 A1C (also called glycosylated hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c or glycohemoglobin A1c) < 6% < 7% < = less than > = greater than > = greater than or equal to < = less than or equal to Information obtained from Joslin Diabetes Center's Guidelines for Pharmacological Management of Type 2 Diabetes. Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Sleep: How High Blood Sugar Steals Sleep Time
It’s probably far from obvious, but your diabetes could be the reason that you’re having trouble sleeping. Type 2 diabetes affects nearly 30 million Americans—and the numbers are growing. Though most of us are aware that the disease has a serious impact on a person’s diet and blood sugar, fewer are familiar with the many related health woes that diabetes can cause—and how they can negatively impact sleep. Take a closer look at the surprisingly intricate relationship between diabetes and sleep—plus how people with the condition can get a better night’s rest. Diabetes and Sleep: A Vicious Cycle? The relationship between diabetes and sleep is complicated, and experts still have a lot to learn about how the whole thing works. What they do know? How much sleep you get could play a role in whether you develop type 2 diabetes in the first place. First, there’s the growing connection between sleep and obesity. Being overweight is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. (Believe it or not, up to 90% of people who are diagnosed with the disease are also obese.) What’s more, evidence shows that there are several ways that skimping on sleep could lead to weight gain: When you’re zonked, you don’t have the energy to exercise. Research suggests that people who stay up late spend more time sitting than people who wake up early. Feeling tired means you’re less likely to make healthy food choices, too. When you’re exhausted, pizza or takeout just feel easier (and more tempting) than a big kale salad. Staying up late means more time to eat. People who stay up into the wee hours at night have been found to eat 550 more calories than those who go to bed early. Lack of sleep messes with your hormones. Sleep deprivation causes your body to pump out more of the stre Continue reading >>
Is It Safe To Go To Sleep With High Or Low Blood Sugar?
Those with diabetes must always be aware of their blood glucose levels. This includes being aware of what might happen to your levels while sleeping. Hypoglycemia Nighttime hypoglycemia is generally defined as having a blood glucose reading lower than 72 mg/dl. Without treatment, that level could continue to slip; if it reaches 40 mg/dl or below, the person could slip into a coma. Possible Causes Suppose you are having a late dinner. You take your insulin bolus beforehand, and have your meal. Later, at bedtime, your glucose count is right where you want it to be, at 121 mg/dl. That means the injection did what it was supposed to do, to cover your meal. However, that bolus you took works for as long as five or six hours. Now it’s 2 am and your sugar is still dropping, even though you’re sleeping. Or maybe you had some alcohol during the evening. Your liver is busy clearing out the alcohol and a lot less focused on producing glucose. Late night at the gym? A walk after supper? Exercise can temporarily raise glucose levels for hours, leaving you with good bedtime numbers, only to have them fall later in the night. Symptoms and Solutions Symptoms of hypoglycemia – shaking, sweating, chills and clamminess, lightheadedness or dizziness, blurred vision – might not be felt by someone who is asleep. Sometimes if hypoglycemia comes on during sleep the patient might cry out or have nightmares, but not always. Doctors at Joslin Diabetes Center recommend that your blood glucose reading at bedtime should be at least 140 mg/dl. If you are wearing an insulin pump, and you feel you might be at some risk of low overnight readings, then adjust the pump to deliver less basal insulin though the night. You can also consider consuming a healthy snack just before bedtime. If this is a Continue reading >>
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 >>
Vinegar Ingestion At Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations In Adults With Well-controlled Type 2 Diabetes
Given the importance of maintaining acceptable blood glucose concentrations, there is much interest in identifying foods and diet patterns that will help individuals with diabetes manage their condition. Based on previous data indicating that vinegar ingestion at mealtime reduces postprandial glycemia (1–4), the aim of this pilot study was to examine whether vinegar ingestion at bedtime reduces the next-morning fasting glucose concentration in individuals with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS— Four men and seven women (aged 40–72 years) diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (by a physician) who were not taking insulin completed the study. Participants provided a clinically determined A1C reading from a recent (<2 months) blood analysis. All participants gave written informed consent, and the study was approved by the institutional review board at Arizona State University. Participants maintained 24-h diet records for 3 days and measured fasting glucose at 0700 h for 3 consecutive days with a calibrated glucometer before the start of the study. Participants were instructed to continue usual prescription medication use during the study. Utilizing a randomized crossover design with a 3- to 5-day washout period between treatments, participants followed a standardized meal plan for 2 days, consuming either 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or water at bedtime with 1 oz cheese (8 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, and 1.5 g fat). The standardized meal plan was designed to reflect the individual's typical diet. Participants were instructed to record all foods and beverages ingested during each 2-day treatment period. Fasting glucose was recorded with a calibrated glucometer by each participant during the trial: at baseline (day 0) and day 2 at 0700 h. These results were download Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar: What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning
There are two reasons why your blood sugar levels may be high in the morning – the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect. The dawn phenomenon is the end result of a combination of natural body changes that occur during the sleep cycle and can be explained as follows: Your body has little need for insulin between about midnight and about 3:00 a.m. (a time when your body is sleeping most soundly). Any insulin taken in the evening causes blood sugar levels to drop sharply during this time. Then, between 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., your body starts churning out stored glucose (sugar) to prepare for the upcoming day as well as releases hormones that reduce the body's sensitivity to insulin. All of these events happen as your bedtime insulin dose is also wearing off. These events, taken together, cause your body's blood sugar levels to rise in the morning (at "dawn"). A second cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning might be due to the Somogyi effect (named after the doctor who first wrote about it). This condition is also called "rebound hyperglycemia." Although the cascade of events and end result – high blood sugar levels in the morning – is the same as in the dawn phenomenon, the cause is more "man-made" (a result of poor diabetes management) in the Somogyi effect. There are two potential causes. In one scenario, your blood sugar may drop too low in the middle of the night and then your body releases hormones to raise the sugar levels. This could happen if you took too much insulin earlier or if you did not have enough of a bedtime snack. The other scenario is when your dose of long-acting insulin at bedtime is not enough and you wake up with a high morning blood sugar. How is it determined if the dawn phenomenon or Somogyi effect is causing the high blood sug Continue reading >>
Tips For Managing Nighttime Hypoglycemia
Many people with diabetes (both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes) experience hypoglycemia while sleeping—this is called a nighttime low (as in low blood glucose level). Many factors contribute to nighttime hypoglycemia. Being familiar with the causes will help you understand the signs and take steps to prevent nighttime lows. Episodes of hypoglycemia can be uncomfortable and frightening. Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures and be life-threatening so it's important to recognize the problem and respond appropriately.Read on for tips to help you prevent hypoglycemia. Recognizing the Signs Shakiness and irregular heartbeats can be a sign of approaching hypoglycemia. Symptoms can develop when blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). Eating dinner much later than you normally do, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or having an unusually active day can contribute to the condition. Sometimes exercising too close to bedtime can trigger it, too. Experts say it's best to avoid exercising within two hours of bedtime. If you frequently wake up with symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as a headache, nausea, restlessness, dry mouth, light-headedness, or sweating, start testing your blood glucose level as soon as you get out of bed. If it's low in the morning on a regular basis —below 70 mg/dL— you and your doctor should take steps to stop the nighttime hypoglycemia.Not everyone experiences symptoms so it's possible (and potentially dangerous) to ignore the problem. To avoid what is known as "hypoglycemia unawareness" routine checking of levels at night and in the morning is vital. Strategies for Preventing Nighttime Hypoglycemia To reduce the risk of nighttime hypoglycemia, you need to come up with a way of ensuring you have more glucose in your body duri Continue reading >>
How Can I Fight Morning Highs?
My morning blood glucose is quite elevated (190 to 260 mg/dl). Is there a certain time before bed that I should eat to help lower my blood sugar? Are there certain foods I should eat after dinner? Continue reading >>
My Three Most Important Blood Sugar Readings
In my own blood sugar management and life with diabetes, there are three times of day that are the most important to me. Knowing what my blood sugar is at these times of day has become so important because I’ve seen how much they impact how I feel, what my A1C level is, and how much they effect my blood sugars for the entire day. Those three times of day are: Fasting blood sugar (right when I wake up, before eating breakfast) Bedtime blood sugar (right before I go to bed and pass out for 8 hours) Post-Prandial blood sugar (1-2 hours after any meal) My pre-meal blood sugar is of course very important, but the three times of day listed above are crucial to ensuring that my pre-meal blood sugar is on target. When I focus on those three, my pre-meal blood sugar doesn’t seem to be an issue. Here are a few tips and explanations for why these three times of day are so important. Fasting Blood Sugar This blood sugar, first thing in the morning, the most important to me. I’d like it to be between 70 to 110 mg/dL. Not only is this blood sugar reading a reflection of your basal rate or long-acting insulin dose while you’re sleeping, it’s also a reflection of what you ate at dinner/dessert, and if your insulin doses or oral medications are finely-tuned enough to help your body handle that food. Waking up with a high blood sugar every morning would tell you a) You aren’t getting enough insulin while you sleep and b) you aren’t getting enough insulin with the food you ate in the hours leading up to bedtime. And of course, if you’re low every morning, it implies that same imbalances but in reverse. Both situations, high or low, are not ideal. Waking up with an in-range blood sugar first thing in the morning is also crucial because it means I will have gotten a good nig Continue reading >>
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 >>
Diabetes: Blood Sugar Readings
www.CardioSmart.org What is a blood sugar reading? A blood sugar reading shows how much sugar, or glucose, is in your blood. A test of your blood sugar may be done to: â€¢ Check for diabetes. â€¢ See how well diabetes treatment is working. â€¢ Check for diabetes that occurs during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). â€¢ Check for low or high blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia). What are normal blood sugar readings? There are several types of blood sugar tests. Normal results can vary from lab to lab. Talk with your doctor about what any abnormal results might mean, and about any symptoms and other health problems you have. Normal values for adults who do NOT have prediabetes or diabetes Less than or equal to 100 When you have not eaten (fasting blood sugar): Less than 140 if you are age 50 or younger; less than 150 if you are age 50 to 60; less than 160 if you are age 60 and older 2 hours after eating (postprandial): Levels vary depending on when and how much you ate at your last meal. In general: 80 to 120 beforemeals or when waking up; 100 to 140 at bedtime. Random (casual): Target values for nonpregnant adults who have prediabetes or diabetes 80 to 130When you have not eaten (fasting blood sugar): Less than 1802 hours after eating (postprandial): What causes abnormal blood sugar? High blood sugar can be caused by: â€¢ Diabetes or prediabetes. â€¢ Certain medicines, such as corticosteroids. Low blood sugar can be caused by: â€¢ Certain medicines, especially those used to treat diabetes. â€¢ Liver disease, such as cirrhosis. Rarely, high or low blood sugar can be caused by other medical problems that affect hormone levels. Prediabetes and diabetes Blood sugar helps fuel your body. Normally, your blood sugar rises slightly af Continue reading >>
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