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Diabetes 101: Why Your Blood Sugar Is A Bigdeal

Diabetes 101: Why Your Blood Sugar Is A Bigdeal

Diabetes 101: why your blood sugar is a bigdeal Posted 8:09 PM, December 12, 2013, by Joe Rawley , Updated at 08:39PM, December 12, 2013 This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated. Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body uses sugar. If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much sugar in your blood and this can lead to serious health problems. There are 3 types of diabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is high but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, your body does not produce insulin at all and you need to give yourself insulin every day in order to live. Type 2 diabetes your body makes insulin but not enough to keep your blood sugar within normal limits. There are 3 tests used to diagnose diabetes and anyone over the age of 45 or with a body mass index greater than 25 should request one of these tests from their doctor. The 1st test is a fasting glucose which is exactly what it says, after having nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours; you get your blood sugar drawn. A normal fasting blood sugar level is less than 100. If it is between 100 and 125 then you are considered to have prediabetes. If its greater than 126, youll be diagnosed with diabetes. The 2nd test is a hemoglobin A1C. This blood test reflects the average of your blood sugar over 3 months. You do not have to be fasting for this test and it can be done at any time. A normal hemoglobin A1C level is less than 5.7 percent. Prediabetes is diagnosed if your hemoglobin A1C is 5.7 6.4 percent. If it is greater than 6.5 percent, then you have diabetes. The 3rd test is an oral glucose tolerance test. In this one, you have a fasting blood su Continue reading >>

Prediabetes

Prediabetes

Print Overview Prediabetes means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes are very likely to progress to type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, the long-term damage of diabetes — especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys — may already be starting. There's good news, however. Progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes isn't inevitable. Eating healthy foods, incorporating physical activity in your daily routine and maintaining a healthy weight can help bring your blood sugar level back to normal. Prediabetes affects adults and children. The same lifestyle changes that can help prevent progression to diabetes in adults might also help bring children's blood sugar levels back to normal. Symptoms Prediabetes generally has no signs or symptoms. One possible sign that you may be at risk of type 2 diabetes is darkened skin on certain parts of the body. Affected areas can include the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles. Classic signs and symptoms that suggest you've moved from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes include: Increased thirst Frequent urination Fatigue Blurred vision When to see a doctor See your doctor if you're concerned about diabetes or if you notice any type 2 diabetes signs or symptoms. Ask your doctor about blood glucose screening if you have any risk factors for prediabetes. Causes The exact cause of prediabetes is unknown. But family history and genetics appear to play an important role. Inactivity and excess fat — especially abdominal fat — also seem to be important factors. What is clear is that people with prediabetes don't process sugar (glucose) properly anymore. As a result, sugar accumulates in the bloodstream instead o Continue reading >>

The “normal Blood Sugar Range” May Be Misleading You

The “normal Blood Sugar Range” May Be Misleading You

A fasting blood sugar test measures the amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in your blood after you have not eaten for at least eight hours. Checking for an ideal fasting blood sugar is one of the most commonly performed tests to check for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. So what should your fasting blood sugar be? The normal blood sugar range is 65-99 mg/dL. If your fasting blood sugar is between 100 and 125 mg/dL, you have “impaired fasting glucose,” also referred to as “prediabetes.” If your fasting blood sugar is more than 126 mg/dL on two or more occasions, you have full-blown diabetes. What Is Prediabetes? People defined as having impaired fasting glucose/prediabetes are individuals whose blood sugar levels do not meet criteria for diabetes, yet are higher than those considered normal. These people are at relatively high risk for the future development of diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), prediabetes is not a disease itself but rather a risk factor “for diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease.”[1] However, the ADA also state that prediabetes can be considered an “intermediate stage” in the diabetes disease process.[1](One might wonder how prediabetes can be a both a risk factor for diabetes and an intermediate stage of the diabetes disease process simultaneously). In addition to increasing the chance of developing diabetes, it’s well-established that people with impaired fasting glucose/prediabetes are more likely to be overweight or obese, especially with what’s known as abdominal or visceral obesity. They also are more likely to have high triglycerides and/or low HDL cholesterol, and hypertension.[1] Even Normal-Range Blood Glucose Levels Can Increase Diabetes Risk There’s a lot more at stake for thos Continue reading >>

Want To Know If Your Diet Is Healthy? Track Your Blood Sugar.

Want To Know If Your Diet Is Healthy? Track Your Blood Sugar.

Are you confused if what you are eating is healthy? Are whole grains good for us? Do we need to be gluten free? Should we be eating dairy regularly? What about fruit? Nuts? Beans? Ahhhhhhhh! Let’s face it, there is A LOT of conflicting diet information out there. Where do you even start? Well it all comes down to one very basic thing…your blood sugar. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to take weeks of diet diaries and calorie counting. Nor does it require reading endless books, websites, studies, and journals to get the most up-to-date nutrition advice. It is really quite simple, and it can be tested. Wouldn’t it be great to know when you eat something how the inside of your body responds? Does it give you the green light or the red light? Well, you can learn this with a very inexpensive piece of equipment that you can find at any drug store or pharmacy called a glucose meter or glucometer. Click here for a video tutorial on how to test your blood sugar. ……. So, ask your body what it thinks of the food you are eating by taking your blood sugar. Here is a quick & very basic break down on how your blood sugar works. Step 1: You eat a food Step 2: It gets broken down into two categories: stuff the body will use and stuff that will become waste Step 3: Glucose, aka blood sugar, is one of the essential breakdown products of food that the body and brain use for fuel Step 4: Depending on the types of food you just ate, your blood sugar rises. If you just ate a meal high in starch and sugar, your blood sugar rises high over a normal fasting level. If you just had a meal of healthy fats and proteins, your blood sugar does not rise as high. ……. Having a normal functioning blood sugar is the key to optimal health and the prevention of chronic dis Continue reading >>

What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar Levels, And What Blood Sugar Level Constitutes A True Emergency?

What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar Levels, And What Blood Sugar Level Constitutes A True Emergency?

Yahoo!-ABC News Network | 2018 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved. What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar Levels, And What Blood Sugar Level Constitutes A True Emergency? CLINICAL RESEARCH AT JOSLIN DIABETES CENTER, Question:What is the normal range for blood sugar levels, and what blood sugar level constitutes a true emergency? Answer:Now, in a normal individual we measure blood sugar under different circumstances. What we call fasting blood sugar or blood glucose levels is usually done six to eight hours after the last meal. So it's most commonly done before breakfast in the morning; and the normal range there is 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter. Now when you eat a meal, blood sugar generally rises and in a normal individual it usually does not get above a 135 to 140 milligrams per deciliter. So there is a fairly narrow range of blood sugar throughout the entire day. Now in our diabetic patients we see both low blood sugar levels that we call hypoglycemia, or elevated blood sugars, hyperglycemia. Now, if the blood sugar drops below about 60 or 65 milligrams per deciliter, people will generally get symptoms, which are some shakiness, feeling of hunger, maybe a little racing of the heart and they will usually be trenchant or if they eat something, it goes away right away. But if blood sugar drops below 50 and can get down as low as 40 or 30 or even 20, then there is a progressive loss of mental function and eventually unconsciousness and seizures. And of course that is very dangerous and a medical emergency. On the other side, if blood sugar gets up above 180 to 200, then it exceeds the capacity of the kidneys to reabsorb the glucose and we begin to spill glucose into the urine. And if it gets way up high, up in the 400s or even 500s, it can be associa Continue reading >>

Why Checking Postprandial Glucose Is Important

Why Checking Postprandial Glucose Is Important

Checking your blood sugar (glucose) levels at home is part of your type 2 diabetes management plan. You can use the results of these tests to help improve your blood sugar control. But if you’re only testing first thing in the morning, you might be missing the full picture. “I like to tell my patients that the first morning glucose level check is usually the lowest of the day, and checking only in the morning is akin to purposefully ‘blindfolding’ yourself to only see the best-case scenario,” says endocrinologist Ildiko Lingvay, MD, MPH, an associate professor in the department of internal medicine/endocrinology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “If you want to see a more complete picture, I recommend patients mix it up and check their glucose level at various times during the day — and, most importantly, when they know they might have not followed the best advice — to see the full effect of their choices.” The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends checking blood sugar levels before eating (fasting blood sugar) and then again one to two hours after the beginning of a meal — particularly if target A1C goals aren’t being met. The test after the meal is called the postprandial glucose (PPG) test. You might also need to test your blood sugar at other times during the day, or after certain activities, depending on the information you and your medical team are trying to gather about your type 2 diabetes. PPG 101 The term “postprandial glucose” might sound like jargon, but it literally means “sugar after the meal.” “Glucose levels begin to rise about 10 minutes after the start of a meal and peak two hours after a meal… and they return to pre-meal levels within two to three hours,” explains endocrinolo Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar 101

Blood Sugar 101

You know eating a lot of sugar is bad for your health. Simply speaking: you are what you eat, so what goes into your mouth will eventually make its way through your body. Sugar is no different. Blood sugar (also known as “blood glucose”) is the concentration of sugar that’s in your blood. It’s used to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes. What Raises My Blood Sugar? After a meal, you digest and absorb all the valuable nutrients from food, including carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates are found in grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and desserts. It’s what gets broken down into glucose, and is released into the blood to fuel the brain, muscles and other organs. Note, all carbohydrates can raise your blood sugar, not just the sugar you sprinkle into your morning coffee! Why Does My Blood Sugar Matter? While it’s normal for blood sugar to spike after a meal, the body has checks and balances to keep it in a normal range. Insulin, a hormone released by your pancreas, plays a very important role in keeping your blood sugar numbers within normal range. It is released when your blood sugar rises, and its main action is to help blood glucose enter your cells. (How else will your cells use the glucose for fuel?) Unfortunately, some individuals can become “insulin resistant,” meaning the insulin is released but it’s not doing its job very effectively, so blood sugar remains high. Over time, this can lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, which are more severe forms of insulin resistance. If uncontrolled, high amounts of glucose in the blood can damage your blood vessels, nerves and kidneys over time. How Do I Check My Blood Sugar? Knowing your blood sugar stats helps you understand if you’re at risk for prediabetes and diabetes. Usua Continue reading >>

Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)

Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)

Hi, I just found this site and would like to participate. I will give my numbers, etc. First, my last A1c was 6.1, the doc said it was Pre-diabetes in January of 2014, OK, I get it that part, but what confuses me is that at home, on my glucometer, all my fastings were “Normal” however, back then, I had not checked after meals, so maybe they were the culprits. Now, I am checking all the time and driving myself crazy. In the morning sometimes fasting is 95 and other times 85, it varies day to day. Usually, after a low carb meal, it drops to the 80’s the first hour and lower the second. On some days, when I am naughty and eat wrong, my b/s sugar is still low, and on other days, I can eat the same thing, and it goes sky high, again, not consistent. Normally, however, since February, my fbs is 90, 1 hour after, 120, 2nd hour, back to 90, but, that changes as well. In February, of 2014, on the 5th, it was horrible. I think I had eaten Lasagne, well, before, my sugars did not change much, but that night, WHAM-O I started at 80 before the meal, I forgot to take it at the one and two hour mark, but did at the 3 hour mark, it was 175, then at four hours, down to 160, then at 5 hours, back to 175. I went to bed, because by that time, it was 2 AM, but when I woke up at 8:00 and took it, it was back to 89!!!! This horrible ordeal has only happened once, but, I have gone up to 178 since, but come down to normal in 2 hours. I don’t know if I was extra stressed that day or what, I am under tons of it, my marriage is not good, my dear dad died 2 years ago and my very best friend died 7 months ago, I live in a strange country, I am from America, but moved to New Zealand last year, and I am soooo unhappy. Anyway, what does confuse me is why the daily differences, even though I may 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 >>

When “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)

When “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)

In the last article I explained the three primary markers we use to track blood sugar: fasting blood glucose (FBG), oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and hemoglobin A1c (A1c). We also looked at what the medical establishment considers as normal for these markers. The table below summarizes those values. In this article, we’re going to look at just how “normal” those normal levels are — according to the scientific literature. We’ll also consider which of these three markers is most important in preventing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Marker Normal Pre-diabetes Diabetes Fasting blood glucose (mg/dL) <99 100-125 >126 OGGT / post-meal (mg/dL after 2 hours) <140 140-199 >200 Hemoglobin A1c (%) <6 6-6.4 >6.4 But before we do that, I’d like to make an important point: context is everything. In my work with patients, I never use any single marker alone to determine whether someone has a blood sugar issue. I run a full blood panel that includes fasting glucose, A1c, fructosamine, uric acid and triglycerides (along with other lipids), and I also have them do post-meal testing at home over a period of 3 days with a range of foods. If they have a few post-meal spikes and all other markers or normal, I’m not concerned. If their fasting BG, A1c and fructosamine are all elevated, and they’re having spikes, then I’m concerned and I will investigate further. On a similar note, I’ve written that A1c is not a reliable marker for individuals because of context: there are many non-blood sugar-related conditions that can make A1c appear high or low. So if someone is normal on all of the other blood sugar markers, but has high A1c, I’m usually not concerned. With all of that said, let’s take a look at some of the research. Fasting blood sugar According to cont Continue reading >>

Diabetes 101: Why You Need To Lower Your Blood Sugar

Diabetes 101: Why You Need To Lower Your Blood Sugar

Diabetes is a growing problem that can't be ignored. Currently, 1 in 10 Americans have type 2 diabetes. However, if new cases develop as projected, its prevalence could double or even triple over the next 40 years, according to Ann Albright, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the CDC. The rates are predicted to skyrocket by the year 2050. By that time, 1 in every 3 Americans will be diabetic unless we make drastic cultural changes. Diabetes affects approximately 29.1 million people of all ages in America, or about 9.3 percent of the population. Add to that about 86 million people in the United States with pre-diabetes, which is a stage of insulin resistance that develops before full-blown diabetes. If there’s no intervention, those with pre-diabetes will have diabetes in three to six years. What is Diabetes? Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system, for unknown reasons, destroys the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. When the body can't produce insulin, this is type 1 diabetes. Some new evidence from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the DIABIMMUNE Study Group suggests that type 1 diabetes may be related to changes in the body’s microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria and other microbes that live in and on the body, especially in the digestive tract. Type 1 diabetes is not caused by poor diet or lifestyle factors. Type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by a poor diet and lack of exercise, which lead to insulin resistance, the cells’ inability to recognize the availability of insulin that they can use for energy. An unhealthy lifestyle may also create an environment in which the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin. Many type 2 diabetics have both insulin r Continue reading >>

Diabetes 101

Diabetes 101

Learning objectives Upon completion of this chapter, the technician should be able to do the following: 1. Differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. 2. Explain the Criteria for the diagnosis of Diabetes. 3. Explain Insulin Resistance. 4. Discuss the importance of monitoring blood sugars. 5. Explain the purpose of the HbA1c blood test. 6. Differentiate between the 5 classes of oral medications. 7. Explain the role of insulin treatment in diabetes. 8. Discuss the importance of controlling blood glucose. What is Diabetes? Diabetes-the complete name is diabetes mellitus-is one of the oldest diseases known. It was first described by the ancient Greeks as early as 100 AD. The word diabetes originates from the ancient Greek word for “flow through,” since two of the most common symptoms are extreme thirst and a need to urinate frequently. Scattered throughout the pancreas are cells called islets of Langerhans . About 75% of these cells produce insulin and about 20% of these cells produce glucagon. Insulin decreases blood glucose (sugar) and glucagon increases blood glucose. During normal food metabolism, insulin is released in response to blood glucose, to cause the uptake and storage of glucose ( in the form of glycogen and fat). Without insulin, the body cannot use the glucose. Glucagon (from the pancreas) is released to oppose the actions of insulin An estimated 16 million people in the United States of America (USA) are known to have diabetes, with 40% not even knowing they have diabetes and about 1 million of these being insulin dependent. Diabetes is a metabolism disorder which will progress over time to more serious problems unless it is managed properly. In diabetes, the body can’t properly use the energy it gets from food. Normally, many foods we eat are Continue reading >>

Questions And Answers - Symptoms Of Diabetes

Questions And Answers - Symptoms Of Diabetes

Use the chart below to help understand how different test results can indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes Fasting Blood Glucose Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) Random Blood Sugar (taken any time of day with or without fasting) A1C Ideal Result Less than 100mg/dl Less than 140 mg/dl Less than 140 (even after eating a large meal) Less than 5.7% Pre-diabetes 100-125mg/dl 140-199mg/dl 140-200 5.7% to 6.4% Diabetes 126mg/dl and greater 200 mg/dl and greater 200 or greater 6.5% or more Q: Can an alcohol body odor, profuse sweating, constant desire for sweets, and constant thirst be signs of diabetes? A: When there is excess sugar circulating in the bloodstream, not getting into the muscles because of insufficiency or malfunctioning of insulin, the body may begin to break down fat at a rapid rate to provide energy to "hungry" tissues. This can cause the odor you are referring to. The other symptoms you describe can also indicate high blood sugar. I suggest you see your physician ASAP. Q: How does diabetes affect your thinking process? Under medications such as insulin do diabetics still suffer from attitude swings? A: With or without diabetes, when blood sugars are not in balance, fatigue, dizziness, "fuzzy" thinking, mood swings and other symptoms may result. With insulin-requiring diabetes, it can be even more challenging to maintain stable blood sugars, but is very achievable with the right monitoring and support. Having a disease like diabetes does provide greater challenges for stable health and moods, but does not negate the ability to attain and maintain them. Q: Do I have diabetes with fasting sugar levels only a little on the high side? They have varied from 102 to 110 for the last 10 years. However my sugar level after eating food has always been within the limit, v Continue reading >>

Random Blood Glucose Test

Random Blood Glucose Test

RATE★★★★★ A random blood glucose test is used to diagnose diabetes. The test measures the level of glucose (a type of sugar) in your blood. If your blood glucose level is 200 mg/dL or higher and you have the classic symptoms of high blood sugar (excessive thirst, urination at night, blurred vision and, in some cases, weight loss) your doctor may diagnose you with diabetes. If you do not have any symptoms of high blood sugar, your doctor will probably have you take another test for further evidence of diabetes.1 Usually, having high blood glucose can be a sign that your body is not functioning normally and that you may have diabetes. If you have high blood glucose and it is not treated, it can lead to serious health complications. However, finding out that your blood glucose is elevated is powerful information that you can use to keep yourself healthy. If you know that your blood glucose is high, you can take steps to lower it, by losing weight (if you are overweight or obese), getting regular moderate physical activity, and taking a medication that lowers blood glucose.2 Why measuring blood glucose is important in diagnosing type 2 diabetes Our bodies require energy to function properly and we get that energy from the foods we eat. Our diet (everything we eat and drink) includes three main sources of energy (also known as calories): protein, fat, and carbohydrates (sugars, starches, and fibers).When the body digests most sources of carbohydrates, they are transformed through digestion into a very important source of instant energy, a form of sugar called glucose. Our bodies depend on the action of a number of different natural body chemicals called hormones, including insulin, amylin, incretins, and glucagon, working together in conjunction, to control how we Continue reading >>

When Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 1)

When Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 1)

In the next two articles we’re going to discuss the concept of “normal” blood sugar. I say concept and put normal in quotation marks because what passes for normal in mainstream medicine turns out to be anything but normal if optimal health and function are what you’re interested in. Here’s the thing. We’ve confused normal with common. Just because something is common, doesn’t mean it’s normal. It’s now becoming common for kids to be overweight and diabetic because they eat nothing but refined flour, high-fructose corn syrup and industrial seed oils. Yet I don’t think anyone (even the ADA) would argue that being fat and metabolically deranged is even remotely close to normal for kids. Or adults, for that matter. In the same way, the guidelines the so-called authorities like the ADA have set for normal blood sugar may be common, but they’re certainly not normal. Unless you think it’s normal for people to develop diabetic complications like neuropathy, retinopathy and cardiovascular disease as they age, and spend the last several years of their lives in hospitals or assisted living facilities. Common, but not normal. In this article I’m going to introduce the three markers we use to measure blood sugar, and tell you what the conventional model thinks is normal for those markers. In the next article, I’m going to show you what the research says is normal for healthy people. And I’m also going to show you that so-called normal blood sugar, as dictated by the ADA, can double your risk of heart disease and lead to all kinds of complications down the road. The 3 ways blood sugar is measured Fasting blood glucose This is still the most common marker used in clinical settings, and is often the only one that gets tested. The fasting blood glucose Continue reading >>

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