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Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels

The Liver & Blood Sugar

The Liver & Blood Sugar

During a meal, your liver stores sugar for later. When you’re not eating, the liver supplies sugar by turning glycogen into glucose in a process called glycogenolysis. The liver both stores and produces sugar… The liver acts as the body’s glucose (or fuel) reservoir, and helps to keep your circulating blood sugar levels and other body fuels steady and constant. The liver both stores and manufactures glucose depending upon the body’s need. The need to store or release glucose is primarily signaled by the hormones insulin and glucagon. During a meal, your liver will store sugar, or glucose, as glycogen for a later time when your body needs it. The high levels of insulin and suppressed levels of glucagon during a meal promote the storage of glucose as glycogen. The liver makes sugar when you need it…. When you’re not eating – especially overnight or between meals, the body has to make its own sugar. The liver supplies sugar or glucose by turning glycogen into glucose in a process called glycogenolysis. The liver also can manufacture necessary sugar or glucose by harvesting amino acids, waste products and fat byproducts. This process is called gluconeogenesis. When your body’s glycogen storage is running low, the body starts to conserve the sugar supplies for the organs that always require sugar. These include: the brain, red blood cells and parts of the kidney. To supplement the limited sugar supply, the liver makes alternative fuels called ketones from fats. This process is called ketogenesis. The hormone signal for ketogenesis to begin is a low level of insulin. Ketones are burned as fuel by muscle and other body organs. And the sugar is saved for the organs that need it. The terms “gluconeogenesis, glycogenolysis and ketogenesis” may seem like compli Continue reading >>

Goals For Blood Glucose Control

Goals For Blood Glucose Control

Discuss blood glucose (sugar) targets with your healthcare team when creating your diabetes management plan. 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 App Forecasts Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes App Forecasts Blood Sugar Levels

New York, NY (April 27, 2017)—Columbia University researchers have developed a personalized algorithm that predicts the impact of particular foods on an individual’s blood sugar levels. The algorithm has been integrated into an app, Glucoracle, that will allow individuals with type 2 diabetes to keep a tighter rein on their glucose levels—the key to preventing or controlling the major complications of a disease that affects 8 percent of Americans. The findings were published online today in PLoS Computational Biology. Medications are often prescribed to help patients with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels, but exercise and diet also play an important role. “While we know the general effect of different types of food on blood glucose, the detailed effects can vary widely from one person to another and for the same person over time,” said lead author David Albers, PhD, associate research scientist in biomedical informatics at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). “Even with expert guidance, it’s difficult for people to understand the true impact of their dietary choices, particularly on a meal-to-meal basis. Our algorithm, integrated into an easy-to-use app, predicts the consequences of eating a specific meal before the food is eaten, allowing individuals to make better nutritional choices during mealtime.” The algorithm uses a technique called data assimilation, in which a mathematical model of a person’s response to glucose is regularly updated with observational data—blood sugar measurements and nutritional information—to improve the model’s predictions, explained co-study leader George Hripcsak, MD, MS, the Vivian Beaumont Allen Professor and chair of biomedical informatics at Columbia. Data assimilation is used in a variety Continue reading >>

Will Apple’s New Iphone Monitor Blood Sugar Levels—without Pricking Your Skin?

Will Apple’s New Iphone Monitor Blood Sugar Levels—without Pricking Your Skin?

Apple appears to be working on blood glucose monitoring as a way to address type 2 diabetes.“Stick it in your ear.” Literally. Not all Apple product rumors are equal. Speculation that the headphone jack will reappear with the iPhone 8 has been rightly ridiculed. But the evidence Apple will introduce a glucose monitoring device is worthy of our interest. “Glucose monitoring” is a code word for fighting the growing scourge of type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is unpreventable, the type 2 variety is, to be polite, a “lifestyle” disease, meaning we eat too much and don’t exercise enough. (As usual, the French are more brutal: for them, Type 2 is diabète gras, “fat diabetes.”) A 2016 Harvard School of Public Health study places the global cost of type 2 diabetes at $825 billion per year and growing [as always, edits and emphasis mine]: … in the last 35 years, global diabetes among men has more than doubled—from 4.3% in 1980 to 9% in 2014—after adjusting for the effect of aging. Meanwhile diabetes among women has risen from 5% in 1980 to 7.9% in 2014. This rise translates as 422 million adults in the world with diabetes in 2014—which has nearly quadrupled since 1980 (108 million). In theory, there is, of course, an “easy” remedy: Eat less and exercise more…for the rest of your life. A healthy lifestyle adds days to one’s life, and life to one’s days. Easier nagged than done. In reality, a growing percentage of the human population keeps growing. Enter blood glucose monitoring. Devices that tell you your blood sugar concentration, once the province of the lab, have moved into the home. With just a minuscule drop of blood—as little as 0.3 microliters—you can get an answer in seconds. The subject is immediately alerted to an Continue reading >>

Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them To Manage Your Diabetes

Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them To Manage Your Diabetes

Checking your blood sugar, also called blood glucose, is an important part of diabetes care. This tip sheet tells you: why it helps you to know your blood sugar numbers how to check your blood sugar levels what are target blood sugar levels what to do if your levels are too low or too high how to pay for these tests Why do I need to know my blood sugar numbers? Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss. As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change. How is blood sugar measured? There are two ways to measure blood sugar. Blood sugar checks that you do yourself. These tell you what your blood sugar level is at the time you test. The A1C (A-one-C) is a test done in a lab or at your provider’s office. This test tells you your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. How do I check my blood sugar? You use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This device uses a small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level. You can get the meter and supplies in a drug store or by mail. Read the directions that come with your meter to learn how to check your blood sugar. Your health care team also can show you how to use your meter. Write the date, time, and result of the test in your blood sugar record. Take your blood sugar record and meter to each visit and talk about your results with your h Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar

Blood Sugar

Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in your blood. It comes from the food you eat, and is your body's main source of energy. Your blood carries glucose to all of your body's cells to use for energy. Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar levels are too high. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems. Even if you don't have diabetes, sometimes you may have problems with blood sugar that is too low or too high. Keeping a regular schedule of eating, activity, and taking any medicines you need can help. If you do have diabetes, it is very important to keep your blood sugar numbers in your target range. You may need to check your blood sugar several times each day. Your health care provider will also do a blood test called an A1C. It checks your average blood sugar level over the past three months. If your blood sugar is too high, you may need to take medicines and/or follow a special diet. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Continue reading >>

15 Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

15 Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

High blood sugar occurs when your body can't effectively transport sugar from blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes. One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic (1). This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally: Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction. If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should routinely check your levels. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low (2). Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels. Your body breaks carbs down into sugars (mostly glucose), and then insulin moves the sugars into cells. When you eat too many carbs or have problems with insulin function, this process fails and blood glucose levels rise. However, there are several things you can do about this. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends controlling carb intake by counting carbs or using a food exchange system (3). Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, which may further improve blood sugar control (4, 5). Many studies also show that a low-carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood s Continue reading >>

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

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

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

Blood Sugar Levels For Adults With Diabetes

Blood Sugar Levels For Adults With Diabetes

Each time you test your blood sugar, log it in a notebook or online tool or with an app. Note the date, time, results, and any recent activities: What medication and dosage you took What you ate How much and what kind of exercise you were doing That will help you and your doctor see how your treatment is working. Well-managed diabetes can delay or prevent complications that affect your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes doubles your risk for heart disease and stroke, too. Fortunately, controlling your blood sugar will also make these problems less likely. Tight blood sugar control, however, means a greater chance of low blood sugar levels, so your doctor may suggest higher targets. Continue reading >>

Why Are Fasting Blood Glucose Numbers High?

Why Are Fasting Blood Glucose Numbers High?

Stumped by high fasting blood glucose results? Join the club. "It just doesn't compute. When I snack before bed, my fastings are lower than when I limit my night nibbles," says Pete Hyatt, 59, PWD type 2. "It's logical for people to point the finger for high fasting blood sugar numbers at what they eat between dinner and bed, but surprisingly food isn't the lead villain," says Robert Chilton, M.D., a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The true culprit is compromised hormonal control of blood glucose levels. The Essential Hormones During the years (up to a decade) that type 2 diabetes develops, the hormonal control of blood glucose breaks down. Four hormones are involved in glucose control: Insulin, made in the beta cells of the pancreas, helps the body use glucose from food by enabling glucose to move into the body's cells for energy. People with type 2 diabetes have slowly dwindling insulin reserves. Amylin, secreted from the beta cells, slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream after eating by slowing stomach-emptying and increasing the feeling of fullness. People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are amylin-deficient. Incretins, a group of hormones secreted from the intestines that includes glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), enhance the body's release of insulin after eating. This in turn slows stomach-emptying, promotes fullness, delays the release of glucose into the bloodstream, and prevents the pancreas from releasing glucagon, putting less glucose into the blood. Glucagon, made in the alpha cells of the pancreas, breaks down glucose stored in the liver and muscles and releases it to provide energy when glucose from food isn't available. {C} How the Essential Hormones Work in the Body When d Continue reading >>

3 Easy Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Fast

3 Easy Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Fast

Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management. Extremely high blood sugar levels can be dangerous, and they can cause lasting health complications. Remember: if you ever have blood sugar readings that remain high for more than 24 hours without coming down (and after an effort has been made to lower them), you need to be addressed by a doctor. That being said, we've all had those days when we get a random high blood sugar reading and we are not sure what caused it…or we forget to give insulin, or we eat a delicious dessert without realizing how much sugar is actually in it. For whatever reason, those out of the ordinary high blood sugar readings happen and need to be treated. No need to rush to the doctor for every high blood sugar reading though. There are some simple steps you can take to lower blood sugar fast. Watch for signs of high blood sugar You know the feeling: extreme thirst, sluggishness, nausea, blurred vision, a downright sick feeling. And your family or friends may tell you that extreme irritability is a major sign you need to check your blood sugar to see if it is high. The best thing to do is to catch it before it gets really high, or it will be harder to bring down quickly, causing havoc on your blood sugar readings for days. If you do not take insulin as a part of your treatment plan, these tips will show you how to lower your blood sugar fast. If you take insulin, you will first want to give the appropriate amount of insulin to correct the blood sugar. Continue reading >>

8 Sneaky Things That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels

8 Sneaky Things That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels

Skipping breakfast iStock/Thinkstock Overweight women who didn’t eat breakfast had higher insulin and blood sugar levels after they ate lunch a few hours later than they did on another day when they ate breakfast, a 2013 study found. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 21 percent higher chance of developing diabetes than those who didn’t. A morning meal—especially one that is rich in protein and healthy fat—seems to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. Your breakfast is not one of the many foods that raise blood sugar. Here are some other things that happen to your body when you skip breakfast. Artificial sweeteners iStock/Thinkstock They have to be better for your blood sugar than, well, sugar, right? An interesting new Israeli study suggests that artificial sweeteners can still take a negative toll and are one of the foods that raise blood sugar. When researchers gave mice artificial sweeteners, they had higher blood sugar levels than mice who drank plain water—or even water with sugar! The researchers were able to bring the animals’ blood sugar levels down by treating them with antibiotics, which indicates that these fake sweeteners may alter gut bacteria, which in turn seems to affect how the body processes glucose. In a follow-up study of 400 people, the research team found that long-term users of artificial sweeteners were more likely to have higher fasting blood sugar levels, reported HealthDay. While study authors are by no means saying that sugary beverages are healthier, these findings do suggest that people who drink artificially sweetened beverages should do so in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Here's what else happens when you cut artificial sweetener Continue reading >>

15 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

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 >>

Blood Sugar & Other Hormones

Blood Sugar & Other Hormones

Other hormones also affect blood sugar. Glucagon, amylin, GIP, GLP-1, epinephrine, cortisol, and growth hormone also affect blood sugar levels. Glucagon: Made by islet cells (alpha cells) in the pancreas, controls the production of glucose and another fuel, ketones, in the liver. Glucagon is released overnight and between meals and is important in maintaining the body’s sugar and fuel balance. It signals the liver to break down its starch or glycogen stores and helps to form new glucose units and ketone units from other substances. It also promotes the breakdown of fat in fat cells. In contrast, after a meal, when sugar from the ingested food rushes into your bloodstream, your liver doesn’t need to make sugar. The consequence? Glucagon levels fall. Unfortunately, in individuals with diabetes, the opposite occurs. While eating, their glucagon levels rise, which causes blood sugar levels to rise after the meal. WITH DIABETES, GLUCAGON LEVELS ARE TOO HIGH AT MEALTIMES GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and amylin: GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and amylin are other hormones that also regulate mealtime insulin. GLP-1 and GIP are incretin hormones. When released from your gut, they signal the beta cells to increase their insulin secretion and, at the same time, decrease the alpha cells’ release of glucagon. GLP-1 also slows down the rate at which food empties from your stomach, and it acts on the brain to make you feel full and satisfied. People with type 1 diabetes have absent or malfunctioning beta cells so the hormones insulin and amylin are missing and the hormone GLP1 cannot work properly. This may explain, in part, why individuals with diabetes do not suppress gl Continue reading >>

Does A New Tattoo Ink Allow People With Diabetes To Monitor Their Blood Sugar Levels?

Does A New Tattoo Ink Allow People With Diabetes To Monitor Their Blood Sugar Levels?

A new tattoo ink changes color depending on a person's glucose levels, meaning people with diabetes can use it to check their blood sugar levels. A research project by students at MIT and Harvard shows promising results, and could lead to a fully-functioning biosensor tattoo ink that reliably indicates glucose levels. The research has so far only been tested on pig skin, has not been subject to rigorous trials, and is still at a relatively early stage. On 9 June 2017, the Dose Facebook page posted a meme claiming that a new kind of tattoo ink changes color based on blood sugar levels, providing a warning system for people with diabetes: The post had been shared more than 300,000 times as of 28 June 2017, and we have received several inquiries about its veracity. It is, indeed, based on real research that students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors are undertaking at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Medical School. The DermalAbyss project has not yet been tested on human skin, and is at the “proof of concept stage,” according to a May 2017 report by the MIT Media Lab. Traditional tattoo inks are replaced with biosensors whose colors change in response to variations in the interstitial fluid. It blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry. Interstitial fluid is a layer of fluid that surrounds cells within the body. Measuring the level of glucose (blood sugar) in the fluid is an important way for people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar at an appropriate level and avoid diabetic shock (severe hypoglycemia). The ink changes color based on three different biochemical measures in the interstitial fluid: the pH level (acidity) changes the ink from pink to purple; the glucose level changes it from blue to brow Continue reading >>

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