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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 >>

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

Blood sugar concentrations or blood glucose levels are the amount of sugar or glucose present in your blood stream. Your body naturally regulates blood sugar (glucose) levels as a part your body”s metabolic processes. Glucose or sugar is the primary energy mechanism for cells and blood lipids. Glucose or blood sugar is transported from your intestines or liver to the cells in your body via the bloodstream. The absorption of glucose is promoted by insulin or the hormone produced in the pancreas. If your sugar levels are not balanced you may have high or low blood sugar issues. Low sugar issues are hypoglycemia and high blood sugar indicates that you have hyperglycemia or hyperglycemia symptoms. High or low blood sugar levels cause different problems. Low blood sugar levels can cause dementia, comas or death. High blood sugar is a major cause of damage to your body”s internal organs. Low Blood Sugar Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia indicates the level of glucose in your blood has dramatically dropped below what your body need to function. When your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter symptom will develop. You may feel tired and anxious or weak and shaky. Your heart rate may be rapid and you feel as if you are having a heart attack. Eating something sugary will bring your sugar levels back to normal almost immediately and symptoms will subside. Sugar levels that are below 40 mg/dL cause you to have behavior changes. You may feel very irritable and become weak and confused. You may not realize you need to eat to raise your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels below 20 mg/dL will most certainly cause a loss of consciousness or perhaps you will experience seizures. You will need medical care immediately. Hypoglycemia symptoms happen very quickly. If you a Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Whether you have type 1 diabetes, are a caregiver or loved one of a person with type 1 diabetes, or just want to learn more, the following page provides an overview of type 1 diabetes. New to type 1 diabetes? Check out "Starting Point: Type 1 Diabetes Basics," which answers some of the basic questions about type 1 diabetes: what is type 1 diabetes, what are its symptoms, how is it treated, and many more! Want to learn a bit more? See our “Helpful Links” page below, which provides links to diaTribe articles focused on type 1 diabetes. These pages provide helpful tips for living with type 1 diabetes, our patient-perspective column by Adam Brown, drug and device overviews, information about diabetes complications, and some extra pages we hope you’ll find useful! Starting Point: Type 1 Diabetes Basics What is the risk of developing type 1 diabetes if it runs in my family? What is Type 1 Diabetes? Type 1 diabetes is disease in which the body can no longer produce insulin. Insulin is normally needed to convert sugar (also called glucose) and other food sources into energy for the body’s cells. It is believed that in people with type 1 diabetes, the body’s own immune system attacks and kills the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Without insulin, the body cannot control blood sugar, and people can suffer from dangerously high blood sugar levels (called hyperglycemia). To control their blood glucose levels, people with type 1 diabetes take insulin injections. Before the discovery of insulin, type 1 diabetes was a death sentence (and it still is for patients with poor access to insulin). Can Type 1 Diabetes Be Prevented? Unfortunately, the genetic and environmental triggers for the immune attack that causes type 1 diabetes are not well understood, althoug Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar & Stress

Blood Sugar & Stress

When stressed, the body prepares itself. Insulin levels fall, glucagon and epinephrine levels rise, and more glucose is available in the blood stream. What happens to my blood sugar levels when I’m stressed? During stressful situations, epinephrine (adrenaline), glucagon, growth hormone and cortisol play a role in blood sugar levels. Stressful situations include infections, serious illness or significant emotion stress. When stressed, the body prepares itself by ensuring that enough sugar or energy is readily available. Insulin levels fall, glucagon and epinephrine (adrenaline) levels rise and more glucose is released from the liver. At the same time, growth hormone and cortisol levels rise, which causes body tissues (muscle and fat) to be less sensitive to insulin. As a result, more glucose is available in the blood stream. When you have type 2 diabetes, low blood sugars from too much medication or insulin are a common cause of stress. The hormonal response to a low blood sugar includes a rapid release of epinephrine and glucagon, followed by a slower release of cortisol and growth hormone. These hormonal responses to the low blood sugar may last for 6-8 hours – during that time the blood sugar may be difficult to control. The phenomena of a low blood sugar followed by a high blood sugar is called a “rebound” or “Somogyi” reaction. When you have type 2 diabetes, stress may make your blood sugar go up and become more difficult to control – and you may need to take higher doses of your diabetes medications or insulin. During times of stress, individuals with diabetes, may have more difficulty controlling their blood sugars. Self-assessment Quiz Self assessment quizzes are available for topics covered in this website. To find out how much you have learned ab Continue reading >>

Know The Symptoms Of A Diabetes Emergency

Know The Symptoms Of A Diabetes Emergency

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, there's a lot to learn. In addition to the day-to-day basics of diabetes management and treatment, there's learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of two potential diabetes-related conditions: hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). These can occur at any time and need to be treated immediately to avoid a medical emergency. Causes of Hyperglycemia Your blood sugars can rise to dangerous levels when you haven't taken enough insulin (if you are type 1) or when your insulin receptors are not working as they should (with type 2). Perhaps you miscalculated the number of carbohydrates you ate at a meal, or you were under stress or had an illness. Each of these situations can lead to hyperglycemia. Symptoms That Need Attention If you have these symptoms please call your health care professional and/or go to the emergency room: Increased thirst increased urination Nausea/vomiting Deep and/or rapid breathing Abdominal pain Fruity smelling breath Loss of consciousness Another type of dangerous situation is called Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS). This is defined as a dangerously high blood sugar that is >600 mg/dL. It is typically brought on either by an infection, such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection, or poor management of your blood sugar. If left untreated, it can result in coma and even death. Signs and symptoms include: extreme thirst confusion fever (usually over 101 degrees Fahrenheit) weakness or paralysis on one side of the body The best way to prevent HHNS is to take your medications as directed and to keep in contact with your healthcare team when your blood sugar is consistently >300 mg/dL. When to See a Doctor if your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dl. Hyperglycemia can Continue reading >>

Diabetes-related High And Low Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes-related High And Low Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes-Related High and Low Blood Sugar Levels When you have diabetes , you may have high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar levels ( hypoglycemia ) from time to time. A cold, the flu, or other sudden illness can cause high blood sugar levels. You will learn to recognize the symptoms and distinguish between high and low blood sugar levels. Insulin and some types of diabetes medicines can cause low blood sugar levels. Learn how to recognize and manage high and low blood sugar levels to help you avoid levels that can lead to medical emergencies, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or dehydration from high blood sugar levels or loss of consciousness from severe low blood sugar levels. Most high or low blood sugar problems can be managed at home by following your doctor's instructions. You can help avoid blood sugar problems by following your doctor's instructions on the use of insulin or diabetes medicines, diet, and exercise. Home blood sugar testing will help you determine whether your blood sugar is within your target range . If you have had very low blood sugar, you may be tempted to let your sugar level run high so that you do not have another low blood sugar problem. But it is most important that you keep your blood sugar in your target range. You can do this by following your treatment plan and checking your blood sugar regularly. Sometimes a pregnant woman can get diabetes during her pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes . Blood sugar levels are checked regularly during the pregnancy to keep levels within a target range. Children who have diabetes need their parents' help to keep their blood sugar levels in a target range and to exercise safely. Be sure that children learn the symptoms of both high and low blood sugar so they can tell other Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar Emergencies

High Blood Sugar Emergencies

Blood sugar levels that are too high (hyperglycemia) can quickly turn into a diabetic emergency without quick and appropriate treatment. The best way to avoid dangerously high blood sugar levels is to self-test to stay in tune with your body, and to stay attuned to the symptoms and risk factors for hyperglycemia. Extremely high blood sugar levels can lead to one of two conditions—diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS; also called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic coma). Although both syndromes can occur in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, DKA is more common in type 1, and HHNS is more common in type 2. Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) Ketoacidosis (or DKA) occurs when blood sugars become elevated (over 249 mg/dl, or 13.9 mmol/l) over a period of time and the body begins to burn fat for energy, resulting in ketone bodies in the blood or urine (a phenomenon called ketosis). A variety of factors can cause hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), including failure to take medication or insulin, stress, dietary changes without medication adjustments, eating disorders, and illness or injury. This last cause is important, because if illness brings on DKA, it may slip by unnoticed, since its symptoms can mimic the flu (aches, vomiting, etc.). In fact, people with type 1 diabetes are often seeking help for the flu-like symptoms of DKA when they first receive their diagnosis. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis may include: fruity (acetone) breath nausea and/or vomiting abdominal pain dry, warm skin confusion fatigue breathing problems excessive thirst frequent urination in extreme cases, loss of consciousness DKA is a medical emergency, and requires prompt and immediate treatment. A simple over-the-counter urine dipstick test (e.g., Keto Continue reading >>

How Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

How Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

When you have diabetes, your blood sugar (glucose) levels may be consistently high. Over time, this can damage your body and lead to many other problems. How much sugar in the blood is too much? And why is high glucose so bad for you? Here’s a look at how your levels affect your health. They're less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least 8 hours. And they're less than 140 mg/dL 2 hours after eating. During the day, levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people without diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals hover around 70 to 80 mg/dL. For some people, 60 is normal; for others, 90. What's a low sugar level? It varies widely, too. Many people's glucose won't ever fall below 60, even with prolonged fasting. When you diet or fast, the liver keeps your levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar. A few people's levels may fall somewhat lower. Doctors use these tests to find out if you have diabetes: Fasting plasma glucose test. The doctor tests your blood sugar levels after fasting for 8 hours and it’s higher than 126 mg/dL. Oral glucose tolerance test. After fasting for 8 hours, you get a special sugary drink. Two hours later your sugar level is higher than 200. Random check. The doctor tests your blood sugar and it’s higher than 200, plus you’re peeing more, always thirsty, and you’ve gained or lost a significant amount of weight. He’ll then do a fasting sugar level test or an oral glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis. Any sugar levels higher than normal are unhealthy. Levels that are higher than normal, but not reaching the point of full-blown diabetes, are called prediabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 86 million people in the U.S. have this condition, which can lead to diabetes Continue reading >>

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring Of Diabetes

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring Of Diabetes

According to the latest American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, about 8 million people 18 years and older in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Often type 1 diabetes remains undiagnosed until symptoms become severe and hospitalization is required. Left untreated, diabetes can cause a number of health complications. That's why it's so important to both know what warning signs to look for and to see a health care provider regularly for routine wellness screenings. Symptoms In incidences of prediabetes, there are no symptoms. People may not be aware that they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes because they have no symptoms or because the symptoms are so mild that they go unnoticed for quite some time. However, some individuals do experience warning signs, so it's important to be familiar with them. Prediabetes Type 1 Diabetes Type 2 Diabetes No symptoms Increased or extreme thirst Increased thirst Increased appetite Increased appetite Increased fatigue Fatigue Increased or frequent urination Increased urination, especially at night Unusual weight loss Weight loss Blurred vision Blurred vision Fruity odor or breath Sores that do not heal In some cases, no symptoms In some cases, no symptoms If you have any of these symptoms, see your health care provider right away. Diabetes can only be diagnosed by your healthcare provider. Who should be tested for prediabetes and diabetes? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you should be tested if you are: If your blood glucose levels are in normal range, testing should be done about every three years. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for diabetes every one to two years after diagnosis. Tests for Diagnosing Prediabetes and Diabetes There are three ty Continue reading >>

Gene Therapy Restores Normal Blood Glucose Levels In Mice With Type 1 Diabetes

Gene Therapy Restores Normal Blood Glucose Levels In Mice With Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, resulting in high blood levels of glucose. A study published January 4th in Cell Stem Cell demonstrates that a gene therapy approach can lead to the long-term survival of functional beta cells as well as normal blood glucose levels for an extended period of time in mice with diabetes. The researchers used an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector to deliver to the mouse pancreas two proteins, Pdx1 and MafA, which reprogrammed plentiful alpha cells into functional, insulin-producing beta cells. "This study is essentially the first description of a clinically translatable, simple single intervention in autoimmune diabetes that leads to normal blood sugars, and importantly with no immunosuppression," says senior study author George Gittes of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "A clinical trial in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics in the immediate foreseeable future is quite realistic, given the impressive nature of the reversal of the diabetes, along with the feasibility in patients to do AAV gene therapy." Approximately 9% of the world's adult population has diabetes, which can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and kidney disease. One fundamental goal of diabetes treatment is to preserve and restore functional beta cells, thereby replenishing levels of a hormone called insulin, which moves blood glucose into cells to fuel their energy needs. But in patients with type 1 diabetes, beta-cell replacement therapy is likely doomed to failure because the new cells might fall victim to the same autoimmunity that destroyed the original cells. A potential solution to this problem is to reprogram o 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 >>

Diagnosing Diabetes

Diagnosing Diabetes

In diagnosing diabetes, physicians primarily depend upon the results of specific glucose tests. However, test results are just part of the information that goes into the diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Doctors also take into account your physical exam, presence or absence of symptoms, and medical history. Some people who are significantly ill will have transient problems with elevated blood sugars, which will then return to normal after the illness has resolved. Also, some medications may alter your blood glucose levels (most commonly steroids and certain diuretics, such as water pills). The 2 main tests used to measure the presence of blood sugar problems are the direct measurement of glucose levels in the blood during an overnight fast and measurement of the body's ability to appropriately handle the excess sugar presented after drinking a high glucose drink. Fasting Blood Glucose (Blood Sugar) Level A value above 126 mg/dL on at least 2 occasions typically means a person has diabetes. The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test An oral glucose tolerance test is one that can be performed in a doctor's office or a lab. The person being tested starts the test in a fasting state (having no food or drink except water for at least 10 hours but not greater than 16 hours). An initial blood sugar is drawn and then the person is given a "glucola" bottle with a high amount of sugar in it (75 grams of glucose or 100 grams for pregnant women). The person then has their blood tested again 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours after drinking the high glucose drink. For the test to give reliable results, you must be in good health (not have any other illnesses, not even a cold). Also, you should be normally active (for example, not lying down or confined to a bed like a patient in a Continue reading >>

10 Foods That Lower Blood Sugars In Diabetics

10 Foods That Lower Blood Sugars In Diabetics

While a low carb diet appears to be useful on the whole, there are also many foods shown to help. Either by lowering blood sugars and/or improving insulin sensitivity. This articles looks at 10 of the best foods and supplements for lowering blood sugars, based on current research. Just know they should never be used in place of your diabetes medication, but rather alongside. 1. Resistant Starch Lowers Sugars After Meals Starches are long chains of glucose (sugar) found in oats, grains, bananas, potatoes and various other foods. Some varieties pass through digestion unchanged and are not absorbed as sugar into the blood. These are known as resistant starch. Many studies show resistant starch can greatly improve insulin sensitivity. That is, how well the body can move sugar out of the blood and into cells for energy. This is why it’s so useful for lowering blood sugar levels after meals (1, 2). The effect is so great that having resistant starch at lunch will reduce blood sugar spikes at dinner, known as the “second meal effect” (3). Problem is many foods high in resistant starch, such as potatoes, are also high in digestible carbs that can spike blood sugar. Therefore resistant starch in supplement form – without the extra carbs – is recommended. Summary: Supplemental resistant starch is a fantastic option for those struggling to control sugars or have hit a plateau. 2. Ceylon Cinnamon Several cinnamon compounds appear to prevent the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, minimising blood sugar spikes. It may also dramatically improve insulin sensitivity (4, 5). In a recent clinical trial, 25 poorly-controlled type 2 diabetics received either 1 gram per day of cinnamon or placebo (dummy supplement) for 12 weeks. Fasting blood sugar levels in the cinnamon gro Continue reading >>

Pre-diabetes Impaired Glucose Tolerance

Pre-diabetes Impaired Glucose Tolerance

In pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance), your blood sugar (glucose) is raised beyond the normal range. Whilst this raised glucose level is not so high that you have diabetes, you are at increased risk of developing diabetes when you have pre-diabetes. You are also at increased risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, peripheral arterial disease and stroke (cardiovascular diseases). If pre-diabetes is treated, it can help to prevent the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The most effective treatment is lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy balanced diet, losing weight if you are overweight, and doing regular physical activity. What is pre-diabetes? Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00Playback Rate1xChapters Chapters Descriptions descriptions off, selected Subtitles undefined settings, opens undefined settings dialog captions and subtitles off, selected Audio TrackFullscreen This is a modal window. Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window. TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal Dialog End of dialog window. If you have pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance), your blood sugar (glucose) is raised beyond the normal range but it is not so high that you have diabetes. However, if y 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 >>

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