The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal
Q: I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Should I check my blood glucose two hours from when I start eating or after I finish eating my meal? A: Most of the food you consume will be digested and raises blood glucose in one to two hours. To capture the peak level of your blood glucose, it is best to test one to two hours after you start eating. The American Diabetes Association recommends a target of below 180 mg/dl two hours after a meal. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a lower target: below 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal. Ask your doctor which target is right for you. Postmeal blood glucose monitoring (and record-keeping) is important because it helps you see how your body responds to carbohydrates in general and particular foods. Managing postmeal blood glucose can help reduce your risk of developing heart and circulation problems. Virginia Zamudio Lange, a member of Diabetic Living's editorial advisory board, is a founding partner of Alamo Diabetes Team, LLP in San Antonio. Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Monitoring: When To Check And Why
Managing diabetes is one part investigation and two parts action. Unlike some other diseases that rely primarily on professional medical treatment, diabetes treatment requires active participation by the person who has it. Monitoring your blood sugar level on a regular basis and analyzing the results is believed by many to be a crucial part of the treatment equation. When someone is first diagnosed with diabetes, he is usually given a blood sugar meter (or told to go buy one) and told how and when to use it, as well as what numbers to shoot for. However, the advice a person receives on when to monitor and what the results should be generally depend on his type of diabetes, age, and state of overall health. It can also depend on a health-care provider’s philosophy of care and which set of diabetes care guidelines he follows. At least three major health organizations have published slightly different recommendations regarding goals for blood sugar levels. There is some common ground when it comes to blood sugar monitoring practices. For example, most people take a fasting reading before breakfast every morning. Some people also monitor before lunch, dinner, and bedtime; some monitor after each meal; and some monitor both before and after all meals. However, when monitoring after meals, some people do it two hours after the first bite of the meal, while others prefer to check one hour after the start of a meal. To help sort out the whys and when of monitoring, three diabetes experts weigh in with their opinions. While they don’t agree on all the details, they do agree on one thing: Regular monitoring is critical in diabetes care. Why monitor? Self-monitoring is an integral part of diabetes management because it puts you in charge. Regardless of how you manage your diab Continue reading >>
Treating Low Blood Sugars Quickly
Unless you are eating a meal right away, the best treatment for lows is a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates plus some protein. Quickly treating lows lessens stress hormone release and lowers the chance of the blood sugar going high after a reaction. You'll feel better if the body is quickly resupplied with the fuel it needs.Your brain, muscles and other cells will thank you for not prolonging their misery. Eat 15 to 20 grams of fast acting carbohydrates immediately. Consider how much unused bolus insulin may still be active. Decide whether complex carbohydrates and/or protein are needed to keep you stable until you eat your next meal. Test your blood sugar 30 minutes later to make sure it has risen. Repeat step 1 if necessary. After a moderate or severe low blood sugar, wait 30 to 45 minutes before driving or operating machinery. A return to normal coordination and thinking is slower than the return to a normal blood sugar. You may need to eat more than 20 grams for a low: when you took a carb bolus for a meal but never ate it. when it has been only an hour or two since your last injection of rapid insulin. when you have been more physically active. Glucose is the "sugar" in blood sugar and may also be referred to as dextrose on labels. It comes in tablets, such as Dex4 or BD Glucose tablets, and in certain candies like Sweet Tarts. Glucose breaks down quickly and reaches the blood as 100 percent glucose, which makes it the best choice for raising the blood sugar quickly. Another good product for raising your glucose is Glucolift Glucose Tablets . Table sugar consists of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule, so when it breaks down in the stomach, only half is immediately available as glucose. Fruit juices, like orange juice, contain mostly fruct Continue reading >>
How Long After Eating Does Blood Sugar Peak?
After consuming carbs, your blood sugar levels temporarily go up until insulin steps in to remove the extra sugar. This type of peak is a normal part of digestion. A bigger concern is how high your blood sugar goes after eating. Frequent spikes in blood sugar can lead to long-term medical problems, but you can protect your health through dietary choices. Video of the Day Two types of carbs -- sugars and starches -- are responsible for increasing your blood sugar. After you eat these carbs, digestive enzymes break them down into simple sugars, which are absorbed into your bloodstream. The pancreas responds to the influx of sugar by releasing insulin, which returns sugar levels back to normal. Blood sugar begins to rise about 20 minutes after you eat. It can peak at that time if you consumed quickly digested carbs, such as hard candy or juice. After a balanced meal containing protein, fat and fiber, blood sugar peaks about one to two hours after eating. Your blood sugar should drop back down to its lowest level two to four hours after a meal. Blood Sugar Spikes Portion sizes, the type of foods in your meal and when you eat can all influence how high and how quickly your blood sugar peaks. Carbohydrates that do not contain fiber, such as products made from processed white flour and white rice, cause high blood sugar. High-carb beverages, such as sugar-sweetened drinks, have a significant effect. Bigger portions of carbs also cause a larger spike of sugar. Starches in whole grains and beans are digested slowly, so they have a small impact. You can also keep blood sugar better balanced by eating meals at regular intervals. Glycemic Index Guidelines The glycemic index is a rating system used to show the impact of carb-containing foods on blood sugar. Carbs are assigned a scor Continue reading >>
Strike The Spike Ii
Dealing With High Blood Sugar After Meals Eleven years ago, I wrote an article for Diabetes Self-Management about the management of high blood sugar after meals. It was called “Strike the Spike” and no article I’ve ever written has led to greater reader response. To this day, I still receive calls, letters, and e-mails thanking me for offering practical answers to this perplexing challenge. I’ve even been asked to speak on the topic at some major conferences. So when presented with the opportunity to readdress the issue, I jumped at the chance. A lot has changed in the past eleven years: we know more than ever about the harmful effects of after-meal blood sugar spikes, but we also have a number of potent new tools and techniques for preventing them. Now that I know how important this topic is to so many people, I’ll do my absolute best to bring you up to date. What’s a spike? After-meal, or “postprandial,” spikes are temporary high blood glucose levels that occur soon after eating. It is normal for the level of glucose in the blood to rise a small amount after eating, even in people who do not have diabetes. However, if the rise is too high, it can affect your quality of life today and contribute to serious health problems down the road. The reason blood glucose tends to spike after eating in many people with diabetes is a simple matter of timing. In a person who doesn’t have diabetes, eating foods containing carbohydrate causes two important reactions in the pancreas: the immediate release of insulin into the bloodstream, and the release of a hormone called amylin. The insulin starts working almost immediately (to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells) and finishes its job in a matter of minutes. The amylin keeps food from reaching the sm Continue reading >>
Treating Low Blood Sugar
You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you: Skip or delay a meal or snack Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates Exercise Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms: Weakness and/or fatigue Headache Sweating Anxiety Dizziness Shaking Increased heartbeat If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl): Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate (sample foods listed below) Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan. Quick Carbohydrate Guide for Treating Low Blood Sugars If your blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dl, you need 15 to 30 grams of a quickly absorbed carbohydrate, like the ones listed below. Each of the following servings provides 15 grams of carbohydrate. Candies and Other Sweets 5 small gum drops 12 gummy bears 6 large jelly beans 5 Life Savers 15 Skittles 1 Tablespoon honey, jam or jelly 1 Tablespoon sugar in water 4 Starburst Beverages 1/2 cup apple juice 1/2 cup orange or grapefruit juice 1/2 cup pineapple juice 1/2 cup regular soda (not diet) 1/3 cup grape juice 1/3 cup cranberry juice 1/3 cup prune juice 1 cup fat free milk Fruits 1/2 banana 1 small apple 1 small orange 1/2 cup applesauce 2 tablespoons of raisins 15 grapes Other 3 to 4 glucose tablets 1 tube glucose gel Note: The foods listed above are easily absorbed and will raise blood sugar levels quickly. Foods that contain protein or fat — such as chocolate, candy bars, ice cream, cookies, crackers and Continue reading >>
How Food Affects Your Blood Sugar
Thinkstock Q: How long after eating does food affect your blood sugar? When is the best time to test my blood sugar in relation to meals? A: Food is the number one reason for fluctuations in blood sugar, or glucose. Usually, food raises blood sugar while alcohol may lower blood sugar. Depending on what you are eating, blood sugar can rise beyond 300 mg/dl if the food contains sugar or simple carbohydrates. For example, milk and juices are used medically to correct hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, because they can quickly raise sugars after only drinking 3 to 4 ounces. If you are curious about what a particular food or a meal does to your blood sugar, check your glucose level just before you eat, and then check it again two hours after finishing your meal. The American Diabetes Association recommends that a safe postprandial sugar level should not exceed 180 mg/dl. If the sugar is higher than 180 mg/dl and you are taking insulin or medication, you may need to take a higher dose before eating that same meal again or adjust the meal — either by eating less or reducing the carb content. For people diagnosed with diabetes, it’s very easy to become obsessive about blood sugars and be tempted to check them multiple times throughout the day. But that’s usually not necessary. For example, someone who takes short- or rapid-acting insulin before meals should check sugars before each meal to decide how much to take, and then again at bedtime, which will help their healthcare provider know whether to adjust the daily dose of long-acting insulin. When monitoring blood sugar around meals, remember to check it right before the meal and then two hours after eating. Almost everyone — with or without diabetes — may have a high blood sugar while eating or right afterwards, which Continue reading >>
Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)
Untreated, high blood sugar can cause many problems and future complications. Recognizing signs of high blood sugar levels and knowing how to lower them can help you prevent these complications and increase the quality and length of your life. Topics covered (click to jump to specific section) High blood sugar level symptoms and signs Symptoms of high blood sugar include: Increased thirst Tired all the time Irritability Increased hunger Urinating a lot Dry mouth Blurred vision Severe high blood sugar can lead to nausea and fruity smelling breath The signs and symptoms for high blood sugar are the same for both type 1 and type 2. Signs usually show up quicker in those who have type 1 because of the nature of their diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to stop making insulin altogether. Type 2 is caused by lifestyle factors when the body eventually stops responding to insulin, which causes the sugar to increase slowly. People with type 2 can live longer without any symptoms creeping because their body is still making enough insulin to help control it a little bit. What causes the blood sugar levels go to high? Our bodies need sugar to make energy for the cells. Without it, we cannot do basic functions. When we eat foods with glucose, insulin pairs with it to allow it to enter into the cell wall. If the insulin is not there, then the glucose molecule can’t get through the wall and cannot be used. The extra glucose hangs out in the bloodstream which is literally high blood sugar. The lack of insulin can be caused by two different things. First, you can have decreased insulin resistance which means that your insulin doesn’t react the way that it is supposed to. It doesn’t partner with glucose to be used as fuel. Secondly, you can have no insuli Continue reading >>
When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
en españolCuando la concentración de azúcar en sangre es demasiado baja No matter what we're doing — even when we're sleeping — our brains depend on glucose to function. Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and it's carried to each cell through the bloodstream. The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood. When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia (pronounced: hi-po-gly-SEE-me-uh). Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that need to be treated right away. People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called insulin or diabetes pills (or both) to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood. These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body's cells, which makes the level of sugar in the blood go down. But sometimes it's a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low. People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too high or too low. Part of keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range is having good timing, and balancing when and what they eat and when they exercise with when they take medicines. Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely to happen are: not eating enough food at a meal or snack exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise Also, certain things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely to occur. For ex Continue reading >>
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How Long Does It Take To Reverse Diabetes?
“And by the third day, I got this burst of energy,” says Mr. Garlin. “I felt as good as I did when I was in high school. And all this without taking any medications… just eating healthy and exercising. That’s all it was!” Not everyone’s blood sugar (glucose) tumbles as quickly as Mr. Garlin’s, but there is plenty of research affirming that a healthy diet like the Pritikin Eating Plan combined with daily exercise can profoundly reduce blood sugar levels in just two to three week’s time. Prevention of Diabetes There is also strong science showing that a healthy lifestyle like Pritikin can prevent pre-diabetes from developing into full-blown diabetes. (Pre-diabetes is defined as having a fasting glucose between 100 and 125. Diabetes is a fasting glucose of 126 or higher.) Foods That Fight Diabetes Pritikin eating means focusing on whole foods that are naturally rich in fiber and naturally low in fats, sugars, and industrial refinement. Pritikin foods are vegetables, whole fruits (not juice), whole grains, legumes such as beans and peas, nonfat dairy foods, and moderate servings of lean meat such as fish, skinless chicken breast, and game meat like bison and venison. How Long Does It Take To Reverse Diabetes? | The Science About 20 years ago, scientists began discovering how quickly diabetes could be reversed. Researchers at UCLA tracked1 men and women with type 2 diabetes who had attended the Pritikin Longevity Center, where they learned and adopted healthy Pritikin food and fitness habits. Three Weeks Among the 652 people studied, 240 were “new diabetics,” that is, they had only recently been diagnosed with the disease; they were not yet taking any medications. Within an average of three weeks at Pritikin, the blood sugar (glucose) levels of these ne Continue reading >>
How Soon After Ingestion Of Food Does Blood Sugar Rise?
After eating, your blood sugar levels begin to rise within 15 to 30 minutes, but only if your meal or snack includes carbohydrates. The speed and level of the increase depend on the type of carbohydrates and other nutrients found in the foods you eat, as well as on your body's ability to manage your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are the main constituent of food that can raise your blood sugar levels. The amount and the type of carbohydrates you eat influence how quickly your blood sugar levels change after eating. Carbohydrates from liquids, such as juices and soft drinks, are usually digested more rapidly, while carbohydrates from solid foods, such as pasta and fruits, take a bit more time to break down. Foods that don't contain carbohydrates or only very little, such as non-starchy vegetables, butter, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and nuts, do not have the ability to significantly influence your blood sugar levels. Glycemic Index and Blood Sugar Only carbohydrate-containing foods have a glycemic index, which can be used to assess how quickly and how high your blood sugar levels will rise in response to different foods. Many high-glycemic foods can raise your blood sugar levels within as little as 15 minutes after eating, including white and whole-wheat bread, most breakfast cereals, rice, potatoes, french fries, scones and pretzels. Low-glycemic foods have a more modest effect on your blood sugar levels and it may take a bit longer to see a rise. The rise in your blood sugar levels is first seen in your venous blood, the blood drawn at the lab, and it takes a bit longer for the changes in your blood sugar levels to be measured in your capillary blood, the blood used when testing your blood sugars at home. Fat, Fiber and Mixed Meals Other foods you eat with car Continue reading >>
7 Techniques To Reduce Post-meal Spikes During Pregnancy
“Gary, I think I need more insulin at breakfast.” “Why do you say that, Julianne?” “Because I’m always having high readings right afterwards, and my obstetrician said I shouldn’t spike after I eat.” “And what happens after the spike?” “It usually comes down to normal before lunch. So do you think I should take more insulin?” After-meal blood sugar spikes can create quite a quandary for anyone with diabetes, particularly during pregnancy. Research has shown that fetal macrosomia (overgrowth of the baby) becomes more common when post-meal blood sugars exceed 120 mg/dl (6.7 mmol). With post-meal readings above 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol), the risk more than doubles from baseline. Fetal macrosomia can cause many problems during pregnancy. When the baby grows and develops too rapidly, it can lead to a premature and more complicated birth. It may also cause injuries to occur to the baby during delivery. Why do after-meal blood sugars have such a major influence on the baby’s growth? Nobody knows for certain. Perhaps, when the mother’s blood sugar “spikes” suddenly after meals, the baby is fed more sugar than its pancreas can “cover” with insulin, and high fetal blood sugar results. And because the baby’s kidneys spill almost all excess sugar from the baby’s bloodstream back into the amniotic fluid, the baby then drinks in the extra glucose and winds up growing more than it should. Suffice to say that post-meal blood sugar spikes are something to avoid during pregnancy. But how do we do it? Getting back to Julianne’s question, if she takes more insulin, she’ll probably wind up hypoglycemic before lunch. Luckily, we have some excellent techniques for preventing the after-meal highs without having to take more mealtime insulin. What Causes Sp Continue reading >>
Foods To Boost Low Blood Sugar
People with diabetes try hard to keep their blood sugar from getting too high, but sometimes they succeed too well. Certain diabetes medications -- including insulin injections and pills such as chlorpropamide (Diabinese) -- can sometimes make blood sugar too low, a condition called hypoglycemia. People with diabetes can also get low blood sugar simply by skimping at mealtime, drinking too much alcohol, or overexercising. Low blood sugar is usually mild and easy to fix, but if you wait too long, you can lose consciousness. If your blood sugar level drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or if you notice signs of hypoglycemia -- shakiness, dizziness, light-headedness, confusion, anxiety, weakness, heart palpitations, blurry vision, hunger, or sweating -- you can bring your level up again with a quick, sugary snack. If you are away from home and experience symptoms, and you can't test your blood sugar first, it's better to have a small snack before you become even more ill. Here are some proven sugar-boosting options: One-half cup of fruit juice One-half cup of non-diet soda 1 cup of milk A small handful of hard candy 1 tablespoon of either sugar or honey 3 or 4 glucose tablets About 15 minutes after your snack, check your blood sugar again. If you're still below 70, try another dose of sugar. Check again 15 minutes later, and keep the pattern up until your blood sugar is in a normal range. It's important to treat low blood sugar as quickly as possible. If you wait too long, you could pass out. For this reason, you should keep a sugary snack within reach at all times. Even if you aren't able to check your blood sugar, you can head off hypoglycemia whenever you get that sinking feeling. References National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. H Continue reading >>
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How Does Eating Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Part 1 of 8 What is blood sugar? Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, comes from the food you eat. Your body creates blood sugar by digesting some food into a sugar that circulates in your bloodstream. Blood sugar is used for energy. The sugar that isn’t needed to fuel your body right away gets stored in cells for later use. Too much sugar in your blood can be harmful. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that is characterized by having higher levels of blood sugar than what is considered within normal limits. Unmanaged diabetes can lead to problems with your heart, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. The more you know about how eating affects blood sugar, the better you can protect yourself against diabetes. If you already have diabetes, it’s important to know how eating affects blood sugar. Part 2 of 8 Your body breaks down everything you eat and absorbs the food in its different parts. These parts include: carbohydrates proteins fats vitamins and other nutrients The carbohydrates you consume turn into blood sugar. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher the levels of sugar you will have released as you digest and absorb your food. Carbohydrates in liquid form consumed by themselves are absorbed more quickly than those in solid food. So having a soda will cause a faster rise in your blood sugar levels than eating a slice of pizza. Fiber is one component of carbohydrates that isn’t converted into sugar. This is because it can’t be digested. Fiber is important for health, though. Protein, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals don’t contain carbohydrates. These components won’t affect your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, your carbohydrate intake is the most important part of your diet to consider when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels. Part 3 Continue reading >>
How Does Food Affect Your Blood Sugar?
When you have diabetes, your blood sugar level reflects the foods you choose. "For over a year, my sugar ran from 250 to 350 every day," writes WebMD Diabetes community member chui55. After switching from chips and sweets to fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, "my sugar is ranging between 110 and 185... I am so glad I have turned a major corner now and [am] on my way to a healthier me." Do you know which foods can help you control blood sugar? Take this quiz to find out. 1. The glycemic index ranks foods based on: a. The amount of sugar they contain b. How much weight gain they cause c. How much they raise blood sugar d. Their calorie count 2. Which of these breads is lowest on the glycemic index? a. White b. Pumpernickel c. Whole wheat d. 100% whole grain you might like 3. Which of these vegetables is your best choice if you have diabetes? a. Baked potato b. Carrots c. Corn on the cob d. Sweet potato 4. Which of these nuts might help control your blood sugar? a. Cashews b. Hazelnuts c. Pecans d. All of the above 1. c. The glycemic index ranks carbohydrate-based foods based on how much they raise blood sugar levels. Foods that are high on this index can cause blood sugar to spike, making diabetes harder to control. 2. d. Breads that are 100% whole grain are made with the entire grain -- unlike refined grains, which are processed to remove some of the nutrient-dense layers. Whole-grain foods are high in nutrition and are slow-burning, so they help keep your blood sugar steady. 3. b. Though carrots can be sweet, they’re lower on the glycemic index than the other vegetables on this list. Green, leafy vegetables are an even better addition to your plate. Ideally buy vegetables fresh, or look for frozen or canned options with no added sauces or salt. 4. d. A review of 12 s Continue reading >>