How Managing Blood Sugar Helps Now
Keeping your blood sugar levels on target can help you avoid serious health problems like heart disease and nerve damage down the road. But did you know avoiding ups and downs in blood sugar can help you feel better right away?
Steady blood sugar levels can help you have more energy, better sleep, an easier-to-manage appetite, better focus, and stable moods. If youre having trouble meeting your target, talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about making changes to your treatment plan so you can stay in range longer and feel better.
Can Type 1 Diabetes Be Prevented
Although researchers have made progress in recent years, there is currently no way to prevent type 1 diabetes. Current research focuses on restoring or replacing insulin production through stem cell therapy, stopping the autoimmune destruction of your bodys insulin-producing cells, and delaying the onset of type 1 diabetes. However, identifying those at risk is not easy. The genetic and environmental triggers for diabetes are not well understood, and 80% of people with the condition do not have a family history of type 1 diabetes.
Support Groups And Nonprofits For Type 1 Diabetes
Formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF is a nonprofit that now focuses on everyone with type 1 diabetes, juvenile or not. The JDRF provides an instant community for people with type 1 diabetes through online forums, virtual events like summits and speakers, type 1 diabetes statistics, and information about care.
Beyond Type 1 is the largest online diabetes organization. Their site features the latest news in diabetes care and treatments, personal stories from people with type 1, and links to other diabetes-related resources and programs.
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Make A Note Of Your Readings
It may sound obvious, but you must record your readings. Note them down in a diary, a notebook or in your phone calendar. Some meters have software that lets you do this. You could try a diabetes app too.
You and your healthcare team can then look back over your results to see if you need to adjust your treatment.
Less Common T1d Tests
Because each case can be as unique as the individual, some doctors may employ the following tests to find markers of T1D to ensure the optimal treatment plan:
- C-PeptideWhile most tests check for antibodies, this test measures how much C-peptide is in a persons blood. Peptide levels typically mirror insulin levels in the body. Low levels of C-peptide and insulin can point to T1D.
- Insulin Autoantibodies This tests looks for the antibodies targeting insulin.
- Insulinoma-Associated-2 Autoantibodies This test looks for antibodies mounted against a specific enzyme in beta cells. Both the IA-2A and GADA tests are common T1D antibody tests.
- Zinc Transporter 8 This test looks at antibodies targeting an enzyme that is specific to beta cells.
- Islet Cell Cytoplasmic Autoantibodies Islet cells are clusters of cells in the pancreas that produce hormones, including insulin. This test identifies a type of islet cell antibodies present in up to 80 percent of people with T1D.
- Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Autoantibodies This test looks for antibodies built against a specific enzyme in the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells.
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Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition that occurs due to several factors, including certain lifestyle habits and genetics. These include:
- Had gestational diabetes
- Are 45 years or older
- Do not exercise regularly
- Are overweight or have obesity
In the United States, type 2 diabetes is more often diagnosed in these ethnicities: Black, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Pacific Islanders, or Asian.
Many people with type 2 diabetes often have insulin resistance . Over time, if blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes stay high, insulin-producing cells in the pancreas can become damaged and lose their ability to make and provide insulin for the body.
Checking Your Blood Sugar
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What Test Results Tell Me If I Have Diabetes Or Prediabetes
Each test to detect diabetes and prediabetes uses a different measurement. Usually, your doctor will use a second test to confirm you have diabetes.
The table below helps you understand what your test results mean if you are not pregnant.1 If you are pregnant, some tests use different cutoffs. Ask your doctor what your test results mean.
Whats My Target Range
You might be asking, what’s the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer is, there is a healthy range that you should ideally be aiming for. The infographics above show the general guidelines, but your individual target range for your blood sugar levels may be different. Youll healthcare team will agree with you what it is.
Youll get different readings at different times of the day, depending on things like what youve eaten and how much you are moving around. Heres a guide to help you get started on finding your target range:
If youre a child with type 1 diabetes
- when you wake up and before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- after meals: 5 to 9mmol/l
If youre an adult with type 1 diabetes
- when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
- before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l
If you have type 2 diabetes
- before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l
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Whats The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
Think of insulin as a key that unlocks your cells, says Ilana Halperin, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. In type 1 diabetes, there is simply no key. There is a total absence of insulin coming from the cells in the pancreas, she says. Essentially, the body destroys the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for making insulin.
In , you have a rusty key that cant open the lock as well. In this form, a person develops an insulin resistance, so that insulin doesn’t perform correctly in their body.
Can I Check My Own Blood Sugar
You can do blood sugar level check by doing a finger-prick test, or by using an electronic blood sugar monitor called a flash glucose monitor or CGM. You can do this several times a day helping you keep an eye on your levels as you go about your life and help you work out what to eat and how much medication to take. Find out your ideal target range.
Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their levels like this. Youll need to if you take certain diabetes medication. Always talk to your healthcare team if youre not sure whether thats you theyll give you advice on whether to check them yourself and how often.
And theres also something called an HbA1c, which is a blood test to measure your average blood sugar level over the last three months. Everyone with diabetes is entitled to this check.
High blood sugar levels increase your risk of developing serious complications. However you manage your diabetes, stay in the know about your blood sugar levels
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What Is The Difference Between Type 1 Diabetes And Type 2 Diabetes
In Type 2 diabetes , your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin and/or your body doesnt always use that insulin as it should usually due to insulin resistance. Lifestyle factors, including obesity and a lack of exercise, can contribute to the development of Type 2diabetes as well as genetic factors.
In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make any insulin. Its caused by an autoimmune reaction.
Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, though its becoming more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can get it.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common than Type 1 diabetes.
Who Should Be Tested For Diabetes
Anyone who has symptoms of diabetes should be tested for the disease. Some people will not have any symptoms but may have risk factors for type 2 diabetes and need to be tested. Most pregnant women should also be tested for gestational diabetes. Testing helps doctors find diabetes sooner, so they can work with their patients to manage the disease and prevent health problems.
If you have Medicare, it may cover the cost of tests if you have certain risk factors for diabetes. If you have different insurance, ask your insurance company if it covers diabetes tests.
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Why Do Some People Get Type 1 Diabetes
No one knows for sure why some people get type 1 diabetes. Doctors and scientists think a persons genes make them more likely to get it. But just having the genes for diabetes probably isn’t enough. Its likely that something else needs to happen. Scientists are studying if other things like some viral infections, a persons birth weight, or their diet might make someone who already has the genes for type 1 diabetes more likely to get it.
Type 1 diabetes cant be prevented, and can happen in people of any age.
Glucose Tolerance Test Results
Itâs worth knowing that approximately 66 percent of pregnant women who take the glucose tolerance test end up not being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. So, just because your provider has ordered a glucose tolerance test during your pregnancy doesnât automatically mean you have gestational diabetes.So, what do the results of the glucose tolerance test indicate? Four blood samples are drawn during a glucose tolerance test. If just one of the four results is higher than normal, your provider may recommend that you make subtle changes to your current pregnancy diet. The provider may have you take another glucose tolerance test after youâve made those changes to check if the results have improved.If more than one of the results is higher than normal, your provider may determine that you have gestational diabetes. The following figures indicate higher than normal blood sugar levels:
Fasting blood sample: Higher than 95 mg/dL
1-hour blood sample: Higher than 180 mg/dL
2-hour blood sample: Higher than 155 mg/dL
3-hour blood sample: Higher than 140 mg/dL .
If itâs determined that you have gestational diabetes, your healthcare provider can help guide you in making changes to help manage it. Eating a healthy diet, exercising during your pregnancy, and taking medication prescribed by your provider have been shown to help control blood sugar and to help keep you and your baby healthy.
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Classic Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
Frequently, a person who has undiagnosed type 1 diabetes will feel ill, and have symptoms including:
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Wounds or cuts that arent healingYeast infections
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What Are The Side Effects Of Diabetes Treatment
The main side effect of diabetes treatment through insulin is low blood sugar . Low blood sugar can occur if you take too much insulin based on your food intake and/or activity level. Hypoglycemia is usually considered to be below 70 mg/dL .
Symptoms of low blood sugar can start quickly, with people experiencing them in different ways. The signs of hypoglycemia are unpleasant, but they provide good warnings that you should take action before your blood sugar drops more.
The symptoms of low blood sugar include:
- Shaking or trembling.
Hypoglycemia can be dangerous and needs to be treated right away.
The American Diabetes Association recommends the 15-15 rule for an episode of low blood sugar, which involves:
- Eating or drinking 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise your blood sugar.
- After 15 minutes, check your blood sugar.
- If its still below 70 mg/dL, have another 15 grams of carbs.
- Repeat until your blood sugar is at least 70 mg/dL.
If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia but cant test your blood sugar, use the 15-15 rule until you feel better.
Children typically need fewer grams of carbs to treat lows. Check with their healthcare provider.
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How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose Type 1 Diabetes
Health care professionals usually test people for type 1 diabetes if they have clear-cut diabetes symptoms. Health care professionals most often use the random plasma glucose test to diagnose type 1 diabetes. This blood test measures your blood glucose level at a single point in time. Sometimes health professionals also use the A1C blood test to find out how long someone has had high blood glucose.
Even though these tests can confirm that you have diabetes, they cant identify what type you have. Treatment depends on the type of diabetes, so knowing whether you have type 1 or type 2 is important.
To find out if your diabetes is type 1, your health care professional may test your blood for certain autoantibodies. Autoantibodies are antibodies that attack your healthy tissues and cells by mistake. The presence of certain types of autoantibodies is common in type 1 but not in type 2 diabetes.
Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes
Anyone can develop diabetes. Thats why its important to get tested if you notice any of the signs or symptoms. These arent always easy to spot. In fact, type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed through blood tests for other conditions or health issues instead.
Always talk to your doctor about any symptoms youre worried about, even if youve been tested. If youre not offered a test, you can ask for one .
If you feel very unwell or your symptoms have come on quickly seek an urgent appointment with your GP or call NHS 111.
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What Are The Possible Complications Of Type 1 Diabetes
Even with careful management, type 1 diabetes can put your child at risk of some serious complications that require prompt medical attention. These include hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar or insulin reaction, can happen when your childs blood sugar drops too low and their body doesnt have enough energy to function properly. Hypoglycemia can result from too high an insulin dose, a missed meal or snack, more physical activity than usual, or illness that causes vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, sweating, weakness, blurry vision, and rapid heartbeat.
- If your child has any of these symptoms, measure their blood glucose level and give them a fast-acting carbohydrate, such as fruit juice, hard candy, or raisins. Seek medical attention right away.
- If left unchecked, hypoglycemia can result in a medical emergency. Your child could lose consciousness or go into seizure.
Hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, happens when blood sugar is too high and builds up in the blood stream. It can be caused by not having enough insulin, eating too much food or the wrong kinds of food, getting too little physical activity, or illness.
Diabetes ketoacidosis can cause fluid to build up in the brain and lead to a loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, or kidney failure.
Your child should receive medical attention right away if they have any of these symptoms:
How Can Parents Help
Now is the perfect time to help your child to create healthy habits for life. Heres how:
- Get involved with daily care. Help your child put their care plan into action every day. From counting carbs, to calculating insulin doses, and giving injections, theres a lot to learn at first. Share the responsibilities with your child. Over time, theyll be able to take on more on their own. Turn to your childs care team with any questions about the care plan or daily care.
- Learn all you can about diabetes. The more you know about type 1 diabetes, the more confident youll feel about helping your child manage it day to day. And a solid understanding of diabetes lets you advocate for your child. You can share your knowledge with important people in your childs life, like grandparents, teachers, coaches, and babysitters. Doing so helps you build a community of support for your child.
- Encourage your child. It can take a while to adjust to the new responsibilities that come with type 1 diabetes. Remind your child that many kids their age have type 1 diabetes, and they follow a similar care plan. If your child has concerns that youre not sure how to handle, ask the care team. Theyll connect you with the right resources.
Having a child with type 1 diabetes may seem overwhelming at times, but you’re not alone. If you have questions or problems, reach out to your childs diabetes care team they can help with all kinds of issues, and will guide your family through this journey.
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