How Can I Check My Blood Sugar
Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.
What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.
Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:
Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.
How Long Does It Take To Lower Blood Sugar With Diet Change
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Make A Few Changes To Your Diet
Eating a healthier diet doesnt mean you have to cut out all the things you love. Even making changes to one or two meals a day can have benefits.
For example, maybe you start eating a very green salad loaded with fresh veggies for lunch instead of that footlong sub-sandwich. Or perhaps you start limiting your soda consumption to one can per day instead of 4 cans per day.
Pick a couple of places to make changes so it isnt quite so overwhelming. Over time, you may find that you want to keep making improvements to other food choices, too. And remember, the goal doesnt have to be 100 percent perfection. The 80/20 Rule is great: choosing healthy, real food 80 percent of the time, with 20 percent left for less-than-perfect treats.
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Should Diabetic Meds Be Taken Later At Night
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How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry or have other symptoms, check your blood sugar. Even if you dont have symptoms but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dL, do one of the following immediately:
- Take four glucose tablets.
- Drink four ounces of fruit juice.
- Drink four ounces of regular soda, not diet soda.
- Eat four pieces of hard candy.
Wait for 15 minutes and then check your blood sugar again. Do one of the above treatments again until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above and eat a snack if your next meal is an hour or more away. If you have problems with low blood sugar, ask your doctor if your treatment plan needs to be changed.
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The Danger Of High Blood Sugar
Having a high blood sugar means there is too much sugar in the blood because the body is lacking in insulin. This can happen for many reasons, including not taking enough insulin exogenously, too little exercise, eating too much, or even stress, hormonal changes, or lack of sleep.
High blood sugar is dangerous, but its important to remember that high blood sugar is mostly dangerous over prolonged periods of time .
This means that, for the most part, your blood sugar at diagnosis will not cause long-term complications, and the spike you saw last week from eating an ice cream sundae wont impact you over the long term.
But chronic, prolonged high blood sugars will cause diabetes complications in most people.
Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
If your test results show you have prediabetes, ask your doctor or nurse if there is a lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in your community. You can also search for an online or in-person program. Having prediabetes puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but participating in the program can lower your risk by as much as 58% .
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How Do I Check
People with diabetes check their blood sugar levels by poking their fingertips and using a blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor to measure the blood glucose level at that moment. Read on to find out how to use a blood glucose meter. To find out more about CGMs, start by talking to your doctor.
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Ways To Better Control Blood Sugar After Eating
Do you find it difficult to stabilize your blood sugar levels after eating? Follow these mealtime tips to help keep your blood sugar in range.
When you have type 2 diabetes, life can often feel like a juggling act: You have to balance how much you eat, and when you eat it, with the right amount of exercise all while taking your medications consistently. Strike a good balance and your blood glucose can remain stable. If you dont make it work, your risk of diabetes complications rises.
Food makes your blood sugar levels rise soon after eating. The particular food you eat, how much you eat, and the timing of your medication around the time you eat make a difference in your levels, too.
Damage to your body from high blood sugar can happen pretty quickly, and the higher the level, the greater your risk of complications, according to a 2015 review in the Diabetes & Metabolism Journal. The higher the blood sugar levels reach, the more likelihood for damage to vessels and other parts of the body.
And problems can develop when the numbers stay high for just a few days, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. The specialty medical center advises making changes to your treatment plan if blood glucose levels stay over 180 mg/dl for three days in a row.
Additional reporting by Andrea Peirce
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What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level
According to the American Diabetes Association, a normal fasting blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL.
A fasting blood sugar reading of 100-125 mg/dL indicates prediabetes, and a reading above 125 indicates diabetes.
|Fasting Blood Sugar|
|100 mg/dl to 125 mg/dl||Prediabetes|
|126 mg/dl or higher||Diabetes|
If you test your blood sugar two hours after eating or drinking something containing sugar instead , the numbers to look for are:
|Oral Glucose Tolerance Test|
|140 mg/dl to 199 mg/dl||Prediabetes|
You can learn more in the in-depth article: What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels?
What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In Non
To fully understand what causes high blood sugar levels in non-diabetics, it makes sense to go back to first principles of blood glucose regulation.
You will be glad you did, because by the end of this blog post, you will have the fundamental knowledge to connect all the dots regarding why blood sugar may be high in a non-diabetic.
So, lets do that, shall we:
Behind your stomach is an organ called the pancreas. The pancreas has a cluster of cells scattered within it called the beta cells.
The beta cells are very important to us. As little in size as they are, their importance cannot be over-emphasized.
Why is this?
Because Beta cells of the pancreas are responsible for producing, storing and releasing insulin when called upon.
You need insulin to survive. Without insulin your cells cannot access the glucose in the blood circulation. Without insulin energy production will cease. Insulin is the hormone that drives sugar from the blood circulation into the cells.
When glucose gets inside the cells, it can then be used by the mitochondria to produce energy. This is the energy we need to perform both basic and advanced everyday activities.
How does insulin interact with the food we eat? When you eat, digestion of food begins in the mouth. The glucose in the food you eat gets released by the process of digestion via enzymes in your saliva and stomach.
This is called Second Phase Insulin Release.
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So What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In Non
Now that you know the dynamics of food digestion, glucose absorption into blood circulation and the expected insulin response, explaining what causes high blood sugar in non-diabetics becomes logical.
So, here it goes:
If you have a fully functioning beta cells in your pancreas that produce, store, and release insulin in response to blood sugar rises when you eat, then a quick response is expected to regulate blood sugar. This quick response prevents unnecessary blood glucose fluctuations.
And this process of blood sugar correction works so efficiently that within an hour and half of eating, your blood sugar levels should return to the fasting blood sugar levels of below 100mg/dl .
In fact, at 2 hours after-meal, both the first phase and second phase insulin release from the beta cells should have your blood sugar levels down to 80mg/dl .
However, if your First phase insulin response and more importantly, your Second phase insulin release is defective or sluggish for whatever reason, then you will have high blood sugar level even if you are non-diabetic. This is actually referred to as Impaired Glucose Tolerance.
Persistent impaired glucose tolerance is actually pre-diabetes.
Impaired glucose tolerance precedes Type 2 diabetes. If your blood sugar level remains high despite your first and second phase insulin release best efforts, such that it hits 200mg/dl 2 hours after eating, then by definition, you are now diabetic.
Recommended Target Blood Glucose Level Ranges
The NICE recommended target blood glucose levels are stated below for adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and children with type 1 diabetes.
In addition, the International Diabetes Federations target ranges for people without diabetes is stated.
The table provides general guidance. An individual target set by your healthcare team is the one you should aim for.
*The non-diabetic figures are provided for information but are not part of NICE guidelines.
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Back To Normal Blood Sugar Levels For Non Diabetic
With our understanding of normal blood sugar levels for non diabetics in place, it might be best to wrap things up here by talking about medications and other approaches to lowering blood sugar. For people with high blood sugar that has already led them to develop diabetes, Onglyza or Prandin are commonly prescribed medications. Precose is another.
However, its true that the best approach is to try and lower your blood sugar naturally before you get anywhere near becoming diabetic. There are ways to lower blood sugar naturally, including:
- Increased physical exercise
- Reduce carbohydrate intake in diet
- Increase fiber intake in diet
- Choose foods with lower glycemic index
- Drink more water to improve hydration
- Reduce stress levels and manage existing stress
- Getting better quality sleep
Another thing you can do to get closer to normal blood sugar levels for non diabetics is to mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of water. This makes it drinkable, and the ACV lowers fasting blood sugar levels by inhibiting its production in the liver. If youre going to go this route, however, do make sure you discuss it with your physician if you are taking blood-sugar lowering medications.
Normal Waking Glucose Range
While your waking glucose can be tricky to control, its potentially the most important to manage.
The charts below show the range of 124,858 waking glucose values that have been entered into the Data-Driven Fasting app over the past few years.
The table below summarises this data and shows an average waking glucose of 103 mg/dL . If your waking blood glucose is below 100 mg/L, youre likely in good metabolic health.
Fasting glucose is a powerful indicator of your metabolic health. As the chart below from Jee-Jeon et al., 2017 shows, a fasting glucose level between 80 and 100 mg/dL tends to align with the lowest hazard ratio or the lowest risk of dying from any cause .
Although people tend to experience worsening metabolic health and increased glucose levels as they age, the relationship between optimal fasting glucose and hazard ratio remains the same, regardless of age or gender.
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Blood Sugar And Diabetes
To better understand what’s considered normal for blood sugar levels, it helps to know what happens when blood sugar is out of range and why it happens.
Diabetes occurs when your pancreas can’t make enough insulin to move sugar out of your blood, or your cells become less responsive to insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to move glucose out of the blood and into your cells. Once inside your cells, glucose can be used for energy or stored as fat. People with diabetes aren’t able to lower blood sugar effectively, so it remains higher than what’s considered normal.
Abnormal blood sugar occurs when too much or too little sugar is in the blood.
- Hypoglycemia is 70 mg/dL or less.
- Hyperglycemia is 180 mg/dL or more.
There are four tests used to test blood sugar levels. Blood glucose, aka blood sugar, is measured in milligrams per deciliter :
- Hemoglobin A1c: A1c measures long-term blood sugar averages over two to three months. Anything about 6.5% is considered a diagnosis of diabetes. This plus fasting are most commonly used.
- Fasting blood sugar: Fasting blood sugar looks at glucose levels before you’ve eaten anything. Fasting glucose above 126 mg/dL is also considered diabetes.
- Casual or random plasma glucose test. As the name suggests, this test randomly tests your blood sugar at any time and doesn’t require fasting. Anything higher than 200 mg/dL is considered diabetes.