How Do I Check Blood Sugar Level
Checking blood sugar level is very simple thanks to the availability of easy-to-use handheld glucometers. These consumer glucometers have made it very easy to always keep an eye on your blood sugar level. They are an absolute essential for diabetics and also for people trying to maintain their blood glucose level.
- Check out Here how to choose the best diabetic blood sugar meter.
They operate by taking pin-pricks of blood onto a small electrode slip, which when inserted into the device gives a digital readout of the amount of glucose content in the blood. These devices have become extremely popular for their convenience, reliability and accuracy.
An essential laboratory test of blood glucose level is the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test or OGTT. It is a diagnostic test for DM or any glucose intolerance. Here, a blood sugar reading is taken after a 10-12 hour fast. Then another reading is taken after 2 hours after ingesting a measured amount of glucose. This test shows the bodys ability to absorb glucose, thus is a confirmatory test for DM.
Choose The Healthiest Carbohydrates
Of the major nutrients found in food carbs, protein, and fat carbs have the biggest effect on your blood sugar. Thats because carbs are the most quickly broken down into glucose for energy. Having too many carbs, or the wrong type of carbs, can lead to spikes in your blood sugar.
The best way to figure out how the carbs you eat affect your blood sugar is to test your levels before and after meals. The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping track of the number of carbs you have per meal. The amount you should eat may vary depending on what it looks like to successfully manage your diabetes. Choose healthy, complex carbs such as whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lentils. Because they contain fiber and are less processed, these foods dont lead to as many swings in your blood sugar levels. Stay away from refined carbs such as soda, candy, white pasta, white rice, white bread, and other processed foods they can cause blood sugar to rise quickly.
Blood Sugar Level After 30 Minutes:
About half an hour after a meal, the digestive tract works in full swing to digest and absorb the nutrients taken during the meal. So, the proteins, carbs and fats are broken down by different digestive enzymes and are gradually absorbed in the body.
The blood is the carrier of these nutrients and it transports them throughout the body to supply energy to the different organs. The blood glucose level at this time is generally at its peak.
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Stick To Your Medication And Insulin Regimen
Skipping a dose of medication or insulin can be harmful to your body and increase your blood sugar levels.
Its important to stick to your treatment plan and follow your doctors instructions for taking your medication.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help people manage their blood sugar levels over the long term, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep.
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Blood Sugar Level Chart By Age
Blood sugar levels tend to rise with age due to an increase in insulin resistance and decrease in insulin sensitivity. In one study by the National Health Institute , each extra decade of age was linked to a 2.7 mg/dl increase in fasting glucose, and a 4.5 mg/dl increase in 2-hour post-prandial glucose levels.
How Food Affects Blood Sugar
When you eat food, your body breaks it down into essential parts:
- Vitamins and minerals
All parts are necessary in a healthy diet, but the three types of carbohydrates are particularly important when it comes to your blood glucose level. While the general rule is that the more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood sugar level, not all three types of carbohydrates convert to blood sugar at the same rate.
The foods that fit into each carb category include:
- Starches, or complex carbohydrates: Starchy vegetables, dried beans, and grains
- Sugars: Fruits, baked goods, beverages, and processed food items like cereals or granola bars
- Fiber: Whole wheat products, chickpeas, lentils, berries, pears, and brussels sprouts
The glycemic index helps you find out which foods can increase or help decrease blood sugar levels. Based on a scale ranging from 0 to 100, high-indexed foods are rapidly digested, absorbed, and metabolized, resulting in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels, while low-indexed foods produce smaller fluctuations in your blood glucose.
The American Diabetes Association advises adding lean sources of protein and heart-healthy fats to help reduce the overall glycemic impact of a meal or snack.
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How Much Does Blood Sugar Increase After Eating
At this time the blood sugar level can reach 7.8 mmol/L in a healthy individual.
After the half-hour mark, the blood glucose level starts to fall as the sugar is absorbed from the blood into the cells of the body.
Its important to check your normal blood sugar level 1 hour after eating. For example, if you find that your blood sugar is 160 mg/dL after the meal, this equates to 8.9 mmol/L which means your blood sugar is high. Its an indication that you may need to seek medical treatment to control your blood sugar level.
Normal And Diabetic Blood Sugar Ranges
For the majority of healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows:
- Between 4.0 to 5.4 mmol/L when fasting
- Up to 7.8 mmol/L 2 hours after eating
For people with diabetes, blood sugar level targets are as follows:
- Before meals : 4 to 7 mmol/L for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- After meals : under 9 mmol/L for people with type 1 diabetes and under 8.5mmol/L for people with type 2 diabetes
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When To Go To The Er
High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.
This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.
DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.
Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:
- ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
- stomach pain
High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.
Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.
High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.
Why You Should Keep An Eye On It
When your blood sugar is high, you can get symptoms like a foggy-headed feeling that makes it hard to focus or think clearly. Your energy may also take a dive, and you may feel nervous or moody.
If your levels go too low, you could even pass out. In the long run, if your blood sugar stays up, you could be at risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, or other problems.
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Symptoms Treatments And Prevention
Hyperglycemia means high glucose in the blood . Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabetes when the blood glucose level is too high because the body isn’t properly using or doesn’t make the hormone insulin. Over time, hyperglycemia can lead to potentially dangerous complications. Here’s a closer look at this condition, beginning with what glucose is and does in the first place.
Eating too many processed foods may cause your blood sugar to rise.
Risks Of High Readings
If you experience spikes in blood glucose after you eat high-carbohydrate meals, your levels will be higher than normal for as much as six to nine hours out of each day. High blood glucose damages blood vessels, which leads to complications such as diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy, or nerve damage. High blood glucose levels after meals also increases your risk of developing atherosclerosis, a build-up of plaque in the arteries that can cause heart attack or stroke.
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Blood Sugar Level Calculator
For a diabetic patient, checking blood sugar is mandatory. They need to check the sugar level for living a healthy life. Here is a blood sugar level calculator that will help to calculate blood sugar levels. A blood sugar level calculator is very much important to the diabetic patient. Here I am attaching a blood sugar level calculator.
Check out the calculator. I hope this will help you a lot!
What Are Target Blood Sugar Levels For People With Diabetes
A target is something that you aim for or try to reach. Your health care team may also use the term goal. People with diabetes have blood sugar targets that they try to reach at different times of the day. These targets are:
- Right before your meal: 80 to 130
- Two hours after the start of the meal: Below 180
Talk with your health care team about what blood sugar numbers are right for you.
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Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Dangerous
Yes, low blood sugar symptoms can cause problems such as hunger, nervousness, perspiration, dizziness and even confusion if untreated, low blood sugar may result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma, or death. Low blood sugar levels begin at 70 mg/dL or less. People with diabetes who take too much medication or take their usual amount but then eat less or exercise more than usual can develop hypoglycemia. Although much rarer, hypoglycemia may develop in some people without diabetes when they take someone elses medication, have excessive alcohol consumption, develop severe hepatitis, or develop a rare tumor of the pancreas . The treatment for hypoglycemia is oral glucose intake (15. 0 grams of sugar, for example, 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, corn syrup, or IV fluids containing glucose. Recheck your blood sugar levels in about 15 minutes after treatment is advised.
How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
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Why Is My Blood Sugar Level High
The clinical term for high blood sugar is hyperglycemia. The most common cause of high blood sugar is Diabetes Mellitus or DM. It is a condition where the body cannot absorb glucose due to any abnormality in the production or action of a hormone called Insulin. Diabetes is mainly of two types: Type 1 and Type 2. Majority of diabetics are suffering from type 2 diabetes, caused by reduced action of Insulin.
However, blood sugar can be high for various other reasons. Illness or injury, hormone disorders, overeating, obesity, some medications can increase blood sugar levels.
Controlling Blood Glucose Levels
Uncontrolled blood sugar can result in regular episodes of hyperglycemia . This can cause a variety of symptoms including:
- Dry mouth
These symptoms are uncomfortable to experience but there are things you can do at home to reduce your blood sugar. In terms of drinks, water is the best as it will help to maintain hydration and dilute excess sugar in the blood. Also, try to add more fiber to your diet to reduce your blood sugar apples, bananas, oranges, and strawberries are all fibrous fruits.
However, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can also lead to more severe, long term disease. Poorly managed diabetes leads to vision loss, kidney problems, nerve damage, heart attack, and stroke. Therefore, if your blood sugar level reaches 16.7mmol/L, this could be dangerous and you need to seek immediate medical attention.
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Expected Results In Diabetics
Diabetics experience larger spikes in blood glucose that take longer to return to baseline. For diabetics, blood glucose an hour after eating should remain below 180 mg/dL or no more than 80 mg/dL over your pre-meal levels. The highest spikes in blood glucose levels often occur after breakfast. If you experience hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose levels before a meal, you might experience a higher-than-normal spike over baseline levels this doesn’t necessarily indicate an abnormal rise.
How Can Continuous Glucose Monitoring Help You Maintain Optimal Glucose Levels
It is not uncommon for your glucose levels to increase after a meal: you just ate food that may contain glucose, and now your body is working on getting it out of the bloodstream and into the cells. We know that we want to prevent excessive spiking of glucose levels because studies show that high post-meal glucose spikes over 160 mg/dl are associated with higher cancer rates. Spikes are also associated with heart disease. Repeated high glucose spikes after meals contribute to inflammation, blood vessel damage, increased risk of diabetes, and weight gain. Additionally, the data shows that the big spikes and dips in glucose are more damaging to tissues than elevated but stable glucose levels. Therefore, you should strive to keep your glucose levels as steady as possible, at a low and healthy baseline level, with minimal variability after meals.
Keeping your glucose levels constant is more complicated than just following a list of eat this, avoid that foods. Each person has an individual response to food when it comes to their glucose levels studies have shown that two people can have different changes in their glucose levels after eating identical foods. The difference can be quite dramatic. One study found that some people had equal and opposite post-meal glucose spikes in response to the same food.
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What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
Blood Sugar Levels Before And After Eating
Blood sugar levels in our bodies will fluctuate depending on various conditions and circumstances. Here are the different levels:
1. Normal Blood Sugar Levels After Eating
According to the American Diabetics Association, normal blood sugar levels after meals should be 70 mg/dl 140mg/dl.This should be the reading 2 hours after a meal. If the levels are lower than 70mg/dl, it might mean that you have hypoglycemia. If your blood sugar is slightly higher than 140mg/dl, it does not necessarily mean that you have diabetes. However, you might need to have an oral glucose tolerance test later on to determine the severity of your elevated post-meal blood sugar.
2. Normal Levels of Fasting Blood Sugar
This blood sugar level is taken first thing when you wake up before your first meal. A normal level of fasting blood sugar lies from 70mg/dl to 92mg/dl. This is also the blood sugar level for a normal person who has not eaten for the past few hours.
3. Normal Blood Sugar Level for Type 1 Diabetics
American Diabetes Association recommends that blood sugar targets should lie between the following:
Before eating your blood sugar should be:
- Adults: 90-130mg/dl
After 1 to 2 hours after meals, your blood sugar should be:
- Adults: less than 180mg/dl
When going to bed, your blood sugar should be:
- Adults: 90-150mg/dl
4. Normal Blood Sugar Level for Type 2 Diabetics
American Diabetes Association recommends the following blood sugar targets for people with type 2 diabetes:
- Adults: 70-130mg/dl
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Blood Sugar Measurement & Goals
The exact timing of blood sugar spikes can vary from person to person and meal to meal. However, on average, the post-meal peaks tend to be about one hour and 15 minutes after starting a meal. But the best way to measure post-meal patterns is by using a continuous glucose monitor . These systems, available from Medtronic, Dexcom, Abbott and Senseonics, provide glucose readings every couple of minutes so you wont miss the peak, whenever it happens to occur.
So exactly how high is TOO High? There is no universal answer. The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping blood sugar below 180 mg/dl 1-2 hours after eating. However, no specific guidelines are provided for type-1 vs. type-2 diabetes, insulin users vs. non-insulin users, or children vs. adults.
Based on my experience, I usually recommend the following:
Post-meal readings that are consistently above these levels should be addressed by you and your healthcare team .