How Does Type 1 Diabetes Affect Your Childs Body
Type 1 diabetes , sometimes called juvenile diabetes, happens when your childs body stops producing insulin, a hormone that helps convert glucose from food into energy. Without it, the body cant naturally regulate blood sugar levels. So, your child must get insulin from an outside sourceinjected by syringe or infused into the body by a device called an insulin pump. Otherwise, blood sugar levels can soar too high, which can cause a number of long-term health problems from blindness to organ and limb damage if untreated.
To make sure that blood sugar levels stay in a healthy range when your child eats, you have to take a drop of blood from a finger stick and use a device called a glucometer to test it. Each result guides how many grams of carbohydrates your child can eat, the insulin dose, or how much exercise your child needs. High blood sugar isnt the only issue. Low blood sugar can cause problems when your child has too much insulin and not enough food in the body. Its a lot to manage.
I Feel Fine So I Dont Need To Test My Levels
Zanini points out that having high blood glucose can come as a surprise to anyone. âIt’s possible they didn’t notice any symptoms or were simply feeling ‘more tired than usual,ââ she says. âIt’s easy to attribute being tired to many other things. . .so this is why regular physicals with your healthcare provider are important.â The bottom line? Listen to your body, take note of symptoms as they arise, and consider monitoring your continuous glucose values.
How To Use A Glucose Meter
Glucometers are easy to use. Take the following steps to successfully test blood glucose:
People with type 2 diabetes normally need to test blood sugar concentrations at least once each day.
Those who need to take insulin, which includes all people with type 1 diabetes and some with type 2, have to test their blood several times a day.
An accurate reading of the blood glucose level can help achieve good diabetes control.
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How Is Hyperglycemia Diagnosed
If you have diabetes and notice a sudden change in your blood sugar levels during your home monitoring, you should alert your doctor of your symptoms. The increase in blood sugar may affect your treatment plan.
Regardless of whether you have diabetes, if you begin experiencing any symptoms of hyperglycemia, you should speak to your doctor. Before going to your appointment, you should note what symptoms youre experiencing. You should also consider these questions:
- Has your diet changed?
- Have you had enough water to drink?
- Are you under a lot of stress?
- Were you just in the hospital for surgery?
- Were you involved in an accident?
Once at your doctors appointment, your doctor will discuss all of your concerns. Theyll perform a brief physical exam and discuss your family history. Your doctor will also discuss your target blood sugar level.
If youre age 59 or younger, a safe blood sugar range is generally between 80 and 120 milligrams per deciliter . This is also the projected range for people who dont have any underlying medical conditions.
People who are age 60 or older and those who have other medical conditions or concerns may have levels between 100 and 140 mg/dL.
Your doctor may conduct an A1C test to determine what your average blood sugar level has been in recent months. This is done by measuring the amount of blood sugar attached to the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin in your red blood cells.
Make Some Small Changes
You might try to get more exercise, or limit carbs at your next meal, but don’t go crazy. “One blood sugar that’s high doesn’t indicate a need for major changesthat should only be done on a pattern,” says Rice, such as “continuing highs despite following a doctor’s instructions.” If a pattern continues for two to three days or more, then you might want to let your health-care provider know.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor About High Blood Sugar
Please ask your health care professional about the following:
- How to recognize high blood sugar levels
- How to treat a high blood sugar level when it occurs in you, a family member, or coworkers
- How to prevent the blood sugar level from becoming too high
- How to contact the medical staff during an emergency
- What emergency supplies to carry to treat high blood sugar
- Additional educational materials regarding high blood sugar
Normal Postmeal Blood Sugar Levels
Checking your blood glucose one to two hours after eating can help you understand how your blood sugar reacts to the food you consume. It can also offer insight into whether you’re taking the right dose of insulin or if you need to follow up with your healthcare provider to discuss medication and diet or lifestyle adjustments.
There are two ways you can measure your blood glucose levels: by pricking your fingertip using a glucometer or by using continuous glucose monitoring. How often you should check your glucose levels varies from a few times per week to four to six times each day. As a general rule, the American Diabetes Association recommends keeping blood sugar below 180 mg/dL one to two hours after eating.
However, your target blood sugar range will depend on the following:
- Duration of diabetes
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Do You Think Some Carbs Don’t Count
Your body breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars, also called glucose. It doesn’t matter where these carbs came from. You need to look at total grams of carbs in your food, not just the sugar content.
Pasta, rice, tortillas, they have a lot of glucose, Moreno says. They will increase your sugar levels, sometimes even more than candy.
Natural sugars also count. Its true that you should swap cookies for fruits. But that doesnt mean you can have loads of them, Saeed says. Moderation is key.
Gail Nunlee-Bland, MD, chief of endocrinology at Howard University Hospital, recommends eating no more than two servings of fruit a day. And try to add more non-starchy vegetables to your meals. The green leafy ones are better, she says.
Theres a handy measurement to give you a better idea of which foods, including fruits and veggies, are best for your diabetes. Its called the glycemic index . The ratings tell you how likely a food is to boost your blood sugar. For example, berries are lower on the GI scale — and lower in natural sugars — than bananas, raisins, or grapes, Saeed says.
Labels on most packaged foods in the U.S. don’t list glycemic index ratings. But you can easily find GI calculators online.
Guide To Prediabetes: Symptoms Causes And Treatments
Approximately one in three Americans have prediabetes, according to the CDC. However, the majority of cases go undiagnosed and untreated. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be classified as diabetes. Prediabetes symptoms often go undetected, and without prediabetes treatment, blood vessels and nerves can be damaged. This can lead to heart disease and stroke, and eventually, develop into type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, the next stage after prediabetes, is when your body cannot regulate blood sugar levels correctly because you can no longer produce or properly use the hormone insulin. When your body cannot properly use insulin, its known as insulin resistance. Without the proper use of insulin, blood glucose levels can get dangerously high. This is because insulin is a hormone that helps your cells use and process glucose.
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Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy
The NIDDK states that gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that occurs during pregnancy if you were not diabetic before getting pregnant. Healthy blood sugar during pregnancy can help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. It can also lower the risk of your baby being born prematurely, at a high birth weight, and having respiratory problems.
Blood sugar and insulin levels during the first trimester of pregnancy tend to be lower than usual, but they rise during the late second and early third trimesters. You can be diagnosed with an oral glucose tolerance test .
These are the steps for the 2-step strategy.
- Drink a solution with 50 grams of glucose about the amount in 1 16-oz. bottle of a soft drink
- Get your blood drawn after 1 hour. IF the value is high, retest
- Fast overnight
- Drink a solution with 100 grams of glucose about the amount in 12 peanut butter cups
- Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1, 2, and 3 hours
Or, your doctor might use the 1-step strategy with a 2-hour OGTT:
- Fast overnight
- Drink a solution with 75 grams of glucose
- Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1 and 2 hours
These are some values to know from NIDKK related to gestational diabetes and healthy blood sugar in pregnancy.
|Time or Situation|
|Baseline: at least 105 mg/dl1 hour: at least 190 mg/dl2 hours: at least 165 mg/dl3 hours: at least 145 mg/dl|
Take Your Insulin As Prescribed
High blood sugar occurs when your body has too little insulin, or your body cant use insulin properly. Administering insulin can bring your blood sugar levels down.
Talk to your doctor about how much rapid-acting insulin you should administer when your blood sugar is high.
You may want to check your blood sugar about 1530 minutes after taking insulin to make sure your blood sugar is going down and that its not dropping too low.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Dka
The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually don’t develop all at once they usually come on slowly over several hours. People who have DKA may:
- feel really tired
- feel really thirsty or pee way more than usual
- have a dry mouth and signs of dehydration
These symptoms are caused by the high blood sugar levels that usually happen before someone develops DKA. If the person doesn’t get treatment, these signs of DKA can happen:
- abdominal pain
What Should Your Blood Sugar Be At Bedtime
What your blood sugar should be at bedtime depends on a few factors. Find out what they are, what may cause your glucose levels to fluctuate at night, and more.
Checking blood sugar isnât just for diabetics anymore. Thereâs a wealth of health information you can learn about your body from continuous glucose monitoring, and you can use this knowledge to help achieve your wellness goals.
As you begin monitoring your glucose around the clock, youâll learn how certain foods, activities, and lifestyle choices affect your blood sugar. Once you get the hang of targeting optimal glucose ranges before and after meals, you might wonder what your ideal blood sugar should be before bed.
Non-diabetics should aim for a blood sugar range of 72â90 mg/dL or 4.0â5.0 mmol/L at bedtime for optimal health.
Non-pregnant adults with diabetes often target a blood sugar range of 80â130 mg/dL or 4.4â7.2 mmol/L. However, blood glucose targets should be individualized for those with diabetes.
Letâs take a deep dive into understanding blood sugar at bedtime and how this may impact your overall health goals.
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Blood Sugar Level Immediately After Eating:
Blood sugar level changes rapidly according to the intake of the meal. The normal blood sugar level before eating or during fasting is between 3.5 to 6.1 mmol/L.
Normal blood sugar right after eating rises drastically as the digestive tract acts quickly to digest the food through mechanical actions, digestive enzymes and different hormones. So the blood glucose rises sharply during this time. The rate at which the blood sugar rises depends on the type of food, the amount is taken, the metabolic condition of the individual, etc.
What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too High
High blood sugar is also called hyperglycemia . It means that your blood sugar level is higher than your target level or over 180. Having high blood sugar levels over time can lead to long-term, serious health problems.
If you feel very tired, thirsty, have blurry vision, or need to pee more often, your blood sugar may be high.
Check your blood sugar and see if it is above your target level or over 180. If it is too high, one way to lower it is to drink a large glass of water and exercise by taking a brisk walk. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is high more than 3 times in 2 weeks and you dont know why.
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How Can One Tell If I Have Diabetes By Examining My Blood
Your body converts sugar, also called glucose, into energy so your body can function. The sugar comes from the foods you eat and is released from storage from your bodys own tissues.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Its job is to move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of tissues. After you eat, the level of glucose in the blood rises sharply. The pancreas responds by releasing enough insulin to handle the increased level of glucose moving the glucose out of the blood and into cells. This helps return the blood glucose level to its former, lower level.
If a person has diabetes, two situations may cause the blood sugar to increase:
- The pancreas does not make enough insulin
- The insulin does not work properly
As a result of either of these situations, the blood sugar level remains high, a condition called hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus. If left undiagnosed and untreated, the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, blood vessels and other organs can be damaged. Measuring your blood glucose levels allows you and your doctor to know if you have, or are at risk for, developing diabetes.
Much less commonly, the opposite can happen too. Too low a level of blood sugar, a condition called hypoglycemia, can be caused by the presence of too much insulin or by other hormone disorders or liver disease.
What Is A Dangerous Level Of A1c
When levels rise to 9.0, the risk of kidney and eye damage and neuropathy increases. Some people who are newly diagnosed could have levels over 9.0. Lifestyle changes and possibly medication can lower levels quickly. For someone who has long-standing diabetes, levels rise above 9.0 could signal the need for a change in their treatment plan.
Some labs estimate average blood glucose , which corresponds to home glucose meter readings , allowing patients to understand the results better.
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Why Your Blood Sugar Level May Be Low
If blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, it is below normal levels. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
- Not eating enough or missing a meal or snack
- Reducing the amount of carbohydrates you normally eat
- Alcohol consumption especially if youre drinking on an empty stomach
- Taking too much insulin or oral diabetes medication based on carbohydrates or activity levels
- Increased physical activity
- Side effects from medications
If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose meter and sources of fast-acting glucose close by in case your blood sugar drops. This is especially important for people with hypoglycemia unawareness, which is a condition that causes symptoms of low blood sugar to go unnoticed.
Eating balanced meals and snacks at regular times throughout the day is a big part of maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Check out our article on meal planning for diabetes to better understand the three macronutrients where calories come from and which have the biggest effect on blood sugar.
Everyone will respond differently to certain factors, which is why its important to have individualized target glucose levels. To help you reach your target blood glucose goals, work with your healthcare provider to discuss modifications to your diet, physical activity, or medications, and alert them of other factors like a recent illness or stressful event.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Getting professional medical advice from a healthcare provider like an endocrinologist is the best way to learn more about whether your blood sugar levels are where they should be. Not getting proper treatment for low or high blood sugar levels can be serious and lead to health complications, especially for those with diabetes. Diabetes complications include nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, or heart attacks.
If you see a healthcare provider about your blood sugar levels, be prepared to answer questions about risk factors like what you eat, how much you exercise, and about your family history. Some healthcare providers may want to take a blood sample to test your blood sugar levels. They may also order an A1C test, which is a blood test that measures blood sugar levels over several months. You may have to fast eight hours beforehand to get accurate test results, so its always a good idea to check before your appointment.
If your blood sugar level goes above 250 mg/dL, you should go to the ER for immediate medical attention, says Dr. Tarugu. Emergency rooms are equipped to handle high blood sugar levels and can administer treatments like insulin therapy and fluid or electrolyte replacement.
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