Is A Keto Diet Safe For People With Diabetes
While there hasnt been a lot of research done on the long-term effect of following a keto diet, its generally considered safe for most people with diabetes.
The main risks when following a keto diet are related to mental health. ANY restrictive diet can potentially lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, and, in some cases, eating disorders.
If you find yourself constantly thinking about food, avoiding social situations where food is involved, or struggle with a negative body image, please seek professional help.
NOTE: Its important to stress that this risk isnt related specifically to a keto diet but dieting in general!
Normal Blood Sugar Ranges In Healthy Non
For a person without any type of diabetes, blood sugar levels are generally between 70 to 130 mg/dL depending on the time of day and the last time they ate a meal. Newer theories about non-diabetic blood sugar levels have included post-meal blood sugar levels as high as 140 mg/dL.
Here are the normal blood sugar ranges for a person without diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association:
- Fasting blood sugar : under 100 mg/dL
- 1 hour after a meal: 90 to 130 mg/dL
- 2 hours after a meal: 90 to 110 mg/dL
- 5 or more hours after eating: 70 to 90 mg/dL
What Is A Normal A1c
Now that you have your A1c number, lets look at what that number actually tells you. The American Diabetes Association has established the following guidelines:
This does NOT mean that you need an A1c of less than 5.7% if youre living with diabetes. It means that if you do NOT live with diabetes, your A1c is expected to be below 5.7%. There are different recommendations for what an appropriate A1c is for people living with diabetes.
I had a chance to asked Dr. Anne Peters, MD, Director, USC Clinical Diabetes Program and Professor of Clinical Medicine Keck School of Medicine of USC as well as Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, owner and Clinical Director of Integrated Diabetes Services and author of Think Like a Pancreas, what their perspectives are on a good A1c target:
The A1c target should be whatever is best given the persons clinical situation. For athletes, too many lows can limit performance, for someone who is pregnant it should be < 6%, for an older person the target should be higher. I generally think an A1c target of 6.0 7.0% is ideal and data shows that going below 7% has fairly little impact on complications. Basically, Id rather see someone with an A1c of 6.9% and low blood sugar variability than an A1c of 6.2% with lots of variability
Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE:
To learn more about blood sugar levels, please read What are Normal Blood Sugar Levels.
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What Are The Benefits Of Lowering Blood Pressure
There is now plenty of good evidence from studies that controlling blood pressure in people with diabetes reduces the risk of future complications.
A large research study called the UK Prospective Diabetes Study confirmed this. In this study, many people with diabetes were monitored over several years. The study found that those with well-controlled blood pressure had nearly a third less risk of dying from complications related to diabetes compared with those with poorly controlled blood pressure.
In fact, this study found that good control of blood pressure was even more beneficial than good control of the blood sugar level to reduce the risk of developing complications from diabetes.
Since this study, other studies have been undertaken which confirm these results.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
- Headache and other pains and aches
- Slow healing of cuts, wounds and bruises
Low insulin and high blood sugar can lead to a build-up of ketones, or even lead to DKA , a complication that required immediate medical attention.
If this happens, you may experience:
- A rapid heartbeat
Moreover, your blood sugar level may be over 250 ml/dL. Most people with diabetes typically experience the symptoms of hyperglycemia in the morning.
How To Test Your Blood Sugar Levels
After you wake up in the morning, check your fasting blood sugar levels using a blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitor . Before you use a blood glucose meter, the ADA recommends washing your hands and using the lancing device to get a drop of blood. After you hold the test strip against the drop of blood, your blood sugar levels should appear on the meter.
Easy Before Bed Routines For People With Diabetes
Managing diabetes whether you have type 1 or type 2 is a full-time job. Your condition doesnt clock out at 5 p.m. when youre ready to take a break. You have to maintain your blood sugar checks, medication, exercise, and eating habits all day to keep your disease under control.
In fact, you should be mindful of your diabetes all the way until bedtime. Before you set the alarm and settle in under the covers each night, here are a few bedtime to-dos that will help you get more control over your diabetes and sleep more soundly.
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Your Blood Sugar Isnt Just Because Of What You Eat
Mainstream media would have you believe that your blood sugar levels are impacted only by what you eat and how much you exercise, but people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who test their blood sugars frequently could tell you otherwise.
Its especially important to keep this mind when looking at your own blood sugars and your goals because there are certain variables and challenges that impact blood sugar levels that you cant always control.
- Menstrual cycles: raises blood sugar and insulin needs
- Adrenaline rushes from competitive sports, heated arguments, rollercoaster rides: raises blood sugar and insulin needs
- The common cold and other illnesses: usually raises blood sugar and insulin needs
- Hormonal changes due to puberty and healthy growth in young adults: raises blood sugar and insulin needs
- An injury which raises overall inflammation levels: raises blood sugar and insulin needs
- Glucogenesis during anaerobic exercise: raises blood sugar
While you cant necessarily prevent these factors that affect your blood sugar from occurring, you can work with your diabetes healthcare team to adjust your insulin, other diabetes medications, nutrition and activity levels to help compensate for them when they do occur.
For example, when engaging in anaerobic exercise like weightlifting many people with type 1 diabetes find it necessary to take a small bolus of insulin prior to or during their workout because anaerobic exercise can actually raise blood sugar.
Blood Sugar Levels At Night
It’s also important to check your blood sugar before bedtime. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, your before-bed blood sugar should be between 90 and 150 mg/dL. If your level is lower than this, you may need to have a small snack to prevent your blood sugar from falling too low overnight.
If you notice that your morning blood sugar levels are high, it may be due to something called the Somogyi effect, according to the Cleveland Clinic. This phenomenon occurs when blood sugar levels drop too low overnight, prompting the liver to release stored glucose to “rescue” you. If your doctor suspects that you are experiencing the Somogyi effect, he or she may ask you to check your blood sugar between 2 and 3 a.m. for several nights in a row. If your overnight sugars are indeed too low, your doctor will help you come up with a plan to manage the situation.
Read more:How to Quickly Reverse a Sugar Crash
Also Check: Presence Of Blood Sugar
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Stomach pain.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
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So Whats Making You High
As diabetics we are constantly striving to maintain a perfect blood glucose level. Having a high fasting reading constantly is a cause for major concern and can definitely affect your hbA1c and by extension your health if not corrected. For 3 or 4 days in a row, plan specific blood glucose testing times. You should also prepare your own meals during this testing period so that you are certain of the carbohydrate content. Try to have your last meal at least 2 hours before bedtime. Check your blood glucose at bedtime, wake up around 3 a.m to test again, and take the final reading at your usual wake-up time. Comparing these results can identify what is the underlying cause of your high blood glucose level in the morning. Sometimes it can also be a combination of issues. The table below is a guideline to follow to assist in identifying the problem. Always seek medical advice from your doctor pertaining to medication dosages and modifications.
|Find the Culprit of your Fasting High Blood Glucose Level|
If your 2 hour post dinner time is close to your bedtime there is no need to test again. If it is more than an hour apart include both tests. These are quite a lot of test which will be done over a couple day. Your fingers will be sore but it will lead to discovering your underlying problem.
Signs You Are Experiencing Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you are in DKA, its likely that you are nauseous or vomiting. Your breath may have a fruity or acetone odor as your body tries to offload ketones through your breathing. Its likely that you will be dehydrated with very high BG levels and excessive urination. You might have aches and pains, and perhaps blurred vision. Not fun!
DKA is serious, and can be life-threatening. Because of dehydration and excessive ketone production, the blood becomes acidic. This is caused by a lack of working insulin. Most cells preferentially burn glucose for fuel. Many cells can also burn fat in small amounts. While glucose burns cleanly, fat produces waste products called ketones. Ketones are acid and upset the pH balance, essentially polluting the atmosphere in our bodies.
We dont tend to burn much fat at a time, so small amounts of ketones can usually be broken down and burned off along with glucose. Its necessary to have enough glucose in the body cells so there is a fuel source, and we also need to have insulin to move the glucose into the cells, where it can be used for energy. If there is no insulin, the glucose cant get inside the cells. The cells are then forced to burn fat as an energy source, and this causes large amounts of ketones to be produced.
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Keto Adaptation Is Rough
It takes a while to become what is known as keto adapted, which is your bodys way of saying hey, I got this, Im ready to mainly burn fat!
According to keto expert Ariel Warren, RD, CD, the exact length of the adaption period usually depends on how many carbohydrates you are used to eating. Around 2 weeks if you have eaten a relatively low-carb diet previously, 2-4 weeks for a more moderate-carb diet, and 4+ weeks for high-carbohydrate diet.
At the start of the adaption period, your body is rebooting what it has known for pretty much your entire life. Your brain is used to running on glucose and suddenly it doesnt have it. Now, it CRAVES it. Youre in glucose WITHDRAWAL.
Some describe this phenomenon as the keto flu, where you basically feel the opposite of everything promised sick, fatigued, nauseous, mental cloudiness, etc. its not very pleasant.
Oh, and I should probably also mention that low carb means low fiber pooping could be an issue. Its often recommended to add extra magnesium, potassium & sodium to your diet to help help your digestion elimination process.
However, if we look positively, it also means youre doing something right if you experience this, butwho wants to self-inflict that kind of discomfort? I did, and it was not fun. On this note
How Is It Determined If The Dawn Phenomenon Or Somogyi Effect Is Causing The High Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor will likely ask you to check your blood sugar levels between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for several nights in a row. If your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, the Somogyi effect is suspected. If the blood sugar is normal during this time period, the dawn phenomenon is more likely to be the cause.
Some additional clues that the Somogyi effect may be the cause include nightmares, restless sleep and overnight sweating as these are all signs of low blood sugar levels.
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What Causes High Blood Sugar
A high blood sugar emerges when there isnt enough insulin to manage it, or when the insulin is not effective enough because your body is insensitive to insulin.
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas and its needed to transport glucose and sugar from the blood to all the cells in your body. When cells receive the correct amount of sugar, they create energy.
Early Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia
Early signs of high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, may serve as a warning even before you test your blood glucose level. Typical high sugar symptoms may include:
- Increased thirst and/or hunger
- Sugar in your urine
It is important to recognize and treat hyperglycemia because if left untreated, it can lead to additional symptoms and complications, some of which are different for people with type 1 diabetes compared to type 2 diabetes. For example, people with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop a severe condition resulting from high blood sugar called diabetic ketoacidosis. In addition to the common hyperglycemia symptoms listed above, symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include:
- Heavy breathing
- Abdominal pain
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Levels After Youve Eaten
Many foods have types of carbohydrates called starches and sugars. When you eat foods with these types of carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is a type of simple sugar, and releases the glucose into your bloodstream. Aside from glucose produced by your liver, food is the main source of plasma glucose.
Two hours after eating, your blood sugar levels rise. They rise more when you eat more carbohydrates, when you do not eat fiber, fat, or protein with your carbs, and when you eat certain types of carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and starches.
These are target values from The Joslin Diabetes Center, which include levels for people with diabetes:
Is 128 High For Fasting Blood Sugar
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Yes, there is a safe blood sugar level. It is the optimum range that safely provides the body with adequate amounts of energy. For the average person, it is 70 to 105 mg/dl in a fasting state.
Subsequently, question is, what is normal blood sugar level fasting? A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL is normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL is considered prediabetes. If it’s 126 mg/dL or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes. Oral glucose tolerance test.
Similarly, you may ask, is fasting blood sugar 119 high?
Her fasting blood sugar level was 119 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood, significantly higher than the normal range of 70 to 99. In medical-speak, these people have “impaired glucose tolerance” or “impaired fasting glucose,” now referred to as prediabetes.
Is fasting sugar 110 normal?
Until 2003, a fasting blood glucose level under 110 mg/dl was considered to be normal and fasting blood glucose in the range of 110 to 125 mg/dl indicated impaired fasting glucose , or prediabetes. A blood glucose level 200 mg/dl or higher two hours after the drink indicates diabetes.
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