Nutritional Expertise And Individual Care To Help You Manage Diabetes
At Charles River Medical Associates, we take pride in supporting you and your familys health from head to toe. When it comes to managing diabetes, whether for you or your children, know that you have comprehensive and caring diabetes nutrition in Framingham, Marlborough, and Natick, Massachusetts. Our specialists are here to help you learn proven ways to eat well and to give you the tools to keep you on track.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 508-848-2190 or to use our online form.
Factors Contributing To Variation In Results
Before addressing glucose and A1C, it is important to consider the factors that impact the results of any blood test. While laboratory medicine journals have devoted some discussion to the sources of variability in results of blood tests, this topic has received little attention in the clinical literature. Factors that contribute to variation can conveniently be divided into three categories, namely biological, preanalytical, and analytical. Biological variation comprises both differences within a single person and between two or more people . Preanalytical issues pertain to the specimen before it is measured. Analytical differences result from the measurement procedure itself. The influence of these factors on both glucose and A1C results will be addressed in more detail below.
Fasting Blood Glucose Level Test Preparation
What should you do if your doctor orders a fasting blood sugar test? The preparation is the same as when you take a fasting test for cholesterol. First, be sure to find out if you need to schedule an appointment for your test . Ask your doctor what time is best to take it.
- Schedule your test if necessary
- Ask your doctor if you need to change any of the medications you take on the morning of the test
- If you normally drink coffee or have caffeine, ask your doctor if that is okay. It may not be, since it affects blood sugar levels
- Fast for at least 8 hours before your test. Usually, an overnight fast is most convenient
- You can drink water
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Why Do I Need To Know My Blood Sugar Numbers
Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss.
As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change.
Eat More Low Glycemic Foods
Food with a low glycemic index wont spike your blood sugar. Even though they contain carbs, theyre high in fiber, so they take longer to digest. Some of my favorite low glycemic foods also happen to be packed with vitamins and antioxidants that can support a healthy immune system. These include:
- All berries
- Leafy green vegetables
- Orange vegetables and fruits
- Nuts and seeds
Lean proteins like chicken and fish actually score a big fat zero on the glycemic index scale. That means they have no carbohydrates, so they wont raise your blood sugar. They also provide amino acids that your body needs to build the proteins in your immune system. Poultry, fish, and eggs are all great choices.
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Why The Test Is Performed
Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of diabetes . More than likely, the doctor will order a fasting blood sugar test.
The blood glucose test is also used to monitor people who already have diabetes.
The test may also be done if you have:
- An increase in how often you need to urinate
- Recently gained a lot of weight
- Blurred vision
SCREENING FOR DIABETES
This test may also be used to screen a person for diabetes.
High blood sugar and diabetes may not cause symptoms in the early stages. A fasting blood sugar test is almost always done to screen for diabetes.
If you are over age 45, you should be tested every 3 years.
If you’re overweight and have any of the risk factors below, ask your health care provider about getting tested at an earlier age and more often:
- High blood sugar level on a previous test
- Blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher, or unhealthy cholesterol levels
- History of heart disease
- Member of a high-risk ethnic group
- Woman who has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes
- Polycystic ovary disease
- Close relative with diabetes
- Not physically active
Children age 10 and older who are overweight and have at least two of the risk factors listed above should be tested for type 2 diabetes every 3 years, even if they have no symptoms.
Glucose The Bodys Primary Source Of Energy
When we eat, our digestive system breaks down the food to create glucose which is the bodys primary source of energy. Glucose is the most common form of simple sugar found in living organisms. Once we consume glucose and it is absorbed into the blood, we typically refer to it as blood glucose or blood sugar.
Glucose is necessary to keep the body functioning properly and a sudden rise or decline in our blood sugar levels can produce unhealthy effects. Your body makes glucose from foods rich in carbohydrates like bread, fruits, and dairy products.
You can also get glucose on-demand from quick-release glucose supplements which are an effective treatment for hypoglycaemia a condition characterised by a decline in blood sugar. People with diabetes must be especially careful about their glucose levels.
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Normal Blood Sugar Levels Vs Hyperglycemia
If youve been diagnosed with diabetes, your endocrinologist will tell you what your target blood glucose levels are. Your levels may be different from what is usually considered as normal because of age, pregnancy, or other factors. You will be given two target levels, or ranges, one applying to when you haven’t eaten for a number of hours and one for after meals .
How Often To Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
Most diabetes organizations recommend checking your blood sugar 3-4 times per day.
Many people choose to check before breakfast, midday, and then before bed, although your doctor may be able to suggest specific times that are best for you to check.
If you have poorly controlled diabetes, then you may need to check more often until your control improves. Checking more frequently will better allow you to remedy your high blood sugar.
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What If I Have Severe Low Blood Glucose And Cant Treat Myself
Glucagona hormone that raises blood glucose levelsis the best way to treat severely low blood glucose. Available as an injection or a nasal spray, glucagon will quickly raise your blood glucose level. Your doctor can prescribe you a glucagon kit for use in case of an emergency.
If your blood glucose level drops very low, you wont be able to treat it by yourself. Be prepared to address severely low blood glucose by
- talking with your doctor or health care team about when and how to use a glucagon emergency kit. If you have an emergency kit, regularly check the date on the package to make sure it hasnt expired.
- teaching your family, friends, and coworkers when and how to give you glucagon. Tell them to call 911 right away after giving you glucagon or if you dont have a glucagon emergency kit with you.
- wearing a medical alert identification bracelet or pendant. A medical alert ID tells other people that you have diabetes and need care right away. Getting prompt care can help prevent the serious problems that low blood glucose levels can cause.
The Basics Of High Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia.
When you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into the blood. Insulin then helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. When sugar enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use. In a person with diabetes, there is a problem with insulin. But, not everyone with diabetes has the same problem.
There are different types of diabetestype 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. If you have diabetestype 1, type 2 or gestationalyour body either doesn’t make enough insulin, can’t use the insulin well, or both.
Learn more about blood sugar Learn more about insulin
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How Does Fasting Affect A Blood Sugar Test
If you had a fasting blood glucose test: A level of 100 to 125 mg/dL means you have impaired fasting glucose , a type of prediabetes. This increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes . A level of 126 mg/dL and higher usually means you have diabetes.
What causes high fasting glucose levels?
There are many factors that can cause high fasting blood sugar, which is when a person has too much sugar in his blood stream after eight hours of not eating. Some common causes include too much insulin or blood pressure medication taken at night, a bodily process known as the dawn phenomenon ,
Why Do Blood Glucose Levels Need To Be Controlled
High levels of glucose present in the blood over a sustained period of time end up damaging the blood vessels. Although this does not sound too serious, the list of resultant complications is.
Poorly controlled blood glucose levels can increase your chances of developing diabetes complications including nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy and cardiovascular diseases.
The time-scale for the development of these complications is usually years, but be aware that type 2 diabetes is often not diagnosed until a relatively late stage.
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Molecular Characteristics Of Glucose
Glucose occurs naturally in two distinct types of molecular arrangements known as L-glucose and D-glucose isomers. These glucose isomers both contain identical molecules but are arranged in a mirror reflection of each other. While D-glucose isomer polarises light clockwise, the L-glucose isomer polarises light anticlockwise.
D-glucose is found naturally in plants and vegetables. L-glucose, on the other hand, does not occur naturally in nature, but can be synthesised in the laboratory. D-glucose is often referred to as Dextrose or Dextro, they are one and the same and are biochemically identical to the glucose are bodies need.
How To Use A Blood Sugar Meter
There are different kinds of meters, but most of them work the same way. Ask your health care team to show you the benefits of each. In addition to you, have someone else learn how to use your meter in case youre sick and cant check your blood sugar yourself.
Below are tips for how to use a blood sugar meter.
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Low Blood Glucose During Sleep
Your blood glucose level can drop while you sleep and stay low for several hours, causing serious problems.7 Symptoms of low blood glucose while you sleep can include
- crying out or having nightmares
- sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
- feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up
Although you may not wake up or notice any symptoms, low blood glucose can interfere with your sleep, which may affect your quality of life, mood, and ability to work. Having low blood glucose during sleep can also make you less likely to notice and respond to symptoms of low blood glucose during the day.
Awesome Foods That Regulate Your Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia, diabetes, or addictions to sugar can all cause blood sugar issues for people, but there are many foods that regulate your blood sugar that can help fight this problem naturally. I always hate to see people turn to medicine before food to fight high blood sugar problems, since there are so many wonderful foods that nature has given us that regulate your blood sugar. A healthy diet can fix an array of issues, and though no diet is perfect for all of us, there are some mainstay foods that help keep insulin levels down, and blood sugar level even. We should all be eating more of these, and focusing on the benefits they offer. I know it can be hard to turn down sweets, breads, unhealthy fats, and processed foods, but I promise itâs worth it. Eating foods that regulate your blood sugar helped me get rid of a lifelong addiction to sugar,fast food, and processed food, and even overcome a seizure condition. Add these delicious, nutritious foods to your diet and youâll see the effects almost immediately.
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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.
Is Plasma Glucose The Same As Blood Glucose
Plasmabloodbloodplasma glucoseblood glucosebloodplasma glucose
. People also ask, why plasma glucose is higher than blood glucose?
plasma– The estimation of whole blood glucose levels are usually 10-15% lower than plasma glucose alone. The glucose concentration in the water that makes up plasma is equal to that of erythrocytes. Plasma has greater water content than erythrocytes and, therefore, exhibits higher glucose levels than whole blood.
Furthermore, what is the difference between serum and plasma glucose? Plasma glucose values are about 11% higher than those of whole blood when the hematocrit is normal. With regards to the differences in blood glucose level between plasma and serum, some studies reported that plasma glucose is higher than serum glucose whereas other studies found no difference.
One may also ask, what is plasma glucose level?
The global mean fasting plasma blood glucose level in humans is about 5.5 mmol/L however, this level fluctuates throughout the day. Blood sugar levels for those without diabetes and who are not fasting should be below 6.9 mmol/L .
What if mean plasma glucose is high?
In general, high blood glucose, also called ‘hyperglycemia’, is considered “high” when it is 160 mg/dl or above your individual blood glucose target. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider what he or she thinks is a safe target for you for blood glucose before and after meals.
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Who Should Get Testing
Your doctor may include glucose testing in a panel of tests for background health information, such as during an annual examination. Your doctor may also want to screen you for elevated glucose if you are at a higher-than-average risk of diabetes. Risk factors for diabetes include:
- Being 45 years of age or older
- Being overweight or obese
- Sores that dont heal quickly
- Feeling very tired
Additionally, your doctor may order glucose testing if you have symptoms of low blood sugar or other health conditions.
Glucose testing is also an important part of managing prediabetes and diabetes after they are diagnosed.
Are Normal Range Blood Sugar Levels The Same For Everyone
Normal range blood sugar will vary throughout the day based on what you have eaten, how much physical activity you have gotten and how long it has been since you have eaten. On an empty stomach, blood sugar levels should be between 70 and 100mg/dL for a non-diabetic. However, you still not considered a diabetic until blood sugar levels following an overnight fasting are above 126mg/dL.
Lets say that your blood sugar level on an empty stomach or after an overnight fast is around 115mg/dL. You may assume that you have diabetes since it is above the high range or normal but you do not. Rather you have what called pre-diabetes or IFG and sometimes known as IGT .
If you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you are actually a step ahead of many who already live with diabetes. Pre-diabetes means that your normal range blood sugar is higher than it should be but not yet high enough to be consider as a diabetic. This being said, you still have a chance to turn your blood sugar levels around.
Knowing that you have pre-diabetes gives you the chance to attempt to lessen your risk of diabetes or completely eliminate the risk. You will first want to discuss, with your physician a plan of action. Talk about diets, exercise plans and home blood sugar testers. All of this may seem like a bit too much considering that you are only in the pre stage but it will pay off in the end.
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