What Are The Recommended Targets For Blood Glucose Levels
Many people with diabetes aim to keep their blood glucose at these normal levels:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
- About 2 hours after a meal starts: less than 180 mg/dL
Talk with your health care team about the best target range for you. Be sure to tell your health care professional if your glucose levels often go above or below your target range.
How Many Carbs Should A Person With Diabetes Have In A Day
Studies have shown that many different levels of carb intake may help manage blood sugar, and the optimal amount of carbs varies by individual.
The American Diabetes Association used to recommend that people with diabetes get around 45% of their calories from carbs.
However, the ADA now promotes an individualized approach in which your ideal carb intake should take into account your dietary preferences and metabolic goals .
Its important to eat the number of carbs at which you feel best and that you can realistically maintain in the long term.
The typical American diet provides around 2,200 calories per day, with 50% of them coming from carbs. This is equivalent to 275 grams of carbs per day .
A severely restricted intake of less than 50 grams of carbs per day appears to produce the most dramatic results and may reduce or even eliminate the need for insulin or diabetes medication. This represents 910% of daily calories on a 2,0002,200-calorie diet .
When tracking carb intake, experts sometimes recommend focusing on your net carbs instead of the total amount of carbs you eat. Net carbs is total grams of carbs minus grams of fiber .
People with diabetes can also benefit from diets that allow up to 26% of their daily calories to come from carbs. For people who eat 2,0002,200 calories a day, this is equivalent to 130143 grams of carbs .
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 Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed
Gestational diabetes is regularly diagnosed by measuring blood glucose levels. There are different ways to test for diabetes. Your healthcare provider can identify which test is best for you.
Did You Know?
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy, affecting four per cent of all pregnant women.You can help manage gestational diabetes by eating well and exercising regularly.
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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Tests For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. Youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes , your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.
Who Is Most At Risk For Developing Diabetes
The following categories of people are considered “high-risk” candidates for developing diabetes:
- Individuals who are overweight or obese
- Individuals who are 45 years of age or older
- Individuals with first-degree relatives with diabetes
- Individuals who are African-American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asia American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders,
- Women who developed diabetes while they were pregnant or gave birth to large babies
- Individuals with high blood pressure
- Individuals with high-density lipoprotein below 25 mg/dl or triglyceride levels at or above 250 mg/dl
- Individuals who have impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance
- Individuals who are physically inactive engaging in exercise less than three times a week
- Individuals who have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS
- Individuals who have acanthosis nigricans — dark, thick and velvety skin around your neck or armpits
In addition to testing the above individuals at high risk, the American Diabetes Association also recommends screening all individuals age 45 and older.
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Blood Sugar Testing At Home
A person can test their blood sugar levels at home.
In most cases, doctors ask people to measure fasting blood sugar immediately upon waking and before they have anything to eat or drink. It may also be appropriate to test blood sugar before eating or 2 hours after a meal, which is when blood sugar returns to normal levels.
The right time to test depends on treatment goals and other factors. For example, most people with diabetes do not need to test between meals unless they are using a diabetes drug that can lower blood sugar. Other people may test between meals if they feel their sugar levels may be low.
Since people with type 1 diabetes do not make any insulin, they need to test their blood sugar levels several times a day so they can adjust their insulin doses.
A person will test blood sugar levels by:
- preparing the testing strip and glucose monitor to be ready for the blood sample
- using an alcohol swab to clean the testing area, which is usually the side of a fingertip
- lancing the testing area and bracing against a firm surface to help resist the impulse to pull away
- squeezing the testing area around the wound to maximize blood flow
- squeezing a drop of blood onto the test strip
- putting the strip into the monitor
- recording the time, blood sugar reading, and recent food intake in a log
Avoid Alcohol Before Nighttime
Another good habit is to avoid alcohol before going to bed. This can cause your blood sugar to increase quickly but leave you with low levels overnight. Avoiding alcohol for a few hours before bedtime will help keep the glucose in balance and prevent fluctuations.
If you do drink alcoholic beverages before going to bed try to eat a healthy snack with some carbohydrates to catch that low blood sugar after drinking alcohol.
Take Some Pressure Off
When stress is high, so is a hormone in your body called cortisol. Too much of it messes with how well your body manages sugar in the blood. If you can get stress out of your life, do it. If not, change how you react to it: Take up meditation, eat and sleep well, see a counselor, and exercise. Taking care of your mental health boosts your physical health, too.
Blood Sugar Chart: Summary
The fasting blood sugar, 2-hour post-meal blood sugar, and HbA1C tests are important ways to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes, as well as indicate how well a persons diabetes is being managed. If you think you have diabetes, its important to not try and diagnose yourself by doing a finger-stick with a home blood glucose meter. There are strict standards and procedures that laboratories use for diagnosing diabetes therefore, you should get tested at your doctors office or at a laboratory.
Its also important to talk with your doctor to make sure you understand a) how often you should have certain tests, such as a fasting blood glucose or HbA1C test b) what your results mean and c) what your blood sugar and HbA1C targets are.
If you have not been previously diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes but your results are above normal, your doctor may recommend other tests and should discuss a plan of treatment with you. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, a healthy eating plan, and regular physical activity. You may need to start taking diabetes medications, including insulin. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, its recommended that you learn how to check your blood sugars with a meter so that you and your healthcare team can determine how your treatment plan is working for you.
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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.
What Is Blood Sugar
Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is a measurement of the amount of glucose in your blood.
When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks down those carbs into glucose. This becomes your body’s main source of energy, and fuels the vital functions in your brain, heart, liver, and muscles, says Nestoras Mathioudakis, MD, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
For people without diabetes, the pancreas releases insulin to help your cells absorb glucose and fuel your body. But for people with diabetes, the body does not produce insulin or it doesn’t work properly, and as a result, blood sugar levels must be carefully regulated to prevent health complications.
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What Is The Normal Blood Sugar Level For Kids
Blood sugar levels can vary based on age. Children younger than 6 have a different normal blood sugar level range than adults.
The American Diabetes Association provides the following ranges as a guide:
- Fasting: 80-180 mg/dL
- Preprandial : 100-180 mg/dL
- Postprandial : Less than 180 mg/dL
- Bedtime: 110-200 mg/dL
Blood Sugar Levels And Type 1 Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you may be wondering what your blood glucose should be. Hopefully your doctor, nurse practitioner, physicians assistant or whoever diagnosed you has given you answers to that question. Unfortunately, though, not everyone is given glucose goals. Or in some cases, it may have been a long time ago, and theyve since been forgotten. No worries well go over all that!
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Factors That Can Affect Blood Sugar Levels
If you have prediabetes or diabetes, you may have insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin. This means your body has difficulty regulating blood sugar levels on its own.
Its a delicate balance to maintain, so the following list can help you familiarize yourself with factors that can cause your blood glucose levels to go up or down.
Ways To Control Your Blood Sugar Levels
Ways individuals with diabetes can balance their blood sugar include keeping their weight in check, exercising regularly, following their medication and diet plans, and checking their blood sugar levels regularly. For some individuals, taking insulin shots may be necessary to keep glucose levels in check. Sticking to a schedule is important for individuals with diabetes. As it can help them regulate their blood sugar level.
However, just eating healthy and exercising regularly can help to a great extent. High fiber food, green vegetables, low GI fruits are all good food choices for people with diabetes. And exercises like Zumba, yoga, or just walking for 30 minutes every day can be very beneficial for bringing the blood sugar level back to normal.
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What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Continuous glucose monitoring is another way to check your glucose levels. Most CGM systems use a tiny sensor that you insert under your skin. The sensor measures glucose levels in the fluids between your bodys cells every few minutes and can show changes in your glucose level throughout the day and night. If the CGM system shows that your glucose is too high or too low, you should check your glucose with a blood glucose meter before making any changes to your eating plan, physical activity, or medicines. A CGM system is especially useful for people who use insulin and have problems with low blood glucose.
What Is Blood Glucose Anyway
Blood glucose, or sugar, is sugar that is in your blood . It comes from the food that you eat foods that contain carbohydrate, such as bread, pasta and fruit are the main contributors to blood glucose. The cells in our bodies need glucose for energy and we all need energy to move, think, learn and breathe. The brain, which is the command center, uses about half of all the energy from glucose in the body.
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Why Test Blood Sugar Levels
If you take certain medication, like insulin or sulphonylureas, checking your blood sugars is a vital part of living with diabetes. It can help you work out when you need to take more medication, when you need to eat something or for when you want to get up and move around more.
Routine checks can help you know when you might be starting to go too low or too high . Its a way of getting to know your body and how it works. It can help you and your healthcare team spot patterns too. Do you write your results down? You might find that helpful.
But importantly, it will help you stay healthy and prevent serious diabetes complications now and in the future. By complications, we mean serious problems in places like your feet and your eyes. This happens because too much sugar in the blood damages your blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow around your body. This can lead to very serious problems like sight loss and needing an amputation.
The higher your blood sugar levels are and the longer theyre high for, the more at risk you are.
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
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Remedies For High Blood Sugar Levels
If the blood sugar levels are between 180 to250 mg/dL, seek medical advice and take medicines. Cut of fast-acting carb diet. Dont take processed food and sugary items.
If the blood sugar levels are > 250 mg/dL, you need immediate medical attention. If left untreated, it can lead to coma and high ketones in the blood. So test for ketones and get insulin therapy as soon as possible.
If you experience high blood sugar levels on regular basis, you are advised to do the following:
Many diabetic patients are aware of the changes they need to make in their diet or daily routine but are not able to follow them due to various reasons. Lack of motivation and proper knowledge is the most common reasons. A constant push from a diabetes reversal coach along with the guidance of a Diabetologist can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Target A Range Not A Single Number
Note that the CPGs recommend a realistic range for blood glucose levels, rather than a single number at any particular point in time. This is an important concept to grasp since diabetes management is far from a perfect science, and blood glucose levels can be expected to swing occasionally. Sometimes this can be for no seeming reason at all. On this topic, you may find it interesting to read our article Not all blood glucose levels need to be perfect.
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What Is The Normal Blood Sugar Level For Teens
Teenagers are recommended to have a blood sugar range between 70-150 mg/dL. It’s not easy for a teenager to maintain a tight range, therefore it’s important to aim for these numbers to give them a bit more flexibility.
- Fasting: 70-150 mg/dL
- Preprandial : 90-130 mg/dL
- Postprandial : Less than 140 mg/dL
- Bedtime: 90-150 mg/dL
How Do You Determine Your Optimal Carb Intake
To determine your ideal carb intake, measure your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter before a meal and again 12 hours after eating.
To prevent damage to your blood vessels and nerves, the maximum level your blood sugar should reach is 180 milligrams per deciliter , or 10 millimoles per liter , 2 hours after eating. However, you may want to aim for an even lower ceiling .
To achieve your blood sugar goals, you may need to restrict your carb intake to less than 10, 15, or 25 grams per meal. Also, you may find that your blood sugar rises more at certain times of the day, so your upper carb limit may be lower for dinner than for breakfast or lunch.
In general, the fewer carbs you consume, the less your blood sugar will rise and the less insulin or diabetes medication youll require to stay within a healthy range.
If you take insulin or diabetes medication, its very important to speak with a healthcare professional to ensure the appropriate dosage before reducing your carb intake.
Determining the optimal carb intake for diabetes management requires testing your blood sugar and making adjustments as needed based on your response, including how you feel.
Many studies support the use of carb restriction in people with diabetes. Research has confirmed that many levels of carb restriction can effectively lower blood sugar levels.
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