What If Your Glucose Levels Are Abnormal
Health conditions such as diabetes and hypoglycemia will obviously have a big impact on your blood sugar levels. Pregnancy can also affect your blood sugar, which sometimes results in gestational diabetes for the duration of the pregnancy.
The American Diabetes Association points out that every persons recommended blood sugar level is different and is based on several health factors. But, in general, the target range for glucose levels in diabetes is 80 to 130 milligrams/deciliter before eating and less than 180 mg/dl after a meal.
If your glucose levels dont fall within the normal range, you and your doctor will need to make a plan to determine the reason why. Additional testing for diabetes, hypoglycemia, certain medical conditions, and other endocrine issues may be necessary to identify why your blood sugar is too high or too low.
Continue to monitor your blood glucose levels while you wait on test appointments or test results. If you experience any of the following symptoms, let your doctor know right away:
- unexplained dizziness
If Your Diabetes Medication Changes
When your medication for diabetes changes or is adjusted, its important to know how that change is working. The best way is to check your blood sugar levels more often, according to FamilyDoctor.org. Check your blood sugar levels before and after taking medication and keep track of the results to show your doctor.
/8the Right Time To Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
The perfect time to check the fasting glucose levels is right after your wakeup. And the right time to check postprandial glucose levels is two hours after you have your meals.
A gap of two hours after a meal must be maintained to get the correct reading.
This helps you choose the right foods and medication. When you test before your meal, it tells you how much medication you need and when you test two hours after eating, you know if your medicines are working fine for you.
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When To Check Blood Sugar Levels
Check your child’s blood sugar level at the following times:
- Before meals and bedtime, a minimum of four times a day.
- If you suspect your child has a low blood sugar level.
- Before and after your child exercises.
- When your child is ill.
- Two hours after the start of a meal, if results from before the meal don’t match HbA1c.
- During the night. This is particularly important if your child had a low blood sugar level during the day, exercised more than usual, made a change in the insulin dose or has been ill.
Blood Sugar And Heart Disease
As was just briefly mentioned, poor blood sugar regulation ultimately contributes to heart disease. This is because chronically elevated insulin drives up inflammation and contributes to the oxidation of cholesterol within the arteries. Chronic elevation in insulin also increases blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, creating the perfect storm for heart disease development.
This is likely the reason why it is so common for those who have heart issues to also have diabetes and general metabolic disorders. Whenever I am working with someone who is concerned about heart disease, the first thing I recommend is to test blood sugar on a regular basis and use strategies to ensure it remains stable.
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How To Self Monitor
Home blood pressure monitoring is different than taking it at your doctor’s office because youll be comparing one relatively steady measurement to another over time. When scheduling checks, there are some factors to keep in mind so that you get more accurate results. Follow these tips if you are testing at home:
What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning
Commonly known reasons why your blood sugar may be high in the morning include high-carb bedtime snacks and not enough diabetes medications.
Yet two lesser-known reasons may be causing your morning blood sugar woes: the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect. These causes of high morning blood sugar levels are a result of body changes and reactions that happen while you are sleeping.
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What If I Have Trouble Getting To My Blood Sugar Goals
There may be times when you have trouble reaching your blood sugar goals. This does not mean that you have failed. It means that you and your health care team should see if changes are needed. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is often too high or too low. Taking action will help you be healthy today and in the future.
Blood Sugar Can Drive Treatment
The 2018 standards of care in diabetes have recommended the following:
Most patients using intensive insulin regimens should perform self-monitoring of blood glucose prior to meals and snacks, at bedtime, occasionally postprandially, prior to exercise, when they suspect low blood glucose, after treating low blood glucose until they are normoglycemic, and prior to critical tasks such as driving.” 2
When prescribed as part of a broad educational program, SMBG may help to guide treatment decisions and/or self-management for patients taking less frequent insulin injections or noninsulin therapies.”2
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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.;;;;;;;;;
When Should You Check Your Blood Sugar
Many people check their glucose levels when they first wake up, before a meal, and two hours after eating. This helps them make decisions about food and diet that can help to keep blood sugar levels stable. There are other situations you encounter every day that may also affect your blood glucose. Keep reading to find out when you should check your blood sugar.
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Target Blood Sugar Levels For Pregnant Women With Diabetes
It’s possible for diabetes to cause problems during pregnancy. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who have uncontrolled blood sugar levels could experience an increased risk of having a premature baby, needing a C-section and more.
Gestational diabetes a type of diabetes that occurs in a pregnant woman who has never been diagnosed with diabetes before can also cause complications. These include giving birth to a baby who is larger than average and an increased risk of needing a C-section. The ADA suggests that pregnant women shoot for a target fasting blood sugar level of 95 mg/dL or less before a meal.
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Before And After Exercise
This is crucial, because exercising with a low or even in-range blood sugar level can be dangerous, depending on the length and intensity of the exercise you plan to do.;
Make sure to work with your doctor to determine an appropriate pre-exercise blood sugar level, but people usually like to have their levels sit a little higher than normal before starting any vigorous cardiovascular exercise to prevent severe hypoglycemia.;
On the other hand, some peoples blood sugars tend to rise during exercise, especially if they are doing weightlifting or types of exercise that spike adrenaline levels in the body. Its important to make sure your blood sugar is at an appropriate level in case it will rise during your workout.;
You also dont want your blood sugar to be too high before exercise, either. The Mayo Clinic actually advises against people with diabetes exercising if their starting blood sugar is above 250 mg/dL.;
This is due to the fact that if a body is exercising without enough insulin in the bloodstream, the liver and kidneys will inadvertently release more sugar into the body, increasing your number even more and putting you at risk for dehydration, ketones, and even increased risk of spiraling into diabetic ketoacidosis .;
Always check your blood sugar after exercise as well, as some people require a post-exercise bolus to combat spikes due to temporary pump settings that had decreased their basal rates.;
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What To Expect From Your Blood Sugar In The Morning
After an overnight fast, a normal blood sugar level is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter , according to the American Diabetes Association . But, according to Susan Spratt, MD, an endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, not everyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes has to shoot for “normal” levels.
“If you’re young, the goal may be to get your fasting blood sugar levels to less than 120 mg/dL,” Dr. Spratt says. But if you’re older and have other health conditions, that number may be higher, she says.
The ADA points out that not everyone will have the same blood sugar level goals. Instead, your endocrinologist or doctor will calculate your target number based on your age, how long you’ve had diabetes, whether you have health conditions like heart disease and other factors.
Keep in mind, too, that your fasting blood sugar levels can be too low. For example, a morning blood sugar reading below 70 mg/dL can indicate a hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.
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/8different Times When You Should Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
– If you are someone who is newly diagnosed with high blood sugar, it’s important for you to take the blood sugar test more often. Note down this data and share with the doctor, it will help him shape an appropriate treatment plan for you.
– If you take insulin, doctors will recommend you to take three or more blood sugar readings throughout the day.
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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.
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 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.
Suggested Glucose Target Ranges
The American Diabetes Association published a position statement in 2005 on the standard of care for children with type 1 diabetes. Below is a table with the ADA’s recommendations on age-specific blood sugar goal ranges. Blood glucose goals should be higher than those listed in the table for children who have frequent cases of hypoglycemia and don’t experience the associated signs and symptoms.
Your child’s diabetes health care team will recommend an individualized target range for blood sugar levels. The general goal is to maintain as normal as possible blood sugar levels without causing frequent low blood sugar. Research has shown that in children under the age of 6, frequent, severe low blood sugar levels may result in neuro-cognitive deficits problems related to intellectual ability so target ranges are higher in this age group.
Adolescents should strive to achieve similar target ranges as adults. However, this may be difficult because of higher hormone levels, such as growth hormones, which counteract the effects of insulin. If your child’s sugar levels are in the ranges listed below at least 50 percent of the time, then blood sugar control is considered reasonable. If sugars levels exceed the range more than 50 percent of the time, then sugar control is not optimal and the diabetes plan should be changed.
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How Often Should I Test My Blood Sugar Level
Your family doctor will recommend how often you should test. Testing times are based on the kind of medicine you take and on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Youll probably need to check your blood sugar more often at first. Youll also check it more often when you feel sick or stressed, when you change your medicine, or if youre pregnant.
Misusing Lancets And Test Strips
For the least pain and the most accurate results, you need the right blood sugar testing supplies: lancets, an accurate glucose meter, and manufacturer-recommended test strips. Skimping may not offer you the payoff you’re hoping for; lancets start out very sharp but quickly get dull and will hurt if you try to reuse them, says Amori. Also, using expired or poorly stored test strips can result in inaccurate readings.
Solutions for better diabetes control: Use a fresh lancet, make sure test strips are stored in a closed container, and check the test strip expiration date before using.
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What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.
Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:
Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.;Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.
Imagine A Scenario In Which You Have A Constant Glucose Screen Cgm:
Individuals treated with insulin, especially those with sort one diabetes, may likewise utilize a CGM. These gadgets measure your glucose at regular intervals utilizing a sensor embedded under the skin.
A few gadgets demonstrate your glucose perusing consistently on a beneficiary, and an alert will go off if your glucose is going up or going down too rapidly. Others necessitate that you check your glucose by running the collector over the sensor occasionally.
The vast majority of these gadgets still require finger-stick checks to adjust the machine. Check your gadgets client manual for learning on the off chance that you have to check, and how regularly you have to do as such.
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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