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.
Can Gestational Diabetes Be Prevented
Its not possible to prevent gestational diabetes entirely. However, adopting health-promoting habits can help reduce your chances of developing the condition.
If youre planning to become pregnant in the near future and youre overweight, consider preparing for your pregnancy by talking with a healthcare professional about ways to safely lose excess weight.
They can help you create a plan to reach and maintain a moderate weight. Even losing a small amount of weight can help you reduce your risk of gestational diabetes.
Furthermore, its important for pregnant people to seek prenatal care and follow all doctor-recommended visits to receive the appropriate screenings and evaluations during their pregnancies.
Blood Glucose Four Hours After Eating
Cells throughout your body work around the clock, even when you’re sleeping. Clearly, they need a steady supply of energy to keep going. To function, they rely on glucose, a simple type of carbohydrate.
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Glucose enters your bloodstream until the hormone insulin comes around to help cells use or store the circulating glucose. Your blood sugar may go up a bit after eating, but if it’s still high four hours after your meal, or if it drops too low, something is awry in your body.
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How Do I Take Care Of My Blood Glucose Meter
- Set the date and time when you get a new meter.
- Make sure the date and time are right each time you use your meter.
- Use the control solution as needed. This will let you know the meter and test strips are working right. Use it:
- When you get a new meter.
- When you get new test strips.
- When you think that the meter is not giving you the right blood glucose number.
Risks Of High Readings
If you experience spikes in blood glucose after you eat high-carbohydrate meals, your levels will be higher than normal for as much as six to nine hours out of each day. High blood glucose damages blood vessels, which leads to complications such as diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy, or nerve damage. High blood glucose levels after meals also increases your risk of developing atherosclerosis, a build-up of plaque in the arteries that can cause heart attack or stroke.
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How To Improve Blood Test Results
Identifying the foods or meals that regularly spike your blood sugar too high, too fast, or too long can help you to individualize your diet for longevity.
After a few weeks of testing your blood sugar levels after eating various types of food, you should have a clear record of how your body responds.
A balanced blood sugar results in a greater sense of wellbeing, having more energy, preventing the afternoon crash and feeling hangry , and getting a better nights rest.
Heres what It feels like to have normal blood sugar:
- No extreme hunger between meals
- No sleepiness after meals or mid-day
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
- Difficulty speaking
- Muscle weakness
If you are experiencing an extremely low blood sugar, which is anything less than 40 mg/dL, that is not responding to fast-acting glucose or glucagon, and you have taken fast-acting insulin within the previous 2 hours, call 911 and seek immediate emergency medical attention.
This condition can be life-threatening if not treated.
When Things Go Awry
When we eat food, the pancreas goes to work, releasing enzymes that help to break down food and hormones that help the body handle the influx of glucose. One of these hormones is insulin, and it plays a key role in managing glucose levels in the blood.
And here is where things can go wrong. If the pancreas doesnt make enough insulin or stops making it altogether, in the case of type 1 diabetes glucose levels in the blood can rise too high. Another scenario is that the pancreas makes enough insulin but the cells have trouble using it properly, causing blood glucose levels to rise. This is called insulin resistance and is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
In the short term, high blood glucose levels can make you feel downright bad. Thirst, frequent trips to the bathroom, fatigue, and weight loss are all symptoms of high blood glucose . If not treated, more serious issues can occur, such as diabetic ketoacidosis . Chronic high blood glucose levels can lead to complications such as heart, kidney and eye disease, as well as nerve damage. So, its all about the blood glucose.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar levels are a critical part of your overall health and your bodys ability to function properly on a daily basis.
For those of us with diabetes, striving to achieve normal blood sugar levels is a constant, hour-by-hour pursuit. And it isnt easy.
In this article, well look at normal blood sugar levels and goal ranges for a non-diabetics body, and realistic blood sugar goals for people with prediabetes, type 1, and type 2 diabetes.
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Managing Stomach Viruses The Flu And Repeated Vomiting
If you are a person with type 1 diabetes and you get a stomach virus that causes you to repeatedly vomit which means you are unable to keep food or water down you need to visit an emergency room immediately. If you have a glucagon kit, consider using it to prevent severe low blood sugar until you are being cared for in an emergency room.
Who Should Do The Test
According to the American Diabetes Association, screening for diabetes is recommended in people over 45 , or at any age if you have certain risk factors, including :
- Being overweight, obese, or physically inactive
- Having a close relative with diabetes
- Belonging to a certain race/ethnic group
- Having signs of insulin resistance or conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as high blood pressure , low good cholesterol and/or high triglycerides , and polycystic ovary syndrome
- Having had diabetes in pregnancy
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How Is Gestational Diabetes Treated
If youre diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your treatment plan will depend on your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
In most cases, your doctor will advise you to test your blood sugar before and after meals, and manage your condition by eating a nutrient-rich diet and exercising regularly.
They may also prescribe insulin injections for you until you give birth. Ask your doctor about properly timing your insulin injections in relation to your meals and exercise to avoid low blood sugar.
Your doctor can also tell you what to do if your blood sugar levels fall too low or are consistently higher than they should be.
A balanced diet is key to properly managing gestational diabetes. In particular, people with gestational diabetes should pay special attention to their carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake.
Eating regularly as often as every 2 hours can also help you manage your blood sugar levels.
Now That Youre Checking Your Blood Glucose What Do The Numbers Mean
Depending on your diabetes treatment plan, your doctor or diabetes educator may advise you to check once a week, once a day or up to 10 times a day . But what does it mean when you see a 67, 101, or 350 on your meter? And what is a normal blood sugar, anyway? Great questions! After all, if you dont know what the numbers on your meter mean, its hard to know how youre doing.
The American Diabetes Association provides guidelines for blood glucose goals for people with diabetes, and the goals vary depending on when youre checking your glucose:
Fasting and before meals: 80130 mg/dl
Postprandial : Less than 180 mg/dl
By the way, these guidelines are for non-pregnant adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Children, adolescents and pregnant women may have different goals.
Your blood glucose goals may be different, however. If youre younger, have had diabetes for a shorter amount of time, or are not taking any medicine for your diabetes, your glucose goals might be a little tighter, or lower. Likewise, your blood glucose goals may be higher than what ADA recommends if youre older, have diabetes complications, or dont get symptoms when your blood glucose is low.
Bottom line: talk with your health care provider about the following:
When to check your blood glucose How often to check your blood glucose What your blood glucose goals are
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Latest Research On Normal Blood Sugar Levels At 60 Good Glycemic Control In Covid
A recent study, still under peer review, suggests that maintaining optimal glycemic control i.e. having normal blood sugar levels post COVID-19 vaccination, in patients with a comorbidity of Type-2 Diabetics, improves the immune response to the vaccine, resulting in increased immunity against breakthrough infections. This can be inferred to assume that just by sustaining normal blood sugar levels at 60, a vaccinated senior can increase their fighting chance against COVID re-infection.
Diagnosing And Treating Hyperglycemia
Diagnosing hyperglycemia is done by assessing symptoms and performing a simple blood glucose test. Depending on the severity of the condition and which type of diabetes the patient is diagnosed with, insulin and a variety of medication may be prescribed to help the person keep their blood sugar under control. Insulin comes in short, long and fast-acting forms, and a person suffering from type 1 diabetes is likely to be prescribed some combination of these.
Individuals who are either diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or are considered at risk for the disease are recommended to make alterations to their diet, lifestyle habits and exercise routine in order to lower blood sugar and keep it under control. These changes generally help to improve blood glucose control, individuals with type 2 diabetes may require medication eventually. These can include glitazones, acarbose, glucophage or sulphonylureas.
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How To Prevent Morning Hyperglycemia
While morning hyperglycemia could be the bodys automatic response, you can certainly take steps to try to prevent it.
You could try some general steps that could help lower blood sugar in the night, such as eating your evening meals earlier in the day or having fewer carbs in your evening meal.
Alternatively, you could consider doing exercise in the evening, such as a brisk walk before bed. You might also consider changing your medication doses for the night or changing the type of insulin you use. As always, make such changes in consultation with your healthcare professional.
If you think that the high blood sugar might be caused by the dawn phenomenon, then try to make sure that you are well-rested. If your body is getting enough rest, with a full eight hours of sleep, then it might not think that it needs to release that extra energy. More generally, stress and diabetes leads to higher blood sugar levels so it is worth getting enough sleep.
With the Somogyi phenomenon, youll want to take the opposite steps because you want to prevent low blood sugar during the night. It may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but you might need to take less insulin, or eat more carbs, or do less exercise before bed.
High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning
People usually have slightly higher blood sugar levels in the morning. However, in some people with diabetes, these levels can be significantly higher.
Diabetes is a condition that impairs the bodys ability to process blood glucose. Without careful management, blood sugar levels can become too high, which is known as hyperglycemia. Long periods of high blood sugar levels can result in health complications.
Even when a person carefully controls the condition, they may notice blood sugar spikes in the morning. There are three main causes of high blood sugar in the morning:
- the Somogyi effect
It is important to note that this article refers to effects experienced in the morning, but these effects may occur anytime a person sleeps for a long period. People who work at night and sleep during the day can also experience these effects.
In this article, we will explore these causes, including what they can mean for a persons health and when to see a doctor.
dawn phenomenon refers to periods of hyperglycemia that occur during the early morning hours. The shift in blood sugar levels happens as a result of hormonal changes in the body.
Hormones, such as cortisol, glucagon, epinephrine, and growth hormone are known as counter-regulatory hormones. They can cause blood sugar levels to rise. The activity of cortisol and growth hormone normally increases each day to stimulate the liver to produce glucose at dawn.
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How Long Can A Type 2 Diabetic Go Without Medication
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How Should Blood Sugar Levels Be Before And After Eating
Ideally, before eating , your blood sugars should be between 80-130 mg/dL. One to two hours after eating , your blood sugars should be below 180 mg/dL.
Blood glucose levels can be affected by the type of food consumed, how much, and when but also many other different factors like physical activity, taking other medications, having other medical conditions, stress, age, an illness, and even menstrual periods.
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How Can I Measure My Blood Sugar Levels
You can measure your blood glucose levels with a glucometer. First, you prick your finger with a small device called a lancet to get a drop of blood. Your blood goes on a test strip which you put into the glucometer. Then, the device tells you your blood sugar levels.
You can also use a continuous glucose monitoring device, which uses a sensor that’s placed under your skin to automatically check your levels every few minutes.
Normal Levels After Eating
Healthy, non-diabetic people normally have blood glucose levels of less than 120 milligrams per deciliter two hours after a normal meal, rarely exceeding 140 mg/dL, according to the American Diabetes Association. Levels return to normal within two to three hours. When you undergo a glucose tolerance test, you consume a high-carbohydrate drink or snack containing 75 grams of carbohydrate.
At one hour, your test falls into the normal, non-diabetic range if your blood glucose remains below 200 mg/dL. Two hours after your meal, blood glucose should remain below 140 mg/dL.
A level of over 200 mg/dL at two hours post-prandial — which means after a meal — indicates diabetes. Levels between 140 and 200 mg/dL indicate pre-diabetes, a condition with a strong risk of developing diabetes in the future.
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