What Are The Target Ranges
Blood glucose targets are individualized based on:
- duration of diabetes
- conditions a person may have
- cardiovascular disease or diabetes complications
- hypoglycemia unawareness
- individual patient considerations
The American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes. A1C targets differ based on age and health. Also, more or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for each individual.
- A1C: Less than 7%A1C may also be reported as eAG: Less than 154 mg/dL
- Before a meal : 80130 mg/dL
- 1-2 hours after beginning of the meal *: Less than 180 mg/dL
Why Is My Blood Sugar Level High
The clinical term for high blood sugar is hyperglycemia. The most common cause of high blood sugar is Diabetes Mellitus or DM. It is a condition where the body cannot absorb glucose due to any abnormality in the production or action of a hormone called Insulin. Diabetes is mainly of two types: Type 1 and Type 2. Majority of diabetics are suffering from type 2 diabetes, caused by reduced action of Insulin.
However, blood sugar can be high for various other reasons. Illness or injury, hormone disorders, overeating, obesity, some medications can increase blood sugar levels.
Support Groups And Counseling For High Blood Sugar
You or family members may wish to join a support group with other people to share your experiences. The American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are both excellent resources. Your health care provider will have information about local groups in your area. The following groups also provide support:
American Association of Diabetes Educators100 W Monroe, Suite 400Chicago, IL 60603
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Should I Be Worried About My Blood Sugar Values
Answered by: Dr Peter Watkins | Honorary Consultant Physician, Kings College Hospital, London, England Q: I want to know that if random blood sugar level is 158 then should I be worried? I had an ice cream then a full glass of Pepsi and then pasta. I ate too much and after three hours I checked my random blood sugar which was 158. After four days I had brown bread with a little honey and after half hour I checked the blood sugar level which was 127. So, do I have diabetes? Do I need to worry and should I control my diet? I want to know if neem leaves and fenugreek seeds are helpful to reduce sugar level? A:A blood sugar level of 127 mg/dl half an hour after food is normal. A blood sugar level of 158 mg/dl 3 hours after food is borderline. It would be wise to have your blood sugar level checked after an overnight fast. A level greater than 126 mg/dl repeated on two occasions when fasting, is diagnostic of Type 2 diabetes so is a random blood sugar level of 200 mg/dl taken at any time. I regret that I cannot comment on the effects of various seeds on the blood sugar. I do hope this advice is helpful to you.Continue reading > >
Why Your A1c Matters
In a nutshell: your A1c is one of the clearest indicators of your risk for developing diabetes complications like neuropathy , retinopathy , nephropathy , and severe infection in any part of your body that requires healing.
For instance, a small cut on your toe could become infected due to high blood sugars, struggle to heal, and become severe enough that the infection could lead to an amputation.
The general guidelines from the American Diabetes Association recommend an A1c at or below 7.0 percent for the best prevention of diabetes complications. Your risk of developing a diabetes complication continues to drop as your A1c drops closer to 6 percent.
Some people with diabetes aim for A1c levels in the 5s and lower especially those who follow strict low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet and the Bernstein diet. However, this hasnt been proven in research as especially necessary, nor is it reasonably achievable for the larger population of people with diabetes.
Its also important to remember that your blood sugar levels and your A1c are just information that tells you whether your body needs more or less of factors like insulin, other diabetes medications like Metformin, changes in your nutrition, and changes in your exercise.
If you dont like the number youre seeing on your glucose meter or your A1c results, use that number as motivation to make changes in how you safely manage your diabetes in order to get different results.
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How To Test Your A1c
Your doctor or endocrinologist should test your A1c regularly . The doctor simply pricks your finger and takes a tiny blood sample. If the doctors office has an A1c kit, you should get your result before your consultation is over.
You can also buy home A1c kits and do the test yourself. Home A1c kits can be useful if you go for more than three months between doctor visits and want to keep an eye on how your A1c is developing yourself.
The home kits are generally accurate within plus/minus 0.5 percentage points, which is more than good enough to give you a trustworthy result. The downside of the home kits is that they require a larger amount of blood than a regular blood sugar test, and if you dont apply enough blood, youll get an error message and will have lost a test strip.
You can find and in some pharmacies.
Blood Sugar: When Its Too Low Or Too High
The hormone insulin takes sugar from food and uses it for energy. With type 2 diabetes, you dont have enough insulin or your body isnt effective at using insulin, and excess sugar continues to circulate in your bloodstream.
A target blood sugar range for most people with type 2 diabetes is 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before a meal and less than 180 mg/dl one to two hours after starting a meal, according to the American Diabetes Association.
A reading of 160 mg/dl or higher is typically considered high blood sugar . Over time, blood sugar in the range of 160 to 250 mg/dl can affect every organ in your body, Dr. Reddy says. It’s associated with heart disease, eye disease, kidney disease, neuropathy, stroke, and vascular disease. If blood sugar goes as high as 500 mg/dl, you may experience symptoms such as thirst, the urge to urinate more often, weight loss, low energy, and drowsiness, he says.
Low blood sugar occurs when levels fall to less than 70 mg/dl. This is a risk when you take insulin or other diabetes medications, have gone too long without a meal, have been active, or have been drinking alcohol.
If your blood sugar goes too low, youll probably feel shaky and sweaty and you may develop tremors, Reddy says. Other symptoms may include a racing heart, headache, weakness, confusion, hunger, irritability, lack of coordination, and pale skin. If your blood sugar continues to drop to 30 mg/dl and below, you could slip into a diabetic coma.
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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.
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.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
The symptoms of high blood sugar can vary depending on severity.
Early signs and symptoms of high blood sugar
When your blood sugar is around 200 mg/dL, but not yet dangerously high, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Increased thirst
- Shortness of breath
If you are experiencing any of the later-stage symptoms of high blood sugar, seek immediate medical attention.
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Dont Inject The Insulin Too Deep
Insulin is supposed to be injected into the fat layer under the skin using a short needle. This is referred to as a subcutaneous injection.
If you inject the insulin too deep and it enters your muscle, your body may absorb it too quickly. The insulin might not last very long and the injection could be very painful.
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What Should Glucose Levels Be 2 Hours After Eating
A rise in blood glucose levels is normal after eating a meal, particularly a meal loaded with carbohydrates. People who have diabetes will have higher spikes in blood glucose–and for longer periods. Function Carbohydrates convert to glucose in the bloodstream. The pancreas secretes insulin, which bonds with the blood glucose to supply the body with energy. Someone with diabetes either has an insufficient supply of insulin or the body does not process the insulin efficiently, resulting in too much glucose in the bloodstream. Normal Levels Normal blood glucose levels are 70 mg/dl to 120 mg/dl . A blood glucose level above 120 mg/dl could result in a condition known as hyperglycemia–high blood sugar. Postprandial Levels Postprandial blood glucose levels, or blood glucose levels after eating a meal, should be 120 mg/dl two hours after the start of a meal for healthy people. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse states that someone with diabetes could see blood glucose levels as high as 180 mg/dl one to two hours after the start of a meal. Cause The rise in blood glucose levels after eating is directly related to the amount and types of carbohydrates included with the meal. Implications If postprandial blood glucose levels are consistently higher than 120 mg/dl two hours after the meal, diabetes, pre-diabetes or insulin resistance might be indicated. Consult your physician for testing and diagnosis.Continue reading > >
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor About High Blood Sugar
Please ask your health care professional about the following:
- How to recognize high blood sugar levels
- How to treat a high blood sugar level when it occurs in you, a family member, or coworkers
- How to prevent the blood sugar level from becoming too high
- How to contact the medical staff during an emergency
- What emergency supplies to carry to treat high blood sugar
- Additional educational materials regarding high blood sugar
A High Sugar Level After A Meal
It’s normal for your blood sugar level to rise after you eat, especially if you eat a meal high in refined carbohydrates. But if your blood sugar rises more than most people’s, you might have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition that indicates a strong risk for developing diabetes in the future. If you already have diabetes, you doctor will recommend keeping your blood sugar within a prescribed range. A glucose tolerance test, done one to three hours after you eat a high-carbohydrate meal, can check your blood sugar levels.
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How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry or have other symptoms, check your blood sugar. Even if you dont have symptoms but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dL, do one of the following immediately:
- Take four glucose tablets.
- Drink four ounces of fruit juice.
- Drink four ounces of regular soda, not diet soda.
- Eat four pieces of hard candy.
Wait for 15 minutes and then check your blood sugar again. Do one of the above treatments again until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above and eat a snack if your next meal is an hour or more away. If you have problems with low blood sugar, ask your doctor if your treatment plan needs to be changed.
Determining The Right A1c Goal For You
Just because a normal blood sugar range of 70 to 130 mg/dL is considered the healthiest doesnt necessarily mean thats the appropriate goal range for you especially if you have type 1 diabetes, or take insulin as a person with type 2 diabetes.
The reason this may not be the right goal for you is that extremely tight blood sugar management in people taking insulin can potentially lead to frequent low blood sugars which can be dangerous.
Achieving extremely tight blood sugar management, like a range of 70 to 130 mg/dL, also often requires a strict nutrition plan, more frequent than usual blood sugar monitoring, precise medication management, and most importantly, years of experience studying your blood sugar levels.
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High Blood Sugar Prevention
- Learn about managing diabetes.
- Work with a certified diabetes educator. This person will have a CDE certification and may work in a diabetes education center or hospital.
- Check blood sugar as directed by a CDE and doctor or nurse.
- Know the symptoms and act quickly before blood sugars get out of control.
- Follow a diabetes diet plan. Adjust the plan as needed.
- Take medications for diabetes as directed by your healthcare professional.
- Exercise daily.
Low Blood Sugar Levels
‘Hypoglycemia,’ or low blood sugar, might suggest that a person is not eating enough or that they are taking too much diabetes medication or insulin. Additional causes of hypoglycemia include hypothyroidism, hypopituitarism and having taken certain kinds of medications. A blood sugar level below 60 mg/dL, or a drop of more than 100 mg/dL an hour at any time indicates hypoglycemia.
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What Is Blood Sugar Level
Blood sugar concentration or blood glucose level is defined as the amount of glucose present in the blood of a human or animal. The body naturally tightly regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic homeostasis. The international standard way of measuring blood glucose levels are in terms of a molar concentration, measured in mmol/L . In the United States, mass concentration is measured in mg/dL – See our mmol/L to mg/dl chart for blood sugar number conversions.
When a person eats carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread or fruit, their body converts the carbohydrates to sugar – also referred to as glucose. Glucose travels through the blood to supply energy to the cells, to include muscle and brain cells, as well as to organs. Blood sugar levels usually fluctuate depending upon what a person eats and how long it has been since they last ate. However consistent or extremely low levels of glucose in a person’s blood might cause symptoms such as:
Warning signs of dangerously high levels of blood sugar include sleepiness or confusion, dry mouth, extreme thirst, high fever, hallucinations, loss of vision, or skin that is warm and dry.
Who Should Undergo Screening For Prediabetes
The recommends that people with the following risk factors undergo a prediabetes screening:
- an age of 45 years or over
- a body mass index of 25 or higher
- a waist circumference larger than 40 inches in males or 35 inches in females
- a close relative with diabetes
- a condition that increases insulin resistance, including PCOS, acanthosis nigricans, and non-alcohol-related steatohepatitis
- certain racial or ethnic backgrounds, including African American, Asian American, Hispanic, Latino, Native American, Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander
- a history of gestational diabetes, which is diabetes during pregnancy
- having given birth to an infant weighing more than 9 pounds
- having a disease that hardens the arteries
- recent treatment with glucocorticoids or atypical antipsychotic medications
If a doctor identifies any of these risk factors, they may recommend that the person has a screening to check their blood glucose levels.
Medical professionals advise repeating screening tests every 13 years for people with these risk factors.
The NIDDK has an official resource that people can use to check their diabetes risk.
However, anyone who is concerned that they may have borderline diabetes should visit a doctor for testing and a diagnosis.
Prediabetes is reversible, but it is often easier to prevent than treat. Lifestyle factors are the primary cause of prediabetes, and making changes in some aspects of life can significantly reduce the risk.
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Translating Your A1c To A Blood Sugar Level
Using this easy calculator from the ADA, you can translate your most recent A1C result to an eAG or estimate average glucose level.
You can also use this translation when working to improve your A1c and achieve closer to normal blood sugar levels.
If you know an A1c of 6.5 is an average blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL or a range of 100 to 152 mg/dL, then you can look at your current blood sugar results on your CGM and meter and pinpoint which time of day youre frequently higher than this range.12% = 298 mg/dL or range of 240 347 11% = 269 mg/dL or range of 217 31410% = 240 mg/dL or range of 193 2829% = 212 mg/dL or range of 170 2498% = 183 mg/dL or range of 147 2177% = 154 mg/dL or range of 123 1856% = 126 mg/dL or range of 100 1525% = 97 mg/dL or range of 76 120
Normal blood sugar levels in a person without diabetes can result in an A1c as low as 4.6 or 4.7 percent and as high as 5.6 percent.
Just a decade or two ago, it was rare for a person with type 1 diabetes to achieve an A1c result below 6 percent. Thanks to new and improved insulin and better technology like continuous glucose monitors and smarter insulin pumps, more people with diabetes are able to safely achieve A1c levels in the higher 5 percent range.