Make A Note Of Your Readings
It may sound obvious, but you must record your readings. Note them down in a diary, a notebook or in your phone calendar. Some meters have software that lets you do this. You could try a diabetes app too.
You and your healthcare team can then look back over your results to see if you need to adjust your treatment.
How To Lower A1c Levels Naturally
Call it what you will: hemoglobin A1C, glycosylated hemoglobin, HbA1c or just A1C, these numbers, known as A1C levels, play a huge role in how your diabetes is managed. Its also used to diagnose diabetes, as well as prediabetes. Your A1C is a blood test that provides information about your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. Your provider and diabetes care team use this number to gauge how things are going and if and how to tweak your diabetes treatment plan. For most people who have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends an A1C of less than 7%. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists advises a tighter goal of 6.5% or lower. Your goal may be completely different, and thats OK .
Whats My Target Range
You might be asking, what’s the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer is, there is a healthy range that you should ideally be aiming for. The infographics above show the general guidelines, but your individual target range for your blood sugar levels may be different. Youll healthcare team will agree with you what it is.
Youll get different readings at different times of the day, depending on things like what youve eaten and how much you are moving around. Heres a guide to help you get started on finding your target range:
If youre a child with type 1 diabetes
- when you wake up and before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- after meals: 5 to 9mmol/l
If youre an adult with type 1 diabetes
- when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
- before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l
If you have type 2 diabetes
- before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l
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Common Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia is defined as a condition in which the blood sugar levels drop too low. There are a number of reasons why one might suffer from this condition, including:
If an individual is suffering from hypoglycemia, then some common symptoms that one might observe are:
- Having a fast heart rate
Beyond this, the only way one can be sure that he or she is having low blood sugar is by testing it with a glucose meter. One can also use other glucose measuring devices. If an individual does not have access to these tools and is feeling the symptoms of low blood sugar, then he or she should consume 15 grams of carbs or take a quick dissolve glucose tablet. This will raise the blood sugar levels and avoid any further symptoms.
Once the blood sugar level is back in the target range, then an individual can have a snack or a meal to make sure that the blood sugar level does not drop again. Apart from this, one can have a healthy diet, take prescribed diabetes medication, and use a glucagon kit in emergencies.
Is A1c Supposed To Be The Same As My Blood Sugar Average
A1C measures your average blood sugar over the past 3 months.
You can have your A1C measured with a blood draw in your doctors office or lab. Some doctors can also perform a fingerstick blood test to check your A1C level.
When sugar enters your bloodstream, it binds to a protein called hemoglobin. People with high blood sugar have a higher percentage of the hemoglobin protein coated with sugar. Your A1C result will give you an indication of what percentage of your hemoglobin is bound to sugar.
- Standard : Less than 5.7%
- Prediabetes: 5.7% to 6.5%
- Diabetes: 6.5% or higher
In general, the ADA and other clinical guidelines for people with diabetes is that you should work closely with your diabetes care team to determine whats best for your A1C goal. Generally, clinicians advise for an A1C of being safely 7.0%, though that can vary depending on ones individual care plan.
Its important to keep in mind that A1C levels do not reflect all of the nuances of ones diabetes management, meaning it doesnt always reflect your glucose variability, meaning that A1C doesnt offer insight into high or low blood sugars, and it can be manipulated if your blood sugars fluctuate regularly.
As a result, many diabetes professionals have moved away from considering the A1C the sole gold standard for someones diabetes management. Instead, they use that A1C in addition to time in range figures, showing how often your glucose levels are in your individualized target range.
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What Is The Best Time To Ideally Check Your Blood Sugar Level
If youre taking multiple injections a day, you may be recommended to check blood sugar readings before meals and even at bedtime. But if youre in the category of intermediate to long-acting insulin, you may be asked to check it before breakfast and bedtime. If youre too concerned regarding your blood sugar levels, get yourself a constant glucose monitor device for real-time glucose updates.
Blood Sugar And Diabetes
If you notice symptoms like excessive thirst and hunger, excessive urination, low energy, weight loss, a wound not healing quickly , etc. you should consult your physician. Blood tests help diagnose diabetes. Blood sugar is checked twice, first after fasting for about 8 hours and then two hours after lunch. The first one is known as fasting blood sugar level and the latter is known as postprandial blood sugar level. Blood sugar measured randomly, at any time of the day is referred to as random blood sugar. Insulin, produced by pancreas plays an important role in the process of absorption of glucose by the cells. Dysfunction of the beta cells of the pancreas results in insulin deficiency. This adversely affects the process of breakdown of glucose and leads to an abnormal rise in blood sugar levels. This condition is known as type 1 diabetes.
Sometimes body cells dont respond to insulin, and do not absorb glucose present in blood. This results in high blood glucose levels. The condition is known as insulin resistance or it is also referred to as type 2 diabetes. Increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, nausea, excessive fatigue, blurred vision, frequent infections, weight loss, dry mouth, slowly-healing wounds, tingling sensation, numbness in fingers are some of the commonly noticed symptoms of diabetes. Significantly high blood sugar indicates hyperglycemia and abnormally low blood glucose levels indicate hypoglycemia.
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Want to keep track of your blood glucose readings to help you better manage your condition? With our free printable diabetes logbook sheets, youll be able to monitor the effects of food, exercise, medicines and more. One sheet tracks levels for a week. Download your free blood sugar logbook today to start analyzing your patterns!
Monitoring Blood Sugar In Older Adults
Monitoring blood sugar regularly is crucial to diabetes management. You check your blood sugar with a device called a glucometer.
First, you prick a fingertip with a small needle called a lancet. Then you place a drop of blood on a test strip in the glucometer. After a few seconds, you’ll get a number.
Generally, blood sugar should be checked before meals and at bedtime. Your healthcare provider may want you to check more or less often.
The following chart outlines what blood sugar levels should be for older adults in the hours following a meal as well as when levels are either too high or too low.
Cognitive decline and chronic illnesses can make it hard to follow your diabetes care plan. That can happen even if you’ve successfully managed it for years.
In these situations, your healthcare provider may:
- Prescribe a lower dose of medication
- Involve your caregivers in monitoring
- Carefully watch you for low blood sugar
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What Is Blood Sugar
When you eat, the carbohydrate in your food is broken down into a usable form of energy called glucose. Glucose also known as sugar enters the bloodstream and a hormone called insulin helps move it into our cells.
This process lowers the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. When this process works efficiently, your muscles and organs have the fuel they need without there being too much glucose remaining in the blood.
Multiple Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
The struggle to lower blood sugar levels is not uncommon. In India alone, an estimated 77 million adults have high blood sugar levels and want to lower blood sugar levels for good health.
This number could be as high as 134 million by 2045. Even more concerning is that 57% of these cases go undetected and undiagnosed. Therefore, if you have high blood sugar levels, you have to make wiser choices to lower blood sugar levels.
- Complex Carbohydrates
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What Is The Maximum Limit Of Random Blood Sugar
Your sugar levels can go very high. However, the normal range for a random reading would be between 90-150mg/dL. At times, after a heavy or carb-filled lunch, the random sugars might be even higher. Most often than not, the normal range for random blood sugar is often followed by most people who stick to a routine of regular diet and physical exercise. However, incessant eating of sugary items, greater body fats, etc might lead sugar levels to even go up to the level of 600/700. This level of hyperglycemia can often have devastating consequences.
What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be After Eating
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Interpreting the results
|1 hour after meal
Beside above, is 200 blood sugar normal after eating? Fasting blood sugar is almost between 80 to 100. The ideal post-meal blood glucose reading is less than 140. 140-200 post meal/random reading is considered pre-diabetes.
Secondly, what level of blood sugar is dangerous after meal?
Blood glucose is commonly considered too high if it is higher than 130 mg/dl before a meal or higher than 180 mg/dl two hours after the first bite of a meal. However, most of the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose dont appear until the blood glucose level is higher than 250 mg/dl.
What is the normal blood sugar level for adults?
For the majority of healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows: Between 4.0 to 5.4 mmol/L when fasting. Up to 7.8 mmol/L 2 hours after eating.
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What Is Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycaemia is a condition wherein blood sugar levels are too low. This condition affects a number of diabetic people when their bodies do not have enough glucose to use as energy. Hypoglycaemia is commonly the result of taking too much of the medication/s prescribed to treat diabetes, eating less than expected, exercising more than normal or skipping meals.
Some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia include:
Causes Of Blood Sugar Levels
Whilst the liver and muscles produce some glucose, most comes from the foods we eat. Food and drinks that are high in carbohydrates are most impactful on blood sugar level. What we eat provides us most of the nutrients our body needs and sometimes, does not need. That is not to say that food is a major cause of blood sugar level increasing or decreasing too dramatically.
Typically, if a person has health conditions or poor nutrition, this will lead to a spike or decline in blood sugar level. The causes differ from high to low blood sugar levels and are as follows:
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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.
People With Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy. Often, it is a temporary condition, but it can lead to pregnancy complications.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with a diagnosis of gestational diabetes aim for blood sugar levels similar to those for people without diabetes, although individual targets may vary.
The ADA offers the following as a guideline:
|Blood sugar level
A wide range of complications can also result, such as slow wound healing and frequent infections. Other possible complications include:
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Infant Mortality And Birth Defects
There is a slight increase in the risk of infant mortality or birth defects in babys of mother with diabetes than without, however preconception care can reduce this risk by ensuring the mother is as healthy as possible before and through out pregnancy
In addition to this if a woman has diabetes before pregnancy, diabetes related complications can worsen this includes things like hypertensio, kidney disease, nerve damage and retinopathy which is a form of diabetic eye disease.
How Do I Check My Blood Sugar
Checking your blood sugar is simple and can be done at home with the right equipment. The most traditional and effective way of doing so is with a glucose meter. You wash your hands to wash away germs, prick your finger with a needle, apply the blood from the pricked finger to a test strip and insert it into the machine. Your blood sugar level will appear on the meters display. Alternatively, there are a few modern methods that have been developed. They show results but are considered not to be as accurate as glucose meters.
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Consequences Of Blood Sugar Levels
Whilst most symptoms of low and high blood sugar levels are mild, they can worsen if left untreated and sometimes have long term consequences and/or complications. Overtime, a high blood sugar level is what can cause consequences. Lack of treatment can cause severe damage to the blood vessels and lead to complications such as:
- Damage to the eyes and/or loss of vision
- Nerve problems in the feet leading to infections
To avoid long term consequences and complications, it is advised to take all precautionary measures and treat your blood sugar level so that it can be maintained at your ideal reading. So do so, follow all treatment methods, stay on track with checking your level daily and seeking help if symptoms persist.
If you have any more questions, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions which may answer your concerns:
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If your test results reveal that you have type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, it is vital to speak to your doctor about establishing a comprehensive treatment plan.
This plan should include diabetes self-management education and support services, as well as clear steps you can take to ensure that you are in the best state of health. However, if you have prediabetes or want to prevent diabetic issues, you should modify your lifestyle and avoid the outcome of the condition.
Maintaining blood glucose levels within your target range is the main objective. Your doctor will specify your desired range. The type of diabetes, age, and presence of problems all affect the target level. For example, your blood sugar levels will be lower if you have gestational diabetes than in other forms of diabetes.
As per research, physical exercise is crucial for managing diabetes. Find out from your doctor how many minutes you should exercise per week. Nutrition is also vital. You must also keep an eye on your cholesterol and blood pressure.
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Normal Blood Sugar Levels Chart
Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is essential to your mental and physical health.
The normal blood sugar levels chart below shows the range to shoot for and the diabetes blood sugar levels chart shows levels to avoid.
What is blood sugar? Its the glucose in your bloodstream that your body uses to produce energy. For most people, normal blood sugar levels range from 80 up to 140 naturally fluctuating throughout the day.
A healthy body has effective ways of regulating normal blood sugar levels.
For example, if your blood sugar falls too low, extra glucose stored in your liver is absorbed into your bloodstream to make up the difference.