What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
What Causes Blood Sugar To Be High
Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Feeling very tired.
- Having blurry vision.
- Needing to urinate more often.
If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
Roller Coaster: Female Hormones
When a woman’s hormones change, so does their blood sugar. Keep a monthly record of your levels to get a better idea of how your menstrual cycle affects you. Hormone changes during menopause may make blood sugar even harder to control. Talk to your doctor about whether hormone replacement therapy is a good idea.
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Best Foods For Low Blood Sugar
For patients with diabetes, monitoring blood sugar levels is a part of daily life.
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can occur for many people with diabetes who are on certain medications, including insulin and sulfonylureas. It can occur for a variety of reasons including skipping a meal, exercising strenuously, taking too much insulin or consuming alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.
Low blood sugar can be as minor as a slight inconvenience or as serious as a life-threatening emergency. Thats why it is important to boost blood sugar before it becomes problematic.
Angela Norton, a diabetes educator at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, has diabetes herself, so she knows firsthand the tips and tricks of keeping blood sugar on track. Although blood glucose is considered normal if above 70 mg/dL, Norton says patients with diabetes should not wait until they reach below that threshold to take action.
Treat when you feel the symptoms, even if your blood sugar is not below 70, because as long as it is less than 100, it may be dropping fast, she says.
When it comes to treatment, Norton shares these five foods to help boost low blood sugar.
1. CandyWhen hypoglycemia occurs, patients should follow the 15-15 rule. Consume 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise blood glucose and check your levels again after 15 minutes. When the numbers return to normal, eat a snack to stay on track.
Gummy candies contain carbohydrates, which have a large impact on blood sugar levels.
Managing Diabetes: Six Healthy Steps With The Most Benefit
Extra pounds? Lose a little. You dont have to be a biggest loser or get an extreme makeover to enjoy big weight-loss benefits if you have diabetes. In a nationwide study of 5,145 people with type 2 diabetes, those who shed just 5 to 10 percent of their weight were three times more likely to lower their A1C by 0.5 percent, a significant drop. They were also 50 percent more likely to lower their blood pressure by 5 points and twice as likely to lower their triglycerides by 40 points compared with those whose weight remained the same.
Say yes to fiber-rich foods. When people with diabetes increase the fiber in their diet, they can potentially lower blood glucose over a period of 12 weeks or less, according to a major review of 15 studies. Most peoplewith or without diabetesdont get the recommended 21 to 38 grams of fiber daily. Those who participated in these studies increased their intake by an average of 18 grams a daythe amount in a bowl of higher-fiber breakfast cereal plus a couple of extra servings of vegetables. Whenever you can, choose vegetables, whole grains, and fruit over sugary treats and bread, rolls, and other foods made with refined grains.
Know your ABCsand beyond.Because your risk for heart disease is higher with diabetes, its smart to see your doctor regularly for checks, Kalyani says. Have your:
- A1C tested as often as your doctor recommends
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Understanding Low Blood Sugar
Our bodies, particularly our brains and hearts, depend on sugar for energy. “Blood glucose” is the term for the amount of glucose in the blood. Problems can arise when blood glucose is either too high or too low.
Fasting blood glucose levels range from 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter . Levels higher than this indicate prediabetes or diabetes. Chronically high blood sugar can lead to complications like nerve, eye, and kidney damage, and cardiovascular disease. People with diabetes often require medication to keep blood sugar levels healthy.
Blood sugar levels lower than 70 mg/dL indicate low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. Levels below 54 mg/dL indicate serious hypoglycemia that can lead to loss of consciousness. Low blood sugar is often a side effect of blood sugarlowering medications for diabetes, like insulin and sulfonylureas. However, other medications can lower blood sugar, especially in people with diabetes. These include beta-blockers and some antibiotics.
Pistachio Study In Spain
In a landmark clinical study conducted in Spain, researchers found that pistachio consumption helped people with prediabetes improve their condition. Before people get prediabetes, they almost always have Type 2 diabetes blood glucose levels that are higher than average but not high sufficient to be diabetes. However, without treatment, 15 to 30 per cent of people with prediabetes will get diabetes within five years.
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Other Ways To Treat Low Blood Sugar
Glucose tabs and glucose gel may be eaten to help raise blood sugar levels, or you can administer a glucagon injection. Glucagon is a hormone that tells your liver to release stored glucose into the bloodstream.
Typically, your pancreas releases glucagon when your blood sugar levels are too low. People with diabetes can get a prescription for glucagon kits.
If they ever lose consciousness due to low blood sugar, a glucagon injection is the best way to bring their levels back to normal. Friends and family should also know how to use a kit in case of an emergency.
If you have frequent episodes of hypoglycemia, talk to your doctor. If you have diabetes, you may need to reduce your diabetes medicines, says Barnathan. You’ll also want to make sure you are eating three meals a day.
Repeated episodes of hypoglycemia can cause hypoglycemia unawareness, where you no longer have early symptoms like shakiness or irregular heartbeat. Without those warning signs, you may not notice your blood sugar is low until more severe symptoms set in.
If you don’t have diabetes but frequently have low blood sugar, you and your doctor need to check for other possible causes.
Get A Boost From Refined Grains
White bread, cooked white pasta and rice, pancakes, soda crackers and breakfast cereals made with refined grains can quickly raise your blood sugar levels. Refined grain products typically raise your blood sugar levels faster than their whole grain counterparts because they are lower in dietary fiber, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Rice cakes, hard pretzels, cornflakes and bagels are convenient choices to carry with you in case you begin experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar.
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Foods That Raise Blood Sugar
Fifteen grams of simple carbohydrates can often restore blood glucose to normal levels. Simple carbohydrates are quickly absorbed, and a good way to raise blood sugar. The “15-15 rule” involves eating 15 grams of simple carbs and checking your blood sugar 15 minutes later once your body has had time to absorb them. Eat 15 more grams if your blood sugar remains under 70 mg/dL.
The following foods have about 15 grams of sugar:
- A half cup of juice or soda
- A packet of sugar
- A tablespoon of honey or syrup
- Hard or chewy candy, like lollipops, gumdrops, or jelly beans
Additionally, sugar can be taken in the form of glucose tablets or gels. After raising your blood sugar, eat a meal to ensure it does not drop again.
How To Deal With Low Blood Sugar
âWhen blood sugars are low, the first goal is to bring them up to above 70 mg/dL with a simple and fast-acting source of sugar,â says Crean. âOnce your blood sugar is above this goal, you want to eat a balanced meal or snack that contains some additional carbohydrates, plus protein and fat to help keep it stable.â Think: A handful of whole-grain crackers topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter.
The general rule of thumb is to consume 15 grams of carbs, then wait 15 minutes before checking your blood sugar again. If itâs still too low, repeat the process. âA good premeal blood sugar range to comfortably stay within would be 80 to 130 mg/dL,â says Crean.
Here are some super-convenient ways to get your blood sugar back on track, stat.
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The Bottom Line: Take A Whole
No single food, supplement, or workout session is going to be the magic bullet. To maintain a healthy blood sugar level , start eating a minimally processed diet that contains fiber, protein, healthy fats, and high-quality carbohydrates get regular exercise make sure youâre hydrated and well-rested play around with meal composition and experiment with research-backed superfoods and supplements.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
How To Avoid Low Blood Sugar Levels
Hypoglycaemia or low blood glucose level can lead to many symptoms and there are certain ways to prevent it. The best thing is to have small frequent meals and have a balanced diet. Skipping meals or doing excessive exercise without proper food intake should be avoided and care must be taken if you are a diabetic or have any other medical condition leading to low blood glucose levels. Here are a few things you can do to prevent a low blood glucose level:
1. Have a Protein Rich Breakfast
Breakfast is the first and definitely the most important meal of the day and skipping breakfast is bad for your health. People who do not take breakfast have higher levels of stress hormones in their blood. These hormones stimulate insulin, and as a result the blood sugar levels drop. Having a nutritious breakfast, especially one containing proteins like egg, sausages and bacon can keep the blood sugar levels stable for longer.
2. Incorporate Healthy Fats in your Diet
Not all fats are bad and recent studies have clearly indicated that a certain amount of fats is required by the body for optimal performance. The body takes longer to breakdown and digest fats as compared to carbohydrates. They provide satiety and you can avoid the nasty cravings and hunger pangs if you incorporate the good fats in your daily diet. All non processed fats like butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil and egg yolks, etc are good sources of healthy fats.
3. Snack Right
4. Get Proper Sleep
5. Other Tips
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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.
What Toxins Cause Hypoglycemia In Dogs
The most common toxin that can cause hypoglycemia in dogs is xylitol, which is a natural sugar found in chewing gum and other âsugar-freeâ products.
This blog article discussed hypoglycemia, which is a condition that can develop in dogs when their blood sugar levels become too low. Glucose is a type of sugar that is used for energy by the body. When levels of glucose drop too low, the bodyâs cells may not have enough energy to function properly. In dogs, hypoglycemia is most commonly seen in puppies, small breed dogs, and senior dogs. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to seizures or even death if not treated promptly and properly. If you have concerns that your dog may be hypoglycemic, please contact your veterinarian.
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How To Raise Blood Sugar Levels
If you haven’t had anything to eat or drink for sometime or have done excessive exercise there are chances that your blood sugar levels will drop. In diabetics, an insulin dose without carbohydrate intake can lead to hypoglycaemia. The symptoms of hypoglycaemia appear when the blood glucose levels drop below 3.35 mmol/l or 70 gm/dl.
The most effective and immediate way to raise blood sugar level is to take glucose rich foods. Consuming 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates can restore the blood sugar level. Here is a list of the best options to eat if the blood glucose levels drop:
Fresh juice, energy drinks, sports drinks, milk and other juices are ideal for increasing blood sugar level immediately. ½ cup of apple or pineapple juice or ½ cup of milk or any other sweet drink like soda or sports drink contains sufficient amount of glucose to raise blood sugar levels. These are rapidly absorbed and the symptoms get better very quickly.
2. Sweets and Candies
If you know that you are prone to getting low blood sugar levels, always keep some sweets or candies with you. The minute you feel the symptoms, pop some in your mouth for fast relief. Though not a very healthy choice, these are very effective to raise blood sugar levels instantly.
4. Glucose Tablets and Gels
Honey or any other sweet drink or sauce can be taken for correction of hypoglycaemia.
When To Call The Doctor
If signs of low blood sugar do not improve after you have eaten a snack that contains sugar, have someone drive you to the emergency room or call 911 or the local emergency number. Do not drive when your blood sugar is low.
Get medical help right away for a person with low blood sugar if the person is not alert or cannot be woken up as this is a medical emergency.
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How Can I Check My Blood Sugar
Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.
What Foods Can Help Raise Blood Sugar Fast
Because your blood sugar comes from the foods and beverages you consume, one of the easiest ways to raise your blood sugar fast is to grab a quick snack.
The American Diabetes Association recommends the 15-15 rule if your blood sugar dips below 70 mg/dL: Eat at least 15 grams of carbohydrates, then wait 15 minutes to recheck your blood sugar.
If youre still below 70 mg/dL, have another 15 grams of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and check your levels again.
Among the foods you can try for a quick blood sugar boost are:
- a piece of fruit, like a banana, apple, or orange
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- 1 tablespoon of sugar in water
Foods that contain protein or fat, such as peanut butter, ice cream, and chocolate, may be helpful if your blood sugar level has dropped but isnt below 70 mg/dL.
These higher-fat foods, as well as whole-grain bread and other high-fiber foods, take longer to absorb into your bloodstream. Because of this, these foods wont raise your blood sugar as quickly as foods that have more simple carbohydrates.
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Why You Should Check Your Blood Sugar
Testing blood glucose can help you manage diabetes by showing you:
- How well your diabetes treatment plan is working
- How exercise and food affect your blood sugar levels
- How things like stress and illness affect your levels
- How well your diabetes medication is working
- When your blood sugar levels are too high or too low