Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes
There is no single cause of type 2 diabetes but some factors can put you at greater risk. They include:
- being age 40 or over
- being overweight
- having a family member who has diabetes
- having had gestational diabetes
- having given birth to a baby that weighed more than 4 kg at birth
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol or other fats in the blood or
- member of a high-risk ethnic group.
Tests For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. Youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes , your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.
What Is Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body no longer produces enough insulin, or has difficulty using the insulin it produces, causing sugar to build up in the blood.
Over time, this damages blood vessels and nerves and can result in severe complications including: blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage, amputation, and erectile dysfunction.
Adopting a healthier lifestyle can help prevent or control type 2 diabetes, and can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, and stroke. It can also contribute to your overall well-being and quality of life.
Did You Know?
Nine out of ten Canadians with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Seniors represent almost 45 per cent of the total number of people with the disease, and this number is expected to rise as Canada’s population continues to age.
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Upswing: Steroids And Water Pills
People take corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to treat rashes, arthritis, asthma, and many other conditions. But they can boost your blood sugar, and may even trigger diabetes in some people. Diuretics that help high blood pressure, also called water pills, can do the same. Some antidepressants also raise or lower blood sugar.
Ideal Blood Sugar Levels For Type 2 Diabetes
In this post, we talk about the ideal blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar levels or blood glucose levels is the amount of blood sugar in your body. When you understand the normal blood sugar level ranges you can better manage your diabetes. The ranges stated on this post are as recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence . However, your target range as advised by your doctor or health professional may be different.
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Caution: Birth Control Pills
Types that have estrogen can affect the way your body handles insulin. Still, oral contraceptives are safe for women with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association suggests a combination pill with norgestimate and synthetic estrogen. The group also says birth control shots and implants are safe for women with the condition, though they can affect your blood sugar levels.
Nuts Herbs And Spices
Nuts can be a good food choice.
Avoid salted nuts and try to limit the quantity of nuts you eat as they have a high calorific value. Dont let the calories put you off completely though, nuts are a great source of fibre and vitamins and can be beneficial for cholesterol.
Walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts and macadamia nuts are good choices.
Herbs and spices are not only a great way to add flavour to food, theyre also another good source of vitamins. Adding herbs and spices to food can help to replace adding extra salt.
How To Use A Blood Glucose Meter:
- After washing your hands, insert a test strip into your meter.
- Use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood.
- Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood and wait for the result.
- Your blood glucose level will appear on the meterâs display.
Note: All meters are slightly different, so always refer to your userâs manual for specific instructions.
Interested In Learning More Read About Normal Blood Glucose Numbers Getting Tested For Type 2 Diabetes And Using Blood Sugar Monitoring To Manage Diabetes
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!
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Adjusting Blood Sugar Target Ranges
There are some times when it is appropriate to adjust the blood sugar target ranges for a person with diabetes. Targets can be adjusted due to the age of the individual.
A 92 year old with diabetes, for example, would not be looking at the long term complications of diabetes as much as a younger person would. Therefore, the target range should be adjusted related to the advanced age of the patient.
Mainly, there is an adjustment in the target range for the A1C. In the elderly with diabetes who are not looking at the long-term complications, the A1C target can be set at less than 8 percent.
Other factors, such as other health conditions, stress, illness, how long a person has had diabetes for, and lifestyle habits and activity levels may be considered when setting an A1C target, as well as a fasting, pre-meal, and post-meal blood sugar target.
For example, a patient who is not getting good control of blood sugars, and having frequent readings in the 200-300 mg/dl level may be told to keep their fasting and pre-meal blood sugar in the 80-140 mg/dl range, and post-meal blood sugar less than 200 mg/dl. As the patient improves self-management, the target ranges can be tapered down to the usual ranges.
Official Hba1c Ada Recommendation For Someone With Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association recommends an HbA1C of less than 7% for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes. A lower goal, such as less than 6.5%, may be appropriate for some people who have had diabetes for a shorter amount of time, for younger people, for those without heart disease, and/or for those with type 2 diabetes treated with lifestyle or metformin only. A higher HbA1C goal, such as less than 8%, may be appropriate for people with a history of severe hypoglycemia, a limited life expectancy, advanced diabetes complications, other illnesses, or for whom a lower HbA1C goal is difficult to achieve. Its important that people with diabetes discuss their target blood sugar goals with their healthcare provider.
HbA1C levels should be checked between two to four times per year in people who have diabetes.
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Target Blood Sugar Ranges For Pregnant People With Diabetes
Blood sugar targets during pregnancy are lower due to hormonal influences. The ADA, AACE, and Joslin Diabetes Center have slightly different guidelines for target blood sugar levels during pregnancy. In general, pregnant women with diabetes will want to follow individual guidelines provided by their endocrinologist.
The ADA recommends maintaining blood sugar levels of 95-140 mg/dL for pregnant women. However, some providers recommend an even tighter goal of blood glucose levels below 89 mg/dL before a meal and below 120 mg/dL after a meal.
To keep close tabs on levels, most diabetes specialists recommend that women with diabetes during pregnancy check their blood sugar:
- First thing in the morning
- Before all meals
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.
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What Are The Main Treatments For T2dm
The main treatments for managing T2DM include a combination of lifestyle interventions and medications.
The first step, or primary intervention, in managing someone who is at risk of developing or has been newly diagnosed with T2DM, is dietary modification. This also includes modifying physical activity patterns and is the first attempt to correct the blood glucose imbalance that is occurring in the body.
Secondary interventions include the use of oral and injectable medications such as Metformin, Sulfonylureas, GLP-1 agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors and insulin. The appropriate dosage and selection of medications depends on the severity and length of time you may have had diabetes and will be individualised to each person by their doctor or endocrinologist.
Blood Sugar Target Levels For Children And Adolescents Under The Age Of 18 With Type 1 Diabetes
Blood sugar target levels for children and adolescents who are under the age of 18 coincide with an A1C of less than 7.5 percent with no episodes of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. High blood sugar or hyperglycemia does contribute to complications, both in the short and the long term for youth and adolescents.
However, low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can damage brain function and affect memory. This is one difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes related to youth and adolescents. Otherwise, there are no differences.
With that said, the target ranges for blood sugars fasting, pre-meal, and post-meal are the same for children and adolescents under the age of 18. Again you are looking for fasting and pre-meal blood sugars in the 80-130 mg/dl range, post-meal blood sugars should be less than 180 mg/dl .
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Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
The OGTT is a two-hour test that checks your blood sugar levels before and two hours after you drink a special sweet drink. It tells the doctor how your body processes sugar.
- Diabetes is diagnosed at 2 hour blood sugar of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
|140 mg/dl to 199 mg/dl|
|Diabetes||200 mg/dl or higher|
Which Foods Should People With Diabetes Avoid
Try to limit all of the following:
- White bread, white pasta and pastries
- Ready meals
- Take away food
Some people may be comfortable completely ruling these foods out of their diet whereas others may want to occasionally include some of these foods every now and again. The key is to be able to pick a sensible limit and be able to stick to it.
Many people also suggest staying away from so-called Diabetic Food
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Low Blood Sugar: What To Watch Out For
Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes who:
- Take too much medication or insulin
- Are late eating a meal or snack
- Have increased physical activity
- Drink too much alcohol
Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling weak, sweaty or clammy, confused, hungry and/or irritable. Sometimes people experience a fast heartbeat and some symptoms may make a person appear to be drunk. A severely low blood sugar can result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma or death especially when a low occurs during the night.
Low blood sugar affects many parts of the body, but the most frustrating part can be that hypoglycemia can happen anytime and anywhere even when you think you are closely following the plan for your diabetes care. If low blood sugar is severe, people may need to go to the hospital to help raise their glucose level or miss work due to the side effects.
It can happen during a date, during a business meeting, or even while driving, which is the most dangerous scenario if there is confusion or loss of consciousness while behind the wheel. Its important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar before you drive to keep yourself and others safe. Frequent testing with your blood sugar meter and taking action when blood sugar is trending low can prevent a severe low and keep your life on track.
Agree On Specific Target Ranges With The Diabetes Team
Sit down with a member of your diabetes health care team and discuss a range of blood glucose targets that are considered reasonable and realistic, given age, lifestyle and health considerations.
You should have a clear understanding of which numbers are considered too high or too low. It should also be clear what actions need to be taken if these numbers occur.
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Lets Crunch Some Numbers
Ill give these numbers to you in a written, chart, and visual format because it will make sense to you depending how you read it.
Depending where you live in the world, numbers can vary slightly. And your numbers will either be mg/dl or mmol/l. Youll find the numbers for both of these readings below.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Fasting glucose 70-99 mg/dl or 4-6 mmol/l
2 hours post meal glucose Less than 140 mg/dl or less than 7.8 mmol/l
Pre-diabetes diagnostic ranges also called impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance
Fasting glucose 100-125 mg/dl or 6.1-6.9 mmol/l
2 hours post meal glucose level 140-199 mg/ dl or 7.8-11 mmol/l
Type 2 Diabetes diagnostic ranges
Fasting glucose More than 126 mg/dl or more than 7.0 mmol/l
2 hours glucose level More than 200 mg/dl or more than 11.1 mmol/l
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
In most cases the diagnosis of diabetes is simple. A blood test called an HbA1c measures the amount of glucose that has built up in your blood over a 3-month period. A high HbA1c result confirms the diagnosis. In most cases no other test is necessary, but tests to measure the amount of glucose in your blood may also be used. Read more about the HbA1c test.
In the past, urine tests were used to diagnose diabetes, but these are unreliable and no longer used.
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Hba1c The Big Picture On Blood Glucose
Your GP or specialist may request you to have a HbA1c blood test. This blood test provides an average measure of your blood glucose over the previous two to three months.
HbA1c is an important complement to selfmonitoring at home . Understanding your HbA1c levels can help you and your health care team make more informed decisions about your diabetes management. Some medications, treatments and inherited blood conditions can affect HbA1c results. Your doctor should be aware of your medical history to ensure an accurate HbA1c.
Your doctor will recommend a HbA1c target based on your life stage and particular circumstances. Usually this will be around 7% , although this can vary depending on your personal circumstances.
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Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
Hypoglycemia happens when blood glucose levels drop too low. Low blood sugar can be caused by many things including the two different types of diabetes, certain medications, alcohol, endocrine disorders, eating disorders, pregnancy , and disorders of the liver, kidneys, or heart.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that someone with low blood sugar might experience:
- Tingling lips
If your blood sugar is low you might start to feel some of the first signs of hypoglycemia like dizziness, lightheadedness, or sweating. The only way to know for sure if your blood sugar is low is to test it with a glucose meter or other glucose monitoring device.
If you dont have access to these tools and start to feel the symptoms of low blood sugar, consume 15 grams of carbs or take a quick dissolve glucose tablet to raise your blood sugar levels and avoid further symptoms, according to the American Diabetes Association . Once your blood sugar is back in its target range, you can have a snack or meal to make sure it doesnt drop again.
Here are some other lifestyle and medicinal treatments that can help treat hypoglycemia:
- Eat a healthy diet full of whole foods that are minimally processed.
- Take prediabetes or diabetes medications as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Use a glucagon kit in emergencies. Glucagon is a hormone that raises blood sugar levels quickly.
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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.
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 achieving 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.
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