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What Does It Mean If Glucose Is High

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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels In Healthy Individuals

What does it mean to have high blood sugar

Blood sugar levels can either be normal, high, or low, depending on how much glucose someone has in their bloodstream. Glucose is a simple sugar thats present in the bloodstream at all times. Blood glucose levels can be measured at any time, for example, when someone fasts , before they eat, or after theyve eaten. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, who havent eaten for at least eight hours is less than 100 mg/dL. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, two hours after eating, is 90 to 110 mg/dL.

Many factors affect blood sugar levels throughout the day:

  • Type of food consumed, how much, and when
  • Physical activity
  • Menstrual periods

An ideal blood sugar level for anyone without diabetes or prediabetes, regardless of age, in the morning should be less than 100 mg/dL. Remember, blood sugar levels can fluctuate throughout the day as a result of the factors previously mentioned.

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What Happens If My Blood Glucose Level Becomes Too Low

Sometimes blood glucose levels drop below where they should be, which is called hypoglycemia. For most people with diabetes, the blood glucose level is too low when it is below 70 mg/dL.

Hypoglycemia can be life threatening and needs to be treated right away. Learn more about how to recognize and treat hypoglycemia.

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High Glucose And Diabetes

When you eat, your body breaks food down into glucose, a form of sugar, explains the American Diabetes Association . That glucose is carried through your bloodstream to your cells and tissues, which use it for energy.

The hormone insulin plays an important role in this process. It helps transfer sugar out of your bloodstream and into the cells that will use or store it, says ADA. A high blood glucose level means this process isnt working the way it should because your body cant make enough insulin, doesnt use it effectively or both.

Its not a situation to be ignored, even though you may not have any symptoms yet. Prediabetes â when your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes â can develop into diabetes if you dont make needed lifestyle changes, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Diabetes, undiagnosed or untreated, can lead to serious complications over time, including heart disease, blindness and kidney failure as a result of your blood sugar being too high all the time, according to the Mayo Clinic.

There are two main kinds of diabetes. Says Robert H. Eckel, MD, president of medicine and science at the ADA, 90 to 95 percent of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes develops most often in young people, the ADA notes, although it can also be diagnosed in adulthood. A third type, gestational diabetes, occurs during pregnancy.

Causes Related To Lifestyle

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Physical inactivity

Exercising prompts your body to burn more energy than usual, and, as a result, consume more glucose. Maintaining a low level of physical activity, on the other hand, means more glucose will remain in the bloodstream. This raises your overall blood glucose values in the process.

Exercise also makes our body more insulin sensitive, which means we will require less insulin for the rest of the day to control glucose levels.

Stress

Part of the bodyâs fight-or-flight response to stress is to produce additional glucose. Another facet of that response is an increase in the hormone cortisol. High cortisol can reduce the bodyâs sensitivity to insulin. As a result, blood glucose levels may also increase.

Poor sleep

A lack of quality sleep can inhibit how much insulin your body can release. It can also cause the production of cortisol, which makes it harder for insulin to work. When your bodyâs insulin cannot properly metabolize the glucose in your blood, the glucose remains there and your glucose levels rise.

Get better insight into your glucose levels

Want to gain a better understanding of how your body responds to glucose? Try monitoring your glucose levels in real time with the Nutrisense Continuous Glucose Health Program.

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High Blood Sugar: 13 Reasons Your Glucose Levels Are Rising

May 2, 2021

Itâs a fact of life that blood sugar fluctuates throughout the day. These ups and downs depend on a handful of factors, like when you wake up, what you eat, the medications you take, and how you manage stress. So, some variation is normal, to the point that you might not even notice it.

Ignoring blood sugar level changes altogether, though, means youâre ignoring a valuable marker of your health. Especially if you start to have new or unfamiliar symptoms like fatigue, thirst, or brain fog . Learning these symptoms and their causes will give you the tools to better understand your own body, then take the right actions for better long-term metabolic health.

What Is Type 2 Diabetes

Decreasing insulin production leads to an accumulation of glucose in the bloodstream. This condition worsens gradually over time. In the end, it develops into type 2 diabetes. It is also a root cause of certain nervous and circulatory system diseases.

This condition can be caused by several factors, such as:

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How Do Doctors Diagnose Insulin Resistance And Prediabetes

Doctors use blood tests to find out if someone has prediabetes, but they dont usually test for insulin resistance. The most accurate test for insulin resistance is complicated and used mostly for research.

Doctors most often use the fasting plasma glucose test or the A1C test to diagnose prediabetes. Less often, doctors use the oral glucose tolerance test , which is more expensive and not as easy to give.

The A1C test reflects your average blood glucose over the past 3 months. The FPG and OGTT show your blood glucose level at the time of the test. The A1C test is not as sensitive as the other tests. In some people, it may miss prediabetes that the OGTT could catch. The OGTT can identify how your body handles glucose after a mealoften before your fasting blood glucose level becomes abnormal. Often doctors use the OGTT to check for gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

People with prediabetes have up to a 50 percent chance of developing diabetes over the next 5 to 10 years. You can take steps to manage your prediabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes.

The following test results show Prediabetes2

  • A1C5.7 to 6.4 percent
  • FPG100 to 125 mg/dL
  • OGTT140 to 199 mg/dL

You should be tested for prediabetes if you are overweight or have obesity and have one or more other risk factors for diabetes, or if your parents, siblings, or children have type 2 diabetes. Even if you dont have risk factors, you should start getting tested once you reach age 45.

What Should I Eat For Breakfast If My Blood Sugar Is High

What does a high sugar really mean?

10 Best Breakfast Foods for People with Diabetes Eggs. Eggs are delicious, versatile, and a great breakfast choice for people with diabetes. Greek yogurt with berries. Overnight chia seed pudding. Oatmeal. Multigrain avocado toast. Low carb smoothies. Wheat bran cereal. Cottage cheese, fruit, and nut bowl.

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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels

Signs of high blood sugar levels include:

  • Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
  • Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
  • Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isn’t enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
  • Feeling tired: Because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
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If My A1c Is Normal My Glucose Is Good

An A1C result thatâs below 5.7% is normal âs standards, but having a result below that number isnât the end of the story. Pregnancy, hemoglobin variants, anemia, liver disease, and certain medications can cause inaccurate A1C results.

Additionally, the A1C test is measuring your average glucose value over the past 3 months, but averages inherently do not capture highs and lows. So, you could have a normal average while also having abnormal glucose spikes. The A1C test should only supplement your regular blood sugar testing, not replace it completely.

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How Do I Prepare For The Plasma Glucose Level Test And How Are The Results Interpreted

To get an accurate plasma glucose level, you must have fasted for at least 8 hours prior to the test. When you report to the clinic or laboratory, a small sample of blood will be taken from a vein in your arm. According to the practice recommendations of the American Diabetes Association, the results of the blood test are interpreted as follows:

Fasting blood glucose level

  • If your blood glucose level is 70 to 99* mg/dL . . .
  • What it means: Your glucose level is within the normal range.
  • If your blood glucose level is 100 to 125 mg/dL . . .
  • What it means: You have an impaired fasting glucose level .
  • If your blood glucose level is 126 mg/dl or higher on more than one testing occasion. . .
  • What it means: You have diabetes.
  • *Values between 50 and 70 are often seen in healthy people.

    **The condition of “prediabetes” puts you at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood lipid disorders.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/21/2018.

    References

    Eat The Right Carbohydrates

    Checking your blood sugar levels

    There are

    Sugars and starches raise blood sugar levels, but fiber does not cause a blood sugar spike, as the body is unable to absorb and break down this type of carb. As such, people may consider including carbs that are richer in fiber in their diet.

    People may also refer to sugars and starches as simple and complex carbs. Simple carbs primarily consist of one type of sugar. The body breaks these carbohydrates down very quickly, which causes blood sugar to rise rapidly. Complex carbohydrates consist of three or more sugars that are linked together. They result in a more gradual release of sugar into the body, meaning that blood sugar levels do not rise rapidly after a person eats them.

    Some people may use the glycemic index to help them monitor how much sugar and carbohydrate they eat, which will, in turn, help them manage their blood sugar levels. The GI measures and ranks various foods by how much they cause blood sugar levels to rise.

    Evidence notes a link between obesity and type 2 diabetes. Research also highlights the relationship between obesity and insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for allowing glucose in the blood to enter cells. Losing 510% of body weight can help those with excess weight improve their blood sugar levels.

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    Avoiding High Blood Sugar And Dka

    No matter how well they take care of themselves, people with diabetes will sometimes have high blood sugar levels. But the best way to avoid problems is to keep your blood sugar levels as close to your desired range as possible, which means following your diabetes management plan. Checking your blood sugar levels several times a day will let you know when your blood sugar level is high. Then you can treat it and help prevent DKA from happening.

    High blood sugar levels don’t always cause symptoms, and a person who isn’t testing regularly might be having blood sugar levels high enough to damage the body without even realizing it. Doctors may use the HbA1c test to find out if someone has been having high blood sugar levels over time, even if the person has not had obvious symptoms.

    Here are some other tips for avoiding high blood sugar levels and preventing DKA:

    • Try to eat all your meals and snacks on time and not skip any.
    • Take the right amount of insulin.
    • Check your blood sugar levels regularly and your ketone levels when your diabetes management plan recommends it.
    • Stick to your diabetes management plan.

    Causes Related To Personal Health

    Insulin resistance

    This condition occurs when the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver are unable to use the glucose in your bloodstream for energy. Your pancreas responds to this increase in glucose by producing more insulin to help your body process it. This excess amount of insulin in the bloodstream can eventually cause your body to lose insulin sensitivity or build resistance to it, leading to higher blood glucose levels.

    Bodyweight and body fat

    Research connects being overweight and having a higher body fat percentage with high blood glucose levels. In fact, a high body fat percentage might be a clearer indicator of high blood sugar and diabetes than weight or body mass index .

    Other health conditions

    Certain conditions could make you more likely to have high blood glucose. These include Cushingâs disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome , and gestational diabetes. Blood glucose may also rise as the result of common illnesses like a head cold or the flu.

    Hormonal changes

    It isnât just stress and sleep that can cause fluctuations in hormones. Illness, physical pain and trauma, menopause or menstruation can as well. In any of these instances, your blood glucose levels may rise due to the changes in your hormone levels.

    Medications

    Gut issues

    A growingbody of research links imbalances in the microbiota living in our guts to an inability to regulate glucose levels in the blood. This is sometimes due to antibiotic use or infection.

    Genetics

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    You Feel Tiredness And Fatigue Constantly

    Fatigue and extreme tiredness are symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar, the ADA says. Simply put, when your body is not processing insulin properly or it doesnt have sufficient amounts of insulin, the sugar is staying in our blood rather than getting into our cells to be used for energy, Zanini says. Also, frequent urination can lead to dehydration, which Bandukwala identifies as another contributing factor to fatigue.

    What Causes Hyperglycemia

    Type 2 Diabetes: How can high glucose levels harm your body?

    Your diet may cause you to have high blood sugar levels, particularly if you have diabetes. Carbohydrate-heavy foods such as breads, rice, and pasta can raise your blood sugar. Your body breaks these foods down into sugar molecules during digestion. One of these molecules is glucose, an energy source for your body.

    After you eat, glucose is absorbed into your bloodstream. The glucose cant be absorbed without the help of the hormone insulin. If your body is unable to produce enough insulin or is resistant to its effects, glucose can build up in your bloodstream and cause hyperglycemia.

    Hyperglycemia can also be triggered by a change in your hormone levels. This commonly happens when youre under a lot of stress or when youre feeling ill.

    Hyperglycemia can affect people regardless of whether they have diabetes. You may be at risk of hyperglycemia if you:

    • lead a sedentary or inactive lifestyle
    • have a chronic or severe illness
    • are under emotional distress
    • use certain medications, such as steroids
    • have had a recent surgery

    If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels may spike if you:

    • dont follow your diabetes eating plan
    • dont use your insulin correctly
    • dont take your medications correctly

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    How To Prevent It

    If you work to keep your blood sugar under control â follow your meal plan, exercise program, and medicine schedule â you shouldnât have to worry about hyperglycemia. You can also:

    • Know your diet â count the total amounts of carbs in each meal and snack.
    • Test your blood sugar regularly.
    • Tell your doctor if you have repeated abnormal blood sugar readings.
    • Wear medical identification to let people know you have diabetes in case of an emergency.

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    Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome : When Hyperglycemia Becomes Severe For People With Type 2 Diabetes

    Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome is very rare, but you should be aware of it and know how to handle it if it occurs.

    HHNS is when your blood glucose level goes way too highyou become extremely hyperglycemic. HHNS affects people with type 2 diabetes.

    HHNS is most likely to occur when you’re sick, and elderly people are most likely to develop it.

    It starts when your blood glucose level starts to climb: when that happens, your body will try to get rid of all the excess glucose through frequent urination. That dehydrates your body, and you’ll become very thirsty.

    Unfortunately, when you’re sick, it’s sometimes more difficult to rehydrate your body. For example, it might be difficult to keep fluids down.

    When you don’t rehydrate your body, the blood glucose level continues to climb, and it can eventually go so high that it could send you into a coma.

    To avoid hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, you should keep close watch on your blood glucose level when you’re sick .

    Talk to your health care professional about having a sick-day plan to follow that will help you avoid HHNS.

    You should also be able to quickly recognize the signs and symptoms of HHNS, which include:

    • Extremely high blood glucose level

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