How To Test Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor can test your blood sugar levels using one of several methods depending on your unique health situation.
We usually do a hemoglobin A1C test or check their serum glucose levels, says Dr. Raja.
The most common testing method used is the glycated hemoglobin test, which screens you for prediabetes, and diabetes.
The A1C test is a blood test that measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs to tissues in the body. The A1C test will reveal your average blood sugar level for the previous two to three months.
Certain health conditions such as severe anemia, vitamin deficiencies, thalassemia, and sickle cell trait can often result in inaccurate A1C test results. When A1C test results seem inaccurate or inconsistent, your doctor may perform one or more other tests. These include a random glucose test, a fasting glucose test, or an oral glucose tolerance test.
For the random glucose test, your doctor will take a sample of your blood at a random time to test your blood sugar level. A fasting glucose test requires you to do an overnight fast before your doctor draws blood the following day. The oral glucose tolerance test also requires you to do an overnight fast, and consume a sugary liquid after you arrive at the doctors office, and get blood drawn at one hour and three hour intervals.
My A1c Is 5 8 How Do I Lower It
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Low Blood Glucose During Sleep
Your blood glucose level can drop while you sleep and stay low for several hours, causing serious problems.7 Symptoms of low blood glucose while you sleep can include
- crying out or having nightmares
- sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
- feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up
Although you may not wake up or notice any symptoms, low blood glucose can interfere with your sleep, which may affect your quality of life, mood, and ability to work. Having low blood glucose during sleep can also make you less likely to notice and respond to symptoms of low blood glucose during the day.
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Nuts Seeds And Nut/seed Butters
Nuts, seeds, and their respective butters offer quality sources of protein, plant based fat, and fiberâ¦ all three of our blood sugar balancing nutrients we look for! These foods have been shown to not only help promote healthy blood sugar levels, but also keep you more satisfied and full for longer.
Skip This: Bitter Melon
A popular fruit in the cuisines of Africa, East Asia, India, and South America, bitter melon is also sold in capsules claiming to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. One study published in 2017 in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that bitter melon may reduce high blood glucose in type 1 diabetes, but the evidence is otherwise limited for real blood sugar benefits in people, according to the National Institutes of Healths National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
The verdict: Its fine to eat bitter melon as a food, but as a supplement, it hasnt delivered the expected benefits and is potentially dangerous, Shane-McWhorter says. For example, it may cause gastrointestinal discomfort or allergic reactions. Now that you know about these vitamins for people with diabetes, read up on these diabetes breakthroughs.
This supplement is the maximum potency allowed. It contains cinnamon, a common ingredient found in blood sugar supplements, as well as a few other ingredients as well. It contains over 20 ingredients in all.
For those trying to lose weight, this supplement might be particularly helpful because it improves your metabolic rate.
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What Are The Best Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
Even if you are disciplined with your food habits, blood sugar spikes can easily happen. There are ways in which you can lower your blood glucose levels immediately. However, you need to consult a doctor before trying these remedies at home. Remember, this is not something that you can take lightly, and your life may depend on it.
Below, we will discuss a few ways in which you can lower blood sugar levels immediately:
How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 3.5mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
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How Does Food Affect My Blood Sugar
When you eat, your body breaks food down into carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
You need all of these parts for a healthy diet, but carbohydrates are really important when it comes to your blood glucose level. However, not all carbs change into blood sugar at the same rate.
Examples of foods that fit into each carb category include:
- Starches, or complex carbohydrates: Starchy vegetables, dried beans, and grains
- Sugars: Fruits, baked goods, beverages, and processed food items like cereals
- Fiber: Whole wheat products, chickpeas, lentils, berries, pears, and Brussels sprouts
The glycemic index is a carb ranking system that uses a scale ranging from zero to 100. You can use the GI to find out how different foods affect your blood sugar levels.
High GI foods are quickly processed and can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Low index foods are more slowly processed which leads to smaller blood glucose level changes.
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When To Go To The Er
High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.
This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.
DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.
Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:
- ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.
Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.
High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.
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What Is The Best Diet To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Atkins is a certainly a contender for best diet to lower blood sugar levels. Its important to eat free-range/grass-fed sources of meat and eggs and dairy if youre on the Atkins diet. Its also critical to get enough fiber. Paleo: Paleo diets are also very effective at managing blood sugar. But it strictly eliminates all grains from the diet.
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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.
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Lets Look At An Example
Lets say that you check your blood sugar before a meal and its 170. Youll need 1 unit to adjust to your target of 120.
If you plan to eat a meal that has 60 grams of carbohydrates, youll need to give yourself 6 units of insulin to adjust for your meal.
This means youll need 7 units total.
If your child needs help learning to calculate their insulin needs, Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta has created a helpful worksheet just for this.
Remember, there are two components to insulin correction:
- your blood sugar levels before your meal
- corrections for the carbohydrates you eat
Combine both of these when considering how much insulin to inject.
What Are Clinical Trials For Low Blood Glucose
Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers are studying many aspects of low blood glucose levels in diabetes, such as
- how to diagnose and treat low blood glucose among people with diabetes
- medicines that can treat symptoms of low blood glucose in people with hypoglycemia unawareness
- educational approaches to reduce fear of low blood glucose, which can make it harder for you to control your diabetes
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Some Should Be Cautious With Cinnamon
Cassia cinnamon is not only lower in antioxidants, its also high in a potentially harmful substance called coumarin, an organic substance found in many plants.
Several studies in rats have shown coumarin can be toxic to the liver, leading to concern that it can cause liver damage in humans as well (
European Food Safety Authority has set the tolerable daily intake for coumarin at 0.045 mg per pound .
Using average coumarin levels for Cassia cinnamon, this would be equivalent to about a half teaspoon of Cassia cinnamon per day for a 165-pound individual.
As you can see, Cassia cinnamon is particularly high in coumarin, and you can easily consume more than the upper limit by taking Cassia cinnamon supplements or even eating large amounts of it in foods.
However, Ceylon cinnamon contains much lower amounts of coumarin, and it would be difficult to consume more than the recommended amount of coumarin with this type .
Additionally, people with diabetes who take medications or insulin should be careful when adding cinnamon to their daily routine.
The addition of cinnamon on top of your current treatment may put you at risk of low blood sugar, which is known as hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is a potentially life-threatening condition, and it is recommended to talk to your doctor about incorporating cinnamon into your diabetes management.
Check Your Blood Glucose Levels
For many people with diabetes, checking their blood glucose level each day is an important way to manage their diabetes. Monitoring your blood glucose level is most important if you take insulin. The results of blood glucose monitoring can help you make decisions about food, physical activity, and medicines.
The most common way to check your blood glucose level at home is with a blood glucose meter. You get a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with a lancet. Then you apply the blood to a test strip. The meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment.
Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood glucose levels. Make sure to keep a record of your blood glucose self-checks. You can print copies of this glucose self-check chart. Take these records with you when you visit your health care team.
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What Class Of Drugs May Aggravate Diabetes And Cholesterol Levels
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How To Bring Blood Sugar Down Without Meds
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