How Do I Check
People with diabetes check their blood glucose levels by poking their fingertips and using a blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor to measure the blood glucose level at that moment. Read on to find out how to use a blood glucose meter. To find out more about CGMs, start by talking to your doctor.
A Few Final Notes On Keeping Blood Sugar Stable
Taking an active, intentional approach to your blood sugar levels is crucial to your quality of life and overall health, ONeill says. Avoiding too-high or too-low blood sugar levels will help you avoid adverse symptoms and health complications, and staying within your target range can enable you to feel your best and do whatever you want to do in life, she says.
Test your blood sugar regularly, listen to your body, and dont ever hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
Additional reporting by Karen Appold.
Blood Sugar Level Charts For Those With Diabetes
Normal blood sugar levels, for those with diabetes, will vary depending on someones age and the time of day. For example, when fasting, blood sugar levels are often in the target goal range. The type of food eaten will impact blood sugar levels in different ways. A meal with a lot of carbohydrates will raise blood sugar quicker than a meal that contains carbohydrates, protein, and fat . Blood sugar will rise after a meal, but will start to return to normal levels in several hours.
Lets take a look at what blood sugar levels should be, in those with diabetes, based on their age.
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How Is It Treated
If you have diabetes and notice any of the early signs of high blood sugar, test your blood sugar and call the doctor. They may ask you for the results of several readings. They could recommend the following changes:
Drink more water. Water helps remove excess sugar from your blood through urine, and it helps you avoid dehydration.
Exercise more. Working out can help lower your blood sugar. But under certain conditions, it can make blood sugar go even higher. Ask your doctor what kind of exercise is right for you.
Caution: If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you need to check your urine for ketones. When you have ketones, do NOT exercise. If you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you must also be sure that you have no ketones in your urine and that you are well-hydrated. Then your doctor might give you the OK to exercise with caution as long as you feel up to it.
Change your eating habits. You may need to meet with a dietitian to change the amount and types of foods you eat.
Switch medications. Your doctor may change the amount, timing, or type of diabetes medications you take. Donât make changes without talking to them first.
If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is more than 250 mg/dL, your doctor may want you to test your urine or blood for ketones.
What Is An Acceptable Blood Glucose Level After Eating What Are The Ideal Blood Sugar Levels And What Level Of Sugar Is Dangerous
A good general goal is to maintain a blood sugar level of less than 10 mmol/L in the one to two hours after a meal. Your doctor can tell you the best number for the average blood sugar level to aim for. That number can range depending on the test that you are doing or in fact how well you are controlling your glucose levels.Extremely high blood sugar levels can be unsafe.
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What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels
- Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
- Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
- Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
- Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
- Drink water instead of juice or soda.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
- Control your food portions .
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Normal Levels After Eating
Healthy, non-diabetic people normally have blood glucose levels of less than 120 milligrams per deciliter two hours after a normal meal, rarely exceeding 140 mg/dL, according to the American Diabetes Association. Levels return to normal within two to three hours. When you undergo a glucose tolerance test, you consume a high-carbohydrate drink or snack containing 75 grams of carbohydrate.
At one hour, your test falls into the normal, non-diabetic range if your blood glucose remains below 200 mg/dL. Two hours after your meal, blood glucose should remain below 140 mg/dL.
A level of over 200 mg/dL at two hours post-prandial — which means after a meal — indicates diabetes. Levels between 140 and 200 mg/dL indicate pre-diabetes, a condition with a strong risk of developing diabetes in the future.
Keeping Your Levels In Range
If you have diabetes, keeping your blood glucose within normal range after a high-carbohydrate meal can be difficult. The type of carbohydrates you choose can make a difference in your blood sugar. Complex carbohydrates, which must be broken down into simple sugars before your body can absorb them, slow the absorption process and help stabilize your blood sugars. The glycemic index defines carbohydrates by their absorption rate. Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, less than 45, cause a slow steady rise in blood glucose. Whole grains such as oats, wheat, barley, brown rice and lesser known grains such as quinoa help keep your levels within range. Foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, also slow digestion and help stabilize blood glucose after meals. Exercise can also help slow digestion and stabilize peaks in glucose.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
Getting professional medical advice from a healthcare provider like an endocrinologist is the best way to learn more about whether your blood sugar levels are where they should be. Not getting proper treatment for low or high blood sugar levels can be serious and lead to health complications, especially for those with diabetes. Diabetes complications include nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, or heart attacks.
If you see a healthcare provider about your blood sugar levels, be prepared to answer questions about risk factors like what you eat, how much you exercise, and about your family history. Some healthcare providers may want to take a blood sample to test your blood sugar levels. They may also order an A1C test, which is a blood test that measures blood sugar control over three months. You may have to fast eight hours beforehand to get accurate test results, so its always a good idea to check before your appointment. Your healthcare provider can create a diabetes treatment plan if you are prediabetic or have diabetes.
Be sure your treatment plan includes instructions on when you would need to seek emergency medical care. Emergency rooms are equipped to handle high blood sugar levels and can administer treatments like insulin therapy and fluid or electrolyte replacement.
Expected Results In Diabetics
Diabetics experience larger spikes in blood glucose that take longer to return to baseline. For diabetics, blood glucose an hour after eating should remain below 180 mg/dL or no more than 80 mg/dL over your pre-meal levels. The highest spikes in blood glucose levels often occur after breakfast. If you experience hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose levels before a meal, you might experience a higher-than-normal spike over baseline levels this doesn’t necessarily indicate an abnormal rise.
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Should I Use A Continuous Glucose Monitor
While a fingerstick blood sugar test gives you a static glimpse of your glucose level at that precise moment in time, a CGM is a more constant flow of information that provides a more complete picture and pattern of how youre doing.
This device monitors glucose levels under the skin, providing real-time results every 1 to 5 minutes. You insert a CGM on your body and wear it for 7 to 14 days, with the diabetes data being streamed to a separate handheld receiver or your smartphone app.
Importantly, you can see in real-time the effects of food and exercise on your glucose levels, and catch cases of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as they happen, avoiding the potentially dangerous consequences. Its also a potentially life-saving tool for people with diabetes who experience hypoglycemia unawareness, alerting them to impending low blood sugars when their own bodies fail to recognize the warning signs.
Research has shown, time and time again, the benefits of CGM in helping people improve their diabetes outcomes. This
Expected Blood Glucose After A High
Blood glucose levels normally rise after a high-carbohydrate meal and drop back to normal levels within a few hours. But if your glucose levels rise higher than normal and recover more slowly, you might have diabetes. Your doctor can administer tests that measure your blood glucose levels immediately before you consume a high-carbohydrate meal and for several hours afterward. If you already have diabetes, your doctor might want you to check your blood glucose levels after meals, to make sure you’re keeping your glucose within the expected range.
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Are You Suffering From Untreated Hyperglycemia
Untreated hyperglycemia leads to serious complications. Signs are hard to identify, but self-monitoring and early treatment lowers these risks and improves quality of life.
Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, affects people who have diabetes. Since the symptoms are difficult to feel and easily go unnoticed, the condition often goes untreated. Prolonged hyperglycemia is the main cause of almost all the complications associated with diabetes but good blood sugar control can prevent them. The more you know about high blood sugar, the more likely you are to recognize it, treat it, and hopefully take steps to prevent it.
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Target Blood Sugar Levels For Children And Adolescents With Diabetes
Age 6-12 Bedtime 100-180
Kids aged 6 to 12 should have blood sugar levels that range between 80 to 180 mg/dL over the course of a day. Blood sugar levels go up after eating a meal because the body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then distributed throughout the bloodstream. Other macronutrientsprotein and fatturn into glucose as well, but at a slower rate. Many people learn how to use these factors to their advantage. For example, if a childs sugar is trending low, a bedtime snack that includes something with protein and fat, like chocolate milk or peanut butter, will help raise blood sugar levels and help keep blood sugar levels steady through the night.
When you wake up in the morning, your fasting blood sugar is generally at its lowest because you havent consumed food for about eight hours. However, many people experience an increase in blood sugar levels in the early morning hours. If youre an adult and struggling with glucose control, your healthcare provider can help you develop a treatment plan to manage your blood sugar better.
Blood glucose levels outside the ranges listed above are categorized as either high or low blood sugar. For example, according to this chart, blood sugar levels are considered high if theyre over 130 mg/dL before a meal or 180 mg/dL within one to two hours after a meal. Many people wont start to experience symptoms from high blood sugar until their levels are at 250 mg/dL or higher. .