Type 2 And Blood Glucose Checks
Blood glucose checks are a routine part of diabetes self-management, but for the nearly 75% of Americans with diabetes who dont take insulin, research suggests those checks might not be necessary.
But dont toss out your blood glucose meter and your test strips just yet. The question of whether routine self-monitoring of blood glucose has value remains unsettled. And it leads to other questions. For example: Even if self-monitoring does prove to be unnecessary for many adults with type 2 diabetes not on insulin, might there still be people in this group who would benefit or circumstances that would require self-monitoring?
For People Without Diabetes
For people who dont have diabetes, an A1c test result lower than 5.7% is considered normal. If your level is between 5.7% and 6.4%, you may have what is sometimes called . This means that you have higher than normal blood glucose but dont meet the criteria to be diagnosed with diabetes.
An FPG test result of 99 mg/dL or lower means that youre within a safe range. A result between 100 to 125 mg/dL is in the prediabetes range, and you might need follow-up testing. A safe range for an OGT test result is around 140 mg/dL 2 hours after the test starts, while 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL is considered a prediabetic range.
If results suggest that you have prediabetes, your provider might order more tests and offer ideas for that can help bring your blood glucose levels down. The goal is tolower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, or to delay its onset as long as possible.
Diagnosing Prediabetes Type 2 And Type 1 Diabetes
Depending on which country or medical organization you ask, the qualifying numbers for normal versus prediabetes versus diagnosed type 1 or type 2 diabetes can vary slightly.
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How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed
Doctors may check for diabetes if a person has symptoms or risk factors, like being overweight and having acanthosis. Different kinds of blood tests can check for diabetes, including:
- HbA1c. This test shows a person’s average blood sugar levels over the past few months. Its also called a glycosylated hemoglobin or hemoglobin A1c test. HbA1c of 6.5% or higher means the person may have diabetes.
- fasting glucose. To get this test, a person first stops eating for at least 8 hours. A blood sugar reading of 126 mg/dL or higher means they might have diabetes.
- random glucose. This test can be taken at any time. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher means a person may have diabetes.
- glucose tolerance test. To get this test, a person first stops eating or drinking for at least 8 hours. Then, they drink a sugary liquid and their blood sugar is checked 1 and 2 hours later. A blood sugar of 200mg/dL or higher at 2 hours means they might have diabetes.
The doctor uses the results from one or more of these tests to tell if the person has diabetes. The doctor can order other tests to find out if it is type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Normal Fasting Blood Sugar For Person Without Diabetes
A normal fasting blood glucose for someone who does not have diabetes ranges from 70 to 99 mg/dl. The American Diabetes Association recommends a routine screening for type 2 diabetes starting at age 35. If the results are normal, the screening should be repeated every three years.
If have diabetes risk factors, which include being overweight or obese, having a family history of type 2 diabetes, having a history of gestational diabetes, or being of a certain race/ethnicity , you should be screened for diabetes sooner and repeat testing may be recommended more often.
Children and adolescents who have diabetes symptoms or who are overweight and have a family history of type 2 diabetes, are of African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American or Pacific Islander descent, who have signs of prediabetes or a mother who had gestational diabetes should be tested beginning at age 10 or the onset of puberty and then every three years thereafter.
A fasting blood sugar of 100 to 125 mg/dl is indicative of prediabetes, which is a condition where blood sugar levels are above normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Prediabetes is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Its managed by lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.
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Acp Recommends Moderate Blood Sugar Control Targets For Most Patients With Type 2 Diabetes
Philadelphia, March 6, 2018 Patients with type 2 diabetes should be treated to achieve an A1C between 7 percent and 8 percent rather than 6.5 percent to 7 percent, the American College of Physicians recommends in an evidence-based guidance statement published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.
An A1C test measures a persons average blood sugar level over the past two or three months. An A1C of 6.5 percent indicates diabetes.
ACPs analysis of the evidence behind existing guidelines found that treatment with drugs to targets of 7 percent or less compared to targets of about 8 percent did not reduce deaths or macrovascular complications such as heart attack or stroke but did result in substantial harms, said Dr. Jack Ende, president, ACP. The evidence shows that for most people with type 2 diabetes, achieving an A1C between 7 percent and 8 percent will best balance long-term benefits with harms such as low blood sugar, medication burden, and costs.
ACP recommends that clinicians should personalize goals for blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes based on a discussion of benefits and harms of drug therapy, patients preferences, patients general health and life expectancy, treatment burden, and costs of care.
More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and 90 percent to 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it.
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.
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Your Guide To Diabetes
- Diabetes affects roughly two and a half million Canadians. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to many serious complications, including: heart disease, kidney disease, vision loss, and lower limb amputation.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that 5 million Canadians over the age of 20 are currently pre-diabetic. An additional 1 million new cases of pre-diabetes are expected by 2016. Pre-diabetes is a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and if left untreated more than half of the people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 8 to 10 years.
- Although diabetes can lead to serious complications and premature death, there are steps that can be taken to prevent or control the disease and lower the risk of complications. This guide is intended to help you understand diabetes, how certain types can be prevented or managed, and how to live with the condition.
Did You Know?
You may be pre-diabetic and not know it. Pre-diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to diagnose diabetes. Talk to your health care provider to learn more.
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Why Test Blood Sugar Levels
If you take certain medication, like insulin or sulphonylureas, checking your blood sugars is a vital part of living with diabetes. It can help you work out when you need to take more medication, when you need to eat something or for when you want to get up and move around more.
Routine checks can help you know when you might be starting to go too low or too high . Its a way of getting to know your body and how it works. It can help you and your healthcare team spot patterns too. Do you write your results down? You might find that helpful.
But importantly, it will help you stay healthy and prevent serious diabetes complications now and in the future. By complications, we mean serious problems in places like your feet and your eyes. This happens because too much sugar in the blood damages your blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow around your body. This can lead to very serious problems like sight loss and needing an amputation.
The higher your blood sugar levels are and the longer theyre high for, the more at risk you are.
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What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.
Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:
Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.
Normal Hba1c For Person Without Diabetes
For someone who does not have diabetes, a normal HbA1C level is below 5.7%. An A1C between 5.7% to 6.4% is indicative of prediabetes.
Its recommended that adults over the age of 45 or adults under 45 who are overweight and have one or more risk factors for diabetes have a baseline A1C checked. If the result is normal, the A1C should be checked every three years. If the result indicates prediabetes, the A1C should be checked every one to two years.
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Tips On Managing Blood Sugar Levels
The good news is that lifestyle changes can be combined with modern medicine to produce better blood sugar control than ever in those that suffer from type 2 diabetes. Some people may be able to manage their diabetes completely with lifestyle changes alone, though others may require medical interventions to better control blood sugar levels.
Here are some of the most common ways that people can keep their blood sugars at healthy levels:
What Is The Test To Check Blood Sugar Levels For Type 2 Diabetes
You can check your blood sugar levels several times a day at home with a blood glucose monitor, which uses a drop of blood from your finger. A better measure of how well your diabetes is being managed, however, is a blood test called the A1C.
The A1C test involves a blood test that measures the percentage of hemoglobin proteins in your blood that are bound to sugar. In a more practical sense, these tests show how well your blood sugar levels have been managed in the last two to three months.
Instead of relying on occasional blood glucose tests that can spike or drop for many reasons, A1C tests provide a more accurate picture of how well your diabetes has been managed on average across the preceding three months.
Some people are diagnosed with diabetes using the A1C test, and doctors often recommend that those with prediabetes should get a yearly A1C test. Those with diabetes who don’t use insulin may only need two of these tests per year. People who use insulin, or struggle to keep blood sugar levels within their target range, may get four A1C tests per year.
A1C tests don’t require any preparation for fasting beforehand, so you can have this blood test any time of the day, even after eating and drinking normally.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
A fasting plasma glucose test is taken after at least eight hours of fasting and is therefore usually taken in the morning.
The NICE guidelines regard a fasting plasma glucose result of 5.5 to 6.9 mmol/l as putting someone at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly when accompanied by other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Factors That Contribute To Blood Sugar Range
The bodys level of blood glucose is controlled by , a hormone produced in the that helps your body absorb the sugar and use it in your cells. As your level of blood glucose rises, your pancreas produces more insulin to compensate. This helps keep your average blood glucose level within a safe range.
In diabetes, the body cant produce enough insulin or cant use the insulin properly . This means that your body cant compensate well for increases in blood glucose, which prevents your pancreas from stopping sharp spikes in blood glucose and increases the average blood glucose level over time.
Blood glucose spikes happen to everyone, especially after eating and drinking, but also after skipping breakfast, when youre dehydrated, and after you get a sunburn, among other triggers. They are especially dangerous for people with diabetes because their bodies cant , or even out, the spikes.
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How To Raise Blood Sugar When Needed
Hypoglycemia, where your blood glucose is lower than 70 mg/dL, is a common problem for people with type 1 diabetes. Its important to know how to handle it when it happens. Hypoglycemia can be caused by a number of things, such as taking too much insulin, waiting too long before eating or not eating enough, and exercising a lot more than usual.
Resolving it might be as simple as eating something that can raise your blood glucose. But in severe cases, where your blood glucose dips below 55 mg/dL, this might not be enough.
If youre at risk of this, your health care provider might prescribe an injectable medication called glucagon to use in an emergency. You can use it yourself, or someone else can use it on you if youre not able to. You will then need to seek after the injection to make sure that your glucose levels make it back up to a safe level.
What Is A Blood Glucose Test
A blood glucose test is a blood test that mainly screens for diabetes by measuring the level of glucose in your blood.
There are two main types of blood glucose tests:
- Capillary blood glucose test: A healthcare professional collects a drop of blood usually from a fingertip prick. These tests involve a test strip and glucose meter , which show your blood sugar level within seconds.
- Venous blood glucose test: A phlebotomist collects a sample of blood from a vein . These glucose tests are usually part of a blood panel, such as a basic metabolic panel. The provider will send the samples to a lab. There, a medical laboratory scientist will prepare your samples and perform the test on machines known as analyzers.
Venous blood glucose tests are generally more accurate than capillary blood glucose tests.
Healthcare providers often order fasting blood glucose tests to screen for diabetes. Since eating food affects blood sugar, fasting blood glucose tests show a more accurate picture of your baseline blood sugar.
Theres also at-home blood sugar testing for people who have diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes especially need to monitor their blood sugar multiple times a day to effectively manage the condition. Continuous glucose monitoring devices are another option for this.
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Insulin Blood Sugar And Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin is a key player in developing type 2 diabetes. This vital hormoneyou cant survive without itregulates blood sugar in the body, a very complicated process. Here are the high points:
- The food you eat is broken down into blood sugar.
- Blood sugar enters your bloodstream, which signals the pancreas to release insulin.
- Insulin helps blood sugar enter the bodys cells so it can be used for energy.
- Insulin also signals the liver to store blood sugar for later use.
- Blood sugar enters cells, and levels in the bloodstream decrease, signaling insulin to decrease too.
- Lower insulin levels alert the liver to release stored blood sugar so energy is always available, even if you havent eaten for a while.
Thats when everything works smoothly. But this finely tuned system can quickly get out of whack, as follows:
- A lot of blood sugar enters the bloodstream.
- The pancreas pumps out more insulin to get blood sugar into cells.
- Over time, cells stop responding to all that insulintheyve become insulin resistant.
- The pancreas keeps making more insulin to try to make cells respond.
- Eventually, the pancreas cant keep up, and blood sugar keeps rising.