How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
How Sugar Becomes Blood Sugar
Everything you eat is digested. It starts in your stomach and gradually wakes its way through your intestines and out of your body. During this process, your body releases the nutrients from the food into your bloodstream, where they reach their intended destinations.
Vitamin C reaches your skin and your gums, where it works to promote optimal health. Meanwhile, vitamin B12 helps your body produce healthy red blood cells.
Protein is broken down into smaller pieces that eventually become the building blocks for tissue and muscle. Sugars are broken down into monosaccharides, which dont do anything to benefit your body.
When monosaccharides enter your bloodstream, they contribute to your blood sugar. Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is an easily accessible form of immediate energy for all your internal organs.
Everyone needs to have sufficient blood glucose for their body to function correctly, but having too much blood glucose can be dangerous.
How Long After Eating Should Blood Sugar Return To Normal
Normal is going to be different for everyone, so again, you should speak with your health care provider to set targets that are specific to your situation and goals. That said, outside of eating windows, youll want to keep your blood sugar levels between 80130 mg/dL, according to the ADA. For those without diabetes, aim for under 100. You should expect to see your numbers return to pre-meal levels after about two hours.
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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.
How Long Should I Wait After Eating To Check My Blood Sugar
All content on this website is for educational purposes only and does not replace the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
While each persons specific blood sugar monitoring schedule is personal, checking blood sugar throughout the day is one of the best ways to ensure that your levels are in a safe target range. Blood glucose tends to peak after meals. This may leave you wondering, how long should I wait after eating to check my blood sugar? Finding the answer can help you safeguard your health and better manage your diabetes.
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The Story Of The Pima Indians
Research has found3 that the Pima Indians are a perfect example of how powerfully our environment can dictate who gets obese and diabetic, and who doesnt.
Today, two main groups of Pima Indians live on earth. The first group lives high in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico a rural environment. The second group lives in Arizona on the Gila River reservation. Both groups are thought to be genetically identical. Scientists estimate they were separated about 700 to 1,000 years ago. For DNA evolutionary development, thats a mere pittance of time.
But physically, the two groups today could not be more different.
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
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So What Happened With Charlotte
The confusion that Charlotte faced is one that a lot of people living with diabetes face as well! After switching to a low-carb diet and sticking to it nearly perfectly, she saw some progress when it came to weight loss, but that didn’t mean that she was able to keep her blood sugar levels stable!
And in fact, her blood sugar levels were off the charts, and in addition to those blood sugar spikes, she experienced all of the many, many hormone imbalances we described above.
The problem wasn’t that she wasn’t dedicated. She documented her story, sought support, and made wholesale changes in her life, and in almost every way was a model example of taking action and transforming your life while living with diabetes.
But she didn’t have the right information!
Understanding Your Blood Sugar And Exercise
The effect physical activity has on your blood sugar will vary depending on how long you are active and many other factors. Physical activity can lower your blood sugar up to 24 hours or more after your workout by making your body more sensitive to insulin.
Become familiar with how your blood sugar responds to exercise. Checking your blood sugar level more often before and after exercise can help you see the benefits of activity. You also can use the results of your blood sugar checks to see how your body reacts to different activities. Understanding these patterns can help you prevent your blood sugar from going too high or too low.
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Knowing Blood Sugar Levels
If you have diabetes, the frequency of testing your blood glucose level depends on your treatment plan, so follow your doctors advice on the appropriate times for you.
Common times to check are in the morning, before and after meals, before and after exercise, at bedtime, and if you feel sick. Some people may not need to check their blood sugar daily.
What you eat and what you do for physical activity affect your blood sugar. But theres no way to know what effect they have unless you test your blood sugar.
Blood glucose meters are used to test blood sugar levels so you can see if your levels are within the target range. Your doctor will also work with you on your individualized range.
The Fattest People On Earth
The Pimas of Arizona are among the fattest groups of people in the world. The only populations more obese are people living on some isolated Pacific Islands. On the Gila River reservation in Arizona, children as young as six and seven are so obese they cannot run. They lumber across baseball fields, out of breath before they get to first base.
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How Can I Lower My Blood Sugar In Minutes
Exercise is recommended Exercise has been shown to be a very effective means of lowering elevated blood sugar levels. If you dont use insulin, exercise can be a fairly easy way to lower your high blood sugar levels if you dont have diabetes. Even a 15-minute stroll might have a significant influence on your blood glucose levels.
The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal
Q: I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Should I check my blood glucose two hours from when I start eating or after I finish eating my meal? A: Most of the food you consume will be digested and raises blood glucose in one to two hours. To capture the peak level of your blood glucose, it is best to test one to two hours after you start eating. The American Diabetes Association recommends a target of below 180 mg/dl two hours after a meal. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a lower target: below 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal. Ask your doctor which target is right for you. Postmeal blood glucose monitoring is important because it helps you see how your body responds to carbohydrates in general and particular foods. Managing postmeal blood glucose can help reduce your risk of developing heart and circulation problems. Virginia Zamudio Lange, a member of Diabetic Living’s editorial advisory board, is a founding partner of Alamo Diabetes Team, LLP in San Antonio.Continue reading > >
- World’s first diabetes app will be able to check glucose levels without drawing a drop of blood and will be able to reveal what a can of coke REALLY does to sugar levels
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Take Extra Precautions With Evening Exercise
Exercise does two things for those who have type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Hatipoglu.
First, your muscles need energy to work. To feed them, your body burns sugar as an energy source, lowering the glucose levels in your blood.
Second, when you exercise regularly, it helps your body use insulin more efficiently. This can lower your blood sugar levels for up to 12 hours after you exercise.
Also, keeping blood sugar low on a regular basis can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease, Dr. Hatipoglu says.
Every person reacts a little differently to exercise, so she recommends tracking your blood sugar levels for four to five hours after post-meal exercise to see what your trend is. This can help you determine if your levels are healthy or drop too much.
This is particularly important if you exercise in the evening.
Especially after dinner, you need to know what your body will do when you exercise, she says. If you go to bed and glucose drops it can create a dangerous clinical situation.
Exercising after a meal is a good way to reduce blood glucose levels and lower your risk of complications from diabetes, including heart disease.
But, before starting or changing your exercise regimen, talk with your doctor to determine what is best for you.
Time To Strike High Blood Glucose
Given the many short- and long-term benefits of post-meal blood glucose control, it is certainly worth the effort to start measuring and evaluating your after-meal control. If your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be, talk with your healthcare team about new or different medical treatments that might help. And take a look at your personal choices in terms of food and activity. Even without a perfectly functioning pancreas, there is still a multitude of options for tackling those high blood glucose spikes!
Disclaimer of Medical Advice: Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information, which comes from qualified medical writers, does not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs.
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Using The Same Finger All The Time
People choose to use the same finger and the same spot in part because everyone has a favorite, says Uelmen, and also because calluses build up and cut down on the discomfort. But varying your fingers is better.
The solution for better diabetes control: âThe goal is to use a different finger each day or each time,â she says. Switching fingers allows the pricked finger to heal and also helps to avoid pain caused by repeat jabs.
If your blood sugar readings are generally consistent, you can even try alternate site testing, such as using the palm of your hand, if you want to get away from your fingers periodically. But simply using different spots on the same finger can also prevent soreness.
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Why You Should Keep An Eye On It
When your blood sugar is high, you can get symptoms like a foggy-headed feeling that makes it hard to focus or think clearly. Your energy may also take a dive, and you may feel nervous or moody.
If your levels go too low, you could even pass out. In the long run, if your blood sugar stays up, you could be at risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, or other problems.
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Medical Approaches To Spike Control
A common approach to lowering after-meal blood glucose spikes is to take more insulin. But unless blood glucose levels remain high for three to six hours after eating, taking more insulin is not going to solve the problem. In fact, increasing mealtime insulin will most likely result in low blood glucose before the next meal.
Here are some strategies that may work better:
Choose The Right Medication
Two classes of injectable hormones, GLP-1 agonists , semaglutide ) and amylin mimetics , have powerful effects on post-meal blood sugar. Both GLP-1s and Symlin slow gastric emptying and keep carbohydrates from raising the blood sugar too quickly after meals. Symlin, which is a replacement for the amylin hormone , also helps to diminish appetite and blunt post-meal glucagon secretion. GLP-1s blunt appetite and promote the growth of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas of those with type 2 diabetes. So both can contribute to better post-meal high blood glucose control.
Your choice of oral medication can also impact your after-meal control. Sulfonylureas stimulate the pancreas to secrete a little extra insulin throughout the day, without regard to meal timing. Because these medications fail to concentrate the insulin secretion at times when it is needed most, after-meal blood sugars can run very high. There are alternative medications called meglitinides which also stimulate the pancreas but do so in a much faster and shorter manner. When taken at mealtimes, meglitinides produce better after-meal high blood glucose control than sulfonylureas.
Another class of oral diabetes medications improve after-meal control by partially blocking the transport of sugars across the intestines and into the bloodstream. However, these medications can sometimes cause gas, bloating and stomach upset, so the pros dont always outweigh the cons.
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Random Blood Sugar Test
This measures your blood sugar at the time youre tested. You can take this test at any time and dont need to fast first. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.
|140 mg/dL or below||N/A|
*Results for gestational diabetes can differ. Ask your health care provider what your results mean if youre being tested for gestational diabetes.Source: American Diabetes Association
If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also tested for autoantibodies that are often present in type 1 diabetes but not in type 2 diabetes. You may have your urine tested for ketones , which also indicate type 1 diabetes instead of type 2 diabetes.
Postprandial Blood Sugar Few Of Those With Diabetes Know Why It Is So Important
Blood sugar after a meal is referred to as postprandial blood sugar. So the opposite, namely before a meal, is called preprandial. The American Diabetes Association advises keeping your blood sugar levels before meals between 80130 mg/dl and your levels 12 hours after meals under 180.
Usually, blood sugar begins to rise 10-15 minutes after a meal and reaches its peak after an hour. However, it is important to note that these are just approximate guidelines as postprandial glucose depends on several factors, such as the type of food consumed.
Influence on HbA1c
Research has shown that postprandial blood sugar levels are significant for HbA1c. Even if glucose spikes after eating are only brief, they still have the potential to raise HbA1c over the course of the day. Most people with diabetes check their blood sugar before a meal but not afterwards or they leave it until the next mealtime. This can lead to glucose spikes being undetected and remaining high for a long period of time.
How to deal with high postprandial blood sugar levels
Be sure to check your levels at least 90 minutes after a meal. Why? By that time rapid acting analogue insulin has reached its maximum effect .
If its still too high then you should look into the causes such as:
what type of food did I eat?
did I correctly estimate my carbs?
is my insulin-to-carb ratio correct?
and is the injection-meal interval correct?
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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels After Eating
If you want to get an idea of what your normal blood sugar levels are, you’ll need to check them. Your provider might want you to check at different times of the day, but you can start by checking your blood glucose levels one to two hours after eating.
Seeing what your blood sugar is after a meal or snack can help you better understand how your levels are affected by the food you eat as well as when you eat.
If you have diabetes, checking your blood sugar regularly helps you figure out if you’re taking the right dose of insulin .
As a general rule, your blood sugar level should be below 180 mg/dL one to two hours after you start eating a meal or snack.
However, your target blood sugar range will depend on: