The term "blood sugar" refers to the concentration of glucose, a simple, sugar, that is found in a set volume of blood. Blood Sugar 101 does not control which products appear in Google Ads or endorse these products. When diagnosed with diabetes, your healthcare provider will have you begin checking your blood glucose levels at home with a glucose meter. For a person with diabetes, checking glucose levels with a glucose monitor is a necessary daily task.
Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is the name of a group of diseases in which the body is unable to properly utilize blood sugar (glucose) for energy. The end result: The body’s cells are deprived of their energy source and the blood sugar or glucose builds up in the blood.
Most adults will have their blood glucose tested as part of their annual visit with their healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider suspects you have diabetes because you have not achieved a normal blood glucose level, they will likely perform additional blood tests including a glycated hemoglobin or A1C which measures your average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months and possibly an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) which measures how your body processes glucose by measuring your blood glucose level before and after ingesting a big glucose load. In addition to diabetes medications, there are other factors that may cause a drop in blood glucose level. Non-diabetes Medications: A variety of different non-diabetes medications can cause your blood glucose level to decrease.
Medical Conditions: Diseases that affect the liver such as hepatitis or liver damage from excessive alcohol consumption can cause lower blood glucose levels. Medications: Barbiturates (such as phenobarbitol), the antipsychotic olanzapine, corticosteroids, niacin (a form of vitamin B), thiazide diuretics (such as hydrochlorathiazide) some oral contraceptives, and cold medications containing phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine are examples of drugs that can raise your blood glucose level. Medical Conditions: Stress of any sort, whether secondary to surgery, a traumatic injury, infection or emotion, can cause a release of hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol that raise blood glucose levels. Take Control!Download this expert FREE guide, Diabetes Symptoms and Treatments: How to lower blood sugar with a diabetic diet, medications, and lifestyle changes. This new report tells you how you can take command of your diabetes, simplify blood sugar management, and make the most of today’s breakthroughs in treatment.
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This chart will provide the diabetics and their family members with a better idea about normal blood sugar levels. This allows you to see what a normal glucose level is—and how your blood glucose level changes with medication, food, and exercise. There are three primary forms of diabetes—type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes—and, in each case, the body is unable to effectively move the glucose that results from the metabolism of the sugar and starches we eat into the cells of our muscles, brain, and other vital tissues. This is usually done after fasting overnight or for at least eight hours—hence its name: fasting blood glucose or FPG.
Hypoglycemia in someone with diabetes may be caused by too much insulin or other glucose-lowering medications. Diseases that cause some hormone insufficiencies such as adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroidism can also result in hypoglycemia.

All people with diabetes by definition have hyperglycemia in the absence of treatment, but they may experience episodes of hyperglycemia if they miss a dose of insulin or glucose-lowering medication or have taken an insufficient dose. Inflammation of the pancreas, called pancreatitis, can also cause elevated blood glucose levels. Your diabetes healthcare provider, however, will help you determine the best goals for you based on your age, other medical problems, and duration of your diabetes.
The goal for the diabetic is to attain these levels while avoiding harmful complications and maintaining far better health.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and blurred vision. Symptoms of hyperglycemia are the classic symptoms of diabetes such as increased thirst and frequent urination. If you have diabetes and are experiencing hypoglycemia, most healthcare providers will recommend you consume 15-20 grams of simple carbohydrates immediately. Bottom lines show Insulin and C-peptide levels at the same time.Click HERE if you don't see the graph. Examples of foods that provide this include 1 tablespoon of honey or sugar, 4 ounces of juice, or 2 tablespoons of raisins. One such emergency is diabetic ketoacidosis which is a life-threatening condition in which the body, in the absence of insulin, breaks down fat for energy and releases waste products called ketones that build up in the blood causing dangerous metabolic changes.
Severe hypoglycemia may cause unconsciousness or seizures and should be treated with injectable glucagon, a hormone that stimulates the liver to release glucose. The most informative blood sugar reading is the post-meal blood sugar measured one and two hours after eating. Doctors rarely test this important blood sugar measurement as it is time consuming and hence expensive.
Rarely doctors will order a Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, which tests your response to a huge dose of pure glucose, which hits your blood stream within minutes and produces results quite different from the blood sugars you will experience after each meal.
Below you will find the normal readings for these various tests.Normal Fasting Blood SugarFasting blood sugar is usually measured first thing in the morning before you have eaten any food. Normal Blood Sugars in PregnancyBecause the blood volume increases greatly during pregnancy, diluting blood sugar, normal blood sugar concentrations for pregnant women are lower than those for everyone else. Instead, what it measures is how much glucose has become permanently bonded to your red blood cells.
From this it estimates how much glucose those red blood cells have been exposed to over the past several months. The Calculator that Shows How Estimated Average Glucose is Supposed to Map to A1cThe calculator you will find HERE uses the formula doctors rely on to show you what average blood sugar is supposed to be connected with your A1c.Unfortunately, the A1c test often gives a misleading result. This is prone to occur if you have anemia, abnormally long-lived red blood cells, or certain unusual red blood cell genes.
The test assumes you have a normal number of red blood cells, so any condition that changes your concentration of red blood cells can produce a misleading A1c results. For many years the American Diabetes Association specifically stated that the A1c test should not be used for diagnosing diabetes. They recently changed their recommendations to allow the use of A1c for diagnosis, however the A1c often misses diabetes in people whose red blood cells are not entirely normal.When in doubt about the accuracy of an A1c test result use a blood sugar meter and take a number of fasting and post meal blood sugar tests to determine if you are running blood sugars that are high enough to damage your organs. What A1c is Truly Good Enough for a Person with Diabetes?Doctors have been taught that any A1c below 7.5% is "good control" for people with diabetes.

But research published in 2008 that was based on studying a group of 2,442 subjects who were free of type 2 diabetes at the beginning of the study found that fasting glucose tests were a very poor predictor of who in this group would develop diabetes. In contrast, the researchers found that the one hour reading on a glucose tolerance test did a good job of screening for people heading for diabetes. Fasting Versus Postload Plasma Glucose Concentration and the Risk for Future Type 2 Diabetes Muhammad A. More about the Study Whose Results Are Graphed Above This research was conducted using a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) a device that uses a needle inserted into the abdomen to measure blood sugar every few minutes. Christiansen, presented at the Annual Meeting of the EASD.The whole presentation is well worth watching.
This study also found that the same amount of carbohydrate eaten at a meal other than breakfast does not raise blood sugar anywhere near as high as it does at breakfast.A Second CGMS Study that Confirms this RangeA study of CGMS measurements taken in 74 normal people aged between 9 and 65 years old over a period of 3 to 7 days was published in June of 2010.
This is probably because by the age of 45 people with the underlying genetic conditions that lead to diabetes, whose blood sugars would have been normal at younger ages, but who would have been getting higher than true normal readings after meals, would have progressed to where they failed the screening test. So it is a good bet that the people in the 45 and older age group in this study are truly, physiologically normal. If you rely only on pills and do nothing else, the only blood sugar levels you will be able to get to are the much-too-high "good enough for a diabetic" levels which, as you can see elsewhere on this site, are "good enough" only if you think neuropathy, retinopathy and a heart attack are "good enough." Though your doctor may think you are too lazy to do the work needed to get normal blood sugars and may not bother explain to you what it takes to achieve normal numbers, people with diabetes CAN and DO attain these normal blood sugar numbers. Another study of elderly patients treated at VA hospitals found that patients with longstanding diabetes whose blood sugar was lowered aggressively with outdated methods of dosing insulin did not improve their health outcomes. Influential doctors interpreted these studies to mean that lowering blood sugar to normal levels using any means was dangerous and family doctors have been brainwashed to believe this is true. In fact, subsequent analyses of this data has revealed that in ACCORD the patients in the group that strove to lower blood sugar who experienced slightly more heart attacks were those in the "lowering" study group who failed to meet the lowered blood sugar targets. Those who succeeded in lowering their A1c did better than those who did not.Further analysis linked the increase in heart attacks to the use of the now-discredited drug, Avandia, which raises the risk of heart attack independent of blood sugar level. Without an understanding of how normal blood sugar works, it is hard to understand what is going on in your body as control breaks down and even harder to fix it. If you want to understand your true risk of developing diabetes and what science has learned about process people go through as they develop diabetes, read: The Patterns in Which Diabetes Develops. What It Takes to Get Normal Blood SugarsEducation If you want to avoid diabetic complications, following doctors' orders is not enough.
You must put in some time educating yourself about how your body works and what is in the food you eat.
Learn What Foods Your Body Can Handle The simple technique you'll find here: How to Get Your Blood Sugar Under Control has helped thousands of people regain their health, and it will work for you, too. Try this technique for a week and you'll end up with a much better idea of what foods make up an ideal "Diabetes Diet" for your own unique metabolism. You can print out a handy one-page flyer summarizing this technique and put it on your fridge to help motivate yourself.Eliminate the Toxic MythsIt's time to stop blaming yourself for causing your diabetes. No matter what you read in the media or what your doctor tells you, diabetes is not caused by obesity. Free yourself of this Toxic myth by reading You Did Not Eat Your Way to Diabetes and learn what scientists have found are the real causes of Type 2 Diabetes.

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