Still Frustrated With Your Blood Sugar And A1c Results
Your blood sugars and your insulin or medication needs never stay in one place. If you gain weight or lose weight, your insulin and medication needs will change. If you become more active or less active, your needs will change. If you make drastic or even small changes to your nutrition, your needs will change!
Working with your diabetes healthcare team, and diabetes coaches who can teach you how to make changes in your overall diabetes management plan are essential. Diabetes is a lifelong learning process.
Take a deep breath and be patient. If you dont like what youre seeing on your glucose meter, dont get madget studying! Take good notes and work with your team to make changes to reach your goals.
Read more about improving your A1c in DiabetesStrongs guide, How to Lower Your A1c.
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Blood Sugar Testing At Home
A person can test their blood sugar levels at home.
In most cases, doctors ask people to measure fasting blood sugar immediately upon waking and before they have anything to eat or drink. It may also be appropriate to test blood sugar before eating or 2 hours after a meal, which is when blood sugar returns to normal levels.
The right time to test depends on treatment goals and other factors. For example, most people with diabetes do not need to test between meals unless they are using a diabetes drug that can lower blood sugar. Other people may test between meals if they feel their sugar levels may be low.
Since people with type 1 diabetes do not make any insulin, they need to test their blood sugar levels several times a day so they can adjust their insulin doses.
A person will test blood sugar levels by:
- preparing the testing strip and glucose monitor to be ready for the blood sample
- using an alcohol swab to clean the testing area, which is usually the side of a fingertip
- lancing the testing area and bracing against a firm surface to help resist the impulse to pull away
- squeezing the testing area around the wound to maximize blood flow
- squeezing a drop of blood onto the test strip
- putting the strip into the monitor
- recording the time, blood sugar reading, and recent food intake in a log
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Why Do I Need To Know My Blood Sugar Numbers
Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss.
As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change.
How To Lower Your A1c Levels
Its important to get your hemoglobin A1C levels as close to normal as possible, says Dr. Bellatoni, Decreasing your hemoglobin A1C decreases your risk of having complications from diabetes. Even if you cannot get your A1C back to the normal range, any improvement lowers your risk of diabetes complications.
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Are Some Canadians At Higher Risk For Elevated Blood Sugar Levels Than Others
You may have a higher risk for elevated blood sugars and type 2 diabetes if you:
- Are 40 or years of age or older
- Have a close relative with diabetes
- Are of African, Arab, Asian, Hispanic, Indigenous or South Asian descent
- Are overweight
- Have been diagnosed with prediabetes
Some medical conditions can also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, such as:
- High blood pressure or cholesterol levels
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Psychiatric disorders
- Sleep apnea
Other Severe Symptoms Of Hyperglycaemia Include:
- Nerve damage
- Kidney damage
- Blood vessel damage
Mild hyperglycaemia, depending on the cause, will not typically require medical treatment. Most people with this condition can lower their blood sugar levels sufficiently through dietary and lifestyle changes.
Those with type 1 diabetes will require the administration of insulin , while those with type 2 diabetes will often use a combination of injectable and oral medications , although some may also require insulin.
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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
*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.
Why Doctors Order It
A fasting blood glucose test is done to screen for prediabetes and diabetes. It also helps doctors monitor diabetes and determine if medications and dietary changes are having an effect .
Your fasting blood glucose level is the lowest your blood sugar can be because the influence of recent meals is minimized .
Fasting blood sugar is often checked alongside HbA1c , which is a measure of your blood sugar levels over the past three months. The more sugar there is in the blood, the more it will attach to hemoglobin, raising HbA1c .
Taken together, the two offer more information than each test alone. For example, even if your blood sugar levels are very high at one random point, they may have been mostly low over the past couple of months . On the other hand, HBA1c could be higher but your glucose levels at the moment lower.
Apart from diabetes, abnormal levels can point out issues such as insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, and pancreatic, liver, or kidney disease.
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What Are Target Blood Sugar Levels For People With Diabetes
A target is something that you aim for or try to reach. Your health care team may also use the term goal. People with diabetes have blood sugar targets that they try to reach at different times of the day. These targets are:
- Right before your meal: 80 to 130
- Two hours after the start of the meal: Below 180
Talk with your health care team about what blood sugar numbers are right for you.
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.
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What Is Blood Glucose Anyway
Blood glucose, or sugar, is sugar that is in your blood . It comes from the food that you eat foods that contain carbohydrate, such as bread, pasta and fruit are the main contributors to blood glucose. The cells in our bodies need glucose for energy and we all need energy to move, think, learn and breathe. The brain, which is the command center, uses about half of all the energy from glucose in the body.
Random Plasma Glucose Test
A random blood glucose test is a blood test thats performed any time of day that you arent fasting. It measures the sugar level in your blood at that moment in time.
If your level is higher, your doctor will use one of the other tests listed to confirm the diagnosis.
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Common Tests To Check Blood Glucose Levels
Health care providers can use a variety of laboratory tests to check blood sugar levels and determine whether a woman has diabetes. Some of these tests require fasting for 8 hours before blood is drawn. Blood glucose levels that are too high suggest insufficient insulin production, reduced insulin sensitivity or a combination of the two and could mean that you have diabetes.
Fasting Glucose Levels
The most common test for blood sugar is the fasting plasma or blood glucose test . For an accurate reading, it is necessary to fast for at least 8 hours beforehand, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. For this test, a normal blood sugar range for women is between 70 and 99 mg/dL, the same as that for men.
A woman with a fasting blood glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL may have a condition known as impaired fasting glucose or prediabetes, which can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dL or greater may indicate that you have diabetes.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Health care providers can also assess the ability of your body to metabolize sugar with an oral glucose tolerance test . During this test, you’ll fast for 8 hours before giving your doctor a sample of blood. Then you’ll drink a sugar liquid during the next few hours, during which time your blood will be taken every 30 to 60 minutes, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Why Is My A1c High
As blood sugar level rises, so do A1C levels. A high A1C indicates that blood sugar control is not optimal. This in itself is not an emergency, but it gives your healthcare provider a picture of how blood glucose has, or has not, been controlled, says Dr. Williams.
Poor diabetes control or a need for medication adjustments might cause higher A1C. Diet changes, daily exercise, or medication adjustments might quickly lower A1C. Because Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, adjustments to ones treatment might be a part of the process of controlling diabetes. Poor diabetes control does not always mean a patient is doing something wrong. But there are other reasons why levels might be high.
As previously mentioned, other health conditions can cause skewed results. These include kidney disease, anemia, liver disease, asplenia, blood loss, hypothyroidism, uremia, and sickle cell anemia. Other factors that might lead to a high A1C level include increased age, pregnancy, and gestational diabetes.
When Should Hba1c Levels Be Tested
Everyone with diabetes mellitus in the UK should be offered an HbA1c test at least once a year.
Some people may have an HbA1c test more often. This may be more likely if you have recently had your medication changed or your health team are otherwise wishing to monitor your diabetes control more than once a year.Fig 2: HbA1c & Glucose Blood Levels
Although HbA1c level alone does not predict diabetes complications, good control is known to lower the risk of complications
What Is Fasting Blood Sugar
As the name suggests, fasting blood sugar is the amount of sugar present in your blood after fasting . During these fasting hours, you cannot eat or drink anything except water. The normal range of fasting blood sugar levels varies from 70-100mg/dl. If your blood sugar level is more than this then you may have diabetes.
Fasting sugar is preferred by doctors as it is a reliable number compared to non-fasting sugar levels. After eating different types of food, our blood sugar level fluctuates differently. So, doctors, may not get a correct picture of your blood sugar level. Your doctor may also ask for fasting sugar levels to calculate your insulin resistance.
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High Blood Sugar In The Morning: Is It The Dawn Phenomenon
If you have high blood sugar levels in the morning, you may be experiencing the dawn phenomenon, the name given to an increase in blood sugar that usually occurs between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., according to the Mayo Clinic. One reason this occurs: During the early hours of the morning, our bodies secrete higher levels of a hormone called cortisol, says Dr. Spratt. When cortisol levels are high, it can make you more resistant to insulin, a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar levels.
“Some people have a striking dawn phenomenon,” says Dr. Spratt. “You can look at their continuous glucose tracing and see that their blood sugar level suddenly goes up at 3 a.m.” If this is the case for you, your doctor may adjust your insulin medication or suggest you use an insulin pump .
How To Save On Diabetic Supplies
For those wanting to save on diabetic supplies, there are a few options that can help cover the costs Medicare does not.
- If you have limited income and resources, look to see if you qualify for Medicaid services, Medicare Savings Programs, or Medicare Extra Help.
- Manufacturer rebates may also be available for specific diabetic supply brands.
- There are also a wide variety of organizations that offer patient assistance programs for diabetic medication and supplies.
- Cutting down on excessive use of diabetic supplies can also help save money. Not everyone needs to test multiple times a day, Hudson says. If I had a patient with well-controlled diabetes on oral medications, I might have them only test their blood sugar once a day or even once every other day.
- If you need help paying for your anti-diabetic drugs or insulin, the SingleCare discount card is a great option.
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Individual Susceptibility To Glycation Might Be An Additional Benefit Of A1c Assessment
It is a common clinical finding that many subjects have an A1C value lower or higher than expected when examining their daily glycemic profiles. Using the DCCT database, McCarter et al. calculated the hemoglobin glycation index as the difference between observed and predicted A1C level and identified categories of patients with low, moderate, or high HGI. Most interestingly, they found that subjects with high HGI had a greater risk of developing retinopathy and nephropathy, even when they had good glucose control, and that subjects with lower HGI had a low incidence of microangiopathy despite high mean blood glucose levels. This finding demonstrates that A1C assessment might provide not only information on chronic hyperglycemia but also a measure of whole-body susceptibility of protein glycation and, therefore, risks of diabetes complications that are more strictly related to this pathogenic mechanism.
Achieving Normal Fasting Glucose Level
The very first thing is to watch out the figures lower than 70 mg/dl. In case you’ve been experiencing more than two episodes of low figures then you should consult your doctor.
The most probable cause include medicine you are taking and diet you’re following. And that should be corrected to keep glucose level under control.
Trying to achieve normal fasting glucose level means you must work hard on it and never surrender.
If this is so hard for you, try this natural alternative by
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Sleep Your Way To Better Glucose Levels
Sleep plays a pivotal role in glucose metabolism.
A persons habitual decreased sleep time and increased disturbed sleep are strongly suggested to be factors impacting the development of type 2 diabetes.9 Studies have found that a decrease in sleep yields a decrease in insulin sensitivity when compared to completely rested.10,11
Prolonged sleep debt can impact insulin levels. A study found from a single fasting blood test, that five nights of sleep restriction to four hours per night, resulted in a major increase in insulin levels, yet not a significant change in glucose concentration. This generated an increase in the insulin-to-glucose ratio, which is suggested to be a biomarker for insulin resistance.
Another study analyzing 11 young healthy men, tracked both 6 days of sleep restriction , followed by full sleep recovery . During sleep debt, the participants had higher levels of blood glucose following breakfast.
Sleep debt and disturbed sleep can negatively impact glucose metabolism. However, this can be reversed by sleep extension or simply adding more sleep time.
An intervention study used 16 healthy, sleep-restricted, non-obese people to investigate if sleep extension would have a positive impact on glucose metabolism. The intervention consisted of two weeks of their usual time in bed followed by 6 weeks of increasing time in bed by one hour per day.