For those of us with diabetes, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is a constant challenge. It can be difficult to tell when your blood glucose levels are too high or too low, as many people with type 2 diabetes don't experience the usual symptoms. Without proper regulation of glucose levels, blood sugar can become too high, leading to serious health complications. In this article, we'll discuss what a normal blood sugar level is, what causes high blood sugar, and how to manage it.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that people with diabetes keep their A1c levels below 7%. A1c is a measure of your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. However, if you're older, have diabetes-related complications, or don't experience symptoms when your blood glucose level is low, your target A1c may be higher than the ADA's recommendation. If you suspect that you or a loved one has type 1 diabetes, it's important to get tested right away.
Your doctor will likely perform a urine test to measure ketones in addition to testing blood sugar levels. If you're taking multiple insulin shots per day, you may need to check your blood sugar readings before meals and at bedtime. When it comes to children with diabetes, parents need to be extra vigilant in ensuring their children reach the normal random blood sugar range, especially after sleeping. It's important for children to learn how to check their random blood sugar levels regularly and watch for signs of ups and downs.
If the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or stops producing it completely (as in type 1 diabetes), blood glucose levels can become dangerously high. Doctors usually provide guidelines and a chart of blood sugar levels by age in order to address a person's specific needs. The goal is to keep blood sugar levels within the normal range so that daily routines can be as stress-free as possible.
What Is a Normal Blood Sugar Level?A normal fasting blood sugar level is between 70 and 99 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). A reading of 135 mg/dL or higher indicates high blood sugar.
However, it's important to note that different factors can affect your blood sugar level, such as stress, illness, and certain medications.
What Causes High Blood Sugar?High blood sugar can be caused by several factors, including:
- Insulin resistance: When cells have trouble using insulin correctly, it can cause blood glucose levels to rise.
- Insufficient insulin production: When the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, there is no regulation of overall glucose levels in the body.
- Ignorance of hypoglycemia: This occurs when a person with diabetes no longer feels the warning signs of low blood sugar.
How Can High Blood Sugar Be Managed?If you have high blood sugar, there are several steps you can take to manage it:
- Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity helps your body use insulin more efficiently.
- Eat healthy foods: Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can help keep your blood sugar levels in check.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly: Checking your blood sugar levels regularly will help you identify any potential problems early on.