Diabetes mellitus is a condition that causes hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are forms of diabetes mellitus, but the difference between them lies in how this occurs. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin, while in type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces does not work as it should. The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures average blood sugar levels over the past two or three months.
This test is done in a lab or doctor's office, and you do not need to do the regular blood sugar test yourself. If your blood sugar level is not under control, watch for other symptoms that may be a sign of a more serious condition. You may also be advised to monitor your blood sugar level more closely or to test your blood or urine for ketones, which are associated with diabetic ketoacidosis. Many things can cause high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia), such as being sick, being stressed, eating more than expected, and not taking enough insulin.
To monitor your blood sugar level, use a blood sugar meter (also called a glucometer) or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Your blood sugar goals may vary depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Having regular high blood sugar levels for long periods (more than months or years) can cause permanent damage to parts of the body, such as the eyes, nerves, kidneys, and blood vessels. If hyperglycemia is left untreated in people with type 1 diabetes, it can develop into ketoacidosis, in which ketones build up in the blood.
If you use a CGM, you'll still need to take a daily test with a blood sugar meter to make sure that the CGM readings are accurate. Carbohydrates in foods cause your blood sugar levels to rise after you eat them than when you eat protein or fat. Driving with low blood sugar levels can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar level before getting behind the wheel. If you've had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms (unknowingly hypoglycaemia), you may need to check your blood sugar level more often to see if it's low and treat it.
The liver begins to break down fat when there isn't enough insulin in the bloodstream to allow blood sugar to enter cells.