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Blood sugar level 300: Blood Glucose Monitoring: How It Works

Blood Glucose Monitoring: How It Works

Blood glucose monitoring

Testing your blood sugar level is one of the best ways to understand your diabetes and how different foods, medications, and activities affect your diabetes. Keeping track of your blood glucose can help you and your doctor make a plan to manage this condition.

People use portable blood glucose meters, called glucometers, to check their blood sugar levels. These work by analyzing a small amount of blood, usually from a fingertip.

A lancet lightly pricks your skin to obtain the blood. Meters tell you your current blood sugar. But, since blood sugar levels change, you need to test levels often and record them.

You can get blood glucose monitoring kits and supplies from:

  • your doctor’s office
  • a diabetes educator’s office
  • a pharmacy
  • online stores

You can discuss the price with your doctor or pharmacist. Glucose meters come with testing strips, small needles, or lancets, to prick your finger, and a device to hold the needle. The kit may include a logbook or you might be able to download the readings onto your computer.

Meters vary in cost and size. Some have added features to suit different needs and preferences. These may include:

  • audio capabilities for people with vision impairment
  • backlit screens to help you see them in low light
  • additional memory or data storage
  • preloaded test strips for people who have difficulty using their hands
  • USB ports to load information directly to a computer

Regular glucose monitoring is one way people with diabetes can learn more about their condition. When it’s time to make important decisions about medication dosage, exercise, and diet, knowing your blood glucose levels will help you, your doctor, and the rest of your healthcare team.

By checking your blood glucose levels routinely, you’ll also know when your blood sugar is too high or too low, both of which can cause symptoms and serious health problems.

Your doctor will calculate the target range for your blood glucose based on your age, your type of diabetes, your overall health, and other factors. It’s important to keep your glucose levels within your target range as best as you can.

Complications of high and low blood sugar levels

If you don’t get treatment, high blood sugar levels can lead to long-term complications, including:

  • heart disease
  • nerve damage
  • vision problems
  • poor blood flow
  • kidney disease

Low blood sugar levels can also cause symptoms that include:

  • confusion
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • jitters
  • sweating

Low blood sugar can also lead to serious complications, such as seizures and coma.

Risks from the blood glucose test are minimal and much lower than the risks of not monitoring your blood sugar levels.

If you share insulin needles and testing supplies with someone, you’re at an increased risk of spreading illnesses, such as:

  • HIV
  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C

You should never share needles or finger-stick devices for any reason.

Before checking your blood glucose levels, make sure that you have:

  • a finger-stick device to prick your finger, such as a lancet
  • an alcohol swab to sterilize the puncture site
  • a blood glucose monitor
  • a bandage if bleeding continues beyond a few drops

Also, depending on the type of test you’re taking, you may need to adjust your meal schedule or time it around your meal, depending on your doctor’s instructions.

Before you begin, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent infection at the finger-prick site. If you use alcohol wipes instead of washing, be sure to let the site dry before testing.

Next, put a testing strip into the meter. Prick your finger with the lancet to get a small drop of blood. Use the sides of the fingertips instead of the tip to decrease finger discomfort.

The blood goes on the test strip you inserted into the meter. Your monitor will analyze the blood and give you the blood glucose reading on its digital display usually within a minute.

Finger pricks rarely require a bandage, but you may want to use one if bleeding continues beyond a few drops. It’s important to follow all the instructions that came with your glucometer to ensure accurate results.

If you have type 1 diabetes, you may need to test your blood glucose four or more times per day. This includes before and after meals and exercise, and more often when you are sick.

If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor will let you know when and how often to test your blood glucose.

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American College of Endocrinology recommends you keep fasting and premeal glucose values at 80-130 and post-prandial

However, these are general guidelines and are not for everyone. Ask your doctor about your target levels.

Regular blood glucose monitoring is an essential tool to help you take control of your diabetes. By identifying and recording changes in your blood sugar levels, you’ll have more information about how food, exercise, stress, and other factors affect your diabetes.

Diabetic coma – Symptoms & causes

Overview

A diabetic coma is a life-threatening disorder that causes unconsciousness. If you have diabetes, dangerously high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can lead to a diabetic coma.

If you go into a diabetic coma, you’re alive — but you can’t wake up or respond purposefully to sights, sounds or other types of stimulation. If it’s not treated, a diabetic coma can result in death.

The idea of a diabetic coma can be scary, but you can take steps to help prevent it. One of the most important is to follow your diabetes treatment plan.

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Symptoms

Symptoms of high blood sugar or low blood sugar usually develop before a diabetic coma.

High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)

If your blood sugar level is too high, you may have:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach pain
  • Fruity breath odor
  • A very dry mouth

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

If your blood sugar is too low, you may have:

  • Shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Tiredness or drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Hunger
  • A feeling of tingling on your skin
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

Some people, especially those who’ve had diabetes for a long time, develop a condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness. That means they don’t have warning symptoms that signal a drop in blood sugar.

If you have any symptoms of high or low blood sugar, test your blood sugar right away. Based on the test results, follow your diabetes treatment. If you don’t start to feel better quickly, or you start to feel worse, get medical care right away.

When to see a doctor

A diabetic coma is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of high or low blood sugar and you think you might pass out, call 911 or your local emergency number.

If you’re with someone with diabetes who has passed out, call for emergency help. Tell the emergency personnel that the unconscious person has diabetes.

Causes

Blood sugar that’s either too high or too low for too long may cause the following serious health problems, all of which can lead to a diabetic coma.

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis. If your muscle cells become starved for energy, your body may start breaking down fat for energy. This process forms toxic acids known as ketones. If you have ketones (measured in blood or urine) and high blood sugar, the condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis. If it’s not treated, it can lead to a diabetic coma.

    Diabetic ketoacidosis is most common in people who have type 1 diabetes. But it can also occur in people who have type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes.

  • Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. If your blood sugar level goes above 600 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 33.3 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), the condition is called diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome.

    When blood sugar is very high, the extra sugar passes from the blood into the urine. That triggers a process that draws a large amount of fluid from the body. If it isn’t treated, this can lead to life-threatening dehydration and a diabetic coma.

  • Hypoglycemia. Your brain needs sugar (glucose) to function. In severe cases, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may cause you to pass out. Low blood sugar can be caused by too much insulin or not enough food. Exercising too vigorously or drinking too much alcohol can have the same effect.

Risk factors

Anyone who has diabetes is at risk of a diabetic coma, but the following factors can increase the risk:

  • Insulin delivery problems. If you’re using an insulin pump, you have to check your blood sugar frequently. Insulin delivery can stop if the pump fails or if the tubing (catheter) becomes twisted or falls out of place. A lack of insulin can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • An illness, trauma or surgery. When you’re sick or injured, blood sugar levels can change, sometimes significantly, increasing your risk of diabetic ketoacidosis and diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome.
  • Poorly managed diabetes. If you don’t monitor your blood sugar properly or take your medications as directed by your health care provider, you have a higher risk of developing long-term health problems and a higher risk of diabetic coma.
  • Deliberately skipping meals or insulin. Sometimes, people with diabetes who also have an eating disorder choose not to use their insulin as they should, in the hope of losing weight. This is a dangerous, life-threatening thing to do, and it raises the risk of a diabetic coma.
  • Drinking alcohol. Alcohol can have unpredictable effects on your blood sugar. Alcohol’s effects may make it harder for you to know when you’re having low blood sugar symptoms. This can increase your risk of a diabetic coma caused by hypoglycemia.
  • Illegal drug use. Illegal drugs, such as cocaine, can increase your risk of severe high blood sugar and conditions linked to diabetic coma.

Complications

If it is not treated, a diabetic coma can lead to permanent brain damage and death.

Prevention

Good day-to-day control of your diabetes can help you prevent a diabetic coma. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Follow your meal plan. Consistent snacks and meals can help you control your blood sugar level.
  • Keep an eye on your blood sugar level. Frequent blood sugar tests can tell you whether you’re keeping your blood sugar level in your target range. It also can alert you to dangerous highs or lows. Check more frequently if you’ve exercised. Exercise can cause blood sugar levels to drop, even hours later, especially if you don’t exercise regularly.
  • Take your medication as directed. If you have frequent episodes of high or low blood sugar, tell your health care provider. You may need to have the dose or the timing of your medication adjusted.
  • Have a sick-day plan. Illness can cause an unexpected change in blood sugar. If you are sick and unable to eat, your blood sugar may drop. While you are healthy, talk with your doctor about how to best manage your blood sugar levels if you get sick. Consider storing at least a week’s worth of diabetes supplies and an extra glucagon kit in case of emergencies.
  • Check for ketones when your blood sugar is high. Check your urine for ketones when your blood sugar level is over 250 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) (14 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)) on more than two consecutive tests, especially if you are sick. If you have a large amount of ketones, call your health care provider for advice. Call your health care provider immediately if you have any level of ketones and are vomiting. High levels of ketones can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to coma.
  • Have glucagon and fast-acting sources of sugar available. If you take insulin for your diabetes, have an up-to-date glucagon kit and fast-acting sources of sugar, such as glucose tablets or orange juice, readily available to treat low blood sugar levels.
  • Consider a continuous glucose monitor, especially if you have trouble maintaining stable blood sugar levels or you don’t feel symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia unawareness).

    Continuous glucose monitors are devices that use a small sensor inserted underneath the skin to track trends in blood sugar levels and send the information to a wireless device, such as a smart phone.

    These monitors can alert you when your blood sugar is dangerously low or if it is dropping too fast. But you still need to test your blood sugar levels using a blood glucose meter even if you’re using one of these monitors. Continuous glucose monitors are more expensive than other glucose monitoring methods, but they may help you control your glucose better.

  • Drink alcohol with caution. Because alcohol can have an unpredictable effect on your blood sugar, have a snack or a meal when you drink alcohol, if you choose to drink at all.
  • Educate your loved ones, friends and co-workers. Teach loved ones and other close contacts how to recognize the early symptoms of blood sugar extremes and how to give emergency injections. If you pass out, someone should be able to call for emergency help.
  • Wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace. If you’re unconscious, the bracelet or necklace can provide valuable information to your friends, co-workers and emergency personnel.

Continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump

A continuous glucose monitor, on the left, is a device that measures blood sugar every few minutes using a sensor inserted under the skin. An insulin pump, attached to the pocket, is a device that’s worn outside of the body with a tube that connects the reservoir of insulin to a catheter inserted under the skin of the abdomen. Insulin pumps are programmed to deliver specific amounts of insulin continuously and with food.

Diabetes mellitus – causes, symptoms, blood sugar level

British scientists with the participation of WHO (World Health Organization) found that over the past 20 years the number of patients with diabetes mellitus has doubled. Currently, over 3 million Russians have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to doctors, about 6-9 million more do not know about their disease. Russia is in 5th place in the world in terms of incidence, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (non-insulin-dependent diabetes) has become especially common in children, adolescents and young adults.

Diabetes mellitus is not in vain called the “disease of civilization” – malnutrition, low physical activity, constant stress, i.e. everything that makes up the lifestyle of a modern person are the main causes of the development of the disease.

Doctors say that it is not the disease itself that is scary, but its consequences: the target organs of diabetes mellitus are vision, kidneys, nervous system, heart, blood vessels … With early diagnosis and adequate timely treatment, it is quite possible to avoid serious consequences of the disease and maintain the habitual the quality of life of patients.

Every year November 14th is World Diabetes Day . On this day, medical workers pay great attention to informing as many people as possible about diabetes mellitus , its symptoms and consequences, and tell how to prevent the development of this disease.

It is known that today, despite the high level of development of medicine and pharmaceuticals, an effective remedy has not yet been invented that would completely cure diabetes. People diagnosed with the disease are forced to take medicines for the rest of their lives, follow the recommendations for a healthy diet, and follow other doctor’s orders. Therefore, the best way to prevent the development of the disease is its prevention. It is quite simple to do this – you just need to pay attention to the possible symptoms of diabetes in a timely manner.

Symptoms of diabetes mellitus

  • Polydipsia (great thirst, dry mouth).
  • Polyuria (frequent urination, including at night, an increase in the amount of urine excreted).
  • Severe weakness, fatigue, decreased performance.
  • Polyphagia (increased appetite).
  • Weight loss.

Normal sugar – what is it?

Diabetes mellitus is characterized by hyperglycemia – an increase in blood sugar levels . What blood sugar level should be considered normal? In healthy people blood glucose levels may fluctuate: on an empty stomach – 3.3-5.5 mmol / l, after eating it can rise to 7.8 mmol / l. If such an indicator is observed in blood taken on an empty stomach, this may indicate in favor of diabetes mellitus . The content of glucose in whole blood and plasma, which is obtained after processing the blood in the laboratory, is different, also different blood sugar levels taken from a finger and from a vein – for example, the maximum allowable blood glucose level when taking blood from a vein is 6.1.

If the blood sugar level fluctuates above 5.6 and can reach up to 7.8 mmol, an additional glucose tolerance test is performed: in the morning on an empty stomach, blood is taken from the patient, then he drinks an aqueous glucose solution (75 g per 300 ml of water). Then repeated blood sampling is carried out after 2 hours.

If you have identified symptoms similar to symptoms of diabetes mellitus in yourself or your loved one, immediately contact the GUTA CLINIC endocrinologist! Early diagnosis in combination with adequate therapy will help to stabilize blood sugar levels through individual selection of hypoglycemic drugs, restore impaired blood supply to organs and tissues, and enhance glucose uptake by tissues. Yes, diabetes is incurable, but it is in your power to tame the “sweet” disease and not let it take over!

How to lower blood sugar levels – May 21, 2022

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Nutrition with high blood sugar should be given special attention

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Elevated blood sugar levels are a wake-up call, says Dr. Peter. If the numbers deviated slightly from the norm, it is worthwhile to analyze your lifestyle without delay and revise it if necessary.

– Normally, the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood from a vein on an empty stomach is up to 6.1 mmol / l, 2 hours after eating – up to 7.8 mmol / l, – endocrinologist Gulnara Belousova explained to Doctor Peter. – In diabetes mellitus, the glucose level is equal to or higher than 7.0 mmol / l, 2 hours after eating – 11.1 mmol / l and above. An increase in the blood glucose level of more than 8.0 mmol / l has a toxic effect on the pancreas, damaging the cells that produce insulin.

Gulnara Belousova — endocrinologist at the Zdravitsa Family Medicine Center in Novosibirsk.

An increase in blood sugar after meals is especially dangerous for the vessels of the heart and brain. So, with very high blood glucose levels (more than 13. 0 mmol / l), ketones (markers of carbohydrate metabolism disorders) may appear in the urine, and this condition may require hospitalization, the doctor notes.

If diabetes is detected, hypoglycemic drugs are immediately prescribed.

“Yes, maybe,” the endocrinologist assures. – In this disease, there is a violation of the production of insulin and / or a violation of the sensitivity of body cells to it.

Insulin is needed in order to pass glucose into the cell. If there is not enough of it or the cells of the body do not feel it, glucose remains in the blood. The reason is the violation of metabolic processes inside the body, and malnutrition only exacerbates the situation, accelerates the development of diabetes.

“At first, with a slight increase in blood glucose levels against the background of a diet, in some cases it is possible to achieve normalization of carbohydrate metabolism,” explains Gulnara Belousova. But, as a rule, this effect does not last for a long period. During the absence of therapy, complications will develop. The sooner treatment is started, the better the outcome. Modern hypoglycemic drugs not only effectively and safely reduce blood glucose, but also prevent the development of cardiovascular complications, prolong the life of patients.

The goal of treating diabetes is not to see the right number in the analysis, but to ensure a good quality of life without complications and increase its duration, the doctor says.

— Nutrition is part of the treatment of diabetes, — explains the endocrinologist. “We are not talking about hard limits. Severe calorie restriction and fasting are contraindicated. To begin with, you need to limit fats as much as possible (primarily of animal origin) and sweet foods. Moderately worth eating foods consisting mainly of complex carbohydrates and proteins. You should choose carbohydrates in the composition of vegetables, whole grains, dairy products.

In diabetes, the benefits of taking vitamins (in the absence of signs of beriberi), microelements, and various dietary supplements have not been proven.

“If blood sugar is slightly elevated, you can lower it without pills by observing the diet,” explained nutritionist Alexandra Lysenkova .

1. Eliminate fast carbohydrates in the form of sweets, pastries, fast food, sugary drinks, soda, sauces (ketchup).

2. Avoid side dishes such as mashed potatoes, whole grain pasta and white rice.

3. Focus on cooked, raw and pickled vegetables (1/2 plate), quality protein – fish, seafood, offal, poultry, meat – rabbit, beef, lamb, legumes (1/4 plate) and slow carbohydrates – buckwheat, wild rice, millet, quinoa, whole grains (1/4 plate).

It is important not to eat carbohydrates separately (they are digested quickly and cause blood sugar spikes). It is better to combine carbohydrates with protein foods. Protein slows down the digestion process, keeping you feeling full longer, and reduces the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream.

4. Do not forget about healthy fats in every meal – eggs, fatty fish, unrefined raw-pressed vegetable oils, raw nuts and seeds, avocados, olives.

Nuts have a balanced content of vegetable proteins, fiber and healthy fats that help to maintain normal sugar levels.

Good blood sugar combinations include eggs and whole grain toast, oatmeal and yogurt, chicken with brown rice, crackers and cheese.

5. Any kind of physical exercise lowers blood sugar levels.

— In case of diabetes, aerobic exercise lasting 30–40 minutes daily is recommended, — said endocrinologist Gulnara Belousova. – Regularity is important. Physical activity improves quality of life and helps to reduce and maintain body weight.

– Physical activity should be dosed individually for each person. The duration of light to moderate intensity activities, such as walking, swimming, cycling, should be 45-60 minutes a day at least three times a week – I’m sure and therapist of the NAKFF Medical Clinic Tatyana Nalegach . – As for the swings of the arms – such exercises are aimed at stimulating the lymphatic channel, since the lymphatic vessels do not have their own heart and valves.