Our blood sugar levels give an overview about the health and how an individual body is handling diabetes.
Blood sugar level means the amount of sugar that gets absorbed into the bloodstream after consuming food. It spikes an hour after eating and eventually drops.
High blood glucose level is an indication of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or insulin resistance. Knowing when to test and what to expect with sugar levels can help diabetic patients to manage the condition well and stay healthy.
Also Read: Importance Of Self-Monitoring Blood Sugar
The body requires fuel for energy and derives it from the food we consume whereas insulin assists the body to store and releases glucose as required. The factors that trigger the rise of blood sugar level include:
Consuming foods and drinks high on sugar
Processed foods and simple carbs
The quantity of food taken in the last meal
The body’s ability to secrete and respond to insulin
Blood Glucose Testing
There are two ways to determine fasting blood glucose levels such as conventional blood glucose test and glycosylated hemoglobin test.
Fasting Blood Sugar Test (FBS)
Fasting blood sugar test measures the value of blood glucose at a specific time. To get the accurate value it is recommended to take a blood test in the morning on an empty stomach. To get accurate results do not eat or drink food except water for 8-10 hours before the test. Fasting blood sugar value of 120mg/dl or more is termed as diabetes mellitus.
Post-Prandial Blood Sugar (PPBS)
Post-prandial blood sugar test is measured after two hours of eating any meal and blood sugar values more than 200mg/dl indicates diabetes mellitus.
Random Blood Sugar Test (RBS)
Random blood sugar sample is done at any time in a day, it may be a useful test if you suspect diabetes. A blood sugar level of more than 160- 200 mg/dl indicates diabetes mellitus.
HbA1C (Glycosylated Hemoglobin Test)
The HbA1C is a test that gives you the measure of average blood glucose levels over a period of last 3 months. You need not fast before the test as the test measure glucose attached to the part of red blood cells. This test is more accurate and gives a good indication of your average blood glucose level over the last 2-3 months. The normal range of HbA1C is 4 %-5.6%, values between 5.7%-6.4% indicate you are at risk of developing diabetes and above 6.5% denotes that you have diabetes.
Target Blood Glucose Levels
Blood glucose levels targets are personalized which are based on the following criteria:
Duration of diabetes mellitus
Being unaware of both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
The target range as per the American Diabetes Association (ADA) are based on age and health conditions, strict glycemic goals are set appropriately for each individual.
HbA1c Less than 7 %
Before meal blood glucose 80-130 mg/dl
Post Prandial blood glucose less than 180mg/dl
How To Manage Diabetes Mellitus
Maintain a log book and note down the values after each blood test and factors which affect food, physical activity and stress. Monitor your blood glucose record if the values are too high or too low for several days at the same time, it is time to change your diabetes treatment plan. Talk to your diabetologist to understand about your results and modifications required in your treatment. Also Checkout: Diabetic Diet Chart (1600 Calories, Vegetarian)
How To Manage High Blood Sugar?
High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) indicates that the blood sugar level is higher than the target level or over 180mg/dl. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels over a period of time can lead to long-term health issues.
Excessive tiredness, thirst, increased hunger, blurred vision or need to urinate more often are the symptoms that show your blood sugar level may be high.
It is always important to check the blood sugar and see if it is above 180 mg/dl. The best way to manage hyperglycaemia is to cut down on sugar, add a lot of fibre-rich foods, modify the diet pattern and exercise regularly, by taking a brisk walk. Seek the help of your health care provider if the blood sugar level is high for more than 3 times in about 2 weeks.
How To Manage Hypoglycemia?
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) means that your blood sugar level drops below 70mg/dl. Hypoglycemia is dangerous and should be attended immediately and treated right away. Anyone with diabetes can have low blood sugar, you have a higher chance if you are on insulin or missed having food on time.
Excessive perspiration, feeling dizzy, chills, irritability, confusion or extreme hunger are the symptoms of hypoglycemia, immediately check your blood sugar. If the blood sugar value is lower than 70mg/dl, then do any one of the following things right away:
Have 4 glucose pellets
Drink a cup of fruit juice
Have a cup of milk with sugar
Take one tablespoon of sugar or honey
Typically, food or any drink with 15 grams of carbohydrates is sufficient to bring blood sugar level back into a safe range.
Check the blood sugar level 15 minutes after having or drinking something to treat hypoglycaemia. If the blood sugar is still low, eat or drink any one of the sugary items again. Repeat this until blood sugar is above 70mg/dl. When you feel better have a snack or a meal to maintain blood sugar from dropping again.
Always keep in mind blood glucose levels monitoring is the easiest and simplest way to know how well treatment is working and whether you really need to change your diabetes treatment plan.