A diabetic patient may possibly know that life with this health problem is the same as walking on a tight rope. Remaining within limits with no too many high (hyperglycemic) or low (hypoglycemic) blood glucose levels is a continuous balancing act. However, what blood glucose levels are truly unsafe? This article explains the problem and offers suggestions about how a person can manage both the highs and lows of diabetes, factually.
What is a Normal Level of Blood Glucose?
As per the ADA, a normal fasting blood glucose is below 100 mg/dL. Fasting blood sugar is done in the morning when a person’s stomach is empty and he or she has only had water for 8 hours. FPG reading between 100 to 125 mg/dL shows prediabetes. Also, reading more than 125 shows diabetes.
|Fasting Blood Sugar (in mg/dl)
|100 – 125
|126 or above
If a person tests his or her blood sugar 2 hours after consuming or drinking something consisting of sugar as an alternative, the results might be given below. It is known as oral glucose tolerance test.
|Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (in mg/dl)
|Less than 140
|140 to 199
|200 or more
What is Hba1c in a Blood Test?
For diagnosis, HbA1c test outcomes might be as follows:
- Normal: Less than 5.7%
- Prediabetes: 5.7 to 6.4%
- Diabetes: 6.5% or above
One HbA1c test outcome does not imply that a person is diabetic. As per the NIDDK, if the HbA1c test indicates 6.8%, the actual reading might be in the range of 6.4 to 7.2%.
Is High Blood Glucose Dangerous?
Having high levels of blood glucose implies an excess of glucose in the bloodstream. As, a person’s body is short of insulin. This may occur because of several reasons:
- not consuming a sufficient amount of insulin exogenously
- deficient sleep
- exercising slightly
- hormonal alterations
- consuming in excess
High blood glucose is dangerous; however, it is vital to recollect those high levels are typically dangerous over the long duration of time (unless a person is in DKA, more on that below). This indicates that the blood glucose level at diagnosis won’t lead to chronic complications. However, long-term or extended blood glucose levels (i.e., all the time glucose level of 200 mg/dL) would result in diabetes complications in many individuals.
Blood glucose levels are thought to be high in diabetic patients once they’re above the advisable level of 120 mg/dL. Yet, a blood glucose level of 145 mg/dL generally won’t result in many problems. That too, if a person is going to sleep or planning to do any physical activity.
For many individuals, high glucose levels become symptomatic once the level reaches between 180 to 200 mg/dL. Blood glucose levels more than 200 mg/dL require an instant treatment with insulin. Also, in such cases, water and physical activity are useful as well. Moreover, blood glucose level more than 250 mg/dL demands a urine test for ketones. This ensures that a person is not spiraling into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
This occurs when a person’s blood turns acidic owing to continued, riskily high blood glucose levels and ketones in the blood. This might be lethal if left unmanaged. This may happen when a person is ill or is dealing with an infection, because of a pump infusion site failure or when a person forgets to use insulin for some days.
Regrettably, nearly 25% of newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic patients get diagnosed when they are already in DKA. If the glucose levels are more than 250 mg/dL in combination with moderate to high ketones for numerous hours, visit a healthcare provider instantly and look for an urgent medical help.
Diabetic patients are at a high risk of falling into a diabetic coma due to their high glucose levels. This occurs when their blood sugars become 600 mg/dL or above. This is a real medical emergency and is intensely risky and may be life-threatening.
Signs of High Blood Glucose:
High blood sugar signs may differ based upon severity. When the glucose level is around 200 mg/dL, but not hazardously high, a person might experience some signs. And, these signs can be:
- Increased thirst
- Sore muscles
- Hazy vision to some extent
- Increased urination frequency
If a person has ketones and is at a high risk of DKA, he or she might experience these signs:
- Breathing problems
- Dry mouth
- Fruity-smelling breath
- Weight loss
- Too much pain in muscles
- Unclear vision
- Extreme fatigue
If a person experience any of such signs of high blood glucose, it is better to look for an instant medical help.
Tips to Prevent High or Low Blood Sugars:
Challenges of a diabetic life are not easy. Person requires striving daily to ensure that the blood glucose levels are not too high or too low, and might be draining.
Here are a few approaches to maintain the blood sugars:
- Consume diet and foods containing predictable carb counts.
- Cook food at home, so that all the components of meal are known.
- Get an ample amount of sleep.
- Always keep fast-acting sugar and glucagon handy.
- Take all diabetes drugs and insulin as recommended.
- Maintain an eating routine and consume at the same times daily.
- Check the expiration dates on insulin label on a regular basis.
- Avoid alcohol in excess on an empty stomach.
Treatment of all high and low blood glucose levels early and often, before they become risky. High or low blood glucose levels might be an irritation. However, they don’t always ought to become frightening and risky.
A registered health coach for diabetes reversal is present at Breathe Well-being. Breathe Well-being’s Diabetes Reversal is a holistic diabetes management program. It includes combination of diet, exercise to maintain healthy blood sugars.