Some 1.5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with diabetes every year. They join a growing pool of some 26.9 million Americans who already have the disease.

Plus, there are a suspected 7.3 million who have diabetes but are undiagnosed.

The key to living with diabetes is knowing your blood sugar levels. These levels fluctuate depending on your activity level, medication, and what you eat.

In many parts of the country, the rate of diabetes matches closely with those of obesity. Furthermore, not maintaining proper blood sugar levels can cause long-term health problems and even death.

The following article will explain what you need to know about blood sugar levels and how they relate to your diabetes.

What Are Blood Sugar Levels?

Blood sugar levels are the measure of your blood glucose. With diabetes, you want your blood glucose to stay within a specific range depending on your age, weight, height, and activity level.

If your blood sugar level gets too low, you can struggle to think clearly and function. If it gets too high, the high glucose levels can cause harm to your organs and cause other health complications.

Recording your glucose levels is important for your long-term care because your health care provider will create and adjust your diabetes care plan depending on these blood sugar checks.

Should You Check?

If you are taking insulin, pregnant, or having a hard time maintaining your blood sugar levels, you should consult your doctor and see if you need to check your glucose.

Other people who should consult a physician are those with low blood sugar levels but with few warning signs and those people that have ketones from higher glucose rates. Ketones are an alternative fuel made in your liver.

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Remember, there are many ways to reduce high glucose levels, including medication like Januvia from and others.

Target Ranges

In addition to the factors mentioned previously, there are a few more conditions you should be aware of when determining your proper blood glucose level.

Hypoglycemia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes complications, and the length of time you managed the disease can all play a role in proper glucose levels.

In general, follow the A1C targets for nonpregnant adults with diabetes. You should always consult a physician before determining specific health care needs.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that:

  • Lower than 5.7% is normal
  • 5.7% to 6.4% is considered prediabetes
  • 6.5% or higher on two individual tests signifies diabetes

Record Results

While keeping a log of your blood sugar checks, also include what may have influenced them. For example, stress, certain foods, and exercise can all affect results.

You should also make sure that your levels are not too low or too high over multiple days. If you see a trend in the wrong direction, either take actives steps to eliminate any attenuating factors or consider modifying your diabetes care plan.

Consult an Expert

The log of your blood sugar levels isn’t the only indicator that you may need a care plan change. Fluctuating blood sugar can cause mood swings and fluctuating energy levels. On one end, you can feel drowsy, and on the other, you can feel angry or frustrated.

If you are concerned about your blood sugar levels or your mood and feelings, make sure to speak to a physician as soon as possible.

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