Diabetes 101: The Importance of Knowing Your Numbers

It can’t be overstated how important your glucose readings are to your health. These numbers represent your current state of diabetes so you can understand the short-term and long-term impact of your condition. The possibility of controlling your blood sugar, avoiding complications and reducing medication all hinge on the numbers from your glucose meter.

KYN blood @3x-100Getting to Know Your Blood Sugar

Blood sugars are measured in mg/dL (read as Milligrams per 100 milliliters). This measures the glucose by the value of its weight in a drop of blood. For people without diabetes, the normal range is 70 to 99 mg/dL.

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Crunching the Numbers

Depending on the time of your glucose test, the normal range also varies. There are two recommended times to check blood glucose—that’s fasting early in the morning, just before breakfast, and postprandial, or about two hours after a meal.

This chart shows the normal blood glucose range for people with pre-diabetes and diabetes:

CategoryFastingPost Prandial
Pre-Diabetes100 – 125 mg/dL140 – 199 mg/dL
DiabetesGreater than 126 mg/dLGreater than 200 mg/dL

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Why is it important?

It’s important to know your daily glucose levels so you can take action if your blood sugar is out of range. Uncontrolled blood sugar can cause long-term and short-term negative side effects. Here are some common causes for out of range glucose readings and how to manage.

If your blood glucose levels are consistently high, even with medication, you have hyperglycemia. You need to contact your Care Team. It may be time to change your diabetes treatment plan, including your diet. An unbalanced diet is one of the leading causes of high glucose levels. A consistent high glucose level can lead to serious health issues like kidney failure, eye problems, or nerve damage.

If your numbers show a low blood glucose, you have hypoglycemia and need to follow these steps:

  1. Take 4 glucose tablets, or drink 4oz of juice or regular soda to raise your blood sugar
  2. Wait 15 minutes and re-check your blood sugar
    • If it’s still low, repeat step 1
    • It it’s rising, eat a snack containing 1 protein and 1 carbohydrate such as peanut butter crackers
  3. If you are seeing consistent low blood sugars, contact your Wellsmith Nurse to discuss ways to reduce the risk of low blood sugars.
  1. Low blood glucose can cause dizziness and confusion and if left untreated, it can have serious consequences.

Glucose monitoring may seem repetitive, so try switching things up and checking your blood sugar at different times of the day – you might be surprised by the results!

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