AskNadia: Why Are My Blood Sugar Numbers High

Dear Nadia,

 Why are my blood sugar numbers so varied?

 I have been experiencing high blood sugar numbers on my glucose meter. They range from 131 on the low end to 534 on the high end. But that was one time. My average numbers are 127 to 231.

 Roy G

Dear Roy:

Your varied blood glucose numbers are of concern. I would speak to your healthcare professional immediately to figure out what your real average blood sugar number is. This can be more accurately reflected with an A1C test.

 

What Your Average Blood Sugar Numbers Mean

A fasting blood sugar of 127 mg/dL is equal to an A1C of 6.1%—well below the A1C of 7.0% that the American Diabetes Association recommends for people who want to tightly manage their diabetes. So, if that is in fact your average blood sugar reading,  it’s generally considered a good one.

Regarding the higher number of 231 mg/dL, everybody, non-diabetics included, normally experience a blood sugar spike after a meal. Your average post-meal high of 231 mg/dL is equivalent to an A1C of 9.6%.

 

Daily Averages

Your daily glucose averages is not going to tell you as much as having your A1C number checked every three months to see what your real average blood glucose level is. This 90-day overview gives you a much better perspective than your fluctuating fasting and post-meal numbers.

 

Tracking After Meal Blood Glucose Readings

It’s important to track your post-prandial  numbers in two ways: How high do they get after a meal, and how long does it take them to come down into what the ADA would consider a normal range for people with diabetes.

The ADA recommends that a post-meal spike should not exceed 180 mg/dL while the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists advocates an even lower number of 140 mg/dL.

 

Other Factors

There are all sorts of factors that can make your numbers so varied. Do you exercise? It can have a strong effect on your numbers. What kind of diet do you follow and what portions are you eating at meals? Have you recently been to a lot of parties or social occasions where the food can spike your numbers? What medications, if any, do you take? How old are you and how long have you had diabetes?

Give your healthcare professional a  call today to discuss what your average glucose numbers should be; a pre and post meal average blood sugar that is best suited for you after taking all your personal factors into consideration.

Sources:

https://www.aace.com/files/positionstatement.pdf

https://www.aace.com/files/dccwhitepaper.pdf

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Email Nadia at AskNadia@DiabetesHealth.com.

Disclaimer:

Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professionals therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

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About Nadia:

Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia holds 11 nominations for her work as a diabetes advocate.

Her passion for working in the diabetes community stemmed from her personal loss. She has used her experience as a caretaker to forge a career in helping others.

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