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Constance Tambakis Odom, MD graduated in 1987 with her Doctorate of Medicine from the New York Medical College, and was an Anesthesiologist Resident from 1988 to 1991 at the Brookdale Medical Center PGY II (CA-I)-PGY IV (CA-III). She is Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology since 1998 and American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine since 2002. Constance Odom, MD is affiliated with the American Medical Association, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, American Society of Anesthesiology, Georgia Society of Anesthesiology, Hellenic Medical Society of New York, North Carolina Society of Anesthesiology, and Society of Ambulatory Anesthesia.
If you are experiencing high blood sugar levels, there are several steps you can take to lower your blood sugar quickly:
Exercise: Physical activity can help your body use insulin more effectively, which can lead to lower blood sugar levels. Try going for a brisk walk or doing some light aerobic exercises like cycling or swimming.
Drink Water: Drinking plenty of water can help flush excess sugar out of your bloodstream and help you stay hydrated.
Eat High-Fiber Foods: Fiber slows down the absorption of sugar in your bloodstream, which can help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. Try eating foods high in fiber such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Monitor Your Carbohydrate Intake: Consuming too many carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Try to limit your intake of carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and sugar.
Take Medication: If you have been prescribed medication to manage your blood sugar levels, take it as directed by your healthcare provider.
Manage Stress: Stress can cause your blood sugar levels to rise, so finding ways to manage stress can help lower your blood sugar levels. Try practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises.
It's important to note that if you are experiencing high blood sugar levels, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop a plan to manage your blood sugar levels effectively.
Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Levels
Monitoring your blood sugar levels is an important part of managing diabetes and maintaining good overall health. Here are some tips for monitoring your blood sugar levels:
Use a blood glucose meter: A blood glucose meter is a small device that measures your blood sugar levels. You can use it to test your blood sugar levels at home, at work, or while you're out and about.
Test your blood sugar levels regularly: Your healthcare provider will recommend how often you should test your blood sugar levels. Generally, people with diabetes should test their blood sugar levels several times a day, especially before and after meals.
Keep a record of your blood sugar levels: Keeping a record of your blood sugar levels can help you and your healthcare provider identify patterns and make adjustments to your treatment plan if needed.
Pay attention to symptoms: Pay attention to symptoms of high or low blood sugar levels, such as increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, or confusion. If you experience any of these symptoms, test your blood sugar levels and take action as recommended by your healthcare provider.
Discuss your results with your healthcare provider: If your blood sugar levels are consistently high or low, talk to your healthcare provider about adjusting your treatment plan.
Remember, monitoring your blood sugar levels is an important part of managing diabetes and maintaining good overall health. If you have any questions about monitoring your blood sugar levels, talk to your healthcare provider.
When to Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
When to check your blood sugar levels depends on your individual health condition and treatment plan, as well as your healthcare provider's recommendations. However, here are some general guidelines:
Type 1 Diabetes: If you have type 1 diabetes, you should check your blood sugar levels at least 3 to 4 times a day, including before and after meals, and before bedtime.
Type 2 Diabetes: If you have type 2 diabetes, your healthcare provider will recommend how often you should check your blood sugar levels. Generally, people with type 2 diabetes should check their blood sugar levels at least once a day, but it may be more frequent if you're managing your diabetes with insulin or if you have difficulty managing your blood sugar levels.
Gestational Diabetes: If you have gestational diabetes, your healthcare provider will recommend how often you should check your blood sugar levels. Generally, people with gestational diabetes should check their blood sugar levels before and after meals, as well as before bedtime.
Other Health Conditions: If you have other health conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, your healthcare provider may recommend checking your blood sugar levels more frequently to monitor the effects of your treatment plan.
It's important to follow your healthcare provider's recommendations for checking your blood sugar levels. Regular monitoring can help you manage your diabetes and avoid complications.
What Are The Symptoms of High Blood Sugar Levels?
High blood sugar levels, also known as hyperglycemia, can cause a variety of symptoms. Here are some common symptoms of high blood sugar levels:
Increased thirst: High blood sugar levels can cause dehydration, leading to increased thirst.
Frequent urination: When blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys work harder to filter and remove excess sugar from the body, leading to more frequent urination.
Fatigue: High blood sugar levels can cause fatigue and weakness, as the body is unable to effectively use glucose for energy.
Blurred vision: High blood sugar levels can cause changes in the shape of the eye lens, leading to blurred vision.
Headaches: High blood sugar levels can cause headaches and difficulty concentrating.
Dry mouth and skin: High blood sugar levels can cause dehydration, leading to dry mouth and skin.
Slow healing: High blood sugar levels can affect the body's ability to heal wounds, leading to slow healing times.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to test your blood sugar levels and speak with your healthcare provider. Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels can lead to serious complications over time, so it's important to manage your blood sugar levels effectively.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels?
Normal blood sugar levels vary depending on the time of day, whether you have eaten recently, and other factors. However, here are some general guidelines for normal blood sugar levels:
Fasting blood sugar (before eating): 70-100 mg/dL (3.9-5.5 mmol/L)
After eating (postprandial): Less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) two hours after eating
A1C levels (a measure of average blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months): Less than 5.7% for a healthy individual, 5.7-6.4% for prediabetes, and 6.5% or higher for diabetes.
It's important to note that target blood sugar levels may vary depending on individual health conditions, age, and other factors. Your healthcare provider will recommend target blood sugar levels and testing frequency based on your individual needs.
If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, it's important to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and work with your healthcare provider to manage your blood sugar levels effectively.
What Are The Complications of High Blood Sugar Levels?
High blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, can cause a variety of complications if left uncontrolled over time. Here are some of the potential complications of high blood sugar levels:
Cardiovascular disease: High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Nerve damage: High blood sugar levels can damage nerves, leading to a condition called diabetic neuropathy. This can cause numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet, as well as other areas of the body.
Kidney damage: High blood sugar levels can damage the kidneys, leading to kidney disease or even kidney failure.
Eye damage: High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the eyes, leading to diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can cause blindness.
Skin and oral infections: High blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult to fight off infections. This can lead to skin and oral infections, as well as other types of infections.
Slow wound healing: High blood sugar levels can slow down the healing process for wounds
What is Pre-Diabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Prediabetes is a warning sign that you may develop type 2 diabetes if you don't take steps to manage your blood sugar levels.
According to the American Diabetes Association, the following blood sugar levels are used to diagnose prediabetes:
Fasting blood sugar (before eating): 100-125 mg/dL (5.6-6.9 mmol/L)
After eating (postprandial): 140-199 mg/dL (7.8-11 mmol/L) two hours after eating
A1C levels: 5.7-6.4%
Prediabetes doesn't usually cause any symptoms, which is why it's important to have your blood sugar levels checked regularly if you have risk factors for diabetes, such as being overweight, having a family history of diabetes, or being physically inactive.
Fortunately, prediabetes can often be reversed or delayed through lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, increasing physical activity, and eating a healthy diet. Your healthcare provider can help you develop a personalized plan to manage your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Which Foods Control Blood Sugar Levels?
Foods that can help control blood sugar levels are those that are low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, and have a low glycemic index (GI). Here are some examples of foods that can help control blood sugar levels:
Non-starchy vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, kale, peppers, and other non-starchy vegetables are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, which can help control blood sugar levels.
Whole grains: Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread are high in fiber and have a low GI, making them good choices for controlling blood sugar levels.
Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes are high in fiber and protein, making them a good choice for controlling blood sugar levels.
Fruits: Some fruits such as berries, apples, and citrus fruits are low in carbohydrates and have a low GI, making them a good choice for controlling blood sugar levels.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds are high in fiber and healthy fats, which can help control blood sugar levels.
It's important to note that portion size and overall diet quality are also important factors for controlling blood sugar levels. Consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to develop a personalized plan that meets your nutritional needs and helps control your blood sugar levels.
Which Medications Can Be Used to Treat Type 2 diabetes?
There are several types of medications that can be used to treat type 2 diabetes. The choice of medication will depend on factors such as the severity of the diabetes, the individual's health status, and the presence of other health conditions. Here are some examples of medications that may be used to treat type 2 diabetes:
Metformin: This is usually the first medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes. It works by decreasing glucose production in the liver and improving insulin sensitivity in the body.
Sulfonylureas: These medications stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin.
DPP-4 inhibitors: These medications increase the levels of incretin hormones in the body, which stimulate insulin production and decrease glucose production in the liver.
GLP-1 receptor agonists: These medications mimic the effects of incretin hormones and increase insulin production while decreasing glucose production in the liver.
SGLT2 inhibitors: These medications work by blocking glucose reabsorption in the kidneys, leading to increased glucose excretion in the urine.
Insulin: In some cases, people with type 2 diabetes may need to take insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels.
It's important to note that medications are not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a healthy diet. Working with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized treatment plan can help manage type 2 diabetes effectively.
What is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia is a condition where blood sugar levels drop below normal levels. In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia usually occurs as a result of taking too much insulin or other diabetes medications, not eating enough, or engaging in excessive physical activity.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include sweating, shakiness, dizziness, confusion, irritability, headache, blurred vision, and difficulty concentrating. In severe cases, hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness, or even coma.
Treatment for hypoglycemia involves consuming a source of carbohydrates to raise blood sugar levels quickly. This can include consuming foods or drinks that contain sugar, such as fruit juice, soda, or candy. For people with diabetes, it's important to carry a source of fast-acting carbohydrates with them at all times in case of an episode of hypoglycemia.
Preventing hypoglycemia involves maintaining a consistent eating schedule, monitoring blood sugar levels regularly, and adjusting medications as needed under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.