I’m Scared of My Number

Does the fear of what number your blood sugar is at currently prevent you from testing?

Well, you’re not alone but it doesn’t have to be like that! Try to think of blood sugar numbers merely as data points – hard to do for sure, but they really are. They don’t say anything about you except what your blood sugar is at that moment in time. Not testing can be dangerous, it is better to know so you can act if too low or too high and you can be safe – your provider may give you individual ranges based on the medication that you are on but below is a chart for guidance:

 

ADA

BLOOD SUGAR CHART
Fasting
Normal for person without diabetes 70–99 mg/dl (3.9–5.5 mmol/L)
Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes 80–130 mg/dl (4.4–7.2 mmol/L)
2 hours after meals
Normal for person without diabetes Less than 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L)
Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes Less than 180 mg/dl (10.0 mmol/L)

If your blood sugar is low, practice the rule of 15

After checking your blood glucose level with your meter and seeing that your level is under 70 mg/dl or If you are 70 – 100 and you have symptoms of low blood sugar like feeling sweaty, shaky, hungry, irritable, tired, consume 15 grams of carbohydrate, wait about 15 minutes, then recheck your blood glucose level.  For most people, 15 grams will raise your blood sugar about 50 mg/dl.

What does 15 grams of carbohydrate look like?

  • 3 glucose tabs (15 g carbs)
  • 7 lifesavers
  • 5–6 ounces (about half a can) of regular soda (not sugar free)
  • 4 ounces of fruit juice
  • 8 ounces of skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

If your blood sugar is too high and you have any of these symptoms

  • Increased thirst and/or hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Sugar in your urine
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue

You may want to check for ketones in your blood or urine and increase your water consumption.  If you have ketones, call your provider.  

If your blood sugars are elevated and you have no ketones and no other symptoms, increase your water intake, do a GlucoseZone lowering workout and check after 20 minutes.  If your blood sugar is going down or staying the same, finish the workout and check at the end. 

To help you start checking your blood sugars on a regular basis, begin by checking every day at a certain time and record the values. Each week add another time of day until you are checking upon awakening, before lunch or dinner and 2-3 hours after lunch or dinner.  As you add more checks, the numbers that you see will be less scary and you will have a better picture of how your body reacts to food, stress, exercise and life in general

About the Author:

LaurieAnn Scher  MS, RD, CDE is the diabetes educator for GlucoseZone.  With over 30 years in practice, she embraces new technologies and ideas that are grounded in human physiology to help people with diabetes achieve the best outcome.  With an undergraduate degree in Clinical Nutrition from Cornell University and a Masters in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University, Teachers College, she is comfortable applying innovations in nutrition, exercise and diabetes to the current practice of diabetes management.  LaurieAnn is comfortable with challenging the status quo to personalize diabetes care recognizing that while diabetes may be similar as a disease state, not everything works for all people all of the time.  Join LaurieAnn to help discover how to manage your diabetes in the GlucoseZone