Understanding Blood Sugar Readings

By Jimslin Latest Reply 2011-08-20 00:30:42 -0500
Started 2011-08-14 10:13:32 -0500

I was diagnosed in June 2011. I have been checking my blood sugar 3 times daily per DR's orders. My numbers are usually between 140-180. I test when I get up in the morning and then at least 2 hours after breakfast, and then at bedtime. My numbers are still in that range. Only once, I had a blood sugar reading of 111. I have been really trying to only eat healthy food and have been exercising more that before I was diagnosed. The number still seem high to me.
Another thing, when I supposed to be concerned about my number? When should I call my doctor? I don't know how I am supposed to feel. I mean, when I last saw my doctor, he explained that diabetes can go undetected for 10 years. For the last 8 months, I have been feeling run-down with frequent headaches and other minor ailments. I figured it was just part of the aging process (I am almost 54). Now I am not so sure.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thank you.

51 replies

Penny Lou
Penny Lou 2011-08-18 21:36:48 -0500 Report

Have you been tested for Celiac disease? I am celiac and an endoscopy into the celia intestine is the gold test. I had "Foggy Brain" symptoms = can't think clear, process,can't tolerate noise, depression, etc. tired, headaches, IBS. Mis-diagnoised with many things including fibermyalgia, chronic fatigue etc. If you have northern European ancestory and white blood you are high risk for it.

Diaschm 2011-08-18 00:24:34 -0500 Report

I think if your numbers are that high when you get up that you should talk to your doctor about adjusting your medications. that high two hours after your meal is of but not before breakfast. Jimslin this could be why you are having headaches. I think you should listen to some of the videos made by Radio on this sight . He has one where he gives suggested blood sugar target numbers. All of his videos are very good and should be of help. In fact there are several videos that my be of help to you. But do talk to your doctor also. Diaschm

robertoj 2011-08-17 04:32:45 -0500 Report

Your numbers are not alarming. Do you read labels? If you don't you should learn how. Everybody with diabetes should see a certified diabetes educator. It took time to develop diabetes and it will take time to stabilize your BG. Ask your doctor what your A1c numbers are. If you haven't had an A1c test make sure you get one scheduled. Also it is a good idea to ask your doctor these questions. You may want to write down your questions to take to your next appointment (I'm sure this site has a list of questions to ask). Communication with your doctor is very important!

GabbyPA 2011-08-17 20:11:37 -0500 Report

I agree with robertoj, seeing a diabetes educator was a HUGE plus for me. I felt I already had a good handle on things, but I learned so much from my class. I paid $75 for a 9 week class that was 2 hours each class. It was sponsored by TCOYD and it was GREAT! What helped a lot too was that I was allowed to take a family member with me. You can find notes from my classes here: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/discussions?query=tcoyd&by=relevancy
They are labeled TCOYD Class # 1 thru Class #7 (7 discussions in all) I hope they help you as much as they did me.

Diaschm 2011-08-18 00:28:25 -0500 Report

I agree with roberto, and Gabby. Seeing a diabetes educator would be very helpful. Ask your doctor to recommend someone in your area and if he writes it as a scrpt it might be paid for by your insurance. Diaschm

MoeGig 2011-08-16 21:43:27 -0500 Report

Your numbers sound good to me. After 46 years of Type 1, I aim for a BG of 80 to 180 and end up with an A1C in the 6's. No major complications all these years. (All right, I had a triple bypass 10 years ago, but that can happen with or without control). As a famous guy once said: Knowledge is Power. Learn enough about this disease and you can be your own doctor. I'm 67 and feel pretty good…and it's not because of the glass of wine I had with dinner…:>)

I wrote a couple articles in my link that might help you:

kitkat1955 2011-08-16 16:15:30 -0500 Report

The suggestion about seeing a certified diabetes educator is excellent, because he/she can provide answers your last questions, but there is a lot of good info on the internet, too. For instance, I found a good list of foods for diabetics on the WebMD website. Basically, learn what a carb is and eat as few of those as you can until you get the hang of how your body deals with them. For instance, I can eat a little sugar without a spike in my glucose, but two bites of a baked potato or mashed potato will send it to the moon right away. French fries doesn't affect it much either. Go figure. And I try to stick with berries for fruit, because they seem to keep my glucose levels more even, but I can't have many. It takes a lot of willpower to stop at 6 blueberries or 3 strawberries! =) Everybody is different, though. Some can't eat ANY sugar without troubles, but can eat corn and potatos (in moderation) without major spikes. I think the secret is to read all you can about the link between food and glucose levels, talk to your doctor when you can, and experiment until you find the foods your body does best on. Personally, I strive to keep my glucose levels at or below 140, with a morning (fasting)goal of 100 or lower. I think the saying "knowledge is power" is super applicable when the topic is diabetes.

Good luck!

jladytiger1979 2011-08-15 11:10:03 -0500 Report

You should see if you are able to visit with a certified diabetes educator in your area. Mine did WONDERS for me after I was diagnosed. They even offered a diabetic coming class!! You will eventually start to feel better!!

GabbyPA 2011-08-15 08:57:34 -0500 Report

Those numbers are in a fair range, but your fasting numbers should be lower. Those are things that you and your doctor will work out as goals to work toward. It does take time to get those things in line, so patience might be a good tool for you.

We also have many great discussions and videos on carb counting that will help give you some ideas of how you can plan your meals better to help lower your numbers. http://www.diabeticconnect.com/videos?query=carb+counting&by=relevancy

ash99 2011-08-14 20:40:55 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed 3 yrs ago when I went on medicine. Up until now I thought I had been doing well, but over the last week mine has soared out of control. This week I have really gotten serious when my readings went up to the 200's. I received an email from diabetic connection on the 9 foods to avoid, and the 9 foods you should eat. After 3 days of eating the right foods and checking my numbers, my sugar level is coming down. It really scared me!! I have learned a lot reading your comments. I did not know you could check your own keytones!! I have gone whole wheat, and reading all labels! Keep the info coming!!

robertoj 2011-08-17 04:44:03 -0500 Report

Eating whole grains, eating smaller portions, reading labels, stopping the consumption of processed foods are a good start in bringing those numbers down. There are lot of other tips on this site, check them out and don't forget to exercise.

ash99 2011-08-18 21:31:45 -0500 Report

Thanks! The exercising is out right now and I have to have knee surgery next week. Should be a short recovery (I hope). I have started the whole grains and NO processed foods as of this week. I know I really need to work on my portions! Thanks again.

robertoj 2011-08-20 00:30:42 -0500 Report

I think the hardest part for me was portion control. Using small plates and bowls has really helped. When I first got my dx the diabetes educator told us it works. I didn't believe it until I put it into practice. Have a good day.

Jimslin 2011-08-15 04:28:18 -0500 Report

Where do I find the 9 to avoid and the 9 to eat. I am having a hard time trying to figure what to eat and what not to eat.

margokittycat 2011-08-14 18:05:41 -0500 Report

When your BS are over 150 you can be spilling ketones in your urine. My docotr recommends that you test keytones and if you are spilling them not to exercise because that ccan actually make your BS go up. I would talk to my doctor and see what he thinks.

Jimslin 2011-08-14 18:17:58 -0500 Report

I don't know what ketones are. Can you tell me and how do you test for them ?

margokittycat 2011-08-14 19:16:35 -0500 Report

jaybee52 is correct you can find the strips at most pharmacies, and the metermy doctor does not recommend so again you have to talk to your doctor and see if he has a preference of which to use. Ketones is actually sugar that spells over into your urine as your body is trying to discrete it and get it out.

jayabee52 2011-08-15 00:27:22 -0500 Report

actually Margo, "Ketones are produced when the body burns fat for energy or fuel. They are also produced when you lose weight or if there is not enough insulin to help your body use sugar for energy." ( from Joslin article below). What you are describing is something else. Both what you describe and Ketones are really tough on your kidney health.

jayabee52 2011-08-14 19:04:15 -0500 Report

Here's something on Ketones and testing from Joslin diabetes center: http://www.joslin.org/info/ketone_testing_wha...

You can buy either a meter which uses special strips to test for ketones (I know that it's available, but don't know much about it) Or you can find a testing kit with strips you dip into your urine and turns a color. The color tells you whether keytones are spilling into your urine, and I think it tells how much. You can find those kits in most pharmacies with the diabetes supplies.

jayabee52 2011-08-14 16:35:13 -0500 Report

I believe eating Low carb is very important for any Person with Diabetes (PWD) no matter how that PWD is trying to control their Blood Glucose. Eating low carb will help you lower those rather high BG readings.

I pray you get these under control


Jimslin 2011-08-14 18:01:38 -0500 Report

Thank you for the advice. How many carbs should I eat daily?

PS…My name is Lindy! Jimslin is a screen name…Jim's Lin…lol…I get that alot!

princessbeiter 2011-08-15 18:50:13 -0500 Report

The number of carbs you can eat varies. I may be able to tolerate more than you can, so there is no set number for everyone. Diabetes is not a "one-size-fits-all" condition.

Trial and error are really the only way we can find out how many carbs we can tolerate. Keeping a food journal is really the best way for you to know what you can eat, and what you can't. If you need help with a food journal, you can find a great one at www.sparkpeople.com. They have a great menu planner, too, and it's FREE! lol

jayabee52 2011-08-14 18:56:32 -0500 Report

OK Lindy
the number of carbs you eat per meal is best decided between you and your Dr, or if Dr refers you to a registered nutritionist or certified diabetes educator, between you and them. Once you get comfortable with your condition and get it under control, you might want to then play around a bit with the number of carbs you can consume.

Usually you consume carbs by the meal, not by the day. IN GENERAL for women the carb range is set somewhere between 30 and 45 per meal. For men it is generally more.

grandmaducky 2011-08-14 18:30:23 -0500 Report

how many carbs depends on your own body something you have to work out you eat then test two hour later and see if its to high eat less carb next time and test again takes time but a good #of carbs would be around 60 aday then go from there

grandmaducky 2011-08-14 15:12:30 -0500 Report

Hi you need to get carbs lower i know it is hard but u dont want bg over 140 so u need to try and get it lower i feel good at 100 hope u feel better soon

DFrosty1 2011-08-14 13:21:12 -0500 Report

I don't think you should be eating a lot of fruits because of the natural sugar in fruit. One or two fruits a day is better, I think. Eat lots of vegetables, but not starchy ones like corn or potatoes. Aim for 12 to 15 carb choices a day. Each carb choice is 15 carbohydrates. Read labels. Good luck. I am learning too since being diagnosed in Sept. 2010.

princessbeiter 2011-08-15 18:55:59 -0500 Report

According to my nutritionist, and the sparkpeople website, and nearly every diet website I've seen, we ALL need to consume at least 5 fruits and veggies every day. Fruits DO have natural sugars, but they also have nutrients that our bodies need to function properly. Don't skimp on the fruit. Eating broccoli, green beans, squash, sweet potatoes, cabbage, and other green leafy veggies is your best bet. They have great nutritional value without the carbs. You need lots of good protein, too. Fats and carbs ARE necessary for life, so don't try to cut them entirely. Just try to get the good ones and pass on the processed sugar and junk foods.

alanbossman 2011-08-14 10:40:12 -0500 Report

Are those numbers after you eat? Those numbers are a little high if those are your fbs. Most people have numbers between 70 and 140. Any number above 140 the sugar is doing damage to your system. You may need to see your doctor and show him your numbers.

Jimslin 2011-08-14 10:43:47 -0500 Report

In the morning, before breakfast. Then about 2 hours later. I test just before going to bed (about 3-4 hours after supper).

lmkilday 2011-08-14 10:39:16 -0500 Report

You need to ask your doctor what your target blood sugar readings should be. Some will say between 70 and 100 and others will say between 70 and 125. Readings of 140 are good after eating. When you say you are eating healthy, what type of things are you eating? Fruits and some veggies are loaded with carbs. Your doctor will tell you the reading that should trigger a call to him/her. Generally, you should test whenever you feel the symptoms of high or low blood sugar. Symptoms of low blood sugar (from American Diabetes Assn website):
•Pale skin color
•Sudden moodiness or behavior changes, such as crying for no apparent reason
•Clumsy or jerky movements
•Difficulty paying attention, or confusion
•Tingling sensations around the mouth

Symptoms of high blood sugar:
•High blood glucose
•High levels of sugar in the urine
•Frequent urination
•Increased thirst

kitkat1955 2011-08-15 19:23:04 -0500 Report

I've often had the symptoms you've listed for low blood sugar, especially if I haven't loaded up on sufficient protein in the morning. A 30g protein drink (5g carbs, 1g sugar, 160 cal) does the trick, but I'd best never skip this ritual because if I do, by 11-12 p.m. I'm shaky, dizzy, cold sweats, foggy thinking, and I turn literally gray (eww). The only thing that seems to help me is TIME. Eating something to raise my BG doesn't alleviate the symptoms. Strangely, I can't document low blood glucose via my monitor. While it might be in the high 80's-90's, that doesn't seem to me to be 'low'. It's hard to get my doctor to pay attention to this as my #'s don't support hypoglycemia.

Anybody else have this problem?

nanaellen 2011-08-16 15:23:21 -0500 Report

My Dr. just told me last week that BECAUSE I'm on insulin that my #'s shouldn't get below 100!! I know everyone is different but if this IS the case then you would be considered LOW under 100. Are you on insulin?

kitkat1955 2011-08-16 15:45:05 -0500 Report

No, actually I'm on metformin alone. I go back to see my doc again next Monday…I need to remember to ask him about it.
Thanks for the thought, though!

Jimslin 2011-08-14 10:45:53 -0500 Report

I've been eating a lot of fruits and veggies. I guess I don't know what I am supposed to eat. I don't have a clue what I am doing.
A lot of the symptoms you've listed for low blood sugar parallel my post-menopause symptoms. With my number, I don't think low blood sugar is my concern. Right?

kitkat1955 2011-08-16 16:24:29 -0500 Report

Lindy: I would suggest throwing in some protein, unless you're vegan or vegetarian. I've found that eating protein (usually some kind of lower fat meat, or even peanut butter!) with carbs tends to lessen the effect of many carbs on my glucose level. I actually eat more protein than carbs (starches and/or fruit). Here's a good article about 'good carbs' and the GI index for the diabetic: http://www.livestrong.com/article/32504-list-...

princessbeiter 2011-08-15 19:00:08 -0500 Report

You have to watch that. Most afternoons, I get real low. I have gotten to 50. That's NOT GOOD! My doctor suggested that I eat peanut butter and crackers around 2 or 3 to prevent that from happening. It really seems to happen more if I've eaten well for lunch.

masami223 2011-08-15 17:34:21 -0500 Report

You may need to ask your doctor about that. But it just sounds like you are not eating enough or not eating a balanced meal. You may need to find a nutritionist. He/she will work with you, to help you plan your daily meals.

margokittycat 2011-08-14 19:26:33 -0500 Report

I have two books that may really help you I found them at Boarders. The first one is called "The Insulin Resistance Diet" by Cheryle R. Hart, M.D. and Mary Kay Grossman, R.D. The second is "Glycemic Load Diet" by Rob Thompson, M.D. They have a lot of good information in them and can help you with understand the diabetes and the foods you eat better.

margokittycat 2011-08-14 19:21:51 -0500 Report

Your vegetables are better for you than your fruits fruits all have natural sugars in them so those will increase your bloodsugar levels.

realsis77 2011-08-14 13:56:33 -0500 Report

Try to eat foods that are LOW on the Glycemic index. You can look up the Glycemic index online and it serves as a great tool. Yes you also worry about lows. I take insulin so I need to watch out not only for high numbers but for low numbers as well. Sometimes people who take insulin can run dangerously low if they are not careful. So yes, watch for both high and low numbers. Hang in there and learn as much as possiable about diabetes. Knowledge is power! Take care and I hope this has helped in some way.