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You've been told that high blood sugar causes complications, but have you ever wondered why? Diabetes often has no obvious symptoms. Occasionally, a patient tells us that maybe high blood sugar is normal for him or her. But there's no such thing as "a touch of diabetes" or having blood sugar that is "a little high."
Blood sugar actually coats red blood cells (hemoglobin), causing them to become stiff. These "sticky cells" interfere with blood circulation, causing cholesterol to build up on the inside of your blood vessels. It can take months to years for the damage to your body to appear. The fragile blood vessels in your eyes, kidneys and feet are most susceptible, so problems are usually noticed first in those areas.
Controlling high blood sugar may help prevent or decrease many long-term diabetes complications, such as:
Some damage to the body may already start occurring during prediabetes — a condition in which your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Research has shown that if you have prediabetes, you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 60 percent through lifestyle changes. These changes include increasing your physical activity and modest weight loss — losing as little as 5 to 7 percent of your current weight. That's a huge risk reduction from small changes!
Ultimately, diabetes is a chronic health condition that can affect many aspects of your health. It's important that you take high blood sugar seriously. Regular follow-up care may help you better manage the disease and live an active, healthy life.
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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My friend is in ICU right now. At the time of admission his blood sugar was 1492. What can that high of levels do to your body? And what kind of questions should his wife be asking his doctors?
I have been a Type I Diabetic for 44 years. Against the wishes of all my doctors, I put myself on 24 hour coverage way back then. I was correct in not listening to my doctors.
As of today, my kidneys, eyes, and nerves are all normal. I just had a catheterization, and the doctor said I have "trivial" CAD, less than 15%. While that still bothers me, he said he has never seen anyone in his 25 years of being a cardiologist managed Type I Diabetes as brilliantly as I have.
The key to beating this disease is constantly checking your blood sugars. I check mine 12 to 14 times a day. As soon as I see it begin to move up, I take some insulin as I have done for 44 years. I just received my new Medtronic pump with the Enlite sensor, so now I will only have to check my sugars four times a day.
The pump automatically sends my sugar results ever five minutes to the pump....
How can I get my husband to take diabetes seriously? He is 66. he sees an endo dr and was told thatbhe needs to check his blood sugar regularly but can't be bothered. He gets mad when I remind him. Any thoughts, suggestions?
I had a cortisone injection a week ago, the next couple days my blood sugar was high 250-350, my Dr said a reaction of the cortisone, now a week later, my blood sugar has been within safer range, but I have no energy, is this normal?
What an excellent explanation! So easy to understand, the way you put it. As a result of a better understanding of how these factors work together to cause the symptoms & medical complications, I am absolutely more motivated to do whatever is required to keep my blood sugar within the normal range. Having recently (2 1/2 wks ago) been told I was pre-diabetic, I have been struggling with giving up the sweets I've always loved so much. (I am not & never have been overweight.) Thanks so much for this terrific article!
It's me again...The last time I had blood work done my sugar was 110, does this mean I have pre-diabetes and if so, how often should my sugar be tested. My mouth is so dry it could be a dessert. I twisted my foot (not the ankle so much) over a month ago and it still hasn't heeled. Yes I have had x-rays and an MRI for it but there is complications that makes it almost impossible to see anything (2 bone graphs across the middle bones on the foot). My left big toe also is numb. What should I do?
This may not be a comment but I have a great question for you.....My sons Girlfriend says she is Diabetic but doesn't take any form of insulin. She says she knows how to deal with it, she just eats allot of sweet junk food. Carries a sugary juice with her all the time...Tell me is this really diabetes or just a reason to eat alot of candy and such?
Any significantweight loss without reason needs to be investigated. See your health care provider immediately.
I have type 2 diabetes , age 60 years old, female. I eat normal healthy meals and in the last 10 months have lost 57 pounds without even trying to lose weight. Is this normal?
My daughter is 28 and just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. what can a parent do to provide support
Joan: If your blood sugar level is over 100 mg/dL (5.5 mmol) but less than 126 mg/dL (7 mmol), you're considered to have prediabetes.
What blood sugar level constitutes pre diabetes?
My sugar is always high and the pills aint working well i tested my sugar yesterday and it was 560. What will happen if it stays high. It runs between 250 to 560 i know thats not good it killed my dad im worried and scared im only 32 someone help me or give me some addvice please
Readers: Mayoclinic.com is a good resource for nutrition questions. Here is a link to get you started: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/MY00431
What is a high number ? As I get older my numbers are slowly increasing, even as I continue my diet and exercise routine. I test every morning for a "fasting number".
Check you blood sugar at least daily. This will give you the feedback you need to determine what works and what does not. Good Article.
Fantastic read! Take seriously and follow up with regular doctor appointments. Excersing and cutting back on food is really not that hard; therefore, go for it.
I was told i have diabetes type 2 because i had been having headaches and a blood test showed 165 was my average glucose levels. I find when I have headaches the glucose is around 140. I dont have headaches between 141 and 170. However, foods that are supposed to lower my glucose levels actually raise it significantly. Like tonight I had pumpkin seeds and nuts and my glucose went to 245! It was at 150 prior to eating the nuts. I am allergic to citrus fruits, dairy products and beef. I am limited on the number of salads due to gallbladder issues and as you know many fruits are too high in sugar. I dont eat bread or many carbs. I haven't eaten chips in years. I know when my monthly cycle is close my glucose goes to around 170 for a week before and drops below 140 during the week. My husband is also diabetic and what works for him is the opposite on me. Whats up?
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