Type 1 diabetes develops because the
immune system destroys beta cells in a part of the pancreas called the
islet tissue. These beta cells produce insulin. So people
with type 1 diabetes can't make their own insulin.
The pancreas normally adjusts
the amount of insulin it makes based on your changing blood sugar. When you have diabetes, your insulin
injections can't control your blood sugar moment to moment, the way your pancreas
would. So you may have high and low blood sugar levels from time to
Causes of high blood sugar
Causes of high blood sugar include:
Not getting enough
Eating more food than usual.
Stress and being
ill (such as with severe flu) or having an infection, especially if you aren't
eating or drinking enough.
Adolescence, because of hormone changes and rapid
Sometimes a person's blood sugar level rises greatly before he or she knows something is wrong. Because insulin isn't available, the cells in
the body are unable to get the sugar (glucose) they need for energy. The body
begins to break down fat and muscle for energy.
When fat is used for energy,
ketones—or fatty acids—are produced and enter the bloodstream. This causes the
diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a life-threatening
Causes of low blood sugar
Causes of low blood sugar include:
Taking too much insulin.
or delaying a meal or snack.
Exercising more than usual without
eating enough food.
Drinking too much
alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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