Know Your Numbers: Blood Sugar
Carrie Hoarty, M.D. Internal Medicine
It's important to keep an eye on your blood sugar because uncontrolled elevated blood sugar can lead to chronic diseases, such as kidney damage, nerve damage, coronary artery disease, heart damage and eye damage. So it's really important to know what your numbers are and to keep them within the normal range.
What is the normal range for blood sugar?
Most people with normal blood sugars, without diabetes, keep their blood sugars about 80 to 100. So a fasting blood sugar greater than 126 or hemoglobin a1c, which is an average of your previous three months blood sugar of greater than 6.5, is the definition of diabetes.
How often should my blood sugar be tested?
Usually we recommend that people 35 and up are getting annual examinations. We would do this earlier if someone had a larger body and was holding on to extra weight or if they had a family history of diabetes.
We would do this earlier if someone was symptomatic of high blood sugars. Symptoms can be being thirsty all the time or urinating quite a bit.
How do I reduce the risk of diabetes?
Elevated blood sugars are an indicator that you could have diabetes but it's a very preventable disease and there's a lot of things that people can do prior to getting on medicines, oral medicines or injectable medicines like insulin.
Minimizing simple carbohydrates, breads pastas, rice, potatoes, maximizing fruits, vegetables, lean meats, water, water, water, exercising and weight loss can really improve your blood sugars and really prevent diabetes from progressing.