Defining Blood Sugar Level
Often dreaded as the purest form of Diabetes, blood sugar level does not mean the same in general. Then what does blood sugar level define? Let us simplify it for you. The blood sugar level is the concentration of glucose in the blood of living beings. It is something very natural.
An average human being of 70 kgs has 4 grams of glucose or sugar in his blood. It is very important to keep the tissues and the human brain functioning smoothly. But in case, it goes uneven the risk factors start hovering around. An increased level of your blood sugar level makes you diabetic or prone to diabetes. A clinical blood test can tell whether you are diabetic or not.
Does Drinking Water Lower Blood Sugar
The quick answer is yes, drinking water may help lower blood sugar.
Water not only prevents dehydration, but also helps flush out excess sugar through your urine.
One analysis of data from 3,961 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey had their urine analyzed for any potential cross-sectional association between hydration and metabolic dysfunction. The participants with urine specific gravity greater than 1.013 had less favorable metabolic markers. Data analysis also showed that increasing quartiles of urine specific gravity was associated with higher fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and elevated insulin1.
Another observational study showed that water intake was inversely and independently associated with high blood sugar levels2.
A study conducted on healthy Japanese men and women showed increased health benefits, such as protecting kidney function, diluting blood waste materials, and lowering blood pressure however, drinking an additional 37 ounces of water a day did not prove effective in lowering slightly elevated fasting blood glucose levels3.
Still, drinking water prevents dehydration and promotes healthy metabolism in non-diabetics.
Dehydration can elevate blood sugar levels due to a higher concentration of glucose in the bloodstream. When youâre dehydrated, your body releases a hormone called vasopressin, which tells your kidneys to retain water instead of flushing out excess glucose in urine.
Can You Drink Alcohol If Youre Fasting Before A Blood Test
Some blood tests, such as those that assess liver health or triglyceride levels, may require you to not drink any alcohol for a full 24 hours. Trace amounts of alcohol can remain in your bloodstream for several days. If you have any concerns about alcohol consumption, discuss this with your doctor when you schedule your test.
Also ask your doctor if you can smoke cigarettes before the test, or if you should refrain from smoking during your fast.
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What About Caffeinated Drinks
Some studies suggest that caffeine impairs blood glucose management, although other research indicates that some caffeine is okay.
In a study conducted on 10 healthy men, it was observed that caffeinated coffee raised blood sugar levels8 whether the test subjects ate a high or low glycemic index meal. However, when these same individuals drank decaffeinated coffee, blood sugar levels did not change as much.
The takeaway: Caffeine affects everyone differently. If you hope to lower your blood sugar levels, it may be a good idea to limit caffeine intake.
Tips To Help You Get Through The Blood Test
1. Know These Fasting Guides to Different Test
Can you drink water before a blood test?Generally speaking, youll want to follow your doctors orders when taking these different tests.
- Blood Glucose Test
Abstain from eating or drinking anything except water for at least 8 -10 hours before a blood glucose test. It is often the first test done to check for diabetes, a condition caused by too much sugar in the blood.
- Iron Blood Test
If your doctor suspects an iron deficiency, they may order a blood test taken in the morning before you eat anything. Avoid taking iron supplements for at least 24 hours before the blood draw. Iron is absorbed very quickly from food or pills, and can raise your iron levels affecting the test results.
- Blood Cholesterol Tests
Physicians measure and diagnose cholesterol with a simple blood test, called a lipid profile. It’s done after fasting, except water, for 9-12 hours to eliminate any contributing factors from any food you recently ate.
2. Tell the Doctor What Medications You’re Taking
3. Refrain from Certain Activities
4. Warm Your Extremities
Before you take a blood test, you may be asked to warm the extremity where the blood will be drawn, using a warm compress over the area for 10-15 minutes to improve the blood flow. Remember also to wear warm clothes for the season before you go in to get your blood test. It will increase your skin temperature, increase the blood flow to the area, and make it easier for the phlebotomist to find a good vein.
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How Does Staying Hydrated Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Comfort is the buzzword for the modern-day lifestyle. But this lifestyle has also gifted us many health-related issues and its high time that we become aware of it. Taking proper care and corrective measures are the only options that we are left with. Uneven blood pressure levels or thyroid levels are nothing, but lifestyle generated disorders that we usually suffer from. And in this list is reigned by none other than, the imbalanced Blood Sugar Levels.
What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels
Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:
- skipping meals and snacks
- not eating enough food during a meal or snack
- exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food
- getting too much insulin
- not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise
Also, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:
- taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
- injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
- injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport .
All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.
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Staying Hydrated With Diabetes: A Balancing Act
Use these tips to avoid dehydration and keep your blood sugar level down, even in hot weather.
Dehydration can strike anyone when the sun is out and the temperature is high. But when you have diabetes, you’re even more prone to dehydration. That makes finding ways to lower blood sugar and stay hydrated critical for those with diabetes, especially during the warmer summer months.
Dehydration and diabetes often go hand in hand. Diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, creating extra sugar in your blood, and your kidneys work overtime to filter and absorb the excess sugar. If your kidneys are overworked, the Mayo Clinic says, your body expels the excess sugar in your urine, which in turn drags fluids from your tissues.
This makes you urinate more often, and that could leave you dehydrated. Drinking more fluids quenches your thirst, but it also makes you urinate even more, which could leave you even more dehydrated.
So how can you help prevent the problem of dehydration and diabetes and make sure your fluids remain at a healthy level? A few simple strategies can ensure that you stay hydrated, even when the weather is warm.
Staying Hydrated in Hot Weather
If you’re still learning to manage your diabetes or if you’re helping a loved one manage theirs, know that it’s important to take extra steps to keep hydrated when it’s hot out. Here are some tips:
What Is the Normal Range for Blood Sugar?
Ways to Lower Blood Sugar
What Do The Results Tell
1. Different Age Tells Different Result Meaning
Results can mean different things depending on your age. Normal levels of hemoglobin vary by age: its higher for adults and lower for children. Hemoglobin level of 11 to 13 grams/deciliter for children is normal, a value of 13.5 to 15.5 gm/dl is normal for adults. Age makes a difference for your cholesterol numbers too, and most healthy people should have LDL cholesterol levels below 130 milligrams/dl, and levels greater than 160 pose a risk for heart disease fro man over 45 and women over 55.
2. Positive May Not Be Positive
Some tests look for diseases by searching for markers in your blood, including the HIV test, sickle cell anemia test, hepatitis C test, and a gene test screening for breast and ovarian cancer risks. The results are considered positive when the blood test finds the marker, , that is identified in the blood sample. In these cases, a positive test result means you may have the disorder or disease, or that you may have been exposed to it.
3. Negative May Not Be Negative
A negative result means that the test did not detect what it was looking for, whether it was a disease marker or a risk factor for a specific health condition. When you have had a blood test to check for an infectious disease such as a test for hepatitis C, getting back a negative result is great news, because it means the blood test found no evidence of the infection.
4. Test Values Vary from Different Labs
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Dehydration And Drawing Blood
If you are dehydrated when the nurse or physician performs your fasting blood test, it can be difficult for them to draw blood from your veins. Drinking water makes your veins plump and easy to access. For this reason it as actually a good idea to drink water before your fasting blood test.
Fasting Blood Glucose Test
Diabetes is a condition that can lead to excessive amounts of sugar in the blood. A fasting blood glucose test measures levels of sugar in the blood to see whether they are healthy.
It is important that an individual has not had anything to eat or drink other than water for 810 hours before a fasting blood glucose test. A person will typically fast overnight and do the test early in the morning.
Fasting helps ensure that the blood test records an accurate measure of fasting blood sugar levels. The results help a doctor diagnose or rule out diabetes.
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Can I Drink Coffee While Fasting
Any beverage other than water should not be consumed before a blood test, unless approved by your healthcare provider.
Alcohol, soda, and juice contain high quantities of sugar, which can interfere with many common test results. Its fine to drink water before a blood test, unless youre instructed otherwise by your doctor.
Most other blood tests, like hemoglobin levels, renal function, liver function, thyroid hormones, sodium and potassium levels dont need to be done on an empty stomach because they do not change before or after meals to any meaningful degree.
What If I Accidentally Eat Or Drink Before My Blood Test
If you have been instructed to fast before your blood test and you accidentally eat or drink something during the fasting window, it is important to notify your healthcare provider or the person drawing your blood. If you dont, your results could be incorrectly interpreted.
It may be possible for your healthcare provider to interpret the non-fasted test results. Most likely, they will instruct you to reschedule the blood test at a time when you will be able to successfully complete the fast before the test.
Your physician will let you know the steps you need to take before your blood test, including whether or not fasting is required and for how long. By following all testing instructions and best practices , you can ensure a smooth testing process and the most accurate results.
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Does Quitting Alcohol Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Quitting alcohol will help your blood sugar levels stabilize and reduce spikes in your blood sugar. The body often eliminates these spikes in blood sugar by turning the sugar into fat, creating obesity, sometimes known as a beer belly. By stopping alcohol use, you will reduce your risk of obesity which, in turn, will improve your blood sugar levels.
What About Fasting For A Blood Test During Pregnancy
There are several blood tests you may need if youre pregnant. These are designed to assess any potential health concerns that you or your baby might experience during pregnancy or after you give birth. Some of these tests will require you to fast beforehand. Your doctor will advise you how to prepare for each test.
Fasting is usually safe if youre pregnant, provided youre in good health and arent having a high-risk pregnancy. For your overall comfort, your doctor may advise you to drink extra water or to remain indoors, especially if the weather is very hot or humid.
Fasting may increase heartburn in some pregnant women. If you experience uncomfortable or concerning symptoms of any kind while youre waiting to have your blood drawn, let your doctor know immediately.
If youre seeing a doctor other than your obstetrician-gynecologist, make sure they are made aware of your pregnancy before your blood test.
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How Are You Sweetening Your Coffee What You Add To Your Cup May Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels
Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the condition for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled.
Proper blood sugar control is key for warding off potential diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health . Plus, keeping your levels in check on a daily basis can help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood, explains Lisa McDermott, RD, CDCES, a diabetes specialist with the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network.
According to the American Diabetes Association , proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and regular blood sugar checks can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose stay within 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an A1C test, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals.
The Morning After Youve Been Drinking
If you end up having one too many, drinking a pint of water before you go to bed will help keep you hydrated. If youre lucky, it may also help prevent a hangover in the morning. If you do wake up with a hangover, itll still help to drink plenty of water.
And always have breakfast it will help you manage your blood sugar. If you cant face food or youve been sick, drink as many fluids as you can, including some sugary drinks if your blood sugar levels are low.
If youve got a blood sugar meter at home, check your levels regularly the next day. The symptoms of having a hypo are similar to feelings of a hangover, so you need to know if youre having one. No matter how awful you feel, you need to treat a hypo straight away. Dont ignore it.
If you take insulin, you might need to change your dose depending on what your levels are. Talk to your healthcare team about what you should be doing.
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Other Blood Tests That Require Fasting
People may be asked to fast for:
- Blood glucose test: This tests the sugar in a persons blood and can help confirm or rule out diabetes.
- Liver function test: This
When people eat food and drink alcohol, the food and liquid get broken down in their stomach and absorbed into the bloodstream. This can affect the levels of certain substances in the blood, such as blood glucose or cholesterol.
Measuring the levels of these substances is crucial to diagnose certain conditions, such as:
- high cholesterol
- liver disease
For correct diagnosis of these conditions, it is important that a person fasts. Eating or drinking before the test may raise the levels of a particular substance in the blood, leading to inaccurate results. Incorrect results could in turn lead to an incorrect diagnosis.
The Link Between Water And Hyperglycemia
Roussel notes that recent research indicates an association between the hormone vasopressin, which regulates water in the body, and diabetes.
Despite the known influence of water intake on vasopressin secretion, no study has investigated a possible association between drinking water and risk of high blood sugar, he says.
Participants in the new study were offered health examinations every three years, including a self-administered questionnaire asking how much water, wine, beer-cider, and sweet drinks they drank a day. Blood sugar levels were measured at the study’s onset and about nine years later.
Over the course of the study, 565 people developed hyperglycemia.
The next step, according to Roussel, should be a study of people who say they don’t drink a lot of water, half of whom agree to increase their intake over a certain period. That would help confirm that drinking more water helps stave off high blood sugar, he says.
James R Gavin III, MD, PhD, clinical professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, tells WebMD that more basic research into the link between drinking water and hyperglycemia is needed.
“Not drinking enough water could be similar to what we see in people who consume a lot of cholesterol,” says Gavin, who is also chair of the Partnership for a Healthier America, an initiative to fight childhood obesity.
“Insufficient fluid intake may also influence susceptibility to diabetes,” Gavin says.
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