One of the challenges diabetics often endure is balancing their blood glucose levels throughout the day. Even after learning about what medications to take, adjustments to their diet, and how to properly exercise, diabetics will occasionally experience an acute drop in their blood glucose levels, or hypoglycemia.
If you're diabetic (either type 1 or type 2), one of the best ways to manage your disease is by regularly monitoring your blood glucose levels. Although daily blood glucose readings will help you keep your blood sugar within target ranges and learn how different foods and activities affect your blood glucose levels, one of the best ways to make sure that you’re managing your blood sugar over time is by testing your hemoglobin A1c.
When blood sugar drops below 60mg, a state of hypoglycemia occurs (hypo means "under" and glycemia refers to blood sugar). People who have had diabetes for some time know to carry a few hard candies that they can pop into their mouth when they feel their blood sugar dropping.
Hyperglycemia indicates high blood sugar (hyper means "over" and glycemia refers to blood glucose). Guidelines differ, but hyperglycemia is typically described as a fasting blood sugar level above 126mg or any random reading of more than 200mg.
Ketones are compounds that form when the body burns fat for energy. If there is not enough insulin to allow your body to use sugar for energy, it breaks down fat instead. Ketones build up in the blood and are excreted in the urine. Sustained high levels of ketones can be very dangerous.