Unsafe Blood Sugar Levels

Blood sugar refers to the amount of sugar–or glucose–in your blood. The hormone insulin helps the body process and use glucose. Normally, blood sugar increases after eating, and the pancreas releases insulin to regulate glucose levels. In people with diabetes (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), the body is not able to regulate blood sugar on its own, resulting in sometimes very dangerous reactions.

High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar occurs when there is not enough insulin produced, or when the body cannot properly process insulin. Blood sugar that remains high for a long time can cause serious damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves. Some signs of high blood sugar include high blood glucose levels in a blood or urine test, frequent urination and an increase in thirst.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar can be caused by stress, hunger and insulin reactions. If you have been diagnosed with hypoglycemia or with diabetes, it is important to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia and to know how to treat this condition. Symptoms include shakiness and dizziness, sweating, severe feelings of hunger, sudden moodiness, lack of concentration and clumsiness.

Normal Levels of Blood Sugar

There are several types of blood glucose tests, which include fasting blood sugar, postprandial blood sugar and random blood sugar testing. Fasting blood sugar tests measure glucose levels after 8 hours without food or drink and should result in a normal range of 70 to 99 milligrams glucose per deciliter of blood; postprandial blood sugar tests measure glucose levels within two hours after eating and should result in a range of 70 to 145 mg/dL; random blood sugar tests are taken at intervals throughout the day and should result in glucose levels of 70 to125 mg/dL. Blood sugar levels higher or lower than these ranges are not considered normal and should be monitored closely. Danger zones include fasting blood sugar above 126 mg/dl or below 50 mg/dl.

Gluten Allergy Food List

Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Many people choose a gluten-free lifestyle to avoid refined flour, which has almost no nutritional value but is calorie-laden. Some people avoid gluten because they suffer from celiac disease (the medical term for gluten intolerance), which can cause digestive discomfort in the form of gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating.

Effects of Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune disease rather than an allergy. In severe cases of celiac disease, gluten attacks parts of the small intestine where nutrients from food are absorbed. Malnutrition is the most obvious side effect, followed by anemia, osteoporosis, stunted growth (in children) and depression. If you think you may have gluten intolerance or symptoms of celiac disease, seek the advice of a doctor as soon as possible to be tested. Your physician may suggest that you meet with a dietitian.

Gluten-Free Carbohydrates

A gluten-free diet does not mean you can have no carbohydrates. You can enjoy quinoa, rice, corn and flours made from these grains. Many gluten-free breads are available. Beans are a satisfying combination of carbohydrate and protein. Rice and beans are a nutritious and safe food choice.

Meat

Meat is naturally free of gluten. Be aware, though, that breaded meats contain gluten (unless you prepare them yourself, using gluten-free flour). Meatballs almost always have breadcrumbs mixed in, and many meat replacement products (designed for vegetarians) also contain gluten. Packaged and prepared meat products that may contain gluten are hamburger patties, hot dogs, cold cuts and canned chili.

Dairy Foods

Except for malted drinks, gluten does not naturally exist in milk products. However, there may be gluten in prepared dairy foods like cheeses, flavored yogurts, whipped cream and some nondairy creamers.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh and unprocessed frozen fruits and vegetables contain no gluten. Avoid canned fruit, creamed vegetables and prepared sauces for vegetables unless you can make sure that there is no gluten in the syrup or sauce.

Foods to Avoid

Packaged and processed foods often contain gluten. If avoiding them altogether sounds too difficult, read labels to look for the word “flour” on such foods as instant flavored rice, egg substitutes, flavored potato chips and chocolate. Barley contains gluten, as do matzoh and semolina flour. Beer and some other alcoholic beverages contain gluten.

Call restaurants before eating out to ask about gluten-free dishes.