Blood sugar, also called as blood glucose, is made from the carbohydrates that we derive from the foods we eat. Our body uses carbohydrates for energy and upon digestion, the carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar in order to give the body enough source of energy to carry our its daily activities. More than enough blood sugar in the body, however, can become deleterious as it can result in kidney damage, damage to the eyes, blood vessels and nerves.
What controls the level of the blood sugar is the hormone called insulin. It is produced by the pancreas to ensure that the blood glucose does not go too high to a point that may result in complications. Diabetics, whose insulin production is problematic, are more susceptible to a high glucose level owing to their uncontrolled level of blood sugar level. That is why a blood sugar monitoring is important among those suffering from diabetes mellitus because of the risk of getting complications like blindness, inefficient wound healing, hypoglycaemia, hyperglycemia and organ failure as among many others.
Why you should control your blood sugar level?
Monitoring your blood sugar level is very important, especially if you have a history of diabetes or is already a diabetic. Failure to control the amount of blood glucose circulating in the body can increase the risks of complications. If you are diabetic, the ideal range of your blood sugar is between 90 and 130 mg/dl before a meal and should not go more than 180 mg/dl a couple of hours after a meal. It is best to communicate with your doctor which is most ideal under your circumstance as every individual varies on their needs. If you are unable to control your blood glucose level, the following conditions may occur:
When the blood sugar level falls too low, hypoglycemia occurs. It takes place upon eating less food, when you are active in physical activities or when you are taking diabetic medications or insulin treatment. A hypoglycemia attack manifests the symptoms of sweating, shaking, anxiousness, dizziness, weakness, fatigue and headache.
Individuals can have a quick solution when hypoglycemia occurs. Taking sugar or foods rich in sugar content can provide a sudden surge of energy in the body that can help relieve the symptoms. When you are taking medication for diabetes, explain to your doctor that you are experiencing symptoms that may be triggered by the medication you are taking. Eating a full regular meal will help prevent hypoglycemia and you also need to check your blood glucose level regularly. Failure to provide the body with sugar can result in fainting and seizure.
Most of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are manageable. They often resolve within 10 minutes after providing the body with the sugar it needs. Glucagon is usually prescribed in order to counteract the effects of hypoglycemia to the body. It is a hormone which is provided as an emergency treatment in serious episodes of hypoglycemia attack.
In hyperglycemia, the blood glucose level rises up to 180 mg/dl or higher which indicates that the body does not produce enough insulin in order to control the blood sugar level. As a consequence, one will experience the symptoms of dry skin, blurred vision, extreme thirst, frequent urination, hunger, wounds that slowly heal and drowsiness. The level of the blood sugar usually shoots up when the body produces more than enough sugar, which the body does not convert into energy. This is common when one eats too many foods high in sugar and does not exercise regularly or engage in physical activity.
There are factors that can contribute to the risk of getting hyperglycemia, which includes infection, stress and fever. Regular monitoring of your blood sugar level will be helpful in keeping track of your blood sugar to prevent the manifestations of symptoms. Hyperglycemia can result in a more serious condition called ketoacidosis, which is a life threatening condition that can make a person vomit, feel nauseated, mouth drying and shortness of breath.
Taking your blood sugar test
It is helpful to be mindful about your blood glucose level. Regular monitoring will help you prevent the symptoms from occurring and it provides you the opportunity to avoid the serious complications arising from an uncontrolled blood glucose level. A glucose test comes in different types and your doctor will likely recommend the one that is most suited to your health condition.
- Fasting blood sugar is a test that helps in measuring the level of the blood sugar after 8 hours of no food intake. It is a glucose test commonly done for the diabetics and is usually taken early in the morning after an 8 hours of sleep where you are unable to eat.
- Glycohemoglobin A1c is a test used to measure the level of red blood cells and in diagnosing diabetes. It is useful in determining whether your condition is improving upon taking a certain medication and how effective your medicine in controlling your blood sugar in the past two or three months. Doctors usually use this test in determining the average blood sugar level of a person.
- 2-hour postprandial blood sugar is used in measuring the blood sugar 2 hours after taking a meal. However, this is not used for testing diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance test is used for diagnosing pre-diabetes and diabetes. One undergoes a series of glucose tests which are taken after drinking the sweet liquid with glucose content. This is used in testing for diabetes among pregnant women called gestational diabetes.
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