What are Diabetes and Blood sugar levels?

By | August 17, 2023

The blood glucose level is the quantity of sugar present in the human blood. Your body naturally regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic homeostasis. The lack of insulin production causes unregulated glucose levels in the body, resulting in higher sugar levels in blood overall. If these high levels persist over time, they could lead to fatal complications.

There are two main types of diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is characterised by insulin deficiency (or other metabolic derangements), leading to hyperglycemia and glycosuria. In contrast, type 2 diabetes is characterised by insulin resistance in muscle and fat tissues with only modest insulin deficiency and relatively mild blood sugar elevations compared to Type 1.

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Problems arising out of Diabetes

Higher or lower than the normal fasting range of blood glucose can lead to several health issues, including:

  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Increased risk of kidney disease
  • Increased risk of nerve damage
  • Increased risk of eye damage
  • Poor blood sugar control is also associated with an increased risk of infection and accelerated aging.

Blood sugar levels are usually tightly controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers blood sugar levels by stimulating glucose uptake into cells and promoting its storage in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles.

What is the normal blood sugar level?

The blood sugar fasting normal range for everyone, whether they have Diabetes or not, is 90-110 mg/dL. This range is relatively flexible; sometimes, a reading of 130 or 140 mg/dL can still be considered normal.

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A person who has Diabetes has high concentrations of glucose in their blood. Because there is no or less than normal insulin production, the overall glucose levels in the body are uncontrolled, resulting in a higher level of blood sugar throughout the range.

These excessive amounts, if they stay for an extended period, can result in several serious diseases and problems in the individual. The normal sugar level in the blood is as follows:

  • Fasting blood sugar (FBS): This is measured after an overnight fast (at least 8 hours). A normal FBS is less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). If your blood glucose levels are more than 130 mg/dL after you have fasted for 8 hours or longer, you may be suffering from fasting hyperglycemia.
  • Postprandial blood sugar (PBS): This is measured 2 hours after a meal. A normal PBS is less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L).
  • Random blood sugar (RBS): This can be measured anytime. A normal RBS is less than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L).

When having Diabetes, it is essential to keep the sugar level in your blood under your control. This can be done through diet, exercise, and medication. If the sugar level in the blood is uncontrolled, you may experience serious health complications. 

Low Blood Glucose Levels – Symptoms

The low sugar level in a person’s blood (also called hypoglycemia) has many reasons, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than usual, and drinking too much alcohol.

The Low sugar level in your blood is also one of the most hazardous situations a person with Diabetes can face. Recognising symptoms before it’s too late would be beneficial. Signs may vary, but watch for the following:

  • A feeling of unsteadiness or light-headedness.
  • Blurred vision
  • Shaking/trembling of hands and feet
  • Accelerated heart rate and difficulty breathing
  • Confusion, etc

High Blood Glucose Levels – Symptoms

Many things can cause high sugar levels in your blood (hyperglycemia), including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. This condition can cause diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life-threatening illness affecting approximately 2 per cent of all people with Diabetes. Other long-term diseases include heart disease, liver disease, and kidney failure.

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Some symptoms to check for are:

  • Tiredness and Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Parched throat

Here are some tips to help better manage sugar levels in our Blood:

Adopting a completely healthy diet with an array of vegetables and fruits, achieving and/or maintaining a respectable weight, and getting consistent physical activity are all helpful tips. Other things you can do include:

  • To learn what causes sugar levels in human blood to fluctuate, keep track of them.
  • Eating at set intervals throughout the day helps maintain your metabolism. Don’t skip your daily meals.
  • In maintaining a healthy diet, choosing low-calorie food, trans fat, saturated sugar, fat, and salt is crucial.
  • Track your physical activity, food, and drink.
  • If you’re hungry, try sipping water and avoid soda or juice.
  • You should drink as little alcohol as possible.

Consuming smaller portions can help you better control your hunger, feel fuller for longer, and reduce the number of calories you consume each day. For example, try using the popular plate method. Take half of your food dish with non-starchy vegetables like broccoli or carrots. Take one-fourth with some lean protein, such as grilled chicken or fish, and another quarter with a starchy food or grain like quinoa or brown rice.

Bottomline

Having Diabetes means being extra careful of many things, including keeping an eye on sugar levels in your blood. High sugar levels can cause many problems, so keeping an eye on your numbers and ensuring they stay within diabetes normal range is essential.

But in general, you’ll want to aim for a blood sugar fasting normal range of less than 100mg/dl and Postprandial blood sugar (PBS) of less than 140 mg/dL. This can be attained by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and keeping track of sugar levels in your blood.

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