So what is blood sugar level?
One’s blood sugar level (commonly known as serum glucose level or plasma glucose level) is basically the level of glucose (sugar) found in their blood at any moment.
So why is glucose significant?
Glucose (sometimes called dextrose) is a simple sugar which is produced by the body from the carbs we eat. It’s very important for a range of vital bodily processes. Specifically, it is vital since it delivers energy to our cells, nervous system as well as the brain.
Glucose is transported from the digestive system or liver to cells via the blood stream, and is made available for cell absorption via the hormone insulin, made by the pancreas.
Glucose that isn’t directly used as a source of energy by brain cells, intestinal cells and red blood cells is sent to the liver, adipose tissue and muscle cells, where it’s absorbed and stored as glycogen. This glycogen can be switched back to glucose and returned to the bloodstream in the event that insulin is low or absent.
Just how is blood sugar level calculated?
Blood sugar is generally measured in molecular count, the unit for which is mmol/L (millimoles per liter). It is also occasionally measured as a weight in grams, the unit for which is mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).
What exactly is a healthy or regular blood sugar level?
On average, the body maintains its blood glucose level at a reference range of between 3.6 and 5.8 mmol/L (or 64.8 and 104.4 mg/dL).
The mean standard blood glucose level in human beings is around 4 mmol/L (or 72 mg/dL), though the level obviously fluctuates throughout the day. As perhaps you may suspect, glucose levels are often at their lowest early in the day, ahead of the first meal of the day and spike immediately after eating for one to two hours by a couple of milliMolar. However, in terms of diabetes sufferers, blood sugar fluctuates more extensively – see further below.
How does blood sugar / glucose levels have an effect on your health?
As stated before, glucose offers a person’s body with the power that it requires to carry out crucial bodily functions. Not enough sugar / glucose (a low blood sugar level) or an excessive amount of sugar / glucose (a high blood sugar level) can bring about severe health conditions and blood sugar levels outside the standard range could possibly be an indicator of a medical condition.
Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
A constantly high blood sugar level is technically referred to as hyperglycemia, while low levels are termed as hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is a life-threatening condition. Signs and symptoms include listlessness, reduced mental functioning, frustration, trembling, twitching, lack of strength in arm and leg muscles, pale complexion, perspiring, paranoid or hostile mentality and fainting. In rare instances, brain damage is possible.
In comparison, hyperglycemia can involve suppressed appetite for the short term, with longer term health issues including heart related illnesses, diabetes and eye, kidney, and nerve damage.
Diabetes mellitus is characterised by persistent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) either because the person’s body does not manufacture sufficient insulin, or because their cells do not react to the insulin that’s produced. It is actually the most prevalent disease related to malfunction in blood sugar regulation.
For people with diabetes, it is particularly crucial to maintain blood sugar levels within standard ranges, otherwise major health complications may arise. Including, nephropathy (kidney disease), neuropathy (nerve disease), retinopathy (eye disease) and cardiovascular diseases (heart diseases).
Insulin resistance (a manifestation of polycystic ovarian syndrome) is another example of a disorder where blood sugar levels are pertinent. In this case, the person’s body fails to recognise the consumption of sugars and carbohydrates and this means that it continues to pump out insulin which isn’t necessary. If this keeps up for a prolonged time period, the pancreas can stop working and cease to produce insulin altogether. If care isn’t taken by individuals who have this illness to ensure a balanced diet and balanced blood sugar levels, it could eventually bring on type two diabetes.
What else can affect blood sugar levels?
Countless factors can impact someone’s blood sugar level. For example, it can be briefly elevated as a result of extreme stress (such as trauma, stroke, myocardial infarction, surgery or disease) or as a result of drug / medication usage, which can cause glucose levels to increase or reduce.
Alcohol intake also triggers an initial increase in blood sugar, but eventually tends to cause levels to fall.
Keeping your blood sugar level in check
Making positive and healthy lifestyle choices (and, if needed, adjustments) is an excellent first step in keeping your blood sugar levels controlled. For example, taking regular exercise and (if need be) slimming down in a smart and healthy way.
Dietary modifications, particularly, are often extremely useful in keeping blood sugar levels within normal ranges. For individuals with restricted diets (such as diabetics), it can certainly be a problem to ensure an ideal intake of nutrients and vitamins on a daily basis. Lots of people find that top quality, nutrients-fortified meal replacement powders / shakes can help with this.
MEALtime is a liquid meal / meal replacement drink which is rich in quality protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, nutritious herbs and psyllium husks. What’s even better, it is actually appropriate for diabetics and others trying to maintain healthy, stable blood sugar levels because the only sugars included are those found naturally in the ingredient fruits.
MEALtime is a fast and simple way to fuel up on the go. Not only does this meal replacement / protein shake contain an array of important vitamins and minerals, but it also has important amino acids, ginseng and aloe vera for energy!
Needless to say, prior to changing your diet or taking health supplements, always be sure to consult your doctor or qualified health practitioner (particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medications).