What is blood sugar?
Blood sugar is the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood.
Glucose is obtained from the food that we consume. Food contains many different types of sugars such as sorbitol, fructose, maltose etc. These sugars, have no effect in metabolism, regulation of the insulin hormone and blood sugar levels. Therefore, sugar is referred to glucose alone.
Hyperglycemia & Hypoglycemia: Ideal blood sugar levels
Normal blood sugar level ranges between 3.6 and 5.8 mmol/l. The total amount of glucose circulating in the blood of humans is around 3.3 to 7g.
Glucose levels tend to rise post meals after an hour or two and is usually lower in the morning before the first meal of the day.
The reason the levels are low in the morning (following 8 to 12 hours post meal) is because the body is in a state of fasting throughout the night.
If the body fails to maintain normal glucose levels, it can give rise to several types of diseases. A persistent rise in glucose levels is called hyperglycemia. And a constant fall is called hypoglycemia.
Diabetes usually occurs when there is a constant rise in blood sugar levels. High sugar levels also result from the failure of the body to regulate sugar levels. A long term hyperglycemia condition can lead to kidney failure, arthritis and damage of other organs. If blood sugar is usually low and is persistent, it can lead to death or brain damage.
Diabetes Management- Ideal blood sugar range for diabetics. If you have diabetes, it is important to keep your blood sugar in range.
- Fasting levels: 80-130 mg/dl.
- 2-3 hours post meals: Less than 180 mg/dL
- HbA1c levels: Less than 7.0%
Diabetic care- How to manage sugar spikes
Knowing what your sugar levels mean is key to understanding diabetics. One needs to be aware of the difference between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
Investing in a glucometer helps as you can constantly monitor and assess sugar levels and make changes accordingly to your diabetes care and treatment.
To stabilize blood sugar levels is essential. There are a few habits and food practices you can incorporate to manage the sudden rise or fall in sugar levels.
- EXERCISE: The most common reason for diabetes is a sedentary lifestyle and therefore light exercise can help. It is also helpful for overall fitness.
- WEIGHT LOSS: Losing weight is key and is connected to the above point. As with exercise you will in turn have better weight management.
- DIET: Limiting sugar that causes blood spikes is also a great way to achieve the normal blood sugar range. Cutting back on carbs helps. Increase in consumption on fibre is also advisable. Eating more lean protein, and fruits and veggies help too.
- AVOID ALCOHOL: It is advised to avoid alcohol completely. Drink more of water. Even sweetened sodas are a big no.
- MEDICATION: Follow your medicine chart religiously. Skipping medications can alter the benefits and break the cycle of recovery.