What Are Blood Sugar Levels?
Maintaining balance of blood sugar levels is an important part of staying healthy. Everyone has sugar in their blood stream, which the cells in our bodies rely on for energy. In a healthy individual, our bodies will naturally balance the blood sugar levels so that they don’t become too high or too low.
Glucose is a type of sugar that comes from carbohydrate foods. A person suffering from diabetes is unable to regulate the amount of glucose in their bloodstream naturally because they lack the hormone insulin, which absorbs glucose from the bloodstream.
What Are the Effects of Low Blood Sugar Levels?
This condition is referred to as hypoglycemia. It is a common occurrence when a diabetic takes more insulin than is prescribed by their doctor. However, because the sugar in our bloodstreams is created by the food we eat, hypoglycemia can also occur when not enough food is consumed. Although rare, there are some instances when it happens without a cause.
The following symptoms are the most commonly experienced among individuals who are suffering from dangerously low blood sugar levels:
- Feelings of anxiety
- Weakness or overwhelming feelings of fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Sweating accompanied by a fast heartbeat
Since extremely low levels of sugar in your bloodstream can be fatal, it is important to recognize the symptoms when they occur and seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing them.
What Are the Effects of High Blood Sugar Levels?
Individuals experience high levels of blood glucose when their bodies stop producing a sufficient amount of insulin. This condition, referred to as hyperglycemia, often occurs when a diabetic individual does not properly balance their medicine and their food intake.
The following symptoms are believed to be among the most common:
- Drowsiness and blurred vision
- Feelings of unquenchable thirst
- Dry, chapped skin
If you suspect that you have extremely high blood sugar levels, it is important to seek medical attention immediately since failure to do so may result in a diabetic coma.
How to Measure Your Blood Glucose Levels
It is important to consult a physician to find out what your target blood glucose level is since it will vary slightly for most people. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your physician will provide you with a blood glucose meter. It is wise to record your levels each time you check. This will help you identify large variations in your blood glucose levels and when they occur.
Although you will need to draw blood in order to test the levels, your physician will provide you with a device that is spring loaded so that drawing blood is less painful. After you have completed this step, you will need to press a test strip onto the drop of blood. After a few moments, your level should appear on the glucose meter display.
Your ideal blood glucose range will depend on a number of factors such as the length of time you have suffered from diabetes as well as your age.