What you need to know about glucose

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Glucose is your body's main source of energy and is found in the carbohydrates we eat, such as sugar and grains. It is carried through the blood to all cells in your body. The amount of glucose in the blood is called blood sugar or blood glucose.

When functioning normally, your body regulates these blood glucose levels, ensuring your cells get the fuel they need from insulin , a hormone that draws glucose into cells to use for energy. Therefore, insulin removes glucose from the bloodstream and maintains a stable blood sugar level.

Problems arise when this process is interrupted. For example, in diabetes , your blood sugar is too high because your body is not making enough insulin or is not using the hormone efficiently. This can seriously damage your tissues and lead to various complications.

There may also be low blood sugar, which also causes symptoms and can lead to serious complications.

Therefore, it is important to consult with your doctor about how to regulate high or low blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes.

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Make glucose

Glucose usually comes from carbohydrates in the foods we eat, after they have been absorbed, digested, and converted to their simplest form. When you eat carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, enzymes and acids in your stomach break them down to release glucose.

The intestines then absorb the glucose and release it through the bloodstream into the cells. Excess glucose is removed from the bloodstream and is converted primarily to its storage form, glycogen .

Think of the liver as a reservoir of glucose levels in your body that keeps your blood sugar circulating regularly. Between meals or when you sleep, your body must make its own glucose to fuel your cells. During this time, the liver converts glycogen to glucose through a process called glycogenesis.

Glucose use

It is very important that you have a constant level of blood sugar in your bloodstream to fuel your cells, maintain your energy, and keep your systems working properly.

The pancreas serves as a blood glucose monitor. Blood sugar rises each time carbohydrates are digested, signaling the beta cells of the pancreas to release insulin into the blood.

Insulin then directs glucose to fat, liver, and muscle cells so it can be used for energy. Once glucose is transferred to these cells, blood sugar levels return to normal between meals.

The beta cells of the pancreas are always overworking and checking blood sugar every few seconds. As soon as the carbohydrate-based food is digested, the beta cells immediately go to work and release insulin into the bloodstream.

During the process, when insulin helps glucose move from the bloodstream into the cells, blood sugar levels drop. The beta cells of the pancreas can detect when this happens and slow down the production of insulin. This, in turn, slows down the flow of glucose into the cells.

When everything is working properly, this careful regulatory process ensures that you get the right amount of energy to power your cells.

One of the most important functions of glucose is the main source of energy for the brain . The nerve cells needed to transmit information to the brain need healthy blood sugar levels for energy.

A 2013 review found that abnormal blood glucose levels can lead to many common brain diseases. In fact, one of the first signs of Alzheimer 's disease is a decrease in brain glucose metabolism, with studies in humans and animals showing a change in glucose metabolism in brain cells associated with the progression of the illness.

Normal blood glucose

The ideal blood glucose level depends on the person's age, medications, diabetes status and length of treatment, and any comorbid conditions that may affect blood sugar levels. Talk to your healthcare professional about proper blood glucose benchmarks throughout the day.

With that said, there are some recommended target glucose levels before meals, between meals, after meals, and before and after exercise:

  • Before meals (before meals): blood sugar before meals for non-pregnant adults should be 80 mg / dL to 130 mg / dL, for pregnant women with gestational diabetes less than 95 mg / dL and for pregnant women with -existing type 1 or 2 diabetes – from 70 mg / dL to 95 mg / dL.
  • Fasting blood glucose (between meals): Normal fasting blood glucose is between 70 and 100 mg / dL.
  • Postprandial (after a meal): This is the blood glucose level within an hour or two after a meal. For non-pregnant adults, the goal is less than 180 mg / dL. For women with gestational diabetes one hour after a meal, the goal is less than 140 mg / dl, and for women with gestational diabetes two hours after a meal, the goal is less than 120 mg / dl. Pregnant women with pre-existing type 1 or 2 diabetes should have blood sugar levels between 110 mg / dl and 140 mg / dl one hour after a meal, and pregnant women with pre-existing type 1 or 2 diabetes should have between two hours . after meals it should be between 100 mg / dl and 120 mg / dl.
  • Before physical activity: Exercise can consume energy and lower blood glucose levels. This can lead to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. If you are monitoring your blood glucose level and are concerned about how physical activity may affect you, talk with your doctor about which blood sugar goals might be appropriate. Again, this varies a lot from person to person, but it is generally recommended to aim for a 126 mg / dL to 180 mg / dL range before training.
  • After Physical Activity: If your post-workout reading is 100 mg / dl, try 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates to raise your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar again after 15 minutes, and if the reading is still below 100 mg / dl, have another 15-gram serving of carbohydrates. Repeat this every 15 minutes until you reach a minimum level of 100 mg / dL. This is called the 15-15 rule.

What is the A1C test?

The A1C test, or the HbA1C, hemoglobin A1C, glycosylated hemoglobin, or glycosylated hemoglobin test, is a blood test that helps monitor and diagnose diabetes. This test measures your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. If your glucose is checked regularly for diabetes or other medical conditions, your healthcare provider will likely perform an A1C test at least four times a year.

High glucose risks

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2 . In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. In type 2 diabetes, your body cannot make enough insulin or use it properly. This is the most common form of diabetes.

Diabetes can cause hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels. This means that there is too much glucose in the bloodstream. A blood glucose level greater than 130 mg / dL on an empty stomach or greater than 180 mg / dL two hours after a meal indicates hyperglycemia. Also, a level greater than 200 mg / dL at any time is considered hyperglycemia.

Too high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels throughout the body and affect various organs. The kidneys will tend to pass excess glucose from the blood into the urine. This is why a person with hyperglycemia may need to urinate more than usual. It also increases a person's thirst, increasing the risk of dehydration .

Hyperglycemia can also lead to blurred vision , wounds that don't heal, and skin infections. Vaginal yeast infections are more common in women with high blood sugar levels.

Also, high glucose levels can increase your risk of more serious diseases, such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Another possible complication is diabetic retinopathy . The longer you have diabetes and the less your blood sugar is regulated, the higher your risk of developing this eye disease.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious condition that can result from high blood sugar levels. This happens when your body does not have enough insulin to convert blood sugar into energy and instead burns fat. This produces ketones, the high levels of which can make the blood acidic. High ketone levels cause CAD, which is life-threatening and requires immediate treatment. This condition is more common in type 1 diabetes.

When to see a doctor

If left untreated, high blood sugar levels can lead to CAD, which is a medical emergency. Some of the symptoms of CAD can include severe dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, and fruity breath.

See your doctor immediately if you begin to experience these symptoms and feel that your blood sugar level may have risen or become out of control.

Frequently asked questions

What does high glucose mean?

High blood glucose or hyperglycemia occurs when the body lacks the hormone insulin or cannot properly use insulin to move glucose into cells and use it for energy. Generally, a blood glucose level greater than 130 mg / dL on an empty stomach or a reading greater than 180 mg / dL two hours after a meal means that you have hyperglycemia.

Where is glucose stored?

Once your body uses enough glucose for energy, the excess glucose is converted to a form known as glycogen and stored in your liver. It is also stored in your muscles.

How do I lower my glucose levels?

There are several strategies to reduce high blood sugar levels. One of them is exercise. However, remember to measure your blood sugar beforehand. If your blood sugar level is over 240 mg / dL, test your urine for ketones. If you have ketones, avoid exercise, as exercise with ketones can raise blood sugar levels.

You can also change your diet. Consider working directly with a dietitian to avoid eating foods high in sugar. If diet and exercise don't work for you, talk to your doctor about taking diabetes medicine.

Summary

Glucose is essential for the proper functioning of our body because it is the main source of energy for our cells. When blood glucose levels are too high or too low, various health problems can arise. If left untreated, it can affect various parts of the body, from the eyes to the kidneys. So if you have diabetes, work with your doctor to find the best plan to keep your blood sugar in the normal range.

Get the word of drug information

It is very important to know your blood glucose level, as values that are too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia) can have a negative ripple effect on your overall health. Since what constitutes an ideal blood sugar level varies greatly from person to person, develop a clear treatment plan with your healthcare provider to determine the best way to control your level and monitor any underlying medical conditions.

If you experience more severe symptoms (too much or too little blood sugar) or if you are living with diabetes and find that your symptoms and general health are getting worse, contact your doctor immediately and inform them of any changes. in your health.

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