Blood glucose, or simply glucose, is the main sugar that our bloodstream carries to all the cells in the body to supply them with energy. They indeed are the primary sources of energy in our body.
One must maintain blood glucose levels at an optimal level to reduce health risks and avoid any critical medical conditions. Each food item that we consume can contribute to the glucose levels in our body. Also some can increase the glucose levels way above the recommended level, which is unhealthy.
The human body regulates blood glucose levels and tries to keep them at a moderate level by supplying just enough to fuel the cells and avoid the overload of the bloodstream.
As a result, blood glucose levels are at their lowest point before the first meal of the day. Furthermore, it can change throughout the day depending on what you eat.
Blood Glucose Monitoring devices are available on the market now, like the Continuous Glucose Monitor by HealthifyPro, which can alert us if our glucose level rises above the recommended level.
What is the recommended Healthy Blood Glucose Level?
The U.S. National Institutes of Health research confirm that the recommended fasting blood sugar level is below 99 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). However, these levels differ for those who already have diabetes.
In addition, the American Diabetes Association has confirmed that the recommended glucose levels for patients with diabetes are between 80 to 130 mg/dl before eating. And after two hours of eating, glucose levels must stay less than 180 mg/dl for diabetes patients and below 140 mg/dl for others.
One needs to check their Glucose levels as a screening test to diagnose diabetes. Even when we do not have diabetes, we can even check our glucose levels using Blood Glucose Monitors.
The Continuous Glucose Monitor by India’s leading digital health platform, HealthifyMe, is a great innovation. With the help of this technology, we can monitor our glucose levels and get alerts if the levels go higher than the recommended level. It also helps us align with the health coaches who regularly monitor our glucose levels recorded by the monitor, which helps keep them at healthy levels.
What is High Blood Glucose Level, and What are its Effects?
High blood sugar levels are a medical condition that is famously called hyperglycemia. The condition is more commonly faced by patients with diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, etc., or those who take steroids regularly.
Studies have confirmed that hyperglycemia occurs when our glucose levels go above the recommended level. Thus, resulting from low insulin levels in the body or a decreased sensitivity of cells to insulin. Without insulin, glucose won’t be able to enter cells and can end up building up in the bloodstream.
It is not good to have sustained hyperglycemia. If this condition persists for a long time, it can lead to insulin resistance in our body as our cells may become less sensitive to it, which will lead to the amount of glucose absorbed being less.
It is a primary reason that leads to Type 2 diabetes. And when diabetes extends for a long term without enough medical attention, it can affect the blood vessels that supply different organs. This includes kidneys, nerves, retina and some other organs.
The serious issues that one can get from sustained hyperglycemia are
- Poor wound healing
- Foot ulcers
- Increased risks of heart attacks or stroke,
- Erectile dysfunction
- Vision loss
- Nerve damage
- Numbness and tingling
- Vision loss
- Kidney diseases which can lead to kidney failure
Studies have also confirmed that high or low glucose levels in the blood can also cause cognitive decline. Common symptoms that indicate hyperglycemia can include a dry mouth, increased thirst and frequent urination. Other less common symptoms include fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, lightheadedness and headache.
What is Low Blood Glucose Level, and What are its Effects?
The condition that results in the low glucose level in our blood is called hypoglycemia. Of course, this condition can be as severe as hyperglycemia. Unfortunately, people with diabetes are prone to these medical situations, and hypoglycemia in these patients can be especially fatal.
Some of the effects that severely low blood sugar levels in the body can cause include difficulty concentrating, aggressive or paranoid mentality and confusion or disorientation.
Specific less common effects also include seizures and losing consciousness. Some of the common signs and symptoms of the same include anxiety, pale face, tingling lips, dizziness etc.
How to Manage an Optimal Blood Glucose Level?
It is crucial for not just diabetes patients but everyone to maintain their blood glucose level at the optimal level. New methods are available to help us maintain our blood glucose levels.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
The best and the most convenient of all methods to monitor our glucose levels in the blood is a continuous blood glucose monitor. Such devices are even recommended especially to diabetes patients by medical practitioners, as they effectively keep the disease under control. In addition, you can use these monitors to plan out your diets and activities and bring in food or medical interventions.
People with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes will have to measure their glucose levels at least once a day or sometimes multiple times a day, based on the severity of their condition.
Continuous Glucose Monitors are pretty convenient as it is way easier and provides an accurate reading of the blood glucose level in the body. They can also record the readings digitally on their mobile devices or can allow automatic storage of data.
For example, the CGM that comes with the HealthifyPro package of HealthifyMe syncs with your phone. All the readings show and get recorded, making it easier to measure your blood glucose levels using your fingertips. In addition, it continuously measures your blood glucose levels. Finally, it alerts you if any food item has caused glucose fluctuation in your blood, thus helping you take immediate measures to bring it back to normal.
The glycemic index (GI) will help people choose food items that will not disrupt their blood sugar levels. The index shows us the values that indicate the spike a food item can cause in the body’s blood sugar levels.
Examples of food items with a high glycemic index are candies, sweet desserts, white bread, white rice, soft drinks, potatoes, etc.
The items with a high glycemic index are the ones that can cause an increase in blood glucose levels, while the ones with a low glycemic index are the ones that can cause minimal fluctuations through a slow release of energy.
Foods with low GI include whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and non-starchy vegetables. Pure glucose, the standard that other food items get measured against, has 100 in the glycemic index. Any food below 55 is considered low-GI food. Anything between 56 -69 is medium GI, and above 70 or more is high GI food.
What Are Some Tips To Manage An Optimal Blood Glucose Level?
A person can take several steps to manage optimal blood glucose levels and avoid conditions like hyperglycemia. Some tips that you can follow to ensure a controlled blood sugar are:
- You can follow a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- You must eat at regular intervals and avoid skipping meals.
- Use a Continuous Glucose Monitor to keep regular track of your glucose levels and work on bringing your glucose levels back to normal if it rises above the optimal level.
- You must drink water often at regular intervals.
- Exercise regularly with at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense workouts or activities each week.
Balancing portions at meals, make sure that you have a meal that has a healthy quantity of proteins, complex carbs, fibre and healthy fats.
Our body must have optimal blood sugar levels to keep it fit and healthy. On the other hand, a sustained case of irregular or extreme blood sugar levels can cause several medical complications to our body, the most important of them being diabetes. Apart from this, most often, obesity is a natural fallout.
Therefore you must watch your blood sugar levels and look at healthy ways of managing your weight. So, people should maintain their blood glucose levels below 99 mg/dl.
The best way to make sure that our body has a healthy glucose level is by using a monitoring system to check the glucose levels in your blood quickly. And the safest option is to choose and consume low-GI food items to maintain and balance blood glucose levels.