The main type of sugar in our blood is called blood glucose, or blood sugar, which serves as the main energy source for our body and originates in the food we consume.
Most of that meal is converted into glucose by our body, which is then released into the bloodstream. The pancreas releases insulin when our blood glucose levels rise.
There is a strong correlation between diabetes and blood glucose (or blood sugar). Now, blood sugar levels are elevated in people with diabetes. This has a chronic metabolic effect on the affected person and can cause substantial harm to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
The most prevalent type of diabetes is type 2, which often affects adults, and develops when the body stops producing enough insulin or becomes resistant to it.
Diabetes type 1 is a chronic illness in which the pancreas generates little or no insulin on its own. It was previously referred to as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Access to affordable medical care, particularly insulin, is essential to the survival of people with diabetes. The former has been in existence for over three decades.
Maintaining blood sugar levels within a healthy range is the goal of blood sugar management rather than aiming for a particular number. If someone has diabetes, they should be aiming for values between 80 to 130 mg/dL before eating. Blood glucose levels have to be under 180 mg/dL two hours after a meal.
High blood sugar levels
When the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells lose their insulin sensitivity, hyperglycemia occurs.
A disorder termed hyperglycemia is characterised by persistently elevated blood sugar levels. Hyperglycemia is a common symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, poorly controlled diabetes, and a few other conditions. While taking insulin, individuals who are taking oral steroids may also develop hyperglycemia. Because glucose cannot enter cells without insulin, it accumulates in the bloodstream.
Typical signs and symptoms of Hyperglycemia can include:
- Increased thirst, frequent urination, and a dry mouth
- Blur vision
- Insulin resistance lowers insulin sensitivity and the quantity of glucose cells can take up
The following are some health issues that might arise from hyperglycemia:
- Renal illness causing eye loss and kidney failure
- Erectile dysfunction
- Foot ulcers
- Heart attack or stroke risk increases,
- Lasting nerve damage resulting in numbness and
- Poor wound healing
Low blood sugar levels
Hypoglycemia begins to set in when blood sugar levels drop below the typical range. Patients with diabetes are more likely to have both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
Early indications of hypoglycemia can include the following:
- Prickly lips
- Hand trembling and other physical tremors
- Pale complexion
- Heart rate or palpitations in addition to sweating
- Jitters, vertigo, or lightheadedness
- Glucose must be available constantly for the human brain.
The following outcomes may result from extremely low glucose:
- Uncertainty and fuzziness
- Concentration issues, a suspicious or hostile mindset
- Less frequently, the person may pass out or have seizures
Monitoring blood sugar
It is very important to constantly check your blood sugar level as this is a crucial step for the efficient management of diabetes. Diabetics must check their blood sugar levels multiple times, schedule medication or insulin doses, organise activities and arrange required meals daily.
A glucometer can be used to check a person’s blood sugar levels. They typically come with test strips, a notebook to record results, lancets, or tiny needles.
How to use a glucose metre
- Place the glucose metre, a test strip, a lancing tool, and an alcohol prep pad on the work surface.
- With warm, soapy water, wash your hands.
- Activate the glucose metre.
- When the gadget is ready, switch it on and insert a test strip.
- Wipe an alcohol prep pad over the intended injection site, then wait for the alcohol to evaporate before using a lancet to gently squeeze the patient’s finger until a tiny drop of blood appears.
- Wait for the glucose metre to process the data after placing the blood drop on the strip.
- Read the result on the glucose metre’s display.
- Keep journals of each glucose reading to assist your doctor in developing the optimum treatment strategy.
More recent devices allow for automatic data-keeping. Follow your doctor’s instructions by the reading that appears on the screen.
Normally, people with type 2 diabetes must check their blood sugar levels at least once a day.