The Impacts of Blood Sugar on Your Health

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Blood sugar is a vital substance that influences your energy levels and is crucial to your overall well-being. This article explores the connections between blood sugar and your health. Understanding its influence makes it easier to stay healthy and avoid serious complications.

What Is Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar or blood glucose derives from the food and beverages you consume. When you eat something, your body breaks that food down into various components, and one is carbohydrates, which turn into blood sugar. Carbohydrates in liquid form, such as from a soda, get absorbed more quickly than solid carbohydrates, like from bread or a slice of pizza.

This sugar circulates through your blood (hence, blood sugar) and becomes a source of energy. The sugar you don’t use immediately for fuel goes into your cells for storage.

When Your Body’s Blood Sugar Is Normal

In ideal conditions, your pancreas releases insulin, a hormone that controls your blood sugar. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin tells your body to use up the glucose until it reaches normal levels.

If you’re worried about your blood sugar, you can always consult a holistic provider in the Cincinnati area. They’ll know how to check your levels depending on how long it’s been since you last ate. Waking up in the morning or fasting for about eight hours should yield a blood sugar level under 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). If you’ve eaten within the last two hours, your number should be no more than 110 mg/dL. If you don’t have diabetes, your levels should be between 70-80 mg/dL.

Effects of High Levels of Blood Sugar on the Body

High blood sugar is called hyperglycemia. This condition typically develops because your body isn’t using or producing enough insulin, or your receptors have lost sensitivity to insulin. Besides high levels of glucose in the blood, hyperglycemia can result in:

  • High blood sugar in the urine
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Diabetes

Diabetes is a common outcome of high blood sugar over a long period. People who have type 1 diabetes can’t make enough insulin, and type 2 diabetes prevents the body from developing a healthy insulin response. In either case, the body can risk having too much blood sugar for too long, resulting in any of the following:

  • Nerve and blood vessel damage
  • Heart problems
  • Risk of stroke
  • Increased likelihood of kidney failure
  • Vision loss from nerve damage in the eyes
  • Foot ulcers, sometimes leading to amputation
  • Dementia

What Low Blood Sugar Does to Your Health

If your blood sugar gets too low, you could develop hypoglycemia. Symptoms of this condition include shakiness, sweating, looking pale, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating. More severe health effects of hypoglycemia) can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness, seizure, or coma

Hypoglycemia may require immediate treatment to get blood sugar levels high enough to maintain consciousness. In people who are not yet diabetic, episodes of low blood sugar are best avoided by also avoiding sugar foods that spike and elevate blood sugar. A diabetic person with low blood sugar can consume a high-sugar food or beverage or take medication to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Long-term treatment is also necessary.

Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Staying at a healthy weight and getting adequate exercise can help you keep your blood sugar in check. Also, paying attention to what you eat can go a long way to preventing health complications related to blood sugar. When eating a balanced diet, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Carbohydrates: Stick with whole grains like wild rice, oats, and konnyaku (konjac). Depending on how your body can still handle sugar or not, you may not be able to eat fruit. Sugar is sugar, and natural sugar from fruit is still sugar. Water melon and bananas typically have too much sugar, especially for sedentary people who would like to lose weight. To help learn which fruits you can still eat, ask your doctor to prescribe a continuous glucose monitor and test what you like. If eating fruit raises your blood sugar beyond 120, it is a problem for you. Avoid or limit your consumption of processed carbs.
  • Dairy: Dairy products from cow’s milk (even low fat) are often among the most inflammatory substances you can put into your body. Goat and sheep milk products (yogurt, cheese, etc.) are generally much closer to human milk than what comes from a cow, and these products are generally much less inflammatory to our biology. And do not worry about the fat content. Healthy fat is our friend. It brings satiety and much higher energy than carbohydrates.
  • Fat: Healthy and not processed or hydrogenated fats are good for you. Nuts, avocados, ghee and cacao butter provide healthy fat and help bring the feeling of satiety with eating.
  • Protein: Protein is an excellent source of energy, especially when it comes from wild caught fish, shellfish, free range chicken, lamb, bison, and grass fed beef.

Nutritional Support with Integrative Care in the Tri-State Area

For more information on regulating your blood sugar, contact Blatman Health and Wellness Center for nutritional counseling. Our integrative health experts can answer your questions and help you craft a holistic treatment plan if you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels. Call our office today and schedule a nutrition counseling session.

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