Normal Blood Sugar Levels
When you eat or drink anything, your body converts the sugars and carbohydrates into to glucose (also known as sugar).
This is transmitted into the blood stream, where the hormone insulin makes the body's cells absorb the glucose, to be converted into energy and fat. In a healthy body, this process maintains a level of sugar in the blood which is described as normal.
This is important, because excess glucose in the blood, results in long term damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, small blood vessels and, eventually, larger blood vessels. This damage to the blood vessels increases the risk of cardio-vascular disease and the possibility of stroke.
If the body fails to produce sufficient or any insulin, or becomes resistant to insulin, these conditions are described as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Both conditions need to be treated medically in order to prevent the long-term health risks described above.
Those who are over-weight or have a sedentary life style are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those with a more active life style and a healthy, well-balanced diet. As people grow older their bodies become more resistant to the effects of insulin.
Sufferers of Type 1 diabetes have to monitor their blood sugar levels as many as six times per day. They have to inject themselves with insulin to ensure they maintain blood sugar levels within a normal range, which is described as follows by the American Diabetes Association:
90mg/dL to 130mg/dL before meals and less than 180mg/dL, 1-2 hrs. after meals, when monitored using a blood sample drawn from a fingertip, known as a plasma sample.
Those suffering from Type 2 diabetes are encouraged to make lifestyle changes, including changes to their diet, their weight and their exercise regime, as well as taking medication designed to reduce the liver's production of sugar, thereby reducing the blood sugar level.
The objective of the treatments in both types of diabetes is to maintain normal blood sugar levels within a range, to ensure that the long term health of the sufferer is not impaired.
Quick Tip #1
Recent research has suggested that caffeine may be responsible of elevating blood sugar levels, especially after meals. Please consult your doctor on what you can have and what you cannot.
Quick Tip #2
People who have type 2 diabetes should get involved in an exercise regimen. Exercising has also been know to help diabetic patients get rid of there medications.