The glucose or blood sugar level is the amount of glucose that is in your blood at any time. Our body needs glucose as fuel for the cells. The food we use is largely converted into glucose. The digestive system naturally also extracts other substances from our food that are needed to ensure that the processes in our body run properly. With glucose, just as with other substances, it can happen that there is too much or too little in the blood. This can both have unpleasant consequences. People who have diabetes often have to deal with large fluctuations in glucose levels. They can therefore have both a low and high blood sugar level.
What is blood sugar?
The blood sugar level is therefore the amount of glucose that is present in the blood at any one time. Our body is able to convert carbohydrates that are found in most nutrients into glucose. This glucose can be absorbed into our cells thanks to the hormone insulin. If a lot of glucose is present in the blood, for example after a meal, extra insulin is made. This extra insulin ensures that the cells absorb the glucose quickly. In this way the blood sugar level remains stable under the influence of a sufficient production of insulin.
Blood sugar levels
Although fluctuations in blood sugar levels occur in everyone, insulin ensures that the values in general remain stable over a longer period of time. Because there may be variation in the measurement, depending on, among other things, the time, the activity and the last meal, more measurements must always be taken. However, it is possible that the glucose level is too high or too low.
Blood sugar level too low
Too low a blood sugar level is called hypoglycaemia in the medical world. It can have various causes. Not enough food, too much exercise, but also a clear excessive use of alcohol. The symptoms of low blood sugar include hunger, confusion, trembling, sweating, dizziness, and mood changes. Because in such situations there is not enough fuel for the cells to function normally, this situation can lead to major problems and people can become unconscious.
Blood sugar levels too high
Hyperglycaemia is the medical term for high blood sugar. It is often caused by an excessive amount of food or drink at any given time. But also stress, insufficient exercise or diseases that are associated with diarrhea, fever or vomiting can be the cause. Symptoms of a high blood sugar level include fatigue, thirst, itching and lots of urination. The effects of hyperglycemia that persist for a long time can be very harmful to the body.
In people suffering from diabetes mellitus, the body does not produce enough insulin. But it can also happen that the cells do not respond well to the insulin present. The cause of diabetes is still unknown and there are two types. The first and more serious form is often associated with heredity. The second form, which often occurs later in life, is probably caused by the way in which developed countries eat and (too little) exercise. It is therefore called a typical welfare disease that is increasingly common throughout the world.
There is no cure for diabetes mellitus
Because the cells in the body are unable to properly process the glucose, large fluctuations in blood sugar levels can occur. There may alternatively be too high or too low a value. This can cause a lot of damage to the body if no action is taken.
Because too little is clear about the causes of diabetes, there is no medicine to cure it. Patients with the milder form can usually suffice with taking drugs that raise or lower glucose levels. With the more severe form, it is necessary to inject insulin. Meanwhile, pumps are also available that are applied to the body and automatically give the correct dosage.
Measure blood sugar
Blood glucose levels are also often measured in a standard blood test in a hospital. This is also measured in people diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. But it is usually just a snapshot that can say little about your illness. Only through a daily measurement is it possible to see to what extent there are fluctuations. This picture also gives better values for the treatment of the disease. Although in more severe cases the symptoms can be very severe, too high or too low blood sugar levels do not always lead to clear symptoms and this can cause the disease to be discovered at a later stage.
Measure your blood sugar levels at home
You can also easily measure your glucose level at home with a blood glucose meter. In fact, all you need is a drop of blood and a reliable blood sugar meter. You apply the drop of blood to the prepared area of the meter. After a period of a few seconds you can then read the value of your blood sugar level.
About blood sugar meters
There are a large number of blood sugar meters for home use in the trade currently. It is important for you to choose one that is compact and easy to use. The most important thing is that you can do a regular self check. This allows you to intervene in time by using the right medicines or seeking medical help. Because it is precisely in cases that you get deviating values that it is important to take a second test, a meter on which you can quickly do a second test is recommended. Capturing the capital gains over time can be done by entering them in an app. Some more luxurious blood pressure monitors have the option to save this automatically. Be well informed and consider the purchase of a starter package.