What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus refers to a set of conditions that affect the way your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is critical to your health as it's a significant source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and cells. Additionally, it is your brain's most important source of fuel.

The root cause of diabetes varies by kind. But, regardless of which sort of diabetes you have, it may result in excess sugar in your blood. Too much sugar in your blood may lead to serious health issues.

Chronic diabetes ailments include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Potentially reversible diabetes ailments include pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes. Pre-diabetes is termed if your glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes,  and gestational diabetes is termed during pregnancy which may become normal after delivery.

Anyone & everyone is at risk for diabetes and blood glucose dysregulation. Often presented as a condition that only affects obese people, that narrow view leaves out a big part of the populace still at risk. Type 2 diabetes is almost completely preventable if you catch it early and make the essential lifestyle and diet changes.

What is blood sugar?

Most of the food you eat is broken down into glucose (also called sugar ) and released into your blood for use as the body's most important source of energy. Diabetes is a condition when blood sugar levels become high. In case you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it's extremely important to maintain your blood glucose numbers in your target range. You might have to check your blood glucose levels several times every day.

What happens when sugar enters the body?

Your pancreas releases insulin when your blood glucose goes up after eating. Insulin acts like a key to allow the blood glucose into your body's cells for use as energy. When blood glucose and insulin are high in the blood, the liver absorbs blood glucose and stores it as glycogen. The liver can turn it into blood glucose later when it is required for energy.

Glucose comes from foods such as margarine vegetables, fruit, and other carbohydrates. While these food types can be a part of a nutritious diet, everything ought to be consumed in moderation. Glucose is controlled in the endocrine system by two pancreatic hormones, insulin and glucagon. Insulin allows cells to use glucose for energy while glucagon promotes the breakdown of glycogen to glucose in the liver.

The increase in glucose in your blood signals the pancreas to make insulin. Glucose then moves into your cells to be used for energy. Any excess glucose is converted to glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles to get as energy afterwards.

Glucagon balances insulin. Your sugar levels fall about 4-5 hours after eating stimulating the release of glucagon. This cycle tells your cells then release stored glycogen for energy until your next meal. This cycle repeats itself during the day.

How do I measure my glucose levels?

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, there are two ways to measure blood glucose:

Blood sugar tests which you do yourself. These numbers tell you what your blood glucose level is at the time you test. Blood sugar monitoring is quite important for those who have diabetes.

The A1C test is done in a laboratory or in your doctor's office. The A1C test is a measure of the average blood glucose level over the previous 3 months. Additionally, it helps your medical care team decide the kind and amount of diabetes medication you might need.

Your doctor can measure your blood glucose and risk for diabetes by analyzing biomarkers like fasting insulin and glucose in addition to hemoglobin A1C. Fasting insulin is an early marker for insulin resistance that's often overlooked. HbA1c measures the average of your blood glucose within the last 3 months. Fasting glucose measures how your body reacts in a fasting condition to your diet.

Continuous glucose monitoring is also the possibility to see how your food consumption is truly impacting your pancreas and insulin secretion over a two week interval. Post meal blood sugars are among the best ways to indicate your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. One single marker is not sufficient to tell if a person has a blood sugar issue.

Managing your diabetes can help keep you from getting other serious health complications, like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, poor oral health, and vision loss.

Can there be too little or too much blood sugar?

What is dangerously low blood glucose? Levels less than 60 are considered dangerous and are usually symptomatic for many people.

What are the symptoms of low blood sugar in people without diabetes?

The inability to concentrate, dizziness, sweating, headache, and blurred vision are common symptoms. Additionally, it may be completely asymptomatic.

Another question that come up: is low blood sugar a sign of diabetes?

Possibly. It's a sign your body has a problem balancing your blood sugar in relation to alcohol or drugs, or your own body produces too much insulin after meals (reactive).

What is deemed high blood sugar?

Levels between 100-125 are deemed pre-diabetic. A level 126 or greater is diagnosed with diabetes. 

What are the symptoms of high blood glucose?

Frequent urination, increased thirst, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, fruity breath odor, dry mouth, dizziness/lightheadedness are signs of diabetes and high blood glucose.

Why do normal blood sugar levels matter?

Over time high blood sugar can damage the body even when you don't develop diabetes. This is because glucose can bond with red blood cells (glycation). That is why we often test a biomarker called hemoglobin A1C to ascertain how well your body has regulated blood glucose on average during the previous 90 days. Amounts above 5.7% indicate a high degree of glycation and inadequate insulin control.

While diabetes can be thought as an obesity problem, even when you're thin and fit, you can suffer from regulation insulin spikes. Drastic blood glucose levels release inflammatory cytokines which may turn on other autoimmune conditions within the body. Blood sugar dysregulation may also have an effect on brain health and possibly result in greater risk of dementia, otherwise called type 3 diabetes.

You may also feel the negative effects of ingesting extra sugar or carbohydrates immediately. Hyperglycemia may cause you to feel fatigued, aches in joints, bloated, and experience excessive gas.

Ways to balance your blood sugar

 Natural therapies with dietary and lifestyle changes can help tame blood sugar levels.

- Eat protein with every meal.

This will help blunt the insulin release in the carbohydrates on your plate. Insulin must convert the amino acids found in protein to power your body can use. Protein also signals to your brain that you're full so that you do not overeat.

- Avoid artificial sweeteners.

Fake sugars can look like a healthier option since they're marketed as low or no calorie. But claims for these food additives could be misleading and frequently change your taste buds to crave more and contribute to overeating. They still have the same effect on your glucose levels as sugar. This includes the chemical stevia, which can be found in many health food items. These sugar substitutes increase the release of hormones such as leptin and insulin, which may result in unwanted weight gain, particularly around our abdomens. 

- Add herbs & supplements to your daily diet.

Cinnaomon, aloe vera, fenugreek, ginger and milk thistle are good choices. 1-2 Tsp a day of cinnamon was proven to regulate blood glucose particularly if you're eating carbohydrates at precisely the exact same time. Additionally, it decreases LDL and total cholesterol that reduces danger of cardiovascular disease. The cinnamon extract increases the rate of glucose uptake into cells that lowers peripheral effects of excess insulin. Sprinkle in your oatmeal, add to a smoothie, or perhaps stir to a morning coffee.

- Eat more foods that are sour.

Bitter foods help offset sugar cravings and balance your blood sugar. These include foods such as broccoli, celery, dandelion greens, dark chocolate, and pomegranate seeds. If none of these foods seem desirable, you can try adding digestive bitters and take before every meal.

- Exercise often.

This enhances glucose metabolism by shoving glucose out of the bloodstream and in the muscles and other cells to use as fuel. Even Just one 30 minute cardio workout may enhance insulin sensitivity by diminishing glycogen synthesis.

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