Do you know what blood sugar levels mean for your health?

Blood sugar level or blood glucose level is the level of glucose in your bloodstream. Glucose is the primary energy source for the body's cells. When we eat, sugar (glucose) from the food is transported from the intestines or liver to body cells through the bloodstream and is made available for cell absorption by the hormone insulin, which is produced primarily in the pancreas.

Blood sugar levels vary throughout the day. They are normally lowest first thing in the morning before our first meal, rise for about an hour or so after a meal and then taper off until the next meal. The normal range for blood sugar in humans is between 64.8 and 104.4 mg/dL.

When blood sugar levels fall outside of this range, it might indicate a medical condition. Blood sugar levels that are too high may indicate  hyperglycemia. Diabetes, a major cause of hyperglycemia, is characterized by persistent high blood sugar levels and is the most common disease involving the failure of blood sugar regulation. Blood sugar levels may be temporarily elevated by stroke, heart attack, trauma, surgery, certain drugs and illness.

When blood sugar levels fall below normal range, it is called hypoglycemia. In a diabetic taking insulin, the condition must be treated quickly to prevent confusion, unsteadiness and, in the worst case scenario, coma. Non-diabetics can also experience chronic or temporary bouts of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia in non-diabetics can be caused by poor nutrition and certain metabolic problems.

The upshot: Maintaining healthy blood glucose levels is essential not only for living, but for maintaining optimal physical and mental health.


How easy is it for you to control your glucose levels?