An estimated 11.3 percent of the US population suffers from diabetes. Is that shocking data for you? Have you checked your blood sugar levels recently and are you a part of this 11.3 %? You ought to check now as many of these 11.3 % do not know that they are diabetic.
So, does it mean the levels of blood sugar are going to be a new nightmare for American adults? The latest National Diabetes Statistics Report shows that there are high chances that you are diabetic and if you are not diabetic, then there are high chances of you being prediabetic.
You might want to know what it means when you have high blood sugar levels and how it is going to affect your life. Blood sugar also known as blood glucose can be referred to as the concentration of glucose molecules present in your blood. The role of this is significant as it is the primary source from which the human body produces energy.
The body synthesizes glucose from the various types of foods that you eat and hence the impact that your diet can have on your blood sugar levels need not be said. High blood sugar is a medical condition when the amount of sugar concentrated in your blood is higher than the normal and healthy ranges. This condition is called hyperglycemia.
When you talk about the normal blood sugar values it goes like this: when you check your blood glucose on fasting the normal ranges should be between 70 mg/dL and 100 mg/dL. If you did a random blood glucose test, then it should be below 125 mg/dL.
Before going any deeper, ever wondered why the term ‘glucose’? The term glucose comes from the word “glukus” which means “sweet” in the Greek language.
When talking about high blood sugar levels you might have heard of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. What are those? Are these similar conditions? Are they different from each other? What are the risk factors? Continue reading.
Type 1 Vs. Type 2 Diabetes? What Should You Know?
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes indicate that you have high blood sugar, but their reasons and symptoms can be different. It is crucial to know how they are different from each other.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops insulin production, because the immune system of the body attacks the certain pancreatic cells that produce insulin. It is part of the autoimmune reaction of the body and is a condition that is commonly seen in teens and youth.
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?
When the immune system mistakes the islet cells, the body’s own cells for dangerous foreign attackers, it unleashes an attack against these cells that destroys the islet cells. As these are the insulin-producing beta cells present in the pancreas, when they are destroyed, the pancreas will no longer be able to produce insulin.
The exact reason for those types of autoimmune attacks has not been yet identified by science. It is estimated that it might be something related to someone’s genetics to have something to do with external and environmental factors. However, the way you live and the food that you consume can not be the reason for type 1 diabetes.
What Is Type 2 Diabetes?
In type 2 diabetes, only less amount of insulin is produced in the pancreas, which makes the body resistant to insulin. These conditions do not happen all of a sudden and are developed over the course of years.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Insulin resistance is the actual cause of type 2 diabetes. Your body will be producing insulin, and there is no insulin insufficiency. However, the body will not be able to use the produced insulin the way it should be used.
It is estimated that lifestyle and diet can influence the severity of this condition. When you are not physically active, in the sense that you do not work out or burn calories it can be a reason. If you are overweight, or obese, then you are highly prone to having type 2 diabetes.
When your body develops this condition over the course of years, the pancreas will identify it and produce more insulin to combat this, but then the body will become resistant to insulin causing it not to fight against the glucose present in the blood. This leads to unhealthy amounts of glucose staying back in the bloodstream.
High Blood Sugar Symptoms
When you have high blood sugar you will be able to diagnose it by looking out for the following symptoms. Ideally, if you think your blood sugar levels can be high, then you have to get it tested by a trusted medical care professional.
Nowadays, there are devices that can be used from the comfort of your own home and all by yourself to check the level of your blood glucose. Now, let us look at what the common symptoms are:
High Blood Sugar Symptoms In Adults
These are some of the early symptoms of high blood sugar:
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Blurry vision
- Unplanned weight loss
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Recurrent bladder infections
When the level of blood sugar is dangerously high you will feel a rapid increase in your heartbeat and will be sleepless. By then you should have consulted your doctor.
These can be found in adults who have type 1 diabetes. When these symptoms develop and get stronger it is a symptom of getting type 2 diabetes.
High Blood Sugar Symptoms In Children
The symptoms of high blood sugar can be slightly different in children. The symptoms can be as follows:
- More hungry
- More thirsty
- Dry skin
- Weight loss
- Frequent visits to toilets caused by the urge to urinate again and again
- Vision blurred
- Feeling of tiredness
- Easily irritable
- Skin darkening in areas such as
- Private parts
- Skin rashes
- Frequent vomiting
- More amount of blood loss on getting injured
- Cuts and wounds take more time to heal
- Prone to infections
High Blood Sugar Treatment
Let’s see how diabetes is treated and what are the different types of treatments involved when it comes to combating diabetes.
If what you have is type 2 diabetes, it can be managed. You will have to make adjustments in your lifestyle and your doctor might also prescribe a few high blood sugar medicines.
What will you have to do?
You will have to
- Control food intake
- Lose weight
- Work out regularly
For that, you will have to be on a
- Calorie controlled diet
- Glucose-controlled diet
- Manage sugar cravings
- Try intermittent fasting
- Check blood sugar levels frequently
After all these, if you still are not closer to your goal of lowering your blood sugar levels, then your doctor might recommend you take insulin injections. It is the way of injecting insulin into your body to control the level of glucose in the blood.
Frequently monitoring your blood sugar level is an important routine in the life of a diabetic patient. First, you will check your blood sugar levels before you begin to make the changes in your daily life.
After following that for a short while you will check it to see if there are any changes, even minor ones. You follow the new lifestyle without fail, and upon seeing the improvements you follow it more seriously.
This is crucial as you need to know whether the changes that you have made in your life are helping you, or if it is not making much change for your blood sugar levels.
In the second case, you will have to ponder about what more can be done on your part. Your doctor will be keeping track of all the high blood sugar levels and based on that he/she will be able to decide whether to give you an insulin shot or not.
What Are The Risk Factors Of Hyperglycemia?
Remember that the way you live your life is not always the sole reason for having high blood sugar levels. There can be a lot of other risk factors of hyperglycemia such as
Common Risk Factors Of Diabetes:
- Family history
- Ethnicity or race
- Sex and age
- Body weight
- Lack of activities
Other Risk Factors Of Diabetes:
- Low weight at the time of birth
- Preterm birth
- Mother having high blood sugar levels when carrying the child
What Should You Do When You Know You Are Diabetic? And How To Prevent Hyperglycemia Or High Blood Sugar?
First of all, do not panic, as most of the cases can be prevented. Listen carefully to what the doctor has to say and be willing to make the necessary amendments in your life.
- You should keep an eye on what goes through your hands to your mouth. Be more careful of the snacks you eat and the number of sugar bags that you add to your tea or coffee.
- Strictly follow the recommendations made by your doctor. If your doctor has said you can not eat a particular food, then do not eat it. When you have a tendency to cheat on the diet plan formulated by the medical care team, remember that you are eating no one else, but yourself and your dear and near ones.
- Get up and move more. Turn away from the elevator and climb those stairs. If where you want to go is at a walkable distance from your home, then walk it. Get up early, and go for a jog, maybe take your doggy for a walk in the evening. Increase the number of steps that you take in a day, even if it is inside the home itself.
- Be hydrated. Drink water and plenty of other fluids throughout the day. Be sure that they are sugarless.
Severe Complications Of Diabetes
If you are diabetic and if it is not treated properly, it might lead to:
- Kidney diseases
- Nerve damage
- Affects vision and even leads to blindness
- Spike cholesterol levels
- Cardiovascular diseases
Ever thought about whether your blood sugar and blood pressure are related? Here is to the high blood sugar and blood pressure relationship.
When you have high blood sugar, the excess fat gets built up in the blood vessels making them narrower and not having enough space for the blood cells to flow through. It increases the blood pressure levels.
To Take Away
By now you are well aware that having a high blood sugar range can harm your health and life in multiple ways. Also, it is not always your fault that you do not have normal blood sugar levels. It can be due to genetics and many other external factors.
However, you can style the way you live in a healthy manner to help your body contract diabetes. You can keep an eye on what you eat, how effectively you move your body, and all.
Also, all these are the ways that you can do to prevent the conditions and not treat diabetes all by yourself. You can do blood sugar level tests once every 30 days and if you see that it is increasing do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
Also, be aware of your family history such as the blood sugar levels that your parents and close relatives had, whether they had any complications or related.