Blood Glucose and Baselining Your Health

Video Topic : Our bodies and brains run on glucose, a simple sugar produced by the digestion of carbohydrates. The body's ability to use glucose depends on the hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Blood sugar levels naturally rise after meals, but insulin from a healthy pancreas keeps these levels within a narrow range. In diabetes, however, this balance is disrupted because either the body loses its ability to respond to insulin or the pancreas loses its ability to produce insulin. Too much or too little glucose in the bloodstream can damage blood vessels in the kidneys and eyes, as well as nerve cells; acute disruptions of the insulin/glucose balance can be life threatening. Blood and urine tests can determine whether someone is diabetic or pre-diabetic. Diabetes is looming as a major public health concern; an estimated 25 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, with more than a quarter of them undiagnosed.

Blood Sugar

Also called: Blood glucose

Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in your blood. It comes from the food you eat, and is your body's main source of energy. Your blood carries glucose to all of your body's cells to use for energy.

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar levels are too high. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems. Even if you don't have diabetes, sometimes you may have problems with blood sugar that is too low or too high. Keeping a regular schedule of eating, activity, and taking any medicines you need can help.

If you do have diabetes, it is very important to keep your blood sugar numbers in your target range. You may need to check your blood sugar several times each day. Your health care provider will also do a blood test called an A1C. It checks your average blood sugar level over the past three months. If your blood sugar is too high, you may need to take medicines and/or follow a special diet.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

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The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult a licensed medical professional for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions and before starting a new diet or exercise program. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.