Blood sugar levels

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What is it?

Blood sugar levels are also referred to as 'Blood Glucose levels' and/or the 'serum glucose level'. It is a measure of the amount of glucose (a hexose sugar) in your blood[1].

After meals, your blood sugar levels will increase[2] .This is a result of your digestive system breaking down the food and absorbing it (in the intestine) into the blood to transport around the body. Normally, an individual's blood glucose level is at its lowest in the morning, when they haven't eaten for a few hours[3].

Normal Levels

Blood sugar is measured in millimoles per litre (mmol/l) and the normal range for a healthy individual is 3.5-5.5 mmol/l before eating, and less than 8 mmol/l 2 hours after eating[4]. People with diabetes can find this harder to maintain. The recomended limits for adults with Type 1 diabetes is 4-7 mM before eating, and 5-9 mM 90 minutes after eating. For individuals with Type 2 diabetes, the limits are 4-7 mM before eating, and less than 8.5 mM 2 hours after eating[5].

Why it needs maintaining

If blood sugar levels are high for long periods of time, damage to the blood vessels can result, which can lead to many, more serious implications[6].

If blood sugar levels are too high, hyperglycemia can occur. If its too low, hypoglycemia can occur.

If blood sugar levels cannot be maintained, conditions related to diabetes can occur.

References

  1. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/Diabetes_and_blood_glucose.html
  2. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/Diabetes_and_blood_glucose.html
  3. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/Diabetes_and_blood_glucose.html (Cited 2/12/16)
  4. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Managing-your-diabetes/Testing/ (Cited 2/12/16)
  5. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Managing-your-diabetes/Testing/ (Cited 2/12/16)
  6. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/Diabetes_and_blood_glucose.html. (Cited 2/12/16)
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