How Heat And Humidity May Affect Blood Sugar
Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat and humidity influence how much and how fast we move, how much we perspire, blood circulation, the foods we want to eat, and the activities we choose to enjoy. Any of these factors, or a combination, might contribute to the experience of dehydration and blood sugar fluctuations. Six Steamy-Weather Influences We know when it is sizzling outside that we will sweat, and as the air wicks moisture from our skin the body cools. This cooling system works wonderfully as long as our body remains hydrated. If our body is low on fluids, the kidneys receive less blood flow and work less effectively. This might cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. If someone’s blood sugar is already running high in the heat, not only will they lose water through sweat but they might urinate more frequently too, depleting their body’s fluids even more. When the weather is tropical - hot and humid - the sweat on our skin cannot readily evaporate into the already soggy air. Our innate cooling system is less effective and the risk of heat exhaustion increases. Having poorly controlled or difficult-to-control blood sugar can inhibit some people’s ability to sweat. Without this effective natural cooling process, they are at higher risk for overheating—even when the humidity is not too high. While many diabetics notice higher blood sugar in hot weather, some individuals need less insulin when the weather turns significantly warmer. Although science has not figured out why this occurs, it may be owed to the dilation or widening of small blood vessels in hot temps. As these tiny blood vessels dilate, the body’s delivery system becomes more efficie Continue reading >>
What Is Glucagon?
Blood sugar levels are an important part of overall health. When blood sugar levels drop, an individual may feel lethargic. If they drop too low, the individual may become disoriented, dizzy or even pass out. Blood sugar control involves a complex system of hormones, and one of those hormones is glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that works with other hormones and bodily functions to control glucose levels in the blood. It comes from alpha cells found in the pancreas and is closely related to insulin-secreting beta cells, making it a crucial component that keeps the body’s blood glucose levels stable. What does glucagon do? Although secreted by the pancreas, glucagon directly impacts the liver as it works to control blood sugar levels. Specifically, glucagon prevents blood glucose levels from dropping to a dangerous point by stimulating the conversion of stored glycogen to glucose in the liver. This glucose can be released into the bloodstream, a process known as glycogenolysis. Secondly, glucagon stops the liver from consuming some glucose. This helps more glucose to enter the bloodstream, rather than being consumed by the liver, to keep levels stable. Finally, glucagon works in a process known as gluconeogenesis, which is the production of glucose in the amino acid molecules. In each of these processes, glucagon and insulin work together. Insulin will prevent glucose levels from increasing to a point that is too high, while glucagon prevents it from dropping too low. Glucagon production is stimulated when an individual eats a protein-rich meal, experiences a surge in adrenaline, or has a low blood sugar event. Potential problems with glucagon function Glucagon function is crucial to proper blood glucose levels, so problems with glucagon production will lead to problems Continue reading >>
7 Morning Rituals Proven To Lower Morning Blood Sugar Naturally
If you’re a diabetic, you may find that your blood sugar levels are at their peak in the morning. This is due to the fasting period overnight. It’s common for blood sugar tests to require a period of fasting beforehand to get the best natural levels. You need to get your blood sugar levels down right away. The good news is you don’t necessarily need to rely on medication. While you will want to take medication in the way that your doctor has prescribed, you will still want to follow these seven-morning rituals. It is possible to reverse type II diabetes and focus on a healthier and more natural lifestyle. Even if you’re not a diabetic, you will want to keep your morning blood sugar levels down. Here are the seven must-follow morning rituals that have proven to lower the blood sugar levels on a morning completely naturally. Wait, Why Is Your Blood Sugar Up In the Morning? Why is it that your blood sugar levels will rise overnight? You don’t eat anything, so how can you possibly add any glucose to your system? Well, those who suffer from type II diabetes will find this is most problematic. The body still creates glucose throughout the night. It needs to, whether you’ve eaten something or not. This natural process is called gluconeogenesis, and there is nothing you can do to stop it – nor would you want to. In a healthy person, this process doesn’t cause a major problem. Those with diabetes will find the gluconeogenesis process is increased. That means your body produces more glucose naturally than it would if you were healthy. Let’s not forget that the stress hormone cortisol also plays a part. This increases slowly on a morning until it reaches a peak early in the morning. The cortisol will elevate the blood sugar levels, so you end up with naturally hi Continue reading >>
High And Low Blood Sugar Issues
Blood sugar concentrations or blood glucose levels are the amount of sugar or glucose present in your blood stream. Your body naturally regulates blood sugar (glucose) levels as a part your body”s metabolic processes. Glucose or sugar is the primary energy mechanism for cells and blood lipids. Glucose or blood sugar is transported from your intestines or liver to the cells in your body via the bloodstream. The absorption of glucose is promoted by insulin or the hormone produced in the pancreas. If your sugar levels are not balanced you may have high or low blood sugar issues. Low sugar issues are hypoglycemia and high blood sugar indicates that you have hyperglycemia or hyperglycemia symptoms. High or low blood sugar levels cause different problems. Low blood sugar levels can cause dementia, comas or death. High blood sugar is a major cause of damage to your body”s internal organs. Low Blood Sugar Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia indicates the level of glucose in your blood has dramatically dropped below what your body need to function. When your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter symptom will develop. You may feel tired and anxious or weak and shaky. Your heart rate may be rapid and you feel as if you are having a heart attack. Eating something sugary will bring your sugar levels back to normal almost immediately and symptoms will subside. Sugar levels that are below 40 mg/dL cause you to have behavior changes. You may feel very irritable and become weak and confused. You may not realize you need to eat to raise your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels below 20 mg/dL will most certainly cause a loss of consciousness or perhaps you will experience seizures. You will need medical care immediately. Hypoglycemia symptoms happen very quickly. If you a Continue reading >>
What You Should Know About Your Blood Glucose Levels
Written by Tom Nikkola - Director of Nutrition & Weight Management If you’re like many Americans, you tend to judge your health based on how you look and a little on how you feel. You’re not that out of shape. You generally feel pretty good, although you’d like to feel a little better. But you’re not really sure you’re healthy on the inside, you just hope so. A variety of different markers of metabolism can identify how healthy you really are, like the ones we’ve talked about in the Longevity and Vitality lab test. However, if you had to pick just one thing to have measured, the most important could very well be your blood sugar levels. Think about this: 25.8 million Americans are thought to have diabetes, with 7 million people having diabetes, but not knowing about it. Most of those who have diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which is the result, in large part, from lifestyle choices. Additionally, 79 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition where blood sugar regulation begins to be a problem, but it’s not bad enough to begin using drug therapy. If you’ve read this far and are thinking, “I’m in good shape; this article doesn’t apply to me,” think again. About 20% of those with prediabetes are at what would be considered a healthy weight or body composition. In fact, this condition may precede weight gain often associated with diabetic and prediabetic conditions. As you’ll see below, prediabetes may be a sign of other unwanted health effects as well. Blood Sugar 101 To maintain optimal health, glucose must be maintained within a relatively close range in the blood. Blood sugar rises typically come from two sources — from the carbohydrates (and under special circumstances, protein) in one’s diet and from glycogen stored in the liver. Carb Continue reading >>
How Blood Sugar Levels Affect Your Brain And What To Do About It
How blood sugar levels affect your brain and what to do about it When Diane Abbott came under fire over her poor performance in recent interviews , few people outside of her immediate circlewould have suspected that diabetes was a contributing factor. The 63-year-old Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago. Speaking to the Guardian, she said:"During the election campaign, everything went crazy - and the diabetes was out of control, the blood sugar was out of control." She said her brother had raised concerns after seeing her struggling: "He said 'that is not Diane', because ever since I've been a child I've had a great memory for figures, and he said he knew it was my blood sugar and gave me a lecture about eating and having glucose tablets." Diane Abbott experienced problems as a result of type 2 diabetesCredit:EPA/ANDY RAIN She added: "It is a condition you can manage. I am doing that now and I feel ready to get back to work." In diabetes, the body is not able to to produce or respond to the hormone insulin, which resultsin abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and higher levels of glucose in the blood. Some people with type 2 diabetesuseinsulin or certain types of tablets to control the condition, which can bring on episodes of hypoglycaemia, whereblood glucose levels become very low. People experiencing hypoglycaemia will usually feel shaky, weak and hungry - and the condition can cause significant cognitive impairment. Continue reading >>
How Does The Body Control Blood Sugar Levels?
Your body depends on stable blood sugar levels to function properly. When we eat sugar or carbohydrates, the body converts them into glucose. Our body uses glucose for energy to perform all of its functions from the neurons or nerve cells in the brain all the way down to a cellular level. If the blood sugar gets too high, it can cause damage to organs, tissue and cells in the body. In order to maintain control of the blood sugar, the pancreas produces two different hormones that helps keep the levels just right—insulin and glucagon. The article helps you understand how the body controls blood sugar levels and how the two hormones work in balance. How does the Body Control Blood Sugar Levels? It is very important that the body keep the blood sugar levels under control. There cannot be too little or too much, if it falls out of normal range there can be adverse effects on the body such as: Not enough blood sugar and you can experience confusion, pass out and possibly even go into a coma. If your blood sugar is too high, your eyesight will get blurry and you may feel very tired. In order for the body to keep a normal blood sugar level, your body needs the hormones insulin and glucagon to help blood sugar do its job. General Regulation Glucose Level Effect On Pancreas Effect On Liver Effect On Glucose Level High High blood sugar signals the pancreas to release insulin. The liver converts any excess glucose into glycogen. The blood sugar levels drop. Low Low blood sugar signals the pancreas to stop insulin production until needed. At the same time, it releases glucagon. The liver stops converting excess glucose into glycogen due to the release of glucagon from the pancreas. The blood sugar levels go up. Normal When you eat, glucose goes into your bloodstream and signals th Continue reading >>
How To Recognize And Manage A Blood Sugar Spike
Blood sugar spikes are caused when a simple sugar known as glucose builds up in your bloodstream. Most of the food you eat is broken down into glucose. Your body needs glucose because it’s the fuel that makes your muscles, organs, and brain work properly. Glucose can’t be used as fuel until it enters your cells. Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, unlocks cells so that glucose can enter them. Without insulin, glucose would keep floating around in your bloodstream with nowhere to go, becoming increasingly more concentrated over time. When glucose builds up in your bloodstream, your blood glucose, or sugar, levels rise. Blood sugar spikes occur in people with diabetes because they’re unable to use insulin effectively. Untreated high blood sugar can be dangerous, leading to a serious condition called ketoacidosis. Chronic high blood sugar increases the likelihood of serious diabetes complications like heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney failure. Learning to recognize the symptoms of hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose, can help you keep your diabetes in control. Some people with diabetes immediately feel the symptoms of high blood glucose, but others go undiagnosed for years because their symptoms are so mild. Symptoms of hyperglycemia typically begin when your blood glucose goes above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Symptoms get worse the longer you go untreated. Learn more about blood sugar tests » Symptoms of a blood sugar spike include: frequent urination fatigue increased thirst blurred vision headache Keep reading: What does high blood sugar feel like? » It’s important to know the symptoms of hyperglycemia. If you suspect that you have high blood sugar, perform a finger stick to check your number. Exercising and drinking water Continue reading >>
Normal Regulation Of Blood Glucose
The human body wants blood glucose (blood sugar) maintained in a very narrow range. Insulin and glucagon are the hormones which make this happen. Both insulin and glucagon are secreted from the pancreas, and thus are referred to as pancreatic endocrine hormones. The picture on the left shows the intimate relationship both insulin and glucagon have to each other. Note that the pancreas serves as the central player in this scheme. It is the production of insulin and glucagon by the pancreas which ultimately determines if a patient has diabetes, hypoglycemia, or some other sugar problem. In this Article Insulin Basics: How Insulin Helps Control Blood Glucose Levels Insulin and glucagon are hormones secreted by islet cells within the pancreas. They are both secreted in response to blood sugar levels, but in opposite fashion! Insulin is normally secreted by the beta cells (a type of islet cell) of the pancreas. The stimulus for insulin secretion is a HIGH blood glucose...it's as simple as that! Although there is always a low level of insulin secreted by the pancreas, the amount secreted into the blood increases as the blood glucose rises. Similarly, as blood glucose falls, the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreatic islets goes down. As can be seen in the picture, insulin has an effect on a number of cells, including muscle, red blood cells, and fat cells. In response to insulin, these cells absorb glucose out of the blood, having the net effect of lowering the high blood glucose levels into the normal range. Glucagon is secreted by the alpha cells of the pancreatic islets in much the same manner as insulin...except in the opposite direction. If blood glucose is high, then no glucagon is secreted. When blood glucose goes LOW, however, (such as between meals, and during Continue reading >>
Hyperglycemia In Diabetes
Print Overview High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) affects people who have diabetes. Several factors can contribute to hyperglycemia in people with diabetes, including food and physical activity choices, illness, nondiabetes medications, or skipping or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication. It's important to treat hyperglycemia, because if left untreated, hyperglycemia can become severe and lead to serious complications requiring emergency care, such as a diabetic coma. In the long term, persistent hyperglycemia, even if not severe, can lead to complications affecting your eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart. Symptoms Hyperglycemia doesn't cause symptoms until glucose values are significantly elevated — above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 11 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Symptoms of hyperglycemia develop slowly over several days or weeks. The longer blood sugar levels stay high, the more serious the symptoms become. However, some people who've had type 2 diabetes for a long time may not show any symptoms despite elevated blood sugars. Early signs and symptoms Recognizing early symptoms of hyperglycemia can help you treat the condition promptly. Watch for: Frequent urination Increased thirst Blurred vision Fatigue Headache Later signs and symptoms If hyperglycemia goes untreated, it can cause toxic acids (ketones) to build up in your blood and urine (ketoacidosis). Signs and symptoms include: Fruity-smelling breath Nausea and vomiting Shortness of breath Dry mouth Weakness Confusion Coma Abdominal pain When to see a doctor Call 911 or emergency medical assistance if: You're sick and can't keep any food or fluids down, and Your blood glucose levels are persistently above 240 mg/dL (13 mmol/L) and you have ketones in your urine Make an appointment with your Continue reading >>
How Soon After Ingestion Of Food Does Blood Sugar Rise?
After eating, your blood sugar levels begin to rise within 15 to 30 minutes, but only if your meal or snack includes carbohydrates. The speed and level of the increase depend on the type of carbohydrates and other nutrients found in the foods you eat, as well as on your body's ability to manage your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are the main constituent of food that can raise your blood sugar levels. The amount and the type of carbohydrates you eat influence how quickly your blood sugar levels change after eating. Carbohydrates from liquids, such as juices and soft drinks, are usually digested more rapidly, while carbohydrates from solid foods, such as pasta and fruits, take a bit more time to break down. Foods that don't contain carbohydrates or only very little, such as non-starchy vegetables, butter, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and nuts, do not have the ability to significantly influence your blood sugar levels. Glycemic Index and Blood Sugar Only carbohydrate-containing foods have a glycemic index, which can be used to assess how quickly and how high your blood sugar levels will rise in response to different foods. Many high-glycemic foods can raise your blood sugar levels within as little as 15 minutes after eating, including white and whole-wheat bread, most breakfast cereals, rice, potatoes, french fries, scones and pretzels. Low-glycemic foods have a more modest effect on your blood sugar levels and it may take a bit longer to see a rise. The rise in your blood sugar levels is first seen in your venous blood, the blood drawn at the lab, and it takes a bit longer for the changes in your blood sugar levels to be measured in your capillary blood, the blood used when testing your blood sugars at home. Fat, Fiber and Mixed Meals Other foods you eat with car Continue reading >>
What Happens When Blood Sugar Drops?
Glucose regulation in the body is complex with contributions from many different systems. These multiple controls are designed to keep a steady supply of glucose to the brain. Brain metabolism depends primarily on glucose for fuel. If the amount of glucose supplied by the blood falls, the brain is one of the first organs affected. There are a number of mechanisms that tightly regulate (outside of a disease state) the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood stream. When there is a plentiful supply of glucose (such as after a carbohydrate-containing meal), glucose is absorbed from the intestine, and the level of blood glucose (sugar) rises. Glucose is removed from the blood stream by uptake into virtually all cell types, but most importantly into muscle and adipose (fat) tissue. This removal requires insulin. Insulin, which is released from the pancreas, acts to decrease the level of glucose in the blood by signalling these cells to pick up and store glucose. Insulin also inhibits breakdown of glycogen (glycogenolysis) and formation of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources (gluconeogenesis). The central nervous system can also sense glucose levels and act to affect the blood sugar levels, at least in part by regulating gluconeogenesis. The importance of an adequate supply of glucose to the brain is apparent from the number of nervous, hormonal and metabolic responses to a falling glucose level (1). Most of these are defensive or adaptive, tending to raise the blood sugar via Glycogenolysis - breaking down of glycogen, a polymer of glucose molecules, stored in the liver and muscle. If the blood sugar level falls too low the liver converts a storage of glycogen into glucose and releases it into the bloodstream, to prevent the person going into a diabetic coma, for a short per Continue reading >>
How To Fix High Morning Blood Sugars (dawn Phenomenon)
There are various possible causes of a high blood sugar level in the morning: The Dawn Phenomenon which is a natural rise in blood sugar due to a surge of hormones secreted at night which trigger your liver to dump sugar into your blood to help prepare you for the day. Having high blood sugar from the night before which continue through the night into the morning. Reactive hyperglycemia which is also called the Somogyi Effect. This is when a low blood sugar in the middle of the night triggers your liver to dump sugar into your blood in an attempt to stabilize your blood sugar. Why Are My Blood Sugars High in the Morning? There is a simple strategy for diagnosing the source of high blood sugars in the morning. Test your blood sugar before bed. Test your blood sugar in the middle of the night. Test your blood sugar in the morning. It takes a little bit of effort, but you only need to do it a few times to diagnose the issue. TheSomogyi Effect is less common than the Dawn Phenomenon, according to an article published by The Polish Journal of Endocrinology. To diagnose either of these phenomena, scientists recommend checking blood sugar levels for several nights specifically between 3 a.m and 5 a.m. or using a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM). Many healthcare practitioners are now offering the use of a loan CGM for a few days which can be helpful to observe nighttime blood sugar activity. How to Fix High Blood Sugars in the Morning The Dawn Phenomenon refers to a surge of hormones excreted by your body in the early morning hours. These hormones rise each night around the same time to prepare your body to wake. Basically, your body is starting the engine, releasing some fuel, and prepping to go for the day. The Dawn Phenomenon occurs in all humans regardless of whet Continue reading >>
How Does The Pancreas Work?
The pancreas is 12 to 18 centimeters (about 4.7 to 7.1 inches) long and weighs about 70 to 100 grams. The pancreas is made up of a head, a body and a pointy tail. It is located in the upper abdomen behind the stomach. The organ has two major functions. It produces Hormones and enzymes are produced in two different groups of cells: Exocrine pancreas cells Over 99% of the exocrine pancreas cells produce digestive juices – about 1.5 to 2 liters per day. They are called exocrine ("secreting externally") because they secrete digestive juice "externally" into the small intestine. This clear, colorless juice is mainly made up of water and also contains salt, sodium bicarbonate and digestive enzymes. There are enzymes for breaking down fats (lipases), proteins (proteases), and carbohydrates (amylases). Proteases are inactive while inside the pancreas. They are activated once they have been secreted into the small intestine. The sodium bicarbonate neutralizes the acidic gastric (stomach) juice in the mass of semi-digested food to help the digestive enzymes work better. The digestive juices flows from the pancreas through an excretory duct into the small intestine. In most people, this duct joins up with the the excretory duct of the gallbladder before reaching the small intestine. A sphincter muscle at the end of the duct controls the flow of digestive juice into the small intestine. In case of pancreatitis, enzymes may be activated inside the pancreas before reaching the small intestine, causing the gland to start "digesting itself." Endocrine pancreas cells Groups of endocrine cells are spread over the surface of the pancreas. They are called islets of Langerhans, because they are scattered like small islands and were discovered by pathologist Paul Langerhans. These islet ce Continue reading >>
Change In Temperature Can Affect Blood Sugar Levels
Back to Living Better Many diabetics are aware stress and illness can cause blood sugar fluctuations, but did you know changes in temperatures can affect blood sugar levels and lead to false readings? Sabrina Rene, M.D., an endocrinologist at Piedmont, explains how temperature can produce blood sugar highs and lows, and how they can affect diabetes testing supplies. Effects of warm weather on diabetics During warmer months, it is especially important for diabetics to stay properly hydrated. Dehydration can cause blood sugar to rise as the glucose in your blood becomes more concentrated. High temperatures can also cause blood vessels to dilate, which can enhance insulin absorption, potentially leading to low blood sugar. It is best for diabetics to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day and monitor blood sugar closely for changes when temperatures start to rise. Ideal storage temperature for diabetic testing supplies Extreme heat and cold can affect insulin, test strips and glucose monitors. Never leave these supplies in a car, no matter what time of year. The meter should also be stored and used in a room that remains between 50 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Dr. Rene says it is important to store test strips in a dry, cool place. “You never want to store test strips in your bathroom. The warm, humid atmosphere can damage the strips, causing them to produce false readings,” she says. Vascular problems and temperature changes Patients with vascular problems often do not have proper blood flow, especially to their extremities, and cold weather may exacerbate slow blood flow. Diabetes test strips need a certain level of oxygen and blood flow to accurately calculate the glucose level. The lower these are, the less accurate the reading, says Dr. Rene. Raynaud’s p Continue reading >>