Understanding Diabetes and Blood Sugar Control
Imagine this scene. Your doctor tells you that you have diabetes. You are afraid as you are not too sure what it all means. You start hearing new terms such as blood glucose, insulin, hemoglobin A1c, fasting blood glucose, fasting blood sugars and it seems overwhelming. So let’s take a minute to break it down. Understanding your disease is the first step in maintaining your health.
So what exactly does it mean to have diabetes?
When a person eats, whether they have diabetes or not, the glucose level in their blood rises. The term “blood glucose level” is commonly referred to as “blood sugar”. A rise in blood glucose levels after eating is normal, and it’s how the body nourishes the cells. When a person does not have diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, whose job it is to bring down glucose levels in the blood stream before it rises to a dangerous level. Insulin equalizes blood glucose levels to safe levels. But when a person has diabetes, their pancreas does not produce enough insulin, if any at all, or the insulin they produce is not working properly. Therefore, when a person has diabetes, the blood glucose rises unimpeded, causing damage to the organs. If uncontrolled and levels rise dangerously high, it could cause coma or death.
Chances are you may have family members and friends who have diabetes. As a matter of fact, 6 percent of Americans have diabetes. November 14th is designated as World Diabetes Day.
What causes glucose levels to rise?
Blood sugars in our blood stream rise naturally when we eat, in order to feed our cells. But not all foods cause a Continue reading