Blood Sugar Levels: What Do the Numbers Mean?

We know that blood is what travels through our veins and we see it when we cut ourselves. Sugar is something that we might put in coffee. Blood sugar levels? What is this? What does it mean? And why it is important to keep ours in check. Foods that are carbohydrate based create glucose (sugar) and it is what the body uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that assists the cells in your body to properly use the glucose. The pancreas makes the insulin that is released into the body when a large amount of sugar is detected in the body. If anyone of these elements is not functioning correctly, the whole balance will be thrown off and you are in danger of some serious medical issues.

So what do the numbers mean?

* Upon rising from a good nights sleep and before eating your blood sugar level should be between 80 and 120 (this is considered ‘fasting mode’ as you probably haven’t eating within the last 8 hours). Two hours after you eat you numbers could go as high as 160; at bedtime a normal range should be between 100 – 135. If your numbers are consistently in the 150 range, that is considered high blood sugar or in medical terms called hyperglycemia.

What causes fluctuations in the numbers?

* A lot of things can fluctuate the numbers from anything form excess amounts of stress Cushing’s disease, heart attack or stroke are some other medical conditions that can raise your blood glucose levels as well as the most common diabetes. Diabetes can cause damage to your nervous system, kidneys and your vision if left untreated.

Numbers and symptoms you should be aware of:

* Numbers that fall below 70 consistently is definitely low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. Some symptoms of this condition is ‘fogginess’, inability to think clearly, irritability, extremely tired for no apparent reason, fainting is also possible. This is not something to be ignored, as it can be potentially life threatening. Other reasons for a low blood sugar count might include: Addison’s disease, low thyroid levels, pituitary gland tumor, liver disease, malnutrition, or the medication used to control diabetes may need to be adjusted.

There are some specific issues that will affect the outcome of your blood test, they include: alcohol consumption, physical illness, emotional stress, caffeine, and smoking. Medicines used for high blood pressure or birth control pills can also cause a misread in the test results. Be sure to tell your doctor about all meds you are taking before the blood sugar test is performed.