When we eat, our bodies break food into sugar to send into the blood for energy and provide nutrients to the body. However, sometimes our blood sugar can be too high or low, which can cause complications with our organs. One condition in which this occurs is called diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is when one’s blood sugar levels rise higher than normal. As mentioned, when you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into the blood. Insulin helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. With diabetes, though, your body either does not produce insulin or does not respond to insulin, depending on if you have type I or type II diabetes.
What Is The Difference Between Diabetes I & II?
Type I Diabetes
Individuals with type I diabetes do not produce insulin, which is needed to help move sugar from food into your blood and then your cells, to help boost energy and provide nutrients to the organs, muscles, and nervous system. With type I diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys cells that release insulin; this is called insulin resistance.
Type II Diabetes
Those with type II diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should, as opposed to type I individuals who do not produce insulin at all. As type II diabetes progresses, an individual’s pancreas will make less and less insulin. This is called insulin deficiency.
What Is The First Sign Of Diabetes?
Early signs and symptoms of diabetes (type I or type II) can include fatigue, hunger, thirst, frequent urination, vision issues, slow healing, darker skin spots, and yeast infections.
How To Calculate Blood Sugar
Glucose levels are measured by applying a blood sample (usually a small amount, like a drop) to a test-strip which is inserted into a glucose meter. You will often see an individual with diabetes using an electronic meter before and after they eat to do this. Blood sugar needs to be closely monitored to minimize complications.
To calculate blood sugar, use one of the formulas below:
- Millimoles Per Litre (mmol/L) from Milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL): mmol/l = mg/dl / 18
- Milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) from Millimoles Per Litre (mmol/L): mg/dl = 18 × mmol/l
What is the Normal Range for Blood Sugar?
Normal blood sugar levels are less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least eight hours and less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating. Levels tend to be at their lowest before meals.
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What is a Dangerous Blood Sugar Level?
If your blood sugar level tops 600 mg/dL, or 33.3 mmol/L, an individual may have diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. This is a serious condition caused by extremely high blood sugar levels and occurs more often in people with type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar turns your blood thick and syrupy, your body then tries to rid itself of the excess blood sugar by passing it into your urine. If untreated, this can cause severe dehydration which can be fatal.
What is a Good Blood Sugar Level for a Diabetic?
According to the American Diabetes Association, a blood sugar level between 70 to 130 mg/dl before meals, and less than 180 mg/dl one to two hours after a meal, is ideal.
Keep your blood sugar at a considerably good level by following a healthy diet and exercise regime on a consistent schedule. To learn more about blood sugar, diabetes, and maintaining your overall health, contact Functional Medicine Center of Fort Collins today.
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