Thursday, February 2

What are normal blood glucose levels?


Blood sugar, or serum glucose, is the body’s main source of energy. It is important because it can be quickly converted into energy and because the brain and nerves need a constant supply.

We get glucose from the foods we eat, especially those rich in carbohydrates, such as rice or bread. The absorption and storage of glucose is constantly regulated by a series of complex processes in the digestive system. When glucose enters the bloodstream, a hormone called insulin helps move it into our cells. Insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels.

When this process works effectively, your muscles and organs have the fuel they need without too much glucose left in your blood; if we eat more sugar than we need, the hormone helps store glucose in the liver until it is needed for energy.

normal blood sugar values

What is the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer points to some values ​​that we should aim for as a general guideline. Fasting glucose values ​​that do not exceed the 100mg/dl.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a normal range for fasting blood sugar (the amount of glucose in the blood at least eight hours after a meal) is between 70 and 100 mg/dl. Between 100 and 125 mg/dl we speak of altered basal glycaemia and 126 mg/dl or more are diagnostic of diabetes.

It should be noted that what constitutes a normal blood glucose level varies from person to person, depending on factors such as age, physical activity, medication use, medical condition underlying or stress. In addition, we will obtain different readings depending on the time of day in which we take the measurement.

Monitoring these values ​​can help you know when they might be too low or too high. It is a way of getting to know the body and how it works. It not only helps us stay healthy but also prevents serious complications because, for example, too much sugar in the blood damages blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow through the body.

When levels are low

When blood sugar levels are too low, usually below 72 mg/dl, we can experience what is known as hypoglycemia. Although the symptoms of hypoglycemia vary from one person to another, the most common are usually:

  • sweating
  • feeling of hunger
  • Soft spot
  • Pallor
  • feeling dizzy
  • Tremors and nervousness
  • palpitations
  • Irritability

Because the human brain needs a constant supply of glucose, low levels can also lead to confusion, disorientation, and difficulty concentrating.

Low blood sugar levels can be caused by factors such as not eating enough, reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat, drinking alcohol, or increasing physical activity.

Hypoglycemia must be treated immediately so it is very important to attend to any of these types of symptoms.

When glucose levels are high

On the other hand, when blood sugar levels are too high it is called hyperglycemia. It occurs when the body does not have enough insulin. As noted by the British Diabetes Associationthe higher blood sugar levels are and the longer they remain high, the greater the risk.

Without insulin, glucose cannot enter cells and accumulates in the bloodstream.

The most common symptoms of this problem include:

  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Increased thirst
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Difficult to focus

Several factors can cause high glucose levels, such as diabetes, a chronic disease characterized by an increase in glucose levels above what is considered normal.

It is caused by insufficient production or poor action of insulin. What happens in these cases is that the glucose, instead of penetrating the cells, stays in the blood.

It is very important to treat hyperglycemia to prevent the development of ketones in the blood, a type of chemical that is produced by the liver when it breaks down fat and whose high levels in the blood are a sign that something is wrong.

This can occur for reasons such as consuming more carbohydrates than recommended, not taking enough insulin if you have diabetes, not being physically active, dehydration, and side effects of some medications such as steroids.

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