Blood Glucose – Diabetes

Reduce Blood Sugar
Glucose (blood sugar) is vital to your health because it's an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It's also your brain's main source of fuel.

Blood Glucose – Diabetes
Glucose comes mainly from carbohydrates (starch products, sugars, fiber), but most of the food we eat is eventually turned into glucose. Normally, our blood glucose levels increase slightly after we eat. Insulin is a hormone that facilitates the uptake of glucose from our body's cells and is produced by the pancreas when the amount of glucose in the blood rises. Insulin carries glucose into the cells thus lowering its blood levels.

When your body stops making insulin or the insulin stops doing its job, your energy supply and blood sugars are no longer stable; this is called diabetes. People with this condition often feel overly tired because the cells are not being regularly fueled with energy. Diabetes can cause your blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels, and when this happens, your body may try to compensate by draining fluid out of your cells into the blood to dilute the excessive sugar. This creates excessive frequent thirst in diabetics. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves: coronary disease and heart attack, carotid artery disease and stroke, peripheral artery disease and diabetic foot, renal failure, blindness, neuropathy.

Although diabetes is treatable and you can live a healthy life with this condition, even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. In fact, most people with diabetes die from some form of heart or blood vessel disease.

Why is Reducing Blood Sugar Important for My Health?
If your fasting blood sugar level is below 100mg/dl, you are in the healthy range. If not, your results could indicate diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Lowered blood sugar helps protect your arteries and vital organs. When you reduce excessive sugars, you are giving yourself the best chance for a healthy life. Diabetes is one of the major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. When coexisting with other risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and smoking the overall risks rise even more.

What can I do to reduce blood sugar?
When diabetes or pre-diabetes is detected, a doctor may prescribe changes in eating habits, weight control, exercise programs and medication to keep it in check. It's critical for people with diabetes to have regular check-ups. Work closely with your healthcare provider to manage your diabetes and control any other risk factors. In general, you should:

• Reduce consumption of simple sugars that are found in soda, candy and sugary desserts.
• Get regular physical activity! Moderate intensity aerobic physical activity directly helps your body respond to insulin.
• Take medications or insulin if it is prescribed for you.

The good news is that by reducing your blood sugar, you can slow the progression of long-term complications. Often, many small changes add up to surprising improvements in diabetes control, including less need for medication.

vascular health

Vascular Surgeon

Dr. Efthymios (Makis) Avgerinos is a Vascular Surgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in USA.

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Efthymios D. Avgerinos, MD, PhD, FEBVS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
Medical Center Pennsylvania, USA

E-mail: info@vascularhealth.gr