BLOOD GLUCOSE & DIABETES

Glucose is to human beings as petrol or diesel is to our motor vehicles i.e. it is the fuel or energy on which our bodies run.

When we eat  the carbohydrates contained within that food will ultimately be reduced to their simplest form, which is glucose.

Our body has the option of either utilising the glucose immediately or storing it for later use.  Storage is controlled by the hormone   called insulin that is produced in the pancreas

The levels of glucose circulating in our blood, or our  ‘blood glucose level’, fluctuate within a normal range of 3 – 8 mmol/l.  We would expect these levels to fluctuate depending on when we have eaten and  our level of physical activity.  Clearly, we would expect the blood glucose levels to rise immediately after we eat and  we would expect them to decline prior  to our next meal or during hard work or exercise.

In the non-diabetic person we would expect that blood glucose levels will stay within the normal range.  If  blood glucose levels go outside  the normal range then it can have significant consequences for our health.

If the blood glucose level gets very low then we have a condition known as hypoglycaemia – many of us will have experienced a headache or felt nauseous         , cold and clammy  when  we have missed a meal – these are the symptoms of low blood glucose.

If our  blood glucose level is  above the normal range then it may indicate that we have diabetes (http://www.endocrineweb.com/diabetes/).  An elevated blood glucose level can cause significant damage to our bodies and must be  avoided.

So remember, keeping your body healthy is simply a case of matching energy intake with energy expenditure.  If the amount of energy (food) we consume  exceeds the body’s requirements then our body has no option but to put the excess fuel into storage, ie. fat! .

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