What is Blood sugar level?
Blood sugar level is a common term generally associated with diabetes. As the term suggests, blood sugar level is a measure of the amount of sugar or glucose in your blood. In other words, blood glucose level shows the amount of sugar or glucose your blood has at a given time. Other terms like blood sugar concentration and blood glucose level also mean the same. Humans always need certain amount of sugar in their blood at all times to function well.
The amount of sugar needed in the blood of a human being depends on many factors such as age, gender, body weight etc. For example, a person weighing 70 kg normally contains needs about 4 gm sugar or glucose to be present in blood at all times. When the blood glucose level goes high or low, the person shows some abnormal symptoms. You can easily check your blood sugar level at home using a blood glucose monitor such as this one.
How does your body regulate blood glucose level? What is Homeostasis?
Human body regulates blood glucose levels in normal range by metabolic homeostasis. Homeostasis is a mechanism by which your body maintains certain vital physical and chemical conditions such as body temperature, fluid balance, blood glucose levels etc. within certain pre-set limits.
Human body tightly regulates blood sugar levels within normal range despite changes in the levels of food consumption or physical activity. Within human body, skeletal muscle and liver cells act as glycogen stores. So, as you would expect, when a person does not eat enough or is fasting, your body spends glycogen stored in skeletal muscle or liver cells to maintain blood glucose levels in normal range. Your body sends glucose to body tissues from intestines or liver via the blood stream
What happens when blood glucose level raises or drops persistently?
Persistent high blood glucose levels mean a condition referred to as hyperglycaemia while persistent low blood glucose levels mean hypoglycaemia. There could be a multitude of reasons for high blood sugars. When a person’s blood glucose levels raise persistently, it leads to glucose toxicity. Glucose toxicity can lead to cell dysfunction or diabetes complications. When a person’s blood glucose levels are low persistently, it can lead to various symptoms such as sweating, shakiness, weakness etc. A diabetic must seek medical help for either hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia as both conditions can cause serious damage to health and are dangerous.
How does your body regulate blood sugar level?
Insulin, a hormone produced within the pancreas is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. When your pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or when your body cannot use the insulin well, you get diabetes.