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Glucose, a type of sugar in the blood, is an important source of energy for the body, and many people have difficulty maintaining proper blood sugar levels. Levels that are either too high or too low can lead to significant health issues, including diabetes.
Where should your blood sugar levels be normally, and what are the health effects of abnormal levels?
Standard blood sugar levels usually depend on how long it’s been since you’ve eaten. If you’ve fasted for at least the past eight hours, levels should remain under 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). If you’ve eaten within the last two hours, they should be under 140 mg/dL.
During the daytime, levels tend to be at their lowest before meals. For people without diabetes, blood sugar levels hover around 70 to 80 mg/dL, though this varies between individuals.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 86 million people in the United States have prediabetes—a condition characterized by blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but has not yet developed into diabetes. Prediabetes is still unhealthy, and can raise the risk of heart disease.
High glucose levels can almost be described as a slow-acting poison in your body. Its impact on the body includes:
Too much sugar can damage blood vessels all over the body, and these can lead to issues including:
Risks of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can include:
Along with maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise, the right kind of diet can help keep blood sugar levels stable. Here are tips in a few important areas:
For more information on how you can regulate blood sugar levels, speak to your doctor.
“High Blood Sugar, Diabetes, and Your Body.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/how-sugar-affects-diabetes#1
“What to Eat to Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/diabetes-food-blood-sugar
“Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia).” Healthline. http://www.healthline.com/health/hypoglycemia#overview1
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.