Welcome to Lisanne Wellness Center Education Series, today we are talking about the Important Role of Glucose .
Your body is one of the most intricate systems on the planet. To keep you alive and healthy, many systems are interconnected. With so much going on, it’s easy to overlook things, like blood glucose levels, that you should be paying attention to, especially as you get older.
Glucose is essential to your body as it influences so many different processes. Nearly all of the systems in your body are affected when your glucose levels are too high or low. Irregular blood glucose levels can cause your body to stop working properly. Extremely high or low glucose levels can even be considered a medical emergency. Understanding what glucose is and how it affects your body is, as a result, fundamental to supporting whole-body health.
Glucose is a simple sugar that your body utilizes for energy, and it affects nearly all of your systems. Recognizing this biological demand is imperative to be aware of.
What is Glucose?
Glucose is a simple sugar that is consumed through food. Your body uses it as its primary fuel source, providing your cells and body the energy they need to carry out essential processes. It is simply known as glucose when consumed. Once it has entered your bloodstream, it is often referred to as blood glucose or blood sugar. You may have already come across these two terms as they are most often used.
Contrary to popular belief, glucose is not the same as refined or table sugar, also known as sucrose, which is less beneficial to your body than glucose. They do, however, share the same number of calories per gram.
Glucose can be found naturally in a variety of foods, including the following:
- Dried Fruits
- Sweet Corn
- Grape Juice
- Fresh Fruits (e.g., grapes and apricots)
- Pasta Sauce
Glucose can also be produced during digestion of other carbohydrates.
How the Body Processes and Uses Glucose
Your liver, pancreas, and circulation all play important roles in the regulation and metabolism of the glucose you consume. Your blood glucose level will be affected if any of these are not working efficiently. The pancreas and liver work together to regulate how much glucose is present in your bloodstream at any one time in a healthy body.
Your liver releases more glucose into your bloodstream in response to low blood sugar levels. Your liver stores extra glucose for later use, just in case you need more than what your bloodstream can supply. The liver has the capacity to rapidly release a significant amount of glucose into the bloodstream for insulin to metabolize.
A few reasons your liver may release stored glucose are:
- Fight or Flight Response
- Compensating for a Missed Meal
Your pancreas generates insulin when your blood sugar is too high in order to reduce it by metabolizing the glucose already present in the bloodstream.
This hormone is in charge of transporting glucose from your bloodstream into your body’s cells so they can utilize it as energy to fuel cellular processes. If you consume too much sugar, your blood sugar levels will typically get too high.
Medical Conditions Related to Glucose
You could have one of the following conditions if your pancreas and liver are unable to properly control your glucose levels. These disorders stop your body from functioning normally at several points during the process of metabolizing glucose into energy.
Even if mealtime initially causes you discomfort, many disorders can be effectively treated thanks to medical advancements, especially in the last century. Yes, you can lead a normal life. Having one of the following diagnoses can initially seem unpleasant. That said, by taking care of yourself, it can become a nonissue.
Type I and II Diabetes
Type I and II diabetes are similar conditions that cause the same health issues, but the underlying causes are different. Type I diabetes is a genetic condition that typically develops early in life and is caused by the immune system attacking the pancreas. Depending on the severity of the condition, Type I diabetes decreases or completely stops the production of insulin production, depending on severity.
In contrast, Type II diabetes, which typically develops in or after middle age, is brought on by dietary and lifestyle choices. In Type II diabetes, even though your pancreas is still producing insulin, it is essentially useless because of the extreme level of insulin resistance the body has developed.
Before the 1921 discovery of insulin, diabetes was a fatal condition. On a starvation diet devoid of any carbohydrates, individuals may have been able to survive for a few years, but that was the best-case scenario. Diabetics would eventually pass as a result from the diet or the condition itself. Naturally, a diabetes diagnosis before the age of 20 was devastating, much like receiving a cancer diagnosis nowadays.
Fortunately, we now have insulin and other treatment options. Not to mention a lot more knowledge about diabetes. Despite the fact that diabetes may be a lifelong condition, you will still have your life.
Type II diabetes can develop from insulin resistance, but it’s not quite there yet. If you have insulin resistance, your blood sugar levels are likely to be relatively stable. However, your body is producing much more insulin than it needs to. Poor dietary and lifestyle choices are usually the main drivers of this.
Making substantial lifestyle modifications at this point can reverse it. These modifications may include:
- Following a Glycemic Index Diet or a Similar Plan
- Maintaining a Healthy Weight
- Quitting Smoking and Drinking
- Obtaining Adequate Sleep
- Minimizing Stress Levels
- Exercising Regularly
Insulin resistance will eventually progress to prediabetes if left unmanaged/untreated. Your blood sugar levels will start to change significantly at this point, but they will likely fluctuate still. Although it’s still possible for the condition to reverse, it’s improbably at this stage. Prediabetic individuals have a greater than 70% change of developing diabetes.
Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia
Both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are distinct conditions that are frequently transient and are typically brought on by a severe event like injury or stress. These two conditions are opposite of one another.
Hyperglycemia is chronically high blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia is chronically low blood sugar levels.
These states, which can occur on a situational basis, can also be a symptom of a condition other than diabetes. Both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia could result from, for instance, a thyroid disorder. Other factors that contribute to these include:
- Excessive Drinking
- Medication Side Effects or Reactions
- Kidney or Thyroid Disorders
- Pancreatic Tumor
- Hormonal Deficiencies
- Poor Sleep
It is best to visit a doctor to learn why you are experiencing high or low blood sugar levels. It is not necessarily a diagnosis of diabetes.
How to Regulate your Glucose Levels
In addition to seeing a doctor, there are many different things you can do to help regulate your blood sugar levels if you are having issues. Among the steps you can take are:
- Adopt a Glycemic Index Diet. An individualized diet plan that doesn’t feel like you’re punishing yourself can be developing with the assistance of a nutrition consultation. There are many delicious meals on the internet for low-glycemic diets. You can also keep a food diary to identify any potential triggers.
- Get Adequate Rest (Sleep). The normalization of your blood glucose levels for the following day is greatly influenced by your sleep cycle.
- Minimize Stress Levels. Even if you are unable to completely eliminate it, coping techniques like yoga and meditation may be helpful in managing healthy stress levels.
- Exercise Regularly. Glucose levels are naturally altered by exercise because it has a favorable impact on the hormonal system as insulin is a hormone.
- Avoid Smoking and Drinking. Both of these can drastically lower your glucose levels.
- Consider Taking a Supplement. Lowsitol, in particular, has been shown to help support managing the symptoms of insulin resistance, including healthy blood glucose levels and hormone balance. Additional options can include supplements that boost your Omega fatty acid intake and enhance lymph function.
It’s crucial to take care of yourself. Developing new habits is always a challenge. However, one you adjust, just like any other new habit, it will shortly become a regular part of your day.
Although the body requires it to function properly, glucose has a lot of potential drawbacks when it comes to your health. Too much or too little can be dangerous and result in any number of complications. Moderation is key, as in most situations. You may be better able to make healthier life choices if you understand how glucose functions.
Try to look on the positive side if you do receive a diagnosis of a condition that affects your glucose levels. As always, be sure to look after yourself. Ignoring it will simply make the situation worse and cause difficulties, both on a physical and emotional level, when it comes to managing the condition.
- The Liver & Blood Sugar
- Top 10 Foods Highest in Glucose
- The History of a Wonderful Thing We Call Insulin
- What’s the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
- Prediabetes: A high-risk state for developing diabetes
- Hyperglycemia in diabetes
- Blood Glucose and Food Log
- Insulin Resistance
- Everything You Need to Know About Glucose