Normal Blood Sugar Levels
It is crucial for us to maintain normal blood sugar levels for us to function properly. Blood sugar is the amount of glucose present in the human blood. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy that feeds our blood lipids and the body’s cells. It is transported from the liver, through the bloodstream and towards the different cells in our body. A healthy body would not function well without glucose, so maintaining is most important.
Blood Sugar Level
Blood sugar level or also known as plasma glucose level is the amount of sugar found in the blood. The normal blood sugar levels of a healthy person range from 64.8 to 104.4 mg/dl; however this level may fluctuate at any hour of the day or after every meal.
When the blood sugar level goes high or low beyond the normal range it may be an indication of a medical condition. When high blood sugar level becomes persistent it would be referred to as hyperglycemia, whereas when the blood sugar level becomes low it is now called hypoglycemia.
High Blood Sugar or Hyperglycemia
When a person has 180 mg/dl or higher levels of sugar in the blood, it means that he or she has hyperglycemia. A person who is prone to have increased blood sugar levels should watch out for these signs and symptoms:
• Polyphagia – feeling of hunger most of the time
• Polydipsia – feeling of thirst most of the time
• Polyuria – frequent urination
• Blurred vision
• Dry mouth
• Weight loss
• Dry or itchy skin
• Wounds takes long to heal
• Tingling in the feet and heels
• Erectile dysfunction
• Recurrent infections
• Cardiac arrhythmia
• Cognitive impairment
When a person has a slight increase from the normal blood sugar levels, he/she may or may not feel any symptoms at all but when it is left untreated even for several hours, it may lead to complications like dehydration and other serious conditions that may accumulate over a long period of time. These conditions include kidney damage, cardiovascular damage, neurological damage, retina damage, and many more.
Causes of increase in blood sugar levels are the following:
• Diabetes mellitus is one of the several persistent causes of increase in a person’s normal blood sugar level. When a person has diabetes, increase in blood sugar level may be caused by the following reasons:
o Carbohydrates – a person with diabetes cannot process foods that are high in carbohydrates. Their sugar level increases within hours after eating.
o Insulin control – a person with diabetes cannot produce enough insulin. Exercise, food and insulin should be maintained to avoid rise in the blood sugar level.
• Physiological stress causes increase in the normal blood sugar levels. When a person is stressed, the body releases a hormone called catecholamine; its effects can cause an increase in the blood sugar.
• No exercise or low level of exercise
• Illness, infections and surgery can cause temporary increase in the blood sugar level
• Medications like beta blockers, steroids, stimulants, antipsychotic agents, and anti depressants can cause significant increase in the sugar in blood.
Treatment for changing blood sugar levels
Treatment for high blood sugar level may vary according to its underlying causes. Some cases may require direct administering of insulin, and for severe types of hyperglycemia oral hypoglycemic therapy and change of lifestyle are advised.
Low Blood Sugar Level or Hypoglycemia
Children’s normal blood sugar levels are slightly lower compared to adults; and non diabetic people are less likely to experience hypoglycemia. The principal problem that may arise for a person with low blood sugar is neuroglycopenia. It is a condition when a person’s brain doesn’t receive enough glucose which may lead to mild dysphoria to serious conditions like brain damage or even death.
Signs and symptoms may or may not occur and there is no order of appearance either, but when symptoms persist you must have it checked right away for it may lead to death. Sign and symptoms are as follows:
• Anxiety, shakiness, and nervousness
• Sweating and feeling of warmth
• Clammy skin
• Heart palpitations
• Confusion, delirium
• Thinking difficulty, speaking difficulty, and slurred speech
• Headache, paresthesia
• Coma, abnormal breathing
• Change in personality and emotional incontinence
Common causes of decrease in blood sugar levels are:
• Overmedication of insulin and anti-diabetic pills
• Medications such as beta blockers, trimethropin, pentamidine, and sulfamethoxazole
• Skipped meals
• Severe infection
• Kidney and liver failure
• Adrenal insufficiency
• Congenital hyperinsulinism
• Congenital conditions that cause increase in insulin release
A person with low blood sugar level and is under a state of confusion may eat or drink foods high in sugar. Prescribed medications may be required to suppress the release of insulin in the pancreatic beta cells.
There are many ways to measure the blood sugar level, such as laboratory tests and home blood sugar level testing kit. Normal blood sugar levels need to be controlled and maintained to avoid any serious damages and complications that may risk the life.