“Health is not valued till sickness comes” – Thomas Fuller
Life and breath are so fragile. One minute it is full and vibrant, the next it is gone. Among all the health complications, diabetes seems to be one that we can successfully avoid given the right monitoring and care. In this area specifically is where blood glucose factors come in. To the uninitiated, the term ‘blood glucose’ may be unfamiliar. But we in Malaysia should be acquainted with this term. Here are some questions frequently asked about blood glucose and how it affects us.
1. What is blood glucose?
Here’s where the science part comes in. Blood glucose refers to a type of sugar carried in our blood. As the body converts sugar into energy, these molecules called glucose are broken down to smaller molecules and eventually absorbed by our body. From this absorption, energy is produced. The process of breaking down glucose into energy is called metabolism.
2. How does it affect us?
Too much of anything is not good. The same can be said of blood glucose. Our body’s metabolism has an optimal level. This simply means that our sugar or glucose intake should not exceed a certain amount. The body regulates the levels of glucose and equilibrium is achieved in a state called homeostasis. The balance of homeostasis is affected when too much sugar is consumed. Excessive amounts of sugar are found in:
- Desserts – doughnuts, candy, ice cream, chocolate, pies, etc.
- Sweet drinks – soda, cordial, sweetened coffee/tea, milkshakes
- Energy bars – those designed for high-intensity workouts
- Daily cooking – used as sweetener in daily food
- Fruits – fruits contain a high level of sugar (although most are sucrose)
Once your body is unable to regulate the blood glucose levels, a condition called diabetes sets in. Diabetes is one of the most dangerous of diseases one could have. Severe diabetes could lead to excessive bleeding and gangrene.
3. How can we monitor blood glucose?
Now we’re asking the right questions. So how can we monitor blood glucose? The answer is twofold. First, keep an eye on what you eat. Another way to monitor blood glucose levels is to use a blood glucose monitor. Instead of visiting the doctor for a blood test, you could simply purchase a certified personal blood glucose monitor. These gadgets are efficient at testing your sugar levels and can give an accurate reading.
4. How can we prevent high blood glucose levels?
The answer is simple! Besides monitoring your glucose levels, be sure to regulate your activity with your sugar intake. If you consume more sugar during the course of the day, squeeze in a workout or go for a run to sweat and increase your metabolism. Limit your consumption of sweet foods, especially artificial and processed foods. If you need to consume more sugar, do it in the morning or early afternoon. This pushes your body to burn the extra energy throughout the day.
5. How can we create awareness on blood glucose level monitoring?
This step is crucial in the search for a healthy living. Creating awareness on blood glucose levels ensures that your friends and relatives know the benefits and negative effects of excessive blood glucose. Some ways you might want to try out are through social media postings, word of mouth, or simply texting information about blood glucose to your friends and family. You could save a life in the process.