Your blood sugar (also known as blood glucose) is an essential part of your daily nutrition. According to an advice column on healthy sugar intake by the University of Michigan, it gives your body energy to carry out the regular functions of your brain and body, from simply moving your arm to controlling your temperature. It’s not hard to get your fill of this chemical, as you can find it in the fruits, beans, and vegetables you eat every day. However, its abundance may lead you to consume too much of it.
One Too Many Complications
Having too many sugary treats can cause insulin, a hormone that facilitates sugar absorption in your cells, to spike. Allowing insulin to reach consistently high levels can cause your body to become resistant to it. When this happens, you could suffer from the following complications:
- Hyperglycemia – Also known as high blood sugar, this complication happens when there’s not enough insulin to support the glucose you take in. It may cause headaches, constant fatigue, frequent urination, and blurred vision. Constantly having high blood sugar may cause constipation and permanent damage to your eyes and blood vessels.
- Diabetes – Hyperglycemia may also lead to diabetes, a condition that either stops your body from making insulin (type 1), or prevents you from producing or using the hormone properly (type 2). When this happens, glucose builds up in your bloodstream, causing serious damage to organs and nerves.
- Kidney Failure – When you don’t manage diabetes with insulin shots, it may harm your kidney’s blood vessels and stop it from filtering waste from your body. Continual damage can cause these vital organs to fail. As a result, you may need kidney transplant care to stay alive and healthy.
- Stroke – Diabetes may also cause dire consequences if you get a stroke, as the disease may clog your arteries. Your brain, then, won’t have enough blood to function properly.
Keeping Your Blood Sugar in Check
These complications are often difficult and expensive to treat. As such, it’s essential to keep your blood sugar in check to prevent these conditions from developing.
Watch Your Carbs – Apart from lessening your intake of sugary food, you should also reduce your reliance on carbohydrate-heavy ones such as corn, potatoes, bread, and even beer. This is because your body also breaks down carbohydrates into blood sugar. And if you need carbs to sustain your energy throughout the day, use this food exchange chart to find healthier alternatives to your regular, potentially unhealthy meals.
- Hydration is Key – Keep yourself hydrated and drink at least eight glasses of water a day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having less water in your system may lead to increased blood sugar concentration. Make sure you’re not regularly drinking anything with added sugar too, like energy drinks and juices. While they do quench your thirst, they may contribute to increased glucose in your bloodstream.
- Keep Your Stress Levels Down – If you’re feeling burnt out or distressed at work, give yourself a small break or take a vacation day to relax and destress. The University of California San Francisco says that mental fatigue from stress may cause your body to lower your insulin levels and release glucose from your liver.
While it gives you a boost of energy, it increases your blood sugar level, too. Apart from taking time away from the stuff that’s giving you mental tension, a psychiatrist or therapist may help you manage your stress.
Sugar is vital to keeping you alert throughout the day, but even good things should be consumed in moderation. Keep your blood sugar in check by taking care of your physical and mental health. Should complications arise, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. Keeping your body healthy and balanced is the key to living a long and sweet life.