BLOOD SUGAR (GLUCOSE) LEVEL: It is the amount of glucose concentration present in the blood of humans or any other animal. A healthy person’s blood sugar level ranges from 70 to 100 mg/dL. A diabetic person’s blood sugar level ranges from 80 to 130 mg/dL. Hypoglycemia is a condition in which the level of blood sugar decrease below the normal range i.e 70 mg/dl.
The decrease in blood sugar level may lead to symptoms like:
Mnemonics: PASS Dis Irritability to be FIT.
- Pale Skin
- Distorted vision
- An irregular or fast heartbeat.
- Tingly sensation
How does our body control blood sugar levels?
When we consume food, our body converts it into sugar molecules such as glucose, which then serves as the primary energy source for the various body mechanisms. Insulin facilitates glucose transport across the membrane in our bodies. An excess amount of glucose is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen (the stored form of glucose).
What does our body do when our blood sugar level decreases?
Fasting or starvation for several hours may result in a sudden decline of blood sugar levels in our bodies. At that moment, glucagon hormone is released from the pancreas that signals the liver to break down the stored glycogen and release glucose into the bloodstream, resulting in the maintenance of the blood sugar levels. This will bring the blood sugar level to normal until you eat again.
Possible reasons behind the decrease in blood sugar level:
- FOR NON-DIABETIC PEOPLE: Medications, Excessive alcohol drinking, Liver and liver disorders, Long-term starvation, Insulin overproduction, Hormone deficiencies, Reactive hypoglycemia.
- FOR DIABETIC PEOPLE: Taking too much insulin or diabetes medication, Not eating enough, Postponing or skipping a meal or snack, increasing exercise or physical activity without food intake or adjusting your medications, consuming alcoholic beverages.
Way to maintain blood sugar levels:
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one should follow the 15-15 Rule for maintaining “Hypoglycemia”.
If your blood sugar level has fallen down to 55-69 mg/dl, following the 15-15 rule will help to bounce it back to the normal range. The only thing you need to do is to take 15 grams of carbs and then recheck the blood sugar level after 15 minutes.
These items can give you 15 grams of carbs:
- Half cup of juice.
- 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or syrup.
- Hard candies, jellybeans, or gumdrops.
- 3-4 glucose tablets (follow instructions).
- 1 dose of glucose gel (usually 1 tube; follow instructions).
Once the blood sugar level returns to normal, try to have a nutritious meal or snack for ensuring the maintenance of blood sugar level.
A severe case of Hypoglycaemia will need medical help. Consultation with a doctor will give a better insight into the existing situation.
The recovering process from low blood sugar levels:
If the decrease in the blood sugar level was modest (55-69 mg/dl), So, you can go on with your normal activities after the maintenance of blood sugar level returns back to normal.
As the early signs of low blood sugar become less evident after 48 to 72 hours, recheck the blood sugar level more frequently to avoid falling again, especially before having meals, exercising, or driving a car.
Avoid these food items to maintain blood sugar levels:
- Processed and refined sugars.
- Food high in saturated fats or trans fats.
A well-said quote by William Londen indicates the importance of good health as he says that “To ensure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” So, Stay Healthy, Stay Happy.