Managing Blood Glucose Levels
Balance in Blood Glucose Levels
Blood sugar is also called blood glucose.
Imbalance in Blood Glucose Levels
Too much sugar in blood
= HYPER glycaemia
Too little sugar in blood
= HYPO glycaemia
Every day, people with diabetes need to try to balance their blood glucose levels. Whenever they eat, blood glucose levels will go up. If the food is good food (e.g. low GI), this ‘spike’ in glucose levels will not be too sharp or last too long. However, if the food is not good, the spike might be too high and last too long.
HYPER glycaemia (high [hyper], sugar [gly] in blood [aemia]) is when higher than normal blood glucose levels remain well after meals. In this case, insulin is either not present or is not acting properly to move glucose from the blood into the cells.
HYPO glycaemia (low [hypo], sugar [gly] in blood [aemia]) is when blood glucose levels are too low (going under 4 mmol/L – but varies per individual).
Some keep going at the difficult task of balancing glucose levels, day in day out, year in, year out. They manage to keep their blood glucose levels from going either too HIGH (HYPERglycaemia) or too LOW (HYPOglycaemia).
Others give up because of a variety of reasons. Many cannot really SEE what is happening inside their body and think that everything will be OK if they do not manage their diet, exercise or take medication. In the meantime their high blood sugar levels are damaging cells and they have increased risk of getting complications. Some do not know the importance of keeping blood glucose balanced – nobody has really explained it to them properly or taken time to hear their concerns.
Some become severely depressed and gradually just give up or commit suicide. It is important for all of us to realise the burden that is upon people with diabetes. We must be empathetic (try to understand this difficulty) but also we must encourage them to go to the doctor, and where necessary, take medication that will help.
- Arthur C. Guyton and John E. Hall 2006, Text Book of Medical Physiology, 11th Edition.
- Diabetes Australia, 2011.
- Rizwana Kousar 2010. What is Diabetes? Community Education Series, Melbourne. © Australian Community Centre for Diabetes (ACCD).