Blood sugar or blood glucose indicates the level of glucose present in the blood of the human beings. Glucose is the primary source of energy for body cells and tissues, and it comes from carbohydrate foods. Blood transports glucose from the intestine to body cells. Hormone insulin helps body cells to use glucose which itself is produced in the pancreas. For normal working of the body, blood sugar should remain in between 3.6 and 5.8 mM. In case the blood sugar extends above the range, it is termed as hyperglycemia, which is an indicator of a medical condition called Diabetes mellitus. Hypoglycemia is a medical term given to low blood sugar.
Blood sugar should be checked regularly to control your diabetes. Keeping a record of your blood sugar is the only way that can make the treatment successful. Low blood sugar indicates that you may have developed a tumor called the insulinoma, that results in abnormal production of hormone insulin. A low blood sugar results due to one of the following reasons:
- Hypothyroidism(decreased levels of thyroid hormone)
- Tumor in pituitary gland
- Addison`s disease
- Kidney disease
- Intake of certain medicines
- Eating disorders
- Liver disease
In either case, whether the blood sugar is low or high, your health is affected badly. Long term hyperglycemia results in various health problems related to diabetes such as heart problems, kidney diseases, eye and nerve damage, etc. Hypoglycemia is more severe than hyperglycemia as it may even lead to brain damage.
Blood sugar test is helpful if you are:
- Taking diabetes medicines or insulin
- Suffering from abnormal blood sugar levels
- On intensive insulin therapy
Blood sugar is maintained by an efficient regulatory mechanism. The organs involved in regulating blood sugar are liver, endocrine glands, and autonomic nervous system. Liver stores the blood sugar and is the major organ in the entire process of blood sugar regulation. Whatever we eat is broken down into certain chemicals that are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tracts which are then carried to the liver where it is composed into a complex compound known as glycogen. Autonomic nervous system controls the process indirectly by regulating functions such as digestion, intestinal movements, heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature, etc. Pancreas and adrenal endocrine glands help in regulation by breaking the liver glycogen with elevation in blood sugar.
In total, blood sugar regulation is a complex process, and any problem in its regulation affects our health badly.