What is blood glucose? Blood Sugar 101
Blood sugar is simply the measurement of the glucose that circulates in your blood. When you eat, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose (a simple sugar) that your cells can utilize for energy. Often you’ll hear about people getting ‘hangry’ when they haven’t eaten for while. This is due to blood sugar levels being low and cells being starved for energy (hypoglycemia).
Regulating Blood Sugar
When a person eats, their digestive system breaks down the food and pumps glucose into the blood stream. However, if blood sugar levels get too high, then the high glucose starts to damage organs throughout the body, particularly the eyes and kidneys. Fortunately, the pancreas comes to the rescue and injects insulin into your blood stream, which helps to regulate the amount of blood glucose in the blood stream. Type 1 Diabetics, no longer produce enough insulin, which is why they need to supplement insulin with injections.
What are normal blood sugar levels?
Typically if you’re fasting blood glucose levels are less than 100mg/dL. (Abstaining from food for 8 hours) Then your body is regulating your blood sugar properly. If you suspect you may be diabetic, check to see if you have diabetic symptoms. Taking a blood glucose tolerance test is typically the gold standard of diabetes diagnosis.
For individuals who are pre-diabetic or diabetic, it’s imperative that steps are taken to get blood sugar levels under control. Poorly managed diabetes causes a lot of health issues, including blindness, limb amputation and kidney failure. It’s incredibly serious, but can be managed and sometimes cured, with diet, exercise and medication.
There has been encouraging research in the effectiveness of Ketogenic (low carb / high fat) diets in managing Type 2 diabetes. The general idea being that avoiding carbohydrates eliminates the need for insulin production as blood glucose levels stay relatively low without the introduction of carbohydrates in the diet. Furthermore there was very exciting research released recently showing a link between intermittent fasting and pancreas cell regeneration, effectively curing type 2 diabetes. Autonomous Medicine has put together a diet, Judicious Consumption, that combines the benefits of both Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting.