Glucose is a type of carbohydrate, which plays an important role in providing energy to the body’s systems.
When you eat, your body absorbs glucose from food, and uses it to fuel your organs, muscles, and nervous system.
It’s important, however, to ensure we get the right amount of this essential nutrient – too little, or too much can lead to problems.
Today we will look at risks and complications associated with high blood glucose levels.
If you are concerned about your own glucose levels, a naturopathic doctor can help to provide you with natural solutions for high blood sugar levels.
In extreme cases, too much glucose over a prolonged period of time may lead to diabetes.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Glucose?
Glucose is more commonly referred to as blood sugar.
It’s an important factor in keeping the body running smoothly, and when glucose levels are within their desired range, we generally don’t tend to notice it.
When levels of glucose get too low, also called hypoglycemia, it can lead to symptoms such as irregular, fast heartbeat, fatigue, sweating, and pale skin.
In cases where it’s not too severe, this is easily reverse by drinking a sugary drink or eating something.
If, however, blood sugar levels get too high the complications can be very serious, and aren’t as easily reversed.
Let’s have a closer look at high blood sugar.
What Happens When Your Body Processes Glucose?
Every time we eat, the body sends enzymes to start breaking down the glucose in our food.
In addition, it signals to the pancreas, an endocrine organ, that it’s time to release insulin, a hormone which helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
If the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to properly regulate glucose levels, this can result in diabetes.
In these cases, insulin injections can help to maintain regulation of blood sugar.
Sometimes the body creates insulin but it isn’t recognized by the liver, which is another way diabetes can develop – this is called insulin resistance.
Symptoms Of High Glucose Levels (High Blood Sugar)
High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia usually develops very gradually, and it’s common for symptoms to not be noticeable until sugar levels are dangerously high.
Some early signs of high glucose include:
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities, particularly the feet
- Blurry vision
- Being thirsty all the time
- Constantly feeling hungry
- Peeing a lot
Untreated, high glucose levels can lead to ketoacidosis, which occurs when the body can’t properly process glucose, and starts to break down fat instead.
Some signs this is occurring include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- A fruity smell on the breath
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
Complications From High Blood Sugar
If blood sugar levels are too high for too long without intervention, it can lead to serious complications which include:
- Damage to eyes
- Skin issues
- Kidney damage
- Nerve damage
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
What Causes High Blood Sugar?
As your body breaks down carbohydrates from food, the sugar molecule glucose is absorbed into your bloodstream and used as one of the body’s primary sources of energy.
In order to enter cells, however, it needs help from the hormone insulin which regulates it.
If the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or is unable to properly use the insulin it does produce properly the glucose stays in the bloodstream, resulting in high blood sugar.
Who’s At Risk Of High Blood Sugar?
Factors which can contribute to a higher risk of high blood sugar levels include:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Using insulin or other diabetes medications improperly
- Using expired medication or expired insulin
- Not adhering to the nutrition & lifestyle plan set by your doctor or naturopath
- Certain medications, including steroids, some ADHD and anxiety drugs, birth control pills and drugs for high blood pressure
- Injury or surgery
- Heightened emotional stress
Book Your Appointment With Annex Naturopathic
Are you worried about your blood sugar levels?
Perhaps you’ve been experiencing some of the early warning signs of elevated blood sugar levels, and want to get things under control before they get worse.
Or maybe you’re worried about the effects the pandemic and lockdowns over the past year have had on your eating habits, exercise routine, and stress levels.
And there is also the fact that diabetes can have a genetic component, and if it runs in your family, although you can’t change your genes, you can alter your habits and behaviour to lower your risk.
Whatever your motivation for wanting to get a handle on your blood sugar, Annex Naturopathic Clinic can help.
One of our caring and experienced naturopathic doctors will listen to your concerns and create a plan for you to get control over your health.
Contact us today for a consultation, or to set up an appointment.