HealthGYMThe Importance of Monitoring Glucose Levels- HealthifyMe

The Importance of Monitoring Glucose Levels- HealthifyMe

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Monitoring your glucose levels is an essential part of managing diabetes. Glucose or blood sugar is the main sugar present in your blood. It is the primary energy source that the body requires to function effectively. The body gets glucose from the food you eat. In other words, glucose enters the bloodstream after eating carbohydrates. The hormone insulin, created by the pancreas, determines the amount of glucose in your blood. This hormone assists in transferring glucose into the body cells.

Glucose levels play a crucial role in maintaining general health. Chronically high glucose levels can lead to multiple health complications like kidney problems, diabetes, and heart health issues. Therefore, keeping an eye on your blood glucose levels is essential. Glucose monitoring not only diagnoses diabetes but also signals if there are other health issues. 

To maintain or improve the glucose level within the body, tracking the impact of foods on your glucose levels is imperative. However, it sometimes becomes challenging to note every detail, even if you try to organise a journal. HealthifyPro 2.0. can provide a better solution by helping you track the glucose level in your body with every meal or snack of the day. HealthifyPro 2.0., innovative technology by HealthifyMe, comes with a wearable device called BIOS. This device provides real-time data on your blood glucose levels.

The Pro Coaches assess the impact of foods, beverages, and exercise on your glucose levels and guide you on maintaining the glucose level after proper analysis. In addition, the coaches can advise you on your diet, physical fitness, and daily habits that you might need to improve. The constant glucose monitoring (CGM) system from HealthifyPro is beneficial for pre-diabetic or diabetic people to monitor their glucose levels.

Glucose Fluctuation and Its Causes

According to a study, glucose levels are generally low after exercising. The more strenuous your workout, the longer your blood glucose will be affected. However, they increase again after a meal. There are various reasons behind fluctuating glucose levels in the blood. These variations in the amount of glucose depend on food intake and physical exercise. Therefore, you can maintain your glucose level by modifying your diet and daily habits and improving your exercise routine. 

Glucose levels fluctuate every minute as per your heart rate and blood pressure. The fluctuations in glucose levels occur in direct response to the internal health and external environment.

There are various factors responsible for causing fluctuations in glucose levels. Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • Dietary choices
  • Activity level
  • Fitness level
  • Stress level
  • Quality of sleep
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids
  • Hydration

You must be more cautious if you already have a high blood glucose level and other health issues. You should monitor your glucose levels more often. It will help you to know more about your health conditions. Those who are comparatively healthy should also check their glucose levels to avoid the risk of having more prominent issues and prevent unhealthy weight gain.

Diabetic patients either face insulin resistance or face situations of insulin deficiency. Therefore, those with type 1 or 2 diabetes should monitor their glucose levels frequently after discussing them with their doctors. Together, you can determine a personalised strategy to rectify the situation.

A serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis may occur when the blood sugar level remains too high for a long time. This condition results in the body producing acids known as ketones. If you do not work on treating the disease in time, it can result in a diabetic coma, leading to losing consciousness. In addition, a very high blood sugar level can also result in diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, which makes you overweight and dehydrated. This syndrome, too, can cause a diabetic coma.

The HealthifyMe Note

Your food intake and physical exercise are responsible for the fluctuations in your glucose levels. Glucose fluctuation is normal, although it should be in the healthy range. Having too high or too low glucose levels can cause serious health problems. Diligently monitoring your glucose levels has a positive effect in terms of preventing complications. 

Glucose Levels: The Normal Range

There is a range within which glucose levels should generally be when measured at different time intervals during the day. The recommended range of glucose levels varies depending on the age group, overall health, type of diabetes, and many other factors. It is advisable to maintain a target range of glucose levels after a proper recommendation from a doctor. A person with diabetes has a different target range for glucose levels than someone who does not have diabetes.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence suggests the following range of glucose levels for non-diabetic adults, adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and children with type 1 diabetes:

Non-Diabetic Adults

  • Without eating anything (fasting), the recommended glucose range lies between 4.0-5.9mmol/L.
  • After 90 minutes of the meal, the recommended range of glucose levels lies under 7.8 mmol/L

Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

  • On waking up, the recommended range lies between 5-7 mmol/L.
  • For fasting hours, the recommended range is 4-7 mmol/L
  • After 90 minutes of the meal, the recommended range is 5-9 mmol/L

Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

  • For fasting hours, the recommended range is 4-7 mmol/L
  • After 90 minutes of the meal, the recommended range of 8.5 mmol/L

Children with Type 1 Diabetes

  • On waking up, the recommended range lies in between 4-7 mmol/L
  • For fasting hours, the recommended range is 4-7 mmol/L
  • After 90 minutes of the meal, the recommended range is 5-9 mmol/L

Most healthy people’s blood sugar levels should range between 72 to 99 mg/dl before meals. The blood sugar level range should be below 95 mg/dl during fasting hours. The blood sugar level range recommended after 2 hours of the meal is 140 mg/dl.

Importance of Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels

Monitoring blood glucose levels helps determine if you are meeting your glucose targets. Based on the monitoring results and data, you can take necessary actions to reduce the unpleasant symptoms of high and low blood sugar. In addition, glucose monitoring helps you learn what is working well in your diabetes management and identify any possible areas for improvement. 

The main goal of glucose monitoring is to keep your blood glucose levels in the target range. If you have diabetes, checking your blood sugar gives an overview of how your diabetes treatment plan controls your blood glucose levels. In addition, the information collected from monitoring your glucose gives an overall sense of how your body uniquely responds to different factors. Based on that, your healthcare team can adjust your treatment approach as needed. 

Ways to Monitor Glucose Levels

There are multiple ways to monitor glucose levels. One of the most innovative ways is through the BIOS device, a biosensor system with a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). This wearable device offered by HealthifyPro will allow you to measure your glucose levels anytime. Apart from this, there are various tests using which you can measure your blood glucose levels. Some of them are as follows:

Blood Sugar Tests

Measuring glucose is not as difficult as it was years back. You can do so using two ways which measure glucose levels. You can use a blood sugar metre (glucometer) or continuous glucose monitoring. The latter involves using sensors to measure blood glucose levels in real time. The device works through a sensor placed underneath the skin, usually in the arm or abdomen, to detect glucose and display it on a mobile device or a receiver. Continuous glucose monitoring is beneficial for people on frequent insulin injections as they provide alarms when glucose levels are falling or rising too quickly.

A study suggests that those with type 1 diabetes should check their glucose levels 4 to 10 times daily. Type 2 diabetic patients must monitor their glucose levels depending on their insulin type.

Using a blood sugar metre (glucometer) will demand pricking your finger and taking a drop of your blood.

Steps to Follow

  • Start with disinfecting the metre and washing your hands.
  • Take the metre, test strip, lancet, and an alcohol wipe.
  • To increase the blood flow to the fingertip, rub the hands together.
  • Insert the test strip on the fingertip after turning on the metre.
  • Clean the fingertip with an alcohol pad.
  • With the help of a lancet, prick the finger.
  • Squeeze the finger base gently until the blood drop appears on the fingertip.
  • Put the blood droplet on the test strip.
  • Wait till the metre shows blood sugar measurement on display.
  • Record the results of the test along with the notes. In case of abnormal reading, mention possible reasons for the same such as food or physical activity.
  • Carefully dispose of the lancet, test strip, and alcohol wipe.

Flash Glucose Monitoring 

Flash monitoring uses a similar sensor to continuous glucose monitoring. It shows the last few hours of glucose values but doesn’t give you alarms like CGM. Instead, flash glucose monitoring tells you whether the glucose is going up or down without you having to prick your fingers. You need to wear a body sensor that reads your glucose levels and can see the information on your mobile. 

A1C Tests

The A1C tests show average glucose levels over the past 2 to 3 months. This test does not confirm if a person has diabetes. Confirmation from the doctor is necessary to find out about diabetes, in response to which you need to undergo another blood glucose test. The doctors can ask for additional tests based on the observations.

Healthcare professionals recommend A1C tests twice yearly for diabetic people if they meet their treatment goals. On the other hand, if you fail to meet the treatment goal or in case of a change in treatment, you need to take the A1C test more than twice a year. The doctor also can recommend an A1C test if he notices poor glucose levels, prediabetes, or diabetes.

Additional warning signs that can prompt the A1C test are:

  • Blurry vision
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Recurring infections
  • Numbness in hands/feet

In case of a prediabetic situation, doctors can suggest an A1C test when they notice the following:

  • Obesity
  • High blood sugar levels or high cholesterol level
  • The person whose age is over 45 years
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Hormonal disorders such as Cushing’s syndrome
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Indicators

  • The A1C levels between 5.7% and less than 6.5% indicate the prediabetes range.
  • An A1C level above 6.5% and more indicates the diabetes range.

The HealthifyMe Note

There are multiple ways to check the glucose level in your body. Continuous glucose monitoring is highly beneficial for people on insulin pump therapy or frequent insulin injections. A finger prick test can help check your glucose levels regularly when you need to, either at home or when you’re out.

Ways to Regulate Glucose Levels

The crucial part of managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes is understanding your glucose levels. When managing diabetes, regularly checking blood sugar levels is vital. There are many ways recommended for managing glucose levels. However, the foremost step toward managing glucose levels is taking control of lifestyle factors. A healthy lifestyle follows a proper diet, weight management, and exercise routine.

Listed below are a few ways to keep glucose levels balanced:

Stress Management

According to studies, stress is responsible for the central nervous system releasing the cortisol hormone. Cortisol is considered a natural alarm system of the body. In stressful situations, cortisol consumes more glucose as an immediate energy source resulting in insulin sensitivity. Chronic stress results in the pancreas being less effective in producing insulin which results in its failure to normalise high blood sugar levels. 

Practising regular self-care and stress management techniques will help with balancing blood sugar. In addition, incorporating healthy habits into the lifestyle, like having proper sleep, walking, doing activities that relax the mind, and undertaking physical activities, can provide some relaxation from stress.

Focusing on a Healthy Diet

The food you eat has a direct impact on the functioning of the body. The glycemic index (GI) measures incremental glucose response per gram of carbohydrate. Foods associated with low GI cause lesser fluctuations in glucose levels when compared to high GI food. It is also essential to consider the nutritional value of the food as a whole.

Low GI food includes yoghurt, barley, legumes, beans, and oats. It is advisable to avoid high-level sugary drinks and food, food with a high GI, and trans fat. The focus should be there on seasonal fruits and veggies. Plant-based fats such as olive oil for cooking can be beneficial.

Regular Exercise

Research suggests that regular exercise is one of the best ways to maintain glucose levels and the ability to use both glucose and fat as energy sources. Exercises like high-intensity interval training (HIIT), low or moderate exercises, and resistance training impacts glucose levels in various ways. Physical exercises aid in improving the ability of the body to keep blood glucose levels stable and healthy.

Proper Sleep

Sleeping patterns have a direct connection with the overall health of a person. Improper sleep is associated with various underlying health issues. Glucose level fluctuation is one of the consequences of having a night of poor sleep. According to studies, sleep deprivation is one of the reasons behind an imbalance in blood glucose levels.

An adult should sleep at least 7-8 hours a day. Emphasis is on the quality and quantity of sleep that results in a healthy mind and body. Sleeping less than 6 hours puts a person at risk of increased blood sugar levels.

Other Ways to Regulate Sugar Levels

Additionally, including the below-mentioned activities in daily lifestyle can assist in controlling glucose levels naturally:

  • Reducing alcohol consumption.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Taking meals at regular intervals.
  • Opting for food that is lower in calories, fat, sugar, trans fat, and saturated fat.

Conclusion

Consistent monitoring of glucose levels helps you to take action to keep them within the normal range. Conversely, insulin resistance and poor glucose processing have health implications, such as diabetes, heart disease, and other related issues.

Monitoring glucose levels can help prevent blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low. Therefore, it plays a crucial role in managing diabetes. On the other hand, not monitoring glucose levels may cause health complications in the long term. The frequency of testing glucose levels during a day depends on the type of diabetes a person has. Diabetic people should monitor their glucose levels after obtaining proper instructions from their healthcare team. In case of any concerns about blood sugar levels, doctors can recommend changes in lifestyle and medications. 

Glucose levels fluctuate differently for people due to personalised lifestyles, respective health conditions, and medications. Therefore, glucose monitoring is a preventive measure that can help determine blood sugar imbalances so that the concerned person can take timely action and make any necessary lifestyle modifications.

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