Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar that your body makes from the food you eat. Glucose is carried through the blood to provide energy to your body cells.
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar levels are too high. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems.
Keeping track of your blood glucose
It is important to control your blood glucose (also called blood sugar) for your health. Keeping your glucose level within the normal range helps prevent or delay the development of diabetes, and also prevents the development of diabetic complications, such as eye disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
Keeping track of your blood glucose is the best way to make sure you are keeping it in control. Blood glucose testing can help you understand how food, physical activity, and diabetes medicine can affect your glucose levels. Testing can help you make day-to-day choices about how to balance these factors. Regular testing can also tell you when your glucose is too low or too high so that you can treat these this appropriately.
Both our Plus and Premium Health Checks assess blood glucose levels which, if elevated, may indicate diabetes. This can usually be controlled with diet, exercise or medicines. If not controlled, it can increase the risk of problems such as heart disease, stroke, nerve damage and blindness.
Having problems with high blood glucose
For the majority of people, blood glucose levels that remain higher than 6.7nmol/L (prior to meals) are too high. Eating too much food, being less physically active than usual, or taking insufficient diabetes medication are common reasons for high blood glucose (or hyperglycemia). Your blood glucose can also increase when you are sick or under stress.
Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage your body organs. For this reason, it is extremely important that those with diabetes keep their blood glucose levels controlled.
Symptoms of high blood glucose levels can include; increased urination, increased thirst and increased hunger. High blood glucose levels can also contribute to regular/above-average urination, fatigue, weight loss, increased thirst and burred vision.
Ketoacidosis is a very serious complication and there is a marked increased risk if blood glucose levels increase above 15nmol/L.
Having problems with low blood glucose
In general, a blood glucose level < 4nmol/L is too low. Low blood glucose can result if we eat less or at a different time to usual, being more active than usual, or taking too much diabetes medication. Drinking beer, wine, or liquor can also cause low blood glucose levels or make them worse.
Some possible signs of low blood glucose are feeling nervous, shaky, or sweaty. Sometimes people just feel tired. The signs can be mild at first. But a low glucose level can quickly drop lower if it is not treated.
When your glucose level is very low, you ca become confused, pass out, or experience a seizure. If there are any signs that your glucose level may be low, you much check your levels. If it less than 3-4 nmol/L, you need to treat it immediately.