When you have diabetes, your blood sugar (glucose) levels are consistently high. Over time, this can damage your body and lead to many other problems.
- How much sugar in the blood is too much?
- Why is high blood sugar so bad for you?
Here’s a look at how your sugar level affects your health.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels?
A normal sugar level is less than 5.5mmol/L after not eating (fasting) for at least 8 hours. And it’s less than 7.78 mmol/L 2 hours after eating.
During the day, levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people without diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals hover around 3.8 to 4.4mmol/L. For some people, 3.3 are normal; for others, 5mmol/L.
What’s a low sugar level?
It varies widely, too. Many people’s sugar levels won’t ever fall below 3.3mmol/L, even with prolonged fasting. When you diet or fast, the liver keeps sugar levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar. A few people’s levels may fall somewhat lower.
Doctors use these tests to find out if you have diabetes:
- Fasting plasma glucose test.
The doctor tests your blood sugar level after fasting for 8 hours and it’s higher than 7mmol/L.
- Oral glucose tolerance test.
After fasting for 8 hours, you get a special sugary drink. Two hours later your sugar level is higher than 11mmol/L.
- Random check.
The doctor tests your blood sugar and it’s higher than 11mmol/L, plus you’re urinating more, always thirsty and you’ve gained or lost a significant amount of weight. He’ll then do a fasting sugar level test or an oral glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis.
Any sugar levels higher than normal are unhealthy. A level that’s higher than normal, but not reaching the point of full-blown diabetes, is called pre-diabetes.
About a third of our people have pre-diabetes. These people are five to six times more likely to get diabetes over time. Pre-diabetes also raises the risk for cardiovascular disease, although not as much as diabetes does. It’s possible to prevent the progression of pre-diabetes to diabetes with diet and exercise.
Sugar and Your Body
Why are high blood sugar levels bad for you?
Glucose is precious fuel for all the cells in your body when it’s present at normal levels. But it can behave like a slow-acting poison.
High sugar levels slowly erode the ability of cells in your pancreas to make insulin. The organ overcompensates and insulin levels remain too high. Over time, the pancreas is permanently damaged.
High levels of blood sugar can cause changes that lead to a hardening of the blood vessels, what doctors call atherosclerosis.
Almost any part of your body can be harmed by too much sugar. Damaged blood vessels cause complications such as:
- Kidney disease or kidney failure, requiring dialysis
- Heart attacks
- Vision loss or blindness
- Weakened immune system, with a greater risk of infections
- Erectile dysfunction
- Nerve damage, called neuropathy, that causes tingling, pain, or less sensation in your feet, legs, and hands
- Poor circulation to the legs and feet
- Slow wound healing and the potential for amputation in rare cases
Keep your blood sugar levels close to normal to prevent many of these complications. The goals for blood sugar control in people with diabetes are levels of 3.8mmol/L to 7.2mmol/L before meals, and less than 10mmol/L after meals.
The Manna Diet was designed to help with blood sugar control. Take the Manna Blood Sugar Support supplement with each meal to help control blood sugar levels the natural way and prevent diabetes complications associated with too high blood sugar levels.