A normal fasting blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dl. A fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl indicates prediabetes. Anything above 125 mg/dl is considered diabetes. Now, what is diabetes? When you have diabetes, your body cannot make enough insulin or cannot use it properly. As a result of insufficient insulin, excessive sugar accumulates in your bloodstream. Untreated diabetes might damage your kidneys, eyes, nerves and other organs. Therefore, checking and managing blood sugar levels is crucial to keeping yourself healthy and leading a quality life.
The high blood sugar level is also called hyperglycemia. Some of the early signs of high blood sugar level in your bloodstream that you should not avoid are:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme hunger
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Sores and cuts that might take a lot of time to heal
- Unexplained fatigue
- Frequent infections
- Blurred vision
- Ketones present in the urine (when our body cannot produce enough insulin, muscle and fats breakdown, leading to the formation of ketones)
Hypoglycemia is a condition when the blood glucose level in the body falls below the normal range. It is a common condition in people with diabetes, but non-diabetics might also suffer from low blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia is of two types. One type is reactive hypoglycemia, where blood sugar levels fall a few hours after eating a meal. Fasting hypoglycemia is mainly linked to a disease or medicine. Some of the symptoms of low blood sugar level are:
- Pale skin
- Fast heartbeat
Some of the causes of high blood sugar levels or hyperglycemia are the following:
- Your body is not using natural insulin properly.
- The dose of medicine or insulin you are consuming is not working properly, leading to increased blood glucose levels.
- Your body cannot balance the carbohydrates you are consuming with the amount of insulin it produces.
- Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise
- Physical stress from an illness like cold, flu or other infections.
- Emotional stress from the excessive workload, family conflicts or relationship problems.
- Intake of steroids for some other condition.
- The Dawn Phenomenon: It is a condition when certain hormones surge every morning at around 4 am or 5 am. An endocrine condition called Cushing syndrome leads to insulin resistance.
- Pancreatic disorders such as pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis or pancreatic cancer.
- Certain steroids and diuretics
- Surgery and trauma
- Gestational diabetes when pregnancy leads to reduced insulin sensitivity.
High blood sugar levels, if left untreated, can lead to several complications. Neglected diabetes can be life-threatening, too. Here are some tips that can help you to keep your blood glucose level within the desired range:
- Regular exercise can increase your body’s insulin sensitivity.
- Eating a low carbohydrates diet can reduce spikes in blood sugar levels because carbs break down to form glucose.
- Eating a fibre-rich diet can slow down your digestion and thereby absorption of sugar by the body.
- Staying hydrated is beneficial in keeping blood sugar levels within the desired range. Moreover, drinking the right amount of water helps the kidneys to flush out excess sugar.
- Portion control is crucial for reducing blood glucose levels. You should monitor your serving sizes and avoid eating in restaurants and food joints.
- Eating foods with a low glycemic index can keep your sugar level in control while
satisfying your taste buds. Foods with low and medium glycemic indexes are good for people with diabetes.
- Stress is a prime cause of spikes in sugar levels. Therefore, stress management through yoga and meditation is important.
- Eating food items rich in chromium and magnesium helps in the regulation of sugar levels in our bodies.
Can Diabetics Donate Blood?
Can diabetics donate blood is a tricky question. But the answer is easy. Yes, people with diabetes can donate blood if their blood sugar level is within the normal range, and they are not suffering from any other health condition before donating blood. You can talk to your doctor if you have diabetes and want to donate blood. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar level and overall health and advise whether you can donate blood or not.
You must control your blood sugar level to maintain overall health and body fitness. Both high and low blood glucose levels can be detrimental to your health. Therefore, you should monitor your blood sugar levels regularly to avoid critical situations. Coming back to the question, Can diabetics donate blood? Well, it depends on whether people with such health conditions control their blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients should exercise regularly and eat healthy to keep themselves away from additional health problems.