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Health 15 April 2018
By: Natasha Tanga

The Importance of Paying Close Attention to Your Blood Sugar Levels

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For some people, the process of insulin changing blood sugar into energy doesn’t work efficiently. This can lead to some chronic health issues, including insulin resistance and even diabetes. How then can we all learn to balance the amount of sugar we have in our system and keep diseases at bay? 

On this week's journal, we will explain about how blood sugar can affect your health and why it is very important to regulate your blood sugar levels. Read on!

What is Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar is the amount of sugar or glucose in the blood that is obtained from digested food. Glucose is the body’s preferred source of fuel as it is quickly absorbed and easy to utilize. The brain, nervous system and red blood cells cannot function without continuous supply of energy from blood glucose. However, we still have to pay close attention to the quantity and quality of glucose / carbohydrate that we consume. That is why, the food source from which it comes, can either be your key to stable blood sugar, or downfall to imbalance.  

Glucose that is not taken up by cells for energy use is either converted in the liver into glycogen and stored for later use or is stored as fat. It is important to note that only a small amount of glucose is stored as glycogen for short-term energy use; most excess glucose is stored as fat for long-term energy use. The more unutilized glucose, the more fat is being stored on your body. That being said, if you are concerned about your weight, then avoid consuming sugar, not fat.

What happens when I have blood sugar imbalances?

Various signs and symptoms may occur from blood sugar imbalance, including:

1. Darkened skin along the jawline or neck 

This sign is called acanthosis nigra and occurs due to elevated insulin levels present with elevated blood sugar. It can also be found in areas of the body with creases such as the armpits or under the breasts.

2. Extra abdominal fat

If you find yourself gaining weight around the upper abdomen and belly area, it is a classic sign of blood sugar imbalance. You can gain trunk fat around your back, chest, sides of the waist and shoulder blade areas.

3. Fatigue 

Feeling tired is a common symptom of blood sugar imbalance, especially when it occurs after eating. If it’s bad enough that you can’t hold your eyes open after you eat, your insulin, which normally lowers your blood sugar, may be in irregular level.

4. Craving episodes 

When you find yourself craving for sweets, it might be a sign of poorly regulated blood sugar.

5. Poor focus

When you notice that you can’t seem to pay attention on what you are doing, it can be a classic sign of falling blood sugar. Irritability, depression or frustration can accompany this.

Why should I balance my blood sugar?

Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is a very important part of avoiding long-term health issues, managing your weight and feeling good in general. Balancing blood sugar is important for optimal physical and emotional health regardless of whether you have diabetes, hypoglycemia or blood sugar management issues. A steady supply of glucose is essential to fuel optimal brain function, while low blood glucose can cause headache, irritability, anxiety and depression, dizziness, fatigue and poor endurance. Low blood sugar can also cause sugar cravings leading to unhealthy eating patterns.

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