What is the Connection Between Diabetes and Blood Sugar Levels?

B. Koch
B. Koch
Several abdominal organs, including the pancreas, which is associated with diabetes.
Several abdominal organs, including the pancreas, which is associated with diabetes.

Individuals with diabetes are either unable to produce enough insulin or do not react to insulin the right way, resulting in chronically high blood sugar levels. There are a number of different types of diabetes, the most common of which are type 1 and type 2. Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels can, over time, cause health problems.

The connection between diabetes and blood sugar levels begins with the consumption of carbohydrates or sugars. As the body digests these foods, glucose is released into the blood. At the same time, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin that causes cells in the body to absorb this glucose so that it can be used by the cells as fuel.

Studies have shown that green tea helps to control blood sugar levels, which may help alleviate diabetic symptoms.
Studies have shown that green tea helps to control blood sugar levels, which may help alleviate diabetic symptoms.

In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune-system cells attack the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, resulting in a lack of insulin to control the body’s glucose levels. This type of diabetes requires life-long treatment. Individuals with type 2 diabetes produce a normal amount of insulin, but the body fails to respond to it. This insulin resistance often occurs in older adults, especially in the overweight and obese.

Too much blood sugar might lead to poor circulation, which causes numbness in the hands and feet.
Too much blood sugar might lead to poor circulation, which causes numbness in the hands and feet.

There are a number of warning signs that an individual may be experiencing diabetes and high blood sugar levels, including increased thirst and dry mouth, frequent urination, headaches, blurred vision and fatigue. Individuals with type 1 diabetes may experience more severe, emergency symptoms such as confusion, shakiness, rapid breathing, abdominal pain and loss of consciousness. In case of these symptoms, emergency help should be sought.

Those with type 2 diabetes may benefit from a low-glycemic diet, which favors whole grains over bleached white flour.
Those with type 2 diabetes may benefit from a low-glycemic diet, which favors whole grains over bleached white flour.

Over time, major health problems can arise if diabetes and blood sugar levels are left uncontrolled. Too much glucose in the blood can damage blood vessels and result in poor circulation. Poor circulation can result in a number of medical problems, including nerve and vision damage, numbness in the extremities and an inability to successfully heal wounds, which may lead to complications such as infection and amputation. Other side effects of uncontrolled diabetes and blood sugar levels include kidney damage and a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Glucose metabolism requires insulin, a substance that the body normally produces on its own.
Glucose metabolism requires insulin, a substance that the body normally produces on its own.

Diabetes and blood sugar levels can be controlled in a number of ways. Individuals with type 1 diabetes require regular medications such as insulin injections to control their diabetes and blood sugar levels. Overweight individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes can often lessen the symptoms of diabetes by controlling their weight. Diet and exercise can also help diabetes and blood sugar levels in individuals with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Consuming less glucose results in lower blood sugar levels, and exercise helps to metabolize any excess sugar in the blood.

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    • Several abdominal organs, including the pancreas, which is associated with diabetes.
      Several abdominal organs, including the pancreas, which is associated with diabetes.
    • Studies have shown that green tea helps to control blood sugar levels, which may help alleviate diabetic symptoms.
      Studies have shown that green tea helps to control blood sugar levels, which may help alleviate diabetic symptoms.
    • Too much blood sugar might lead to poor circulation, which causes numbness in the hands and feet.
      Too much blood sugar might lead to poor circulation, which causes numbness in the hands and feet.
    • Those with type 2 diabetes may benefit from a low-glycemic diet, which favors whole grains over bleached white flour.
      Those with type 2 diabetes may benefit from a low-glycemic diet, which favors whole grains over bleached white flour.
    • Glucose metabolism requires insulin, a substance that the body normally produces on its own.
      Glucose metabolism requires insulin, a substance that the body normally produces on its own.
    • People who experience unintentional weight loss may have high glucose levels.
      People who experience unintentional weight loss may have high glucose levels.
    • Insulin from a pump or an injection lowers the blood sugar level of the diabetic.
      Insulin from a pump or an injection lowers the blood sugar level of the diabetic.
    • Diabetics who do not control their blood sugar levels may develop serious health complications.
      Diabetics who do not control their blood sugar levels may develop serious health complications.
    • Untreated high blood sugar levels can lead to damaged blood vessels.
      Untreated high blood sugar levels can lead to damaged blood vessels.
    • Too much glucose in the blood may lead to poor circulation, and in severe cases, amputation.
      Too much glucose in the blood may lead to poor circulation, and in severe cases, amputation.
    • Blood sugar levels may dip lower than normal if a person hasn't eaten for a few hours.
      Blood sugar levels may dip lower than normal if a person hasn't eaten for a few hours.