A healthy blood sugar level is essential for overall well-being, especially if you’re diabetic. “Too much or too little blood sugar can harm our health,” Dr. Tomi Mitchell, a Board-Certified Family Physician with Holistic Wellness Strategies tells us. “When blood sugar levels are too high, it can lead to diabetes. But, on the other hand, if blood sugar levels drop too low (a condition called hypoglycemia), it can lead to dizziness, confusion, and even unconsciousness. That’s why it’s essential to maintain healthy blood sugar levels by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly,” she adds. The Mayo Clinic states, “A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) after two hours indicates diabetes. A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L) indicates prediabetes.” Read on for the five signs of high blood sugar to pay attention to—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
1. What is Blood Sugar?
Dr. Mitchell explains, “Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is a type of sugar found in the blood. It is the body’s primary source of energy and comes from the food we eat. When we eat, our digestive system breaks down the carbohydrates in our food into glucose, which is then released into the bloodstream. The pancreas, a small organ located behind the stomach, produces a hormone called insulin, which helps to move the glucose from the blood into the cells of the body, where it can be used for energy.”
2. Is it Still Essential to Test Your Blood Sugar if You’re Not Diabetic?
Dr. Mitchell says, “Although people who do not have diabetes do not typically have to worry about their blood sugar levels, there are still a few situations in which it may be essential to test. For example, if you are experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness or shakiness, testing your blood sugar levels can help you to rule out diabetes as a potential cause. In addition, if you have a family history of diabetes, it may be worth checking your blood sugar levels periodically to look for early signs of the disease. Ultimately, whether or not you need to test your blood sugar levels depends on your circumstances. However, it is always best to speak with a doctor or other healthcare professional if you have any concerns.”
3. Risk Factors for High Blood Sugar
According to Dr. Mitchell, “There are a number of different factors that can contribute to high blood sugar levels. One of the most important is diet. Foods that are high in simple sugars and refined carbohydrates can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Other risk factors include lack of physical activity, certain medications, and medical conditions such as diabetes and prediabetes. High stress levels can also lead to increases in blood sugar. To help keep blood sugar levels under control, it is important to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and manage stress. If you have any concerns about your blood sugar levels, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider.”
4. You Feel Tired All the Time, Even After a Good Night’s Sleep
Dr. Mitchell shares, “One of the most common complaints doctors hear is, “I’m tired all the time, even after a good night’s sleep.” While there are many possible causes of fatigue, one often overlooked culprit is diabetes. When blood sugar levels are high, the body has to work overtime to process the sugar, leading to fatigue. In addition, high blood sugar can lead to dehydration, which can also make you feel tired. If you’re experiencing fatigue and other symptoms of diabetes, such as excessive thirst or urination, it’s important to see your doctor for a blood sugar test. Catching diabetes early can help prevent serious complications down the road.”
5. You Have Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing on Tasks
Dr. Mitchell states, “When you have difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks, it may be a sign that you need to get your blood sugar levels checked. High blood sugar can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This damage can lead to problems with thinking, speaking, and learning. In addition, high blood sugar can also cause mood swings and irritability. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor for a blood sugar test. Getting your sugars checked is an important step in maintaining your overall health.”
6. You Crave Sweets or Sugary Foods More Than Usual
“When your body senses that your blood sugar levels are low, it’s not uncommon to experience a sudden urge for sugary foods,” says Dr. Mitchell. “This is because sugar provides the body with a quick burst of energy. However, if you find yourself craving sweets more often than usual, it could be a sign that your blood sugar levels are out of balance. If left untreated, this can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes.”
7. You Experience Sudden Mood Swings or Feelings of Irritability
Dr. Mitchell explains that “Sudden mood swings or feelings of irritability can be a sign that your blood sugar levels are off balance. When blood sugar levels are too high or too low, it can cause problems with focus and energy levels, which can lead to feeling cranky or on edge. If you’re experiencing sudden mood swings or irritability, it’s a good idea to check your blood sugar levels and see if they are in the normal range. If they’re not, you may need to adjust your diet or take medication to bring them back into balance. Either way, it’s important to talk to your doctor so that you can get your blood sugar levels under control and feel better.”
8. You Have Blurred Vision or Notice that Your Eyesight is Not as Sharp
According to Dr. Mitchell, “Blurry vision or poor eyesight can be a sign that your sugar levels are high. When sugar levels are high, they can cause the lens of your eye to swell, which results in blurred vision. In addition, high sugar levels can also damage the retina, the part of your eye that is responsible for sending signals to your brain that are translated into the images you see. Over time, this damage can lead to permanent vision loss. If you notice any changes in your vision, it is important to talk to your doctor so that they can check your sugar levels and take appropriate action to protect your eyesight. untreated diabetes can cause a number of serious health complications, including blindness. By getting your sugars checked regularly, you can help to protect your vision and keep your eyes healthy.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible so that your sugar levels can be checked and treated if necessary. Left untreated, high sugar levels can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.”