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Refined white sugar has earned a real bad rap these days, and even if you’re the biggest fan of sweet stuff you’ll be hard-pressed to justify any insistence that sugar’s not so bad. It’s bad for your teeth, it’s bad for your brain, and overall, it’s just terrible for your health. And when you consider that the average American consumes about 130 pounds of it every year, it really has earned its place on the public enemy lists of nutritionists, dieticians, and physicians across the country.
Despite all of this, sugar is necessary for proper cellular function within the human body. That’s not to say you should get yours from refined white sugar (you shouldn’t), but you certainly shouldn’t assume all sugar is bad for you. You need to have blood sugar, but high blood sugar levels can lead you to be in bad health really quickly. Being able to identify high blood sugar level symptoms is helpful, and particularly for people over the age of 40.
We’ll look at high blood sugar levels in detail here and including how you should respond to identifying high blood sugar level symptoms. And since we’re on the topic of sugar – of sorts – we’ll aim to keep things interesting by also talking about the history of ‘honey powder’, which is what Alexander the Great referred to sugar when he first brought it back from India and introduced the rest of the world to the immeasurable sweetness of it.
Hypoglycemia is the clinical term for high blood sugar. Part of the reason it’s so serious a health risk is prolonged high blood sugar levels can cause serious damage to nerves, blood vessels, and organs. There are two types of high blood sugar – fasting hyperglycemia and postprandial (aka after-meal) hyperglycemia.
Fasting hyperglycemia is when your high blood sugar levels are higher than 130 milligrams per deciliter after at least 8 hours of not eating or drinking. Postprandial hyperglycemia is when your high blood sugar levels are higher than 180 milligrams per deciliter 2 hours after you eat.
High blood sugar levels are especially problematic for people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. People who have type 1 diabetes and along with frequent or ongoing high blood pressure of either type become at risk of ketoacidosis – a build-up of acids in the blood which can then lead to a whole host of other health problems, toxic anemia most notably.
For those with type 2 diabetes, the possibilities are worse. High blood sugar levels for these people can lead to the development of something that’s definitely a mouthful – hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome. Not surprisingly, that’s usually abbreviated as HHNS. What is it? Well, quite simply it’s a condition where your body is unable to process sugar at all. The big deal of it all is that HNNS can be fatal.
The symptoms of HNNS are significantly increased urination and then having it decrease to the point that you go abnormally long periods without urinating at all. When you do, the urine is unusually dark in color and you are severely dehydrated.
Your blood sugar may rise – either temporarily or long-term – for one or any combination of a number or reasons. These include:
The thing with high blood sugar is that it’s common for the person to know something’s ‘not right’ with their body, but to be unsure about what exactly is the cause of it. High blood sugar levels symptoms can include:
In cases of long-term high blood sugar levels, these symptoms may be seen:
As mentioned above, sugar’s traditional homeland is in India. 3000 years ago there were already large plantations of sugarcane there, and now there is sugarcane being grown in many warm weather locations around the globe. Now everyone knows that sugar is bad for your teeth, and most people know that too much of it is really bad for your waistline.
So instead, why don’t we talk about one-way sugar can actually be helpful for you. Did you know that brown sugar paste can be a very effective – and comparatively inexpensive – way to clean skin and pores? It’s true and making the paste yourself will cost you way less than a Clearasil or Neutrogena product.
Unfortunately, that’s really about it. Not only is sugar bad for your body, but it’s bad for your brain too. A study found that people who drink more than 2 cans of soda a day on average are 3x as likely to be depressed and anxious as those who don’t.
Fortunately, there’s much you can do to combat high blood sugar levels. Drinking more water is an easy and effective approach, as water removes excess sugar from your blood and relieves dehydration. Next, getting more regular moderate exercise can lower blood glucose levels. Moderate is the key there, as strenuous exercise can actually have the opposite effect.
Reducing carbohydrate intake through your diet isn’t easy for most people, but if you can do it will go a long way towards lowering high blood sugar levels. Lastly, your physician may recommend you start taking a medication like Glucophage (Metformin), Glumetza, or Prandin (Repaglinide) and if so it is usually paired with their recommendation that you take some of the measures listed above that are helpful for lowering blood sugar.