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WHY YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR BLOOD SUGAR STABLE

WHY YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR BLOOD SUGAR STABLE

Despite the bad press, sugar is an essential for life. Glucose (simple sugar) in the bloodstream is essential to keep all the engines running.

The right sugar level is critical for your body. What controls it, and what happens if it isn’t right?

HOW IS BLOOD SUGAR CONTROLLED?

Time for a bit of Biology 101. 

Food gets broken down in your digestive tract before transport via your bloodstream. Protein, fats and other nutrients are used for growth, repair and cell function, while glucose is for energy. What isn’t used immediately is sent to the liver to be stored.

The pancreas controls all this with the release of two hormones. Insulin is released when there is enough sugar in the blood. This lets the body cells take up glucose. When levels are too low, the pancreas sends out less insulin and more glucagon. This tells your liver to start releasing glucose to raise levels. Unless you are diabetic, this amazing balancing act usually happens without you even noticing.

WHAT EFFECTS DOES LOW BLOOD SUGAR HAVE?

If you’ve missed a meal or exercised really hard, it will take your body a little while to sort out sugar levels. During that time you’ll probably feel really hungry! You could also be a bit grumpy and not able to think straight. That’s because the brain is the biggest customer for glucose.

Low blood sugar overnight can disturb your sleep and give you night sweats.

WHAT EFFECTS DOES HIGH BLOOD SUGAR HAVE?

Most of us have come across this as the ‘blood sugar spike’, caused by eating something very sweet. This can also cause lethargy (although in children it seems to do the opposite!) Again, your amazing internal systems will sort it out.

Stable blood sugar really does make for a smooth life. Ease off on the simple carbs, and eat smaller meals to help your body control sugar levels. If you are still getting these symptoms, do yourself a favour and get checked over.

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

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