We cannot deny the fact that aging can be a bit unnerving — dealing with greying hair, more wrinkles, and even forgetfulness. But cosmetic and somewhat funny issues aside, aging also brings about more serious and pressing concerns, such as age-related health issues. And one such health issue that we might have to deal with as we age is diabetes.
Diabetes is quite a common disease in our society and affects around 7% of the Philippine general population. It is a chronic disease that affects how our body treats the glucose or sugar in our blood. Diabetes has 2 types: type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed early in life and occurs when the pancreas cannot produce insulin, which is the hormone that allows the body’s cells to use glucose and produce energy. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes occurs when either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells can no longer use the insulin to produce energy effectively. Out of these two types, type 2 diabetes is considered as the age-related disease. Also referred to as “adult-onset diabetes,” it is typically diagnosed in adults around 40 to 45 years of age. Possible causes of adult-onset diabetes include genetics, diet, obesity, and lack of exercise.
High blood sugar can lead to prediabetes, which can then lead to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This makes managing your blood sugar levels important. Here are a few other things you should know about the importance of proper management of blood sugar levels.
Where does the sugar in our blood come from?
Blood sugar or blood glucose levels is the term used to refer to the amount of sugar found in our blood at a given time. The sugar comes from the carbohydrates from the foods we eat. Upon digestion, our body converts the carbs into its simplest form — glucose, which then forms in our bloodstream and which our body can then use as energy to keep us going throughout the day. It is our body’s responsibility to manage our blood sugar levels, but of course, our bodies need all the help it can get as we age.
Why do we have to control our blood sugar levels?
- Maintaining a stable and balanced blood sugar level is important, as there is a limited range of blood sugar levels in which our brain can still function normally.
- Maintaining stable blood sugar levels significantly reduces the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.
- An unstable blood sugar level could lead to several long-term complications, such as eye disease, kidney problems, nerve problems, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases including strokes, heart attacks, heart failures, and high blood pressure.
- Maintaining a good blood sugar is important for everyone in the general population, as anyone can be at risk for prediabetes or adult-onset diabetes.
- The initial symptoms of high blood sugar and even prediabetes can be hard to identify, so it’s best to play it safe.
What level should my blood sugar be and how can I measure it?
The normal range of blood sugar levels are:
- 4 to 7 mmol/l before meals
- < 10 mmol/l one to two hours after meals
- About 8 mmol/l at bedtime
It is best to consult your doctor on what’s the best way for you to test your blood sugar levels, or if you need to test it regularly. But most blood sugar tests will consist of a measuring device and disposable paper strips.
How can I manage and maintain my blood sugar levels?
There are a few simple tips that can help manage your blood sugar levels, including:
- Try to keep a generally positive outlook in life. Extreme and chronic stress can raise blood sugar levels and while you cannot avoid stress, you can try to minimize its effects on you and your health by managing your reaction to it. This includes avoiding putting unnecessary demands on yourself, making time to do things that you enjoy, trying to keep negativity out as much as possible.
- Try to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Try to go easy on simple or refined carbs such as pasta, white bread, cakes, and sweets, and instead opt for healthier alternatives such as fiber-rich foods. Keeping physically fit and active can also help boost your metabolism and manage your blood sugar levels.
- Take small yet important steps in maintaining your blood sugar levels. If you have been tested and diagnosed with high blood sugar, then perhaps it’s time to consider adult health drinks that are designed to help you regulate your blood sugar. You can opt to replace one snack per day with Glucerna — a nutritious and healthy drink that includes proteins, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs. It will help you stay full and energized while also being low in sugar. Drinking one glass of Glucerna for a month could help you eliminate around 5,670 calories, 1,082 grams of carbs, and 533 grams of sugar.
Busy parents can now easily get their supply of Glucerna anytime, anywhere, thanks to Lazada. Just sign up, log in, and cart your nutritional drink via the Lazada site or Lazada app, and your Glucerna will be delivered straight to your doorsteps.
*All content in this article should be taken as for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.
Published with Glucerna.
References: Brunet, My Virtual Medical Centre