How are Blood Sugar levels measured
As the name suggests, blood sugar refers to the amount of sugars (especially glucose) present in the human blood. The energy needs of our body's cells are fulfilled by glucose which is carried through the bloodstream. The glucose level in the blood is maintained between 70 and 100 mg/dL. In the human body, the levels of glucose are regulated by insulin and glucagon. These glucose levels are very less in the morning while the levels rise after having meals. If the body fails to maintain the glucose level within this range, then this leads to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
How are Blood Sugar levels measured?
There are mainly two methods to detect the glucose level in the blood. These methods are the chemical method, which has been used since old times, and the enzymatic method, which is a much recent development. In this method, chemicals are used as indicators. This method is based on the reducing property of glucose. But there are other compounds like urea that show the same reducing properties. That is reason why this method can be erratic at times. The enzymatic method is more commonly used nowadays, as it is a method specifically designed for measuring the glucose levels in the blood. In this method, enzymes like glucose oxidase and hexokinase are used for estimation of the blood sugar level.
What are the symptoms of imbalanced Blood Sugar?
When the blood sugar level is below or above the normal level, some common symptoms are observed in the human body. The following is a list of symptoms in both the scenarios.
- If blood sugar levels are too high: In such cases, appetite changes are the preliminary and common symptoms. In the long term, the person with high blood sugar level might develop hyperglycemia, which can further lead to diabetes. Along with that, it can damage the person's visual sense, and the kidneys and the nervous system.
- If blood sugar levels are too low: This condition is known as hypoglycemia. The symptoms of this disease include drowsiness, lethargy, damaged mental functioning, irritation and loss of concentration. Short term effects of hypoglycemia can become visible quickly, like confusion and drowsiness while the major symptoms will lead to the affected person into coma. If proper medical help is not taken on time the person can even have brain damage or a nervous breakdown. The low levels of blood sugar can even become fatal, especially when medically neglected.
How are Blood Sugar imbalances diagnosed?
Tests are done to estimate the blood sugar level. Some of the common laboratory tests for finding the blood sugar level are listed below.
- Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) or Glucose Test
- Urine Glucose Test
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test ( OGIT)
- Intravenous Glucose Tolerance Test (IVGIT)
- Two-hour Postprandial Blood Sugar Test (2-h PPBS)
- Self-monitoring of Glucose level using Home Kits.
Once the doctor checks the blood sugar levels, he or she will begin a treatment routine to correct the amount of sugars in the blood. This treatment would be supplemented with a strict dietary regimen and exercise.