Why Should I Care About My Blood Sugar?

Why Should I Care About My Blood Sugar?

Of all the health concepts being discussed nowadays, I’m not sure this one is discussed enough, yet it has some of the worst consequences.  I want to explain why you need to care about your blood sugar levels.  In the next article, I will explain what you can do to start reversing insulin sensitivity and lower your blood glucose levels.  This may seem pretty negative, but just know that the solution is in the problem, it can be reversed!

Is this really a problem?

Statistically, 1 in 4 people have either pre-diabetes or diabetes.  

More than that are on their way to those diseases.  Look around you, is it any wonder?  It’s true that most things you eat turn to glucose, but processed fats and sugars and flours do serious damage.  If you walk into a grocery store, the majority of the aisles are filled with boxed and packaged processed foods.  Honestly, even the health food stores have to package many of their foods.  They just try to put better quality ingredients into those packages.

Packaged foods have become convenient, easy, and inexpensive.  Many of the food stuffs are subsidized by the government, making them even cheaper than what it cost to honestly grow them.  Meats are processed into nice neat round slices to fit on the sandwich bread that will last for months on the shelf.  Ask yourself, is this real food?

Processed flours, and sugars are concentrated into foods that quickly turn into glucose in the body, without the fiber that these original foods would have had.  That means they create a spike in your insulin levels that try to combat the spike in glucose that has occurred.  They’re also concentrated calories without the nutrients that your body needs.

If you are trying to eat a healthier diet than the Standard American Diet, good for you, and you are probably doing much better than those who fall into the statistics.  However, you may not be out of danger.  

Why should you care?

Because the progression from raised blood sugar, to pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes isn’t a “disease”, it’s a result of lifestyle choices, and you can do something about it!

According to the National Institute of Health:

•An estimated 84.1 million adults ages 18 years or older (33.9 percent of U.S. adults) have prediabetes

•23.1 million adults (48.3 percent) ages 65 or older have prediabetes.

These numbers are staggering!  Many of the people who have diabetes aren’t even diagnosed until something major happens to them (like a heart attack!).  This almost assures that either you or someone you love is struggling with blood sugar issues!

Did you know that a blood glucose level of just 120 ml can cause damage? Diabetes isn’t even diagnosed until your blood glucose reaches 126 mg/dl!

Dangers of Pre-Diabetes:

Even at pre-diabetic levels, damage can happen over time.  Everything from pancreatic damage to nerve damage to vision damage!  And that’s before you get to diabetes!  Heart failure incidences even go up drastically in the pre-diabetic ranges, but boy do they go up in the diabetic range!

Let’s talk blood sugar and heart failure:

Blood Sugar and Heart Failure

This is a table from the American Diabetes Association on blood sugar levels and incidences of heart failure; (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/28/3/607)

The above table shows almost double the occurrence of heart failure when blood glucose reaches 110 mg/dl!  Keep in mind that these levels are at the pre-diabetic level!  You can see for yourself that blood sugar has a direct correlation to your heart health as well as your overall health.

What this amounts to is, if someone you love (including yourself), has a blood glucose level closer to 125 than 99, you have reason to be concerned for their health; even if the doctor says their diabetes is “under control”!

You need to care because you need to get off the treadmill that leads to one of the leading causes of death…

Diabetes

This problem is a leading cause of heart failure, and the complications of diabetes are grievous!

  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Eye damage
  • Foot damage
  • Hearing impairment
  • Alzheimer’s 
  • Heart and blood vessel blockage

These are debilitating conditions that you CAN do something about!

YOU NEED TO CARE!!

This doesn’t even take into consideration those who are…

Insulin Resistant

This is when your body has been flooded with glucose and insulin for so long, that it starts ignoring the messages that insulin is giving to the cell.  For more information on this, read my article on Insulin Resistance and how it happens.  Just know that this is the path to pre-diabetes, which is the next step toward diabetes.  To be clear, those with pre-diabetes and diabetes also have insulin resistance.

What can you do?

First, be aware of the dangers of what you are facing!

Then decide to take steps to change the direction you are going!

Look at the areas you may need to change, and start with at least one:

Food choices—find out what foods spike your insulin and blood sugar levels

Movement—find ways to get more movement into your day, throughout the day

Stress—find ways to address your stress levels

Sleep—get plenty of it, this is when your body heals

Mindset—change your mindset and know that you can do this!

Where Do I Start?

If your blood sugar is high, we need to start with your food choices!  However, you will need to address the other issues as well, so don’t forget about them!

Food choices, or what spikes your blood sugar…

You probably already know the answer to a lot of that….sugar, flour, breads, fried foods, processed foods; anything that isn’t whole and grown or raised.  Processed oils that we use at home and too much fat may also be an issue.  This is a disease of excess food and a sedentary lifestyle.

“But I don’t have time or money to eat whole foods!”

I want to help you with that!

That’s why I am going to write several articles to show you things you can do to make changes into your daily life that can help you turn the tide and lower your blood sugar.  So stay with me, as I try to help you on this journey.

If you have a lot of bad habits, it may be overwhelming to think you have to change everything.  I just want to assure you that as you take steps and stick with them, and remember why you are doing them, it will get easier.  

Stay tuned for my next article on ways to start to improve your health and balance your blood sugar.  In the meantime, what packaged foods can you live without?  Can you eat more vegetables and whole, in-tact foods?

As always, if you believe someone you know could benefit from this information, please feel free to send them a link.  Also, if you aren’t already signed up to receive my articles, be sure to do that on my webpage.

 

To your health!

Patti Bealer

2 thoughts on “Why Should I Care About My Blood Sugar?”

  1. Hi Patti, I enjoyed your article and agree that we should look at food as medicine especially since God made our bodies for nutrients…. not the next medicine or drug store option. Thank you for sharing! I love to learn about nutrition too!

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