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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels And Why They Are They Important? by veronica30: 1:06pm On Sep 21, 2021
Blood sugar levels and diabetes

Blood sugar levels determine whether or not a person suffers from the serious and chronic disease called diabetes and it is important to know what they are in order to assess the risk for the disease and, if they are not normal, to enable appropriate action to be taken in an attempt to bring them under control and as close to normal as possible.

The target level of blood glucose

Blood sugar levels are usually measured after a visit to a doctor who orders a simple blood test, called an A1c test, possibly requisitioned because of some specific indications that warrant them being checked. The A1c provides an indication of how much of the simple sugar called glucose exists in the blood, attached to hemoglobin molecules, a major component of red blood cells.

The target level to be free of diabetes is defined as having an A1c result that is less than 6%. Without further explanation, it can be difficult to understand the meaning and impact of readings that are higher than 6%, more on this topic can be found at Blood Glucose Level Tests.

Alarming statistics

The release earlier this year of data by the American Diabetes Association and the U.S. government’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides information on the prevalence of diabetes in the United States. Summarized in a document titled the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, it is reported that there are almost 26 million adults and children who have diabetes.

The Fact Sheet also states that there are more than 7 million Americans who have diabetes and are not aware of it. And almost another 80 million have prediabetes, a related condition of higher than normal blood sugars.

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There are several forms of diabetes and by far the most prevalent is referred to as type-2 diabetes, the type that includes 90% or more of all cases. Diabetes is a serious and incurable disease that can lead to equally serious and life-threatening complications if it is not treated and controlled – meaning that the critical above-normal blood sugars that circulate in the bloodstream must be brought down to a safer level.

Diabetes can be prevented in many instances

It is important to know that, although there is no cure, the most common form, type-2 diabetes, can be prevented. Diabetes is a condition in which the body becomes, over time, unable to fully metabolize carbohydrates, essential nutrients that are derived from sugars and starches in the daily diet.

In simple terms the blood becomes overloaded with the sugars obtained from food consumed due to an impairment in the way the body should normally process and regulate those sugars and allow them to be absorbed by the cells of the body that need the sugar for energy. When that is the case, the sugars stay in the blood and can eventually cause damage to other organs in the body.

In summary

There are some lifestyle characteristics that point to an increased risk of the likelihood of becoming diabetic, suffering from diabetes. It is well known that being overweight, or obese, and especially when a person takes little exercise, the risks are increased. It often takes a few years for the condition to go beyond the prediabetes state with the result that diabetes is frequently diagnosed in people of about 40 years and older.
Not a nice future to look forward to – especially since diabetes diminishes the quality of life at the best of times and at its worst can lead to additional health problems.

For a wide range of information on diabetes, see the list of topics at Diabetes Information Exchange.

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