Hyperglycemia or High Blood Sugar Levels Defined
Hyperglycemia is the term used to describe high blood sugar levels, where there is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream. This is often associated with diabetes mellitus. Chronic hyperglycemia that persists even in fasting states is most commonly caused by diabetes mellitus.
There are two main causes of hyperglycemia – primary hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus and secondary hyperglycemia which is a result of a pancreatic disease.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the major health problems in the world today and there is a growing diabetes awareness.
It is characterized by elevated fasting blood sugars caused by a decrease in or deficiency of insulin. It affects many vital organs such as the eyes, kidneys and the heart.
It also affects small blood vessels that have resulted in amputations.
Insulin is the only hormone in the body that lowers blood sugar levels. It is produced in the cells of the pancreas, so if a person develops pancreatic disease it can cause hyperglycemia. Acute and chronic inflammation of the pancreas, pancreatic infiltration, trauma, and removal of pancreas will greatly affect insulin production.
There are other factors that can contribute to hyperglycemia like endocrine disorders, drugs, renal failure, liver diseases and pregnancy. A significant increase in the blood sugar level after a meal is to be expected, but not when the person is on a fasting state. A high amount of fasting blood sugar is a risk factor for all kinds of complications, and should be monitored and managed as soon as possible.
Regular check-ups should be done when patients have a history of hyperglycemia in the family for precautionary measures. Food intake should also be monitored and observed so it won’t hasten the situation. Food rich in carbohydrates and high sugar content should be minimized or totally avoided.
A heavy carbohydrate intake and low insulin production can lead to high blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates serve as an immediate source of energy for our body. Carbohydrates are taken by the body and absorbed, if it’s in the simplest sugar form – monosaccharide.
Monosaccharides, glucose, galactose and fructose, are absorbed in the intestines and further broken down to be used by the body as source of energy.
Glucose is the only simple sugar that can be a source of energy; therefore, fructose and galactose are converted to glucose when they reach the liver. All forms of carbohydrate intake is converted by the body to glucose for energy. The body utilizes every possible way to ensure that the glucose levels are within the normal range.
Patients with diabetes mellitus can also manifest hyper-triglyceridemia due to the fact that blood sugar levels affect triglyceride levels in the blood.
Diabetes Mellitus Symptoms
The three main symptoms of diabetes mellitus are remembered by the three “P’s”:
- Polyuria – Frequent urination
- Polydipsia – Excessive thirst
- Polyphagia – Excessive hunger
Natural Herbs For Lowering Blood Sugar Levels
- Bitter melon is known for lowering blood sugar level. It helps cell utilize glucose while preventing the intestine from absorbing glucose.
- Ginseng helps boost the immune system, slows down carbohydrate absorption and targets the pancreas to increase production of insulin.
- Fenugreek seeds help the body regulate sugar levels.
- Blueberry leaf has a compound that acts like insulin. It lowers blood sugar levels, prevent damage to the blood vessels and reduces triglyceride levels.
- Oregano and cinnamon also helps slow down absorption of sugar.
The best way to help yourself is to exercise and eat a healthy diet. These are the two main ingredients for lowering high blood sugar levels. Eat healthy and you can stay healthy naturally.