How High Blood Sugar level affects your body?

Glucose level written on laptop keypad

Blood sugar level is regulated within a normal range in our body by the balance of various hormones, especially insulin – a hormone released by pancreas. Two factors can account for elevated blood sugar levels or hyperglycemia, which include deficiency (type 1 diabetes) or insufficient insulin, or impaired sensitivity to insulin (type 2 diabetes).

Even for a short duration if blood sugar levels are high, commonly in days, this could be associated with symptoms like increased thirst, increased urination, increased hunger, and weight loss. Sometimes, for instance, in the case of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes that usually starts in the childhood, parents may additionally notice recurrence of bed wetting, lack of energy, irritable behavior in their children.

Physiologically, the changes produced are that the lack or resistance to insulin makes body cells unable to absorb glucose for energy production. This increases a person’s hunger levels but even though one has food, it’s not converted to energy resulting in protein and fat degradation causing weight loss.

Human kidneys try to eliminate excess blood sugar through urine, but the sugar draws water along while excretion depriving the body of water, hence causing increased hunger. This phase is sudden in onset and shows rapid worsening of symptoms in type I diabetes but in type 2 the symptoms develop gradually. On the other end, metabolism of fats produce high levels of ketones that make the blood acidic and cause vomiting, in the type I diabetes. Most often, this is the stage when type 1 diabetes is diagnosed.

On a long term even if blood sugar levels are mildly elevated, they can significantly impact multiple organs in the body such as eyes (leading to blindness), kidneys (leading to renal failure), and nerves (leading to impotence and foot disorders/ possibly amputation). Typically, the changes are of two types – microvascular, affecting smaller blood vessels innervating the eye, kidneys, and nerves; and macrovascular where in larger blood vessels supplying blood to heart and other organs are harmed. These result in increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and insufficiency in blood flow to legs. Although initially these changes are not usually accompanied with any symptoms, they show rapid progression as the blood sugar levels go beyond the normal range.

Many studies have proven that good glycemic control can help to prevent or delay these complications. In turn,  good glycemic control could be achieved and maintained by four pillars –  appropriate diet, exercise, medication and monitoring, each of which has due importance.

Focusing on these aspects, at Apollo Sugar, we devised exclusive Sugar Care Programs to provide a bundled set of diagnostic, counseling and engagement services which extend up to one year duration. Our multi-professional team of dieticians, diabetes educators, and trained call center engagement staff help the enrolled diabetes patients periodically test their sugar measures (including fasting blood sugar, post meal sugar, HbA1c) and status of all possible diabetes related complications; and also design specific diet bearing in mind your needs and guide you regularly on the healthy lifestyle changes.