Without a degree in medicine, reading blood sugar charts can seem like interpreting an alien language. Many people ask themselves what all the numbers, symbols, and percentages mean. They simply want to know what diabetes is, how it affects their lives, and how they can prevent the nasty complications they have often heard about. Most sufferers of diabetes desire simple explanations of the steps required to take care of themselves. Forget all the medical jargon and give the facts in layman’s terms. The simpler and more concise the explanations, the better they are.
How Blood Sugar Charts – Define Diabetes
Diabetes is defined as the body’s inability to produce or effectively utilize a hormone called insulin.
Insulin is produced in a small abdominal organ called the pancreas and travels throughout the
bloodstream, alerting cells to take up glucose (sugar) within the bloodstream. The glucose arrives in the bloodstream via the digestive track. When the body no longer produces enough insulin or the body’s cells no longer uptake insulin properly, sugar accumulates in the blood which can create havoc on multiple organs. This is where learning how to interpret blood sugar charts comes in. Charts are tools used to determine how much sugar has accumulated in the blood.
Diabetes is often referred to as America’s silent killer; it is the 7th leading cause of death in the U. S. and a significant contributor to many diseases and complications. It is the leading causes of adult blindness, and kidney disease, and more than doubles a person’s odds of developing stroke and cancer. It can also cause poor circulation in the legs and arms, leading to loss of sensation, and frequent and serious infections. Thousands of diabetics are forced to undergo amputation surgeries every year as a result of poorly sustained elevated blood sugar level Knowing and using blood sugar charts along with receiving proper treatment and making appropriate lifestyle changes is one of the best methods of reducing one’s risk of complications.
The economic and disability related costs attributable to diabetes are shocking. Current estimates indicate that the American economy loses more than $165 billion annually due to diabetes and its complications. Medical experts have said that more than 50% of all American adults have what is considered pre- diabetes – a precursor to full blown diabetes. And around 27% of adults over the age of 65 have diabetes.
Diabetes not only takes a toll on our national economy, but also on the personal economies of those it afflicts. Treatment and medications cost several hundred to thousands of dollars every year. And victims not only spend more for medical care, but they also pay more for medical insurance, life insurance, and often have to take time off of work for appointments and disease management. Many sufferers retire early or become disabled and end up living in poverty- all the more reason to start using blood sugar charts and to keep diabetes under control.
The majority of diabetics suffer from what is referred to as type two diabetes. Type two diabetes, characterized by the body cells insufficiently using insulin, typically develops in mid to late adulthood. Its onset is gradual – so insidious, in fact, that many individuals have the disease for several years before being diagnosed. Type 1 diabetes differs from type two because it is diagnosed early in life, and results in the body’s complete inability to produce insulin. Sufferers of type one are often referred to as insulin dependent because they require insulin injections to live. Before insulin began being used as a treatment, type one diabetes was a fatal condition.
What Are Blood Sugar Charts
So, what exactly are blood sugar charts and how are they used? Charts, widely available for download on the web, give measurements of blood glucose in milligrams per deciliter. Most charts also provide explanations of what the numbers mean in terms of health. For example, a measurement of over 200 mg / dl is an indication of uncontrolled diabetes. Any amount significantly above 200 mg / dl can be dangerous and may lead to ketoacidosis. With regards to treatment, the diabetic reads the number, sees the corresponding recommended insulin dosage, and administers it to himself. The chart guides the care. Individuals who understand and use the chart well, and follow the recommended treatments are able to keep their condition under control.
For individuals without a diagnosis of diabetes, monitoring of blood sugar levels can be very helpful. It can help them assess if they are diabetic, pre – diabetic, or healthy. For example, any glucose level below 100 mg / dl is within normal limits. Levels between 100 and 200 mg / dl could be an indication of pre – diabetes.
Blood Sugar Charts Help Defeat America’s Silent Killer
America’s silent killer is one of the leading killers of modern Americans, but fortunately, it is preventable and treatable. The better a person knows how to use a blood glucose chart, the better off he is. Keeping tracking of glucose levels using blood sugar charts, implementing lifestyle changes, and receiving the right treatment can reduce a person’s risk of complications and significantly increase their odds of long term survival and complication free health.