Diabetes is a severe and chronic ailment, with one in every ten individuals grappling with it. The number of diagnosed cases continues to rise steadily.
Predominantly, most people suffer from Type 2 diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95% of the cases. It’s the most common form of the disease. Apart from this, Type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes during pregnancy are other significant types.
A consistent factor across all types of diabetes is the elevated level of sugar in the blood, commonly referred to as blood sugar.
Our body produces insulin to regulate blood sugar. This hormone, generated in the pancreas, aids glucose from the bloodstream to enter the cells.
Meaning, when we consume food, it gets transformed into glucose. In response, the pancreas releases the insulin hormone that helps cells convert glucose into energy.
However, there are instances when the blood sugar level drops drastically in the body.
Both high and low blood sugar levels can have multiple adverse effects on the body.
Effects of High Blood Sugar:
Elevated blood sugar levels make it challenging for the kidneys to manage the excessive sugar in the bloodstream. The body tries to excrete the excess sugar through urination, leading to frequent trips to the restroom.
As blood sugar rises, the body extracts water from tissues to dilute the sugar. This constant drawing of water sends continuous thirst signals to the brain.
As highlighted earlier, high blood sugar causes the body to pull water from various sources, reducing saliva production. This leads to a dry mouth, swollen gums, and white marks on the tongue.
Elevated blood sugar levels affect the skin too. It tends to dry out, especially the skin on the legs, elbows, and feet. The nerves also get damaged, resulting in wounds that neither cause pain nor heal quickly.
Vision issues are common among those with high blood sugar. The body also draws fluid from the eyes, and excess sugar damages eye blood vessels. Over time, this weakens the vision.
Elevated blood sugar levels impair insulin functions. This hormone assists in providing energy sources to the cells. Hence, when its functions are hindered, it results in a perpetual feeling of fatigue.
Persistently high blood sugar levels can keep one feeling exhausted at all times.
Digestive System Issues
Prolonged high blood sugar levels can also impact the digestive system. This can result in acid reflux, stomach pain, vomiting, and severe constipation.
Effects of Low Blood Sugar
1. Changes in Heart Rate: The hormones that assist in elevating blood sugar levels can be impacted when blood sugar drops. This results in an increased heart rate.
2. Tremors: A decrease in body sugar impacts the central nervous system. The central nervous system, which controls our bodily movements, releases various hormones to raise blood sugar levels. However, this often results in tremors in hands and other body parts.
3. Fatigue: Just as with high levels, low blood sugar can also cause fatigue. If insulin becomes excessively active and expels too much sugar from the blood, the body can’t cope, leading to fatigue.
4. Excessive Sweating: To elevate blood sugar levels, the body releases hormones that also increase sweat production. This is often one of the primary symptoms of low blood sugar.
5. Sudden Hunger: Feeling an intense hunger even after eating can be an indication of a drop in blood sugar levels.
6. Nausea: A sudden drop in blood sugar levels can disrupt the digestive system. This often results in feelings of nausea, and it can occur when blood sugar levels increase too much as well.
7. Dizziness: Our brain requires glucose for its functions. When the amount of sugar in the blood decreases, it affects the brain, leading to symptoms like weakness, dizziness, and potential headaches.
Note: This content is based on details published in medical journals. Readers are advised to consult their healthcare professional regarding this matter.