What Does It Really Mean to Have High Blood Sugar?
What does it really mean to have high blood sugar?
Well, that answer might not be as straightforward as you think.
Many people think that they just “got” high blood sugar after they receive a diagnosis from their doctor. That’s often the point where people realize they have an issue that requires attention, but that’s not where it started or even the full picture.
To better understand what’s happening in a body with high blood sugar, It helps to understand that this disorder doesn’t happen like switching on a light. It progresses through different stages. When you understand the stages, you can take better care of you and your family throughout your lives.
The early stage of high blood sugar is sub-clinical and is often called “insulin resistance.” Insulin resistance is when the cells of the body stop responding appropriately to insulin, a hormone produced by the body. It may start very early, in the early to mid-teen years. As insulin resistance builds over the years, the insulin-producing cells in our pancreas work harder and harder to produce enough insulin to compensate for the insulin resistance.
Beta cells are the cells in the pancreas that produce and secrete insulin. When the body’s cells are ‘starved’ of insulin, they demand more. The beta cells work harder and harder to meet the body’s needs, but will eventually begin to function improperly and die off. In short, they’re worked to death.
Studies show that by the time a person is diagnosed with high blood sugar, they’ve already lost from 25% – 45% of their functioning beta cells. The body does not regenerate lost beta cells. Right now, when they’re gone, they’re gone for good.
The longer blood glucose remains elevated (above 90 mg/dL), the more beta cells we continue to lose. This is why it is so critical to make significant lifestyle modifications to stop or slow the progression of this disorder. We need to take some of the burden or stress off of our remaining functioning beta cells.
That’s where Syntratech can really help you out. We have resources to help you learn what foods cause elevated blood glucose and what foods don’t, which is critical to living the life you want.
For many people, elevated blood sugar is a wake-up call… with no answers. They’re left to make the best of it on their own. We’re working to make managing high blood sugar a goal everyone can reach.