Glucose, also known as blood sugar, is a major source of energy for all cells in the body. It comes from two sources: foods that contain carbohydrates (grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, milk, yogurt, sugary foods and drinks) and from your liver, which stores glucose and uses it for energy between meals. When you eat foods that contain carbohydrates, the glucose is digested and passed into the bloodstream where it is used for energy. For glucose to get into the cells, insulin, a hormone that is secreted from the pancreas, must be present. If your body doesn't make enough insulin or the insulin doesn't work properly, glucose builds up in the blood, leading to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
Fasting Glucose Ranges
70-99 mg/dL | Normal (Low Risk)
100-125 mg/dL | PreDiabetes (Moderate Risk)
≥126 mg/dL | Diabetes (High Risk)
Prediabetes is a condition when your blood glucose levels are above normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Often, people with prediabetes have little or no symptoms. Although having prediabetes puts you at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes later, you can improve your blood glucose levels with lifestyle changes:
- Eat Nutritious Foods. Sources include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy.
- Lose Weight, if Needed. Losing just 7 persent of your current body weight (15 pounds, if you weigh 200 pounds) can lower the risk of developing diabetes.
- Fit in More Physical Activity. Get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days. This, coupled with weight loss, can cut your risk of diabetes in half.
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose levels are too high. In addition to elevated blood sugar, symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and excessive hunger. Over time, having high blood sugar can cause serious problems, like heart disease, stroke, amputation, and nerve, eye or kidney damage. Therefore, if you have diabetes, it is important to work with your health care team to make a plan that helps your reach your goals and stay healthy.
- Know Your Diabetes ABC's. Managing your ABC's can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Ask your health care team what your goals should be for each of the following:
- A1C - blood test to determine your average blood glucose over the past 2-3 months.
- Blood Pressure - tells you the force of blood inside your blood vessels. When your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder.
- Cholesterol - tells you the amount of fat in your blood. LDL cholesterol can clog blood vessels and lead to heart disease or stroke.