High Blood Glucose
About Insulin and High Blood Glucose
When you eat, your body breaks food down into glucose (sugar) and sends it into the bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps move the glucose from the blood into the cells to be used for energy. Your body usually makes just the right amount of insulin to match the food you eat.
When the cells no longer respond well to insulin, they are "insulin resistant" and glucose can't get into the cells. So the cells don't get the fuel they need, and glucose builds up in the blood stream. This is called high blood glucose. Untreated, high blood glucose causes problems such as nerve damage, kidney or eye problems, heart disease and stroke.
What affects my blood glucose levels?
It is important to understand what can make your blood glucose rise or fall, so that you can take steps to stay on target.
Things that can make blood glucose rise:
- A meal or snack with more food or more carbohydrates than usual
- Side effects of medications
- Infection or other illness
- Changes in hormone levels, such as during menstrual periods
Things that can make blood glucose fall:
- A meal or snack with less food or fewer carbohydrates than usual
- Extra activity
- Side effects of other medications
- Missing a meal or snack
- Drinking alcoholic beverages (especially on an empty stomach)
Learn more about your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
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