Glucose is an essential energy source for human life. In fact, both simple and complex sugars are broken down into glucose by the digestive system for our cells to use. Once in the blood, glucose is taken into cells by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas and used throughout the body. Depending on the source of glucose, levels of glucose in the blood can “spike,” or rapidly increase then decline as the glucose is taken into cells or stored as glycogen or fat. Eating a sugary meal is probably the most direct way to cause a spike, but it can also happen with intense exercise, as your body stimulates the release of glycogen or creation of new glucose for immediate use. In both cases, the short elevation in blood glucose is a sign your body is functioning normally and handling glucose in a way that sweeps it out of your blood when you don’t need it and back in when you do.
If blood glucose is regularly too high, however, it may be a sign that something has gone awry with how your body handles glucose. One of the most common reasons for long-term high blood glucose levels is diabetes mellitus, in which the body has lost the ability to produce or respond to insulin and glucose remains elevated in the blood. There are also, however, several other reasons short of diabetes mellitus for persistently elevated blood glucose. Some are related to chronic psychological stress, others to dietary habits and patterns, and others still simply depend on how someone responds to their own unique mix of foods and drinks, exercise patterns and environmental factors. Here then is a short list of reasons, aside from diabetes mellitus, for chronically elevated blood glucose levels:
One important reason not listed above is that every person is different and handles individual foods in different ways. For some people, pasta is easily digestible and immediately becomes glucose in the blood, while for others rice has a shorter path to blood glucose. Wouldn’t it be nice to know which foods – and which types of exercise – have the best mix for your personal blood glucose handling patterns?
Continuous glucose monitors (CGM) have been used for many years and are considered safe and effective by the FDA in diabetic populations. NutriSense offers the same CGM technology for the general public, not just diabetics, to use alongside registered dietitians and an innovative app that lets you track blood glucose levels. With your expert coach, you can see how your body handles fuel and create an optimum nutrition plan for holistic health management and wellness.
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