Sugar or glucose in the blood plays a vital role in giving the body’s cells the energy it needs to perform its functions. High or low levels of blood sugar prevent the body operating efficiently and may have health consequences unless managed.
Sugar or glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells. It is transported from the liver and intestines into the blood cells via the blood stream. Blood sugar level is the measure given to the amount of sugar present in the blood at that time. Levels may change throughout the day, being generally higher after food and lowest in the morning.
The pancreas, an organ located in the upper abdomen plays a vital role in monitoring levels of sugar in the blood. When levels are high it produces a hormone called insulin to help transport glucose to the cells and allow them to function efficiently. When levels are low the pancreas makes the hormone glucagon which stimulates cells in the liver to release more sugar into the blood. Both hormones work simultaneously to help keep blood sugar levels balanced.
When blood sugar levels persistently go outside of their normal range this may be an indication of a medical condition and can result in changes to health unless managed or treated.
High blood sugar levels also known as hyperglycaemia can cause long term health damage including cardiovascular disease, eye problems, kidney and even nerve damage. The most common cause of hyperglycaemia is diabetes.
Low blood sugar levels is referred to as hypoglycaemia and is also most common in diabetic individuals. Symptoms may include weakness, shaking, sweating, changes in mood and even loss of consciousness.
Diabetes is a medical condition when the body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels. This could be because the pancreas is not producing insulin in sufficient quantities (type I) or that the body is not using this hormone effectively (type II). It is important to manage diabetes to reduce damage on the rest of the body’s organs and nerves. Management usually involves careful diet, drugs and can include insulin injections.
Originating in the forests of India, Gymnema Sylvestre is also known by the names Miracle Fruit and Gurmari. This popular herb is valued for its traditional use in Ayurvedic therapies.
Diabetes should always be managed and monitored by a health practitioner, but even if you are not diagnosed with this condition, it is always important to watch your diet and exercise frequently to help keep your body healthy. Natural supplements like Gymnema Sylvestre may help to support the body in balancing blood sugar levels and support a healthy digestive system. Gymnema Sylvestre is thought to help the pancreas in producing insulin and to prevent adrenal hormones stimulating the liver to produce glucose.
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