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"What does blood sugar have to do with overall health?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat does blood sugar have to do with overall health?


My friend was talking about how they can tell if you have diabetes from your blood sugar and other things. Can your blood sugar level cause other health problems? Should I have mine checked? Healthy 30 year old female here.


Elevated blood sugar (glucose) levels are dangerous to the human body in several different ways, and this is the reason why uncontrolled diabetes is such a threat to public health. Studies have looked at cohorts of diabetics and non-diabetics and followed these groups through several years. Results have shown that diabetics, presumably through chronically elevated blood sugar levels, are at greater risk of developing retinal eye disease, kidney disease, and heart disease. Poor glucose control has also been associated with a relatively immunocompromised state in which the body is more susceptible to infection. Damage to peripheral nerves can occur time, leading to loss of sensation in the toes and feet; coupled with poor microcirculation, this puts diabetics at significant risk for difficult-to-heal foot ulcers. Some national medical associations recommend screening asymptomatic adults for diabetes, while others suggest that screening should be reserved for those individuals that are either symptomatic (possibly from diabetes) or those that have a persistently elevated blood pressure. Screening is simple, and usually consists of a single blood test that reflects how well the blood glucose level has been controlled over the prior 3 months. This test is called the Hemoglobin A1c. If you have any questions about diabetes or are worried about your health in any way, you should seek out the help of your primary care physician.

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