The benefits of having stable blood sugar levels
Imagine just having come back from your trip to the supermarket. You stuck to your diet all week, exercised regularly and now, it's time for a treat. A couple of donuts, maybe chocolates or some other treat of your choice. A while later, you're super high on energy, feeling thirsty, possibly having a headache etc. This is the urban legend of Sugar High. While you might not have developed superhuman abilities after your sugary treat, carbohydrate rich food items can often cause a spike in a person's blood sugar, leading to an overall instability in our blood glucose levels.
We, the team at Veri are often asked, "Why should we track our Blood Sugar?", "What are the benefits of having Stable Blood Sugar?", etc. In this post we shall provide a brief insight into some of the benefits of Stable Blood Sugar and how it correlates to our day to day lives. The information has been derived mostly from scientific research which focused on the relationship between blood sugar and human metabolic functions.
Studies have shown that a high-glycemic load diet is associated with fatigue, higher depression symptoms, especially in overweight/obese, but otherwise healthy adults. (1) However, it's worth noting that fluctuation of glucose levels in either direction (spike or drop) can cause a slew of problems, including lightheadedness, fatigue, headache, sleepiness, etc.
Glucose is a type of sugar which the brain depends on for fuel. Studies show that dips in glucose availability can have a negative impact on attention, memory and learning, and that administering glucose can enhance these aspects of cognitive function. The brain also uses up more glucose during challenging mental tasks. Therefore, it may be especially important to keep blood glucose levels at an optimum level for good cognitive function. (2) (3)
A spike in blood glucose causes a rise in insulin levels, which in turn increases the production of androgens (Hormone related to acne-production). These hormones lead to increased production of sebum and keratinocyte, causing breakouts. Studies have shown that have a low glycemic diet can lead to a reduction in acne problems. (4) (5)
Ever wondered why your diabetic aunt is always asked to exercise and keep her weight in check? Studies have shown that individuals with poor glucose control (making them susceptible to blood glucose spikes) are more susceptible to weight gain in comparison with those who have better control. (6) Additionally, in diabetics with excess weight, the cells in the body become less sensitive to the insulin that is released from the pancreas leading to complications.
The most commonly known diseases related to blood sugar are Insulin Resistance and Diabetes Mellitus. These along with a number of other complications can lead to prediabetes (borderline diabetes), which eventually leads to Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can cause a number of associated health conditions including heart disease, stroke, vascular problems, nerve damage, kidney disease, eye issues, and sexual dysfunction. (7) (8)
The Framingham Study showed that people with diabetes are more vulnerable to heart disease than those people who did not have diabetes. Numerous studies have found a correlation between fluctuating glucose levels (increases and decreases in glucose levels) and an increased risk of heart diseases with the most common being the hardening of the coronary arteries or atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of cholesterol in the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrition to the heart. (9) (10)
Insulin resistance, a common cause of diabetes, is also associated with significantly lower regional cerebral glucose metabolism, which in turn may predict worse memory performance. (11) Diabetes has been known to be a risk factor for dementia. Researchers suggest that increase in blood glucose levels can increase a risk of dementia, even for those without an history of diabetes. (12)
In this age of technology, we the common people have the tools and resources within the grasps of our palms. The first step is to take control of our own health, be educated and aware of what's happening within our body. We, the team at Veri believe in taking control by harnessing the power of trackable metrics, backed by scientific research. We envision a world wherein people will have access to tools and knowledge to be in control of themselves, empowering them to be in-charge of their own health. Veri is a device that provides real time continuous glucose monitoring data in an instant, enabling you to calibrate your blood sugar via tracking your diet, sleep and vice versa.