Maintaining a normal blood sugar level is essential for human health. A variety of factors – including age and certain diseases – can cause blood sugar to become too low or too high.
It may be necessary to monitor blood sugar level if you:
- Have type-1 or type-2 diabetes
- Are pregnant
- Are taking insulin
- Suffer with persistently high or low blood sugar
What constitutes a healthy blood sugar level is not the same for everybody. It is affected by age and overall health. A person with diabetes, for instance, will have a different bloody sugar target to a person without diabetes.
How Is Blood Sugar Regulated?
Carbohydrates in the food we eat are broken down into sugar, or glucose, during digestion. This sugar then enters the bloodstream and serves as an energy supply for all the body’s cells.
Having a blood sugar level that is either too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia) can lead to serious health complications. For this reason, the pancreas and liver regulate blood sugar level with two substances called insulin and glucagon. Insulin prompts excess blood sugar to be stored in the liver as glycogen when levels become too high. When blood sugar levels start to drop below a healthy range, glucagon is released to covert stored glycogen back into glucose.