When food is eaten, it is broken down into tiny pieces in the stomach and bowel. Some of these very tiny pieces become glucose.
In a healthy body the glucose moves into the blood, then into the cells of the body to be used as energy.
Each cell has a ‘door’ (receptor) that allows glucose to enter. This door stays locked until insulin arrives to ‘unlock’ the door.
In a healthy body the door is unlocked, glucose enters the cell and becomes energy.
With diabetes, glucose is unable to enter the cells.
Two reasons the glucose can’t get to the cells:
- The cell’s door is hidden by excess body fat covering each cell. Insulin (the key to open the door) can’t find the keyhole. Glucose stays in the blood and damages the tiny vessels.
- There is a lack of insulin, due to damage to the pancreas, the cells stay locked. Glucose stays in the blood and damages the tiny vessels.
When glucose stays in the blood, we call this high blood glucose levels or high BGL.
Sometimes it’s referred to as high blood sugar levels or too much sugar in the blood.
What happens if you have high BGL?
Serious health risks occur to the nerves, brain, blood vessels, and organs in the
body when BGL are repeatedly high.
High BGL can cause damage to small blood vessels, leading to:
- Diabetic retinopathy: blood vessels at the back of the eye are damaged, which can lead to loss of sight.
- Diabetic kidney disease: damage to the kidney blood vessels.
- Diabetic neuropathy: nerve damage. Mainly in the legs and feet leading to serious feet problems, and sometimes surgery to remove the damage.
- High cholesterol levels leading to heart attack and stroke.
How can I lower my BGL?
Diabetes is stabilized by:
- Healthy eating (better choices of carbohydrates, and when to eat them)
- Losing weight if overweight (unblocking cell doors). Being in the healthy weight range.
- Being more physically active (helps to in many ways).
Using these steps can also stop diabetes before it damages the body. If your doctor has said ‘insulin resistance’ or ‘prediabetes’ you can stop diabetes from happening by following a healthy diet, being a healthy weight, and being physically active.
For more information on diabetes, you can search:
For support and management of diabetes or insulin resistance please visit
Elizabeth Cooper At ATUNE Health Centres
For appointments 0249 544 511