Detecting blood sugar disorders

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - If you ever feel light-headed, excessively hungry or thirsty through the day or fatigued just doing daily tasks, it could be a sign of a blood sugared disorder. But it can be easily treated if you know the steps to take.

Working single mom, Sara Ezell once dismissed the symptoms she felt after eating.  "It used to get a little foggy in the afternoons or I'd get a headache," she says, "just kind of feeling not right."

At a routine health check-up, Sara was told that she had a higher than normal level of blood glucose, which was making her feel tired and sluggish.  "Hey said I was hyperglycemic, that my blood sugar would go up after I eat - high enough that it wasn't good for my pancreas," says Sara.

Dr. Danette Null with the Memorial/LSU-HSC Family Medicine Clinic says hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) are indicators of health problems.  "It really isn't a condition all itself, it's just a symptom like fever usually indicates that you need to try to figure out what's causing problem," says Dr. Null.

The cause typically has to do with what and how frequently you are eating.  Dr. Null says, "Not eating appropriate amounts of food, especially low protein diets, eating very sporadically or going very long periods of time without eating can lead to these problems."

The main signs of these conditions are confusion, blurred vision, sweating and excessive thirst or hunger. Dr. Null says exercise and a balanced diet of six small meals each day can eliminate the effects of hypo/hyperglycemia.  "It's going to increase your metabolism for the day and also going to give you short bursts of energy," says Dr. Null, "which your body's going to convert into glucose and helps keep you out of that really low sugar range."

Between exercising and balancing her carb and protein intake, Sara's blood sugar is now back to where it should be.  "Now that I keep my blood sugar at the right level," she says, "and I exercise three times a week, I have a lot more energy, I feel better and everything's a lot clearer."

*A fasting blood glucose test can determine whether or not you have a blood sugar problem.

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