Normal blood sugar levels is a concern for many people, usually those suffering from pre-diabetes or who already have type 2 diabetes (diabetic). It is something which is of great importance for this group, as one of the prime areas of concern is how to keep their blood sugar levels under control.

To start at the beginning we need to understand the diseases in the diabetes family.

Type 1 Diabetes is often known as early onset diabetes and usually affects the young and nearly always before the age of fourty. It is caused by the body's inability to produce insulin in the pancreas, the lack of this insulin means that the blood sugar is uncontrolled. This can very quickly lead to high levels of sugar in the blood which can cause many serious diseases and is ultimately life threatening. Injections of insulin are required for the rest of the patients life.

Type 2 diabetes usually affects older people and can take a long time to develop. It is caused by the inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin. This in turn causes the body to produce an inbalance of glucose or blood sugar. Glucose is a type of sugar which is produced in the body by eating carbohydrates and in normal physiology would be regulated by the production in the pancreas of the hormone insulin and to some degree glucagon. Type 2 diabetes is the focus of the advice in this article

Symptoms of diabetes are:

  • constant thirst

  • need to urinate frequently

  • feeling unusually tired

  • losing weight

  • loss of muscle tissue

  • poor healing of body damage

  • more than the normal frequency of infections

  • itching of the genital area

  • frequent bouts of thrush

  • a feeling that the eyesight is blurry

As it is essential to control the blood sugar levels, it is important to know what they should be. A normal level is around 4mmol/litre and the body in normal operating function should be between 4.4 to 6.1 mmol/litre. After a meal the levels may rise briefly to 7.8 mmol/litre.

Once the normal blood sugar has been determined, it is necessary to know how to keep the body within that operating range. There are 2 main areas on which anyone can take action. Diet and Exercise. If a diabetic really concentrates on these two areas, there is no reason why they should not live a normal, healthy life.

As well as controlling the blood sugar levels, diet and exercise will have a major effect on the weight loss, many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight and being overweight is a contributing factor in diabetes.

A healthy diabetic diet should have these general characteristics:

  • High fibre carbohydrates with a low GCI or glycaemic index

  • Eat regular meals, don't snack

  • Cut down on unhealthy fats

  • No fried foods, cakes, buns or biscuits

  • Eat as much raw food as possible

  • Drink plenty of water and don't go thirsty

  • Keep to government alcohol consumption advice

Exercise should be regular and over short periods of time, no long marathons or other endurance sports (at least not until the body is fully healthy)

Strength training and short but regular periods of aerobic exercise can have dramatic effects.

In controlled testing, periods as short as 16 weeks have shown profound improvements in the ability to control the blood sugar levels.

To summarise - if you suffer from type 2 diabetes and want to maintain normal blood sugar levels, keep to the diet and exercise advice and you could live a life hardly affected by your diabetes