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25th October 2014

It’s time to explain blood glucose levels to everyone

Chances are you know someone living with diabetes. According to the NHS in 2010 there were 3.1 million people living with diabetes in England alone, though 850,000 are undiagnosed.

While there’s no cure for diabetes, it can be managed well and allowing the vast majority of people with diabetes to live a normal life.

Most people with diabetes, however, need to keep tabs on their blood sugar (also known as blood glucose) levels. They usually do so with a blood glucose monitor, a tiny lab that analyses the blood sugar levels from a single drop of blood often drawn from the finger.

The test strip uses an enzyme that reacts with the glucose levels in the blood. This causes an electrical current in the machine, the force of which is translated into a number that appears on the screen.  This is the level of blood sugar in the blood expressed as mg/dl. For those living with diabetes, it’s critical to know these levels. For those who don’t have diabetes, it’s still pretty useful to know what the numbers mean.

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Header Photo Credit: David Carroll/Flickr

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