Glucose Variability: Why is it Important?
December 6, 2022
December 6, 2022
Variability has different connotations in different contexts. Its relationship with the term stability varies too. For example, stability is not immobility because your glucose levels will intrinsically vary. However, this variation depends upon many factors, but what matters is how vast or high this glucose variability is.
The degree of variability will determine what your glucose line looks like. You do not want it to display a range of jagged cliffs and steep ditches. Aiming for shallower valleys is far safer for your overall well being. In other words, the lower the variability, the better off you are.
This article will discover the meaning of glycemic variability and the related condition of oxidative stress. You would also get to know why glucose variability is something you should keep a check on. So go ahead and read till the end to find ways to help you manage your glucose fluctuations.
Variations in glucose levels that occur naturally at various times of the day are known as glucose variability or glycemic variability. In a day, these variations are either somewhat higher than your typical average glucose levels or slightly lower than your normal average glucose levels.
Fluctuations in your blood sugar levels occur because of variables like time, kind and quantity of food you consume, how active you are, your menstrual cycle, sleep, stress levels, and behaviours such as alcohol consumption or smoking.
If your blood sugar level fluctuations are too high or too low compared to your normal average, it can hint toward diabetes-related morbidity. Conversely, you might be at a higher risk of developing diabetes if your average glucose level remains on the higher side.
Glycemic variability also has a role in fat gain. The high glucose content could get stored in your liver or muscle, or it gets stored in your fat tissues. Managing your glucose levels can be made easy with your discussion with your health coaches and your efforts to have a proper diet, exercise and get sound sleep.
Since your glucose levels fluctuate numerous times during the day, it might seem like a task. Here is a breakdown of how you can measure your glucose variability easily:
It is natural for your sugar levels to fluctuate, but this variability also has a range. If this variability is too high, it can become detrimental to your metabolic functioning. As a result, it can lead to hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
A glycemic Variability that is below 12% is what is considered ideal. Maintaining your blood glucose at optimum levels over time by eating foods like fruits and nuts and maintaining a consistent workout schedule can help you manage glycemic variability. However, a frequent vast variability of glucose levels can lead to oxidative stress.
Think of your glucose level to be like electrical voltage. Too much fluctuation in the voltage means your electrical appliances are at stake of suffering a short circuit. To avoid this short circuit, most electrical appliances have an adapter that channels only the fixed amount of voltage required by that device. Similarly, your body needs you to process a diet, a workout plan, a sleep schedule and other healthy behaviours that prevent vast fluctuations.
In the long run, variability has negative repercussions as well. Glucose spikes and dips are more damaging to tissues when you have elevated variability and not stable glucose levels. Cardiovascular ailments and metabolic dysfunction are all associated with extreme glucose fluctuation.
Standard glucose blood tests, which take a picture of glucose in a split second, can’t capture variations, but a CGM system does.
Oxidation is another natural process where the body gradually ages with time. Oxidative stress occurs when your body contains a reduced amount of antioxidants and an increased level of free radicals.
When there is an excess of free radicals, they engage and disrupt the metabolic system by destroying the cellular structure. Each free radical often lacks one electron, and to balance itself out, it borrows an electron from any molecule near it. In this process, it keeps on putting other molecules out of balance.
The body needs a sufficient quantity of antioxidants because antioxidants can quickly stabilise the free radicals without losing their balance. Hence it becomes widely important to consume foods rich in antioxidants like fruits, berries, vegetables, green tea, etc.
In other words, extreme blood glucose fluctuations, and a raised GV, can cause oxidative damage in the organism. It can result from unhealthy behaviours like diets high in fats and sugars or metabolic conditions like diabetes or certain cancers.
When your body undergoes oxidative stress, it could simultaneously be damaging internal organs, leading to high blood pressure, neurological ailments and related health issues. Oxidative stress also results in premature ageing.
It is possible to have high glucose variability and high oxidative stress putting your body under severe health complications. In addition, the free radicals present in your body can damage your DNA, fat tissue, and proteins, weakening your resistance to diseases.
Monitoring your glycemic variability could help you have insights into such manageable conditions.
The best method to avoid excessive glycemic variability encompasses one’s habits, movement, and other lifestyle habits. For example, stress and sleep are also of great importance.
Remember that long-term trends determine overall health; therefore, strive for more weeks of consistent, smooth glucose levels than days with high glycemic variability.
The good news is that HealthifyPro CGM makes it easier to interpret readings in a user-friendly manner.
The technical jargon is minimal, and a real conversation and actionable advice from the coaches help you sort out any glucose variability that you are experiencing. In addition, basic steps like including physical activities, eating the right food, and knowing what works for you can help you get fitter in no time.