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Blood glucose level should be considered as ‘fifth vital sign’ during hospitalization: Indian docs

डायबिटीज बुजुर्गों के शरीर को पहुंचाता है ज्‍यादा नुकसान, जानिए बुढ़ापे में ब्‍लड शुगर कंट्रोल करने के उपाय

Presently, measurement of blood glucose is considered mostly when treating individuals with diabetes. But the Indian doctors emphasize the significance of blood glucose measurement in all patients admitted to the hospital regardless of presence of diabetes.

The measurement of vital signs, which are the body's most basic functions, is important in prognosis of hospitalized patients. Body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure are four main vital signs routinely monitored by medical professionals and health care providers for detecting or monitoring medical problems. A team of Indian doctors has proposed that blood sugar (aka blood glucose) level should be included as the "fifth vital sign" during hospitalization, irrespective of whether patients have diabetes or not.

Presently, measurement of blood glucose is considered mostly when treating individuals with diabetes. But the Indian doctors emphasize the significance of blood glucose measurement in all patients admitted to the hospital regardless of presence of diabetes.

"Blood glucose level, even when in high normal range, or in slightly high range is an important determinant of morbidity and mortality, especially in hospitalized patients," they said in an article published recently in Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews, the official journal of DiabetesIndia.

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"Even slight elevation of blood glucose may increase mortality in patients with COVID-19. Further, blood glucose variability and hypoglycemia in critically ill individuals even without diabetes causes excess in-hospital complications and mortality," they added.

The authors of the article include Dr Jothydev Kesavadev (Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Jothydev's Diabetes Research Centers in Trivandrum), Padma Shri Prof Anoop Misra (Chairman, Fortis-C-Doc), Dr Akhtar Hussain (Norway, President Elect, International Diabetes Federation), Dr Leszek Czupryniak (President, Poland Diabetes Association), Dr Itamar Raz (Head, Israel National Council of Diabetes), Dr Banshi Saboo (President, RSSDI), Dr SR Aravind (President, DiabetesIndia).

What is Blood glucose?

Blood glucose is the main sugar that comes from the food you eat. It is your body's main source of energy. Glucose is carried through the bloodstream to provide energy to all of your body's cells.

What are normal blood sugar levels? Blood sugar levels less than 100 mg/dL after fasting (not eating for at least 8 hours) and less than 140 mg/dL 2 hours after eating are considered as normal. Blood sugar levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals, and hover around 70 to 80 mg/dL for most people without diabetes. Any sugar levels higher than normal are considered unhealthy.

Why should you monitor your blood glucose?

Glucose serves as the fuel for the cells in your body. But when it's present at higher levels, it can behave like a slow-acting poison. Your pancreas, a gland located behind your stomach, secretes insulin a hormone that plays a central role in controlling blood sugar levels in the body. When blood sugar is too high, the pancreas secretes more insulin to meet the body's needs. Over time, the pancreas may become permanently damaged and stop producing insulin altogether.

Too much blood sugar can harm almost any part of your body. It can cause hardening of the blood vessels, called atherosclerosis. Damaged blood vessels can lead to a host of problems such as kidney disease, strokes, heart attacks, weakened immune system (putting you at greater risk of infections), erectile dysfunction, nerve damage, etc.

Therefore, it is important to monitor and keep your blood sugar levels close to normal to avoid these complications.

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