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Is Glucose Gel the Right Choice for Diabetes?

Published: June 16, 2022
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When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t process glucose normally, which can cause high blood sugar levels, both of which can be dangerous to your health over time. In order to keep your blood sugar at normal levels, you need to supplement it by eating foods with carbohydrates and taking insulin shots or glucose tablets. One popular alternative to eating and injecting glucose into your body is glucose gel, which comes in the form of a goopy paste that you smear on your gums, under your tongue, or on the inside of your cheek. But is glucose gel the right choice for you? Learn more below!

How Glucose Works

The thing about glucose (the body’s main source of energy) is that your body doesn’t store it. It has to constantly be replenished, and if you can’t produce enough or have a condition that impairs glucose production, you could end up with an overabundance of glucose in your blood, causing high blood sugar. Some people call it hyperglycemia, but whatever term you use, it isn’t good: The excess glucose floats around in your bloodstream until it hits receptors on cells. When those receptors get hit too many times by excess glucose, they shut down; that lack of receptor activity prevents other essential functions from happening inside those cells.

What happens to glucose in your body

Usually, glucose is absorbed into your blood stream when you consume food or drinks containing carbohydrates. If your body needs more glucose, insulin is release by your pancreas. Insulin helps carry glucose from your bloodstream into your cells where it can be use as fuel. Your cells use glucose for energy to power virtually every bodily function you can think of, from movement to digestion to thinking and memory. When you have type 2 diabetes (the most common form), either not enough insulin is produce or no amount of insulin triggers transport of glucose through cell membranes.

Glycemic Index

It’s important to keep blood sugar under control and glucose tablets are a great option for those who need a quick pick-me-up when symptoms strike. The good news is that most glucose tablets and gels have a glycemic index of 30 or less, meaning they aren’t going to cause blood sugar spikes. The bad news is that all non-diet sodas, energy drinks, and flavored waters can cause blood sugar spikes of 15 or more. However, some doctors recommend using products with low glycemic indexes if you don’t notice improvement in your symptoms; your body might be sensitive to certain ingredients. Using products with higher glycemic indexes could lead to severe hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar) later on in treatment.

The Importance of Post-Workout Carbohydrates

Although it’s recommend that individuals with diabetes eat a carbohydrate-rich meal within 30 minutes of exercising, not all carbohydrates are create equal. To replenish your body with glucose after exercise, you want to make sure you consume high-glycemic carbs—more specifically, glucose tablets or gels. These foods enter your bloodstream more quickly than their complex counterparts and are perfect for helping bring your blood sugar levels back to normal immediately following a workout. If you’re diabetic, make sure to check in with your physician before working out—even if you don’t feel like you have any symptoms of diabetes. Having regular checkups will help keep everything under control so that working out doesn’t become a burden on your overall health.

In Conclusion – Is Glucose Gel Better Than Tablets for Diabetics?

For many, glucose tablets are their go-to form of quick energy and medication when they’re on-the-go. There’s no denying that gels and tablets are convenient, but you might want to consider switching over to a glucose gel. One study conducted by Anantrao Agalage of Diabetes Care revealed that diabetic patients who used a glucose gel instead of glucose tablets had reduced carbohydrate utilization during exercise as well as increased insulin levels during recovery. If you suffer from diabetes, it’s important to be cautious about using too much insulin; if you use too much, your body may become used to receiving regular injections of medication. Making it more difficult for your body to produce its own natural insulin in the future.

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