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Definition - What does glucose mean?

Glucose is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruits and animal tissues and fluids. Glucose is a major energy source for the human body. With the assistance of insulin, the human body converts glucose into energy. An imbalance in the body's glucose levels, or blood sugar levels, can lead to a number of health complications such as diabetes.

SureHire explains glucose

Glucose is a monosaccharide sugar. In the human body, energy is transported in the blood to the cells in the form of glucose. Once glucose is delivered to the cells of the body, it is converted into chemical energy through metabolism. The body uses this energy to maintain its cellular processes.

Glucose in the body becomes problematic when its levels are either too low or too high. A person is hyperglycemic if his or her blood sugar or glucose level is too high and hypoglycemic if it is too low. A low or high blood glucose level may indicate that a person's body is not processing glucose adequately. Glucose imbalances are often caused by the body's inability to produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is necessary for the body's cells to absorb glucose. Conditions such as diabetes, pancreatitis, Cushing's syndrome, and other illnesses may cause irregular blood sugar levels. Prolonged hyperglycemia is also associated with other health risks such as infections. Hypoglycemia can cause a person to suffer dizziness, vision problems, and in extreme circumstances, fall into a coma.

While diet and other lifestyle changes may help to alleviate some cases of high or low blood sugar, in other instances medications or other interventions may be necessary to keep a person's blood sugar under control.

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