diabetestalk.net

How Blood Sugar Is Regulated

Which Gland Regulates Blood Sugar Level?

Which Gland Regulates Blood Sugar Level?

Blood sugar regulation is the process by which the levels of blood sugar, primarily glucose, are maintained by the body within a narrow range. This tight regulation is referred to as glucose homeostasis. The gland” that regulates blood sugar levels the pancreas, including other organs, the liver and the brain. The pancreas produces insulin, which allows cells to remove glucose and fats from the bloodstream. The liver produces glucose when cells need energy and you are not eating. The brain signals the pancreas to release insulin in advance of eating. These are the big three but it is a complicated system. For example, the kidneys excrete sugar into the urine when blood sugar levels get dangerously high. The digestive tract has a large nervous system of its own that regulates, for example, how quickly food is digested and therefore how quickly glucose gets into the bloodstream. Other hormones affect appetite. Exercise modifies insulin activity. Insulin, which lowers blood sugar, and glucagon, which raises it, are the most well known of the hormones involved, but more recent discoveries of other glucoregulatory hormones have expanded the understanding of this process. Blood sugar levels are regulated by negative feedback in order to keep the body in balance. The levels of glucose in the blood are monitored by many tissues, but the cells in the pancreatic islets are among the most well understood and important. Continue reading >>

How To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar

How To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar

If you are one of the millions of people who has prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome or any other form of “insulin resistance,” maintaining normal blood sugar levels can be challenging. Over the past several decades, these chronic disorders have swept through the U.S. and many other nations, reaching epidemic proportions and causing serious, but often preventable, side effects like nerve damage, fatigue, loss of vision, arterial damage and weight gain. Elevated blood sugar levels maintained for an extended period of time can push someone who is “prediabetic” into having full-blown diabetes (which now affects about one in every three adults in the U.S.). (1) Even for people who aren’t necessarily at a high risk for developing diabetes or heart complications, poorly managed blood sugar can lead to common complications, including fatigue, weight gain and sugar cravings. In extreme cases, elevated blood sugar can even contribute to strokes, amputations, coma and death in people with a history of insulin resistance. Blood sugar is raised by glucose, which is the sugar we get from eating many different types of foods that contain carbohydrates. Although we usually think of normal blood sugar as being strictly reliant upon how many carbohydrates and added sugar someone eats, other factors also play a role. For example, stress can elevate cortisol levels, which interferes with how insulin is used, and the timing of meals can also affect how the body manages blood sugar. (2) What can you do to help avoid dangerous blood sugar swings and lower diabetes symptoms? As you’ll learn, normal blood sugar levels are sustained through a combination of eating a balanced, low-processed diet, getting regular exercise and managing the body’s most important hormones in othe Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Regulation

Blood Glucose Regulation

Blood glucose regulation involves maintaining blood glucose levels at constant levels in the face of dynamic glucose intake and energy use by the body. Glucose, shown in figure 1 is key in the energy intake of humans. On average this target range is 60-100 mg/dL for an adult although people can be asymptomatic at much more varied levels. In order to maintain this range there are two main hormones that control blood glucose levels: insulin and glucagon. Insulin is released when there are high amounts of glucose in the blood stream. Glucagon is released when there are low levels of glucose in the blood stream. There are other hormones that effect glucose regulation and are mainly controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. Blood glucose regulation is very important to the maintenance of the human body. The brain doesn’t have any energy storage of its own and as a result needs a constant flow of glucose, using about 120 grams of glucose daily or about 60% of total glucose used by the body at resting state. [1] With out proper blood glucose regulation the brain and other organs could starve leading to death. Insulin A key regulatory pathway to control blood glucose levels is the hormone insulin. Insulin is released from the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans found in the pancreas. Insulin is released when there is a high concentration of glucose in the blood stream. The beta cells know to release insulin through the fallowing pathway depicted in figure 2. [2,3]Glucose enters the cell and ATP is produce in the mitochondria through the Krebs cycle and electron transport chain. This increase in ATP causes channels to closes. These channels allow potassium cations to flow into the cell. [2,3,]With these channels closed the inside of the cell becomes more negative causin Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Throughout The Day - For Normal People And Those With Diabetes

Blood Sugar Throughout The Day - For Normal People And Those With Diabetes

Most of us have heard the term blood sugar bandied around enough that we think we know what it means, but few of us really understand the complexity of the system that makes a steady supply of fuel available to our cells around the clock. The basic facts are these: All animals have a small amount of a simple sugar called glucose floating around in their bloodstream all the time. This simple sugar is one of two fuels that the cells of the body can burn for fuel. The other is fat. Though you may occasionally eat pure glucose--it's called "dextrose" when it is found in the list of ingredients on a U.S. food label--most of the glucose in your blood doesn't come from eating glucose. It is produced when your digestive system breaks down the larger molecules of complex sugars and starch. Sugars like those found in table sugar, corn syrup, milk and fruit and the starches found in flour, potatoes, rice, and beans all contain chains of glucose that are bonded together with other substances. During digestion, enzymes break these bonds and liberate the glucose molecules which are then absorbed into your bloodstream. How Blood Sugar is Measured Blood sugar concentrations are described using a number that describes the weight of glucose that is found in a specific volume of blood. In the U.S. that measurement is milligrams per deciliter, which is abbreviated as "mg/dl." Europeans and almost all researchers publishing in medical journals use a different measurement, micromoles per liter, abbreviated "mmol/L." You can convert any European measurements you encounter to the American standard by multiplying the mmol/L number by 18. There's a handy converter online that will do this for you automatically. You'll find it at If a blood test says that your blood sugar is 85 mg/dl this means t Continue reading >>

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

Blood sugar concentrations or blood glucose levels are the amount of sugar or glucose present in your blood stream. Your body naturally regulates blood sugar (glucose) levels as a part your body”s metabolic processes. Glucose or sugar is the primary energy mechanism for cells and blood lipids. Glucose or blood sugar is transported from your intestines or liver to the cells in your body via the bloodstream. The absorption of glucose is promoted by insulin or the hormone produced in the pancreas. If your sugar levels are not balanced you may have high or low blood sugar issues. Low sugar issues are hypoglycemia and high blood sugar indicates that you have hyperglycemia or hyperglycemia symptoms. High or low blood sugar levels cause different problems. Low blood sugar levels can cause dementia, comas or death. High blood sugar is a major cause of damage to your body”s internal organs. Low Blood Sugar Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia indicates the level of glucose in your blood has dramatically dropped below what your body need to function. When your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter symptom will develop. You may feel tired and anxious or weak and shaky. Your heart rate may be rapid and you feel as if you are having a heart attack. Eating something sugary will bring your sugar levels back to normal almost immediately and symptoms will subside. Sugar levels that are below 40 mg/dL cause you to have behavior changes. You may feel very irritable and become weak and confused. You may not realize you need to eat to raise your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels below 20 mg/dL will most certainly cause a loss of consciousness or perhaps you will experience seizures. You will need medical care immediately. Hypoglycemia symptoms happen very quickly. If you a Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar, Glucose Regulation Aqa B5

Blood Sugar, Glucose Regulation Aqa B5

A resource for the homeostasis AQA unit B5 topic on blood sugar regulation. I used as a starting point so thanks must go to Hannah Thomas. Again this is a powerpoint and an accompanying worksheet - also with exam questions. I am aware that this is a bit dry/ didactic so if anybody has any ideas to make it more interesting please add them in the comments section! Again if you like it let me know and I will put more up! Thanks! N.B. I have just updated it because there were a couple of errors7/3/12 Read more Continue reading >>

The Good-mood Diet

The Good-mood Diet

You know what it's like: You're high energy one minute, slumped over the next. Why? Blood sugar. Lisa Davis gets to the bottom of her daily ups and downs. Half the time, I bear a strong resemblance to a shrew (the animal version, not the Shakespearean kind): I'm small, fast moving, and cute from a distance—but I'll chew right through you if you get between me and a meal. The rest of the time, my disposition is closer to that of a corpse. You could stand on me to eat your own lunch and I wouldn't notice. There are a lot of people who, like me, are perfectly fine except that every now and then they get shaky, headachy, maybe just a little bit frantic or even cranky because they're starving, damn it... people who are lovely, even-keeled souls unless they crash, and then they're not on the floor, they're well below it. A decade or so ago, there was a popular diagnosis for this kind of behavior. According to a number of books and self-help groups, hypoglycemia (a fancy term for abnormally low blood sugar) was to blame for premeal jitters and postmeal stupor, not to mention forgetfulness, depression, yelling at your spouse, and cuddling up with sweets. It was the diagnosis your doctor refused to make, advocates claimed, even though the syndrome was rampant. Except that it wasn't. Careful studies proved that, aside from diabetics, very few people have blood sugar that gets seriously out of whack. Good thing, too, because persistent hypoglycemia is a signal that something is very wrong. "The diseases that cause hypoglycemia are serious, with major health implications," says Mayo Clinic endocrinologist F. John Service, MD, a longtime expert in the field. Which doesn't necessarily mean that your mood and energy swings are unrelated to blood sugar. If the hormones that regulate Continue reading >>

Regulation Of Blood Glucose: Importance & Nutrient Conversion

Regulation Of Blood Glucose: Importance & Nutrient Conversion

Blood glucose levels are closely regulated and maintained within a narrow range. Learn how the pancreatic hormones, insulin and glucagon, maintain normal blood sugar levels and how other nutrients can be converted to blood glucose in this lesson. If you drink a 12-ounce can of soda, did you know that you are consuming almost ten teaspoons of sugar? So, what does your body do with all of that sugar? Well, refined sugar is handled like any other simple or complex carbohydrate that you consume, which means it gets converted to glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar that is used as energy by your body and brain. Now, just because every cell in your body uses glucose doesn't mean you should start eating more sugar. Your body only allows a certain amount of glucose to be present in your bloodstream at one time. If there's too much, the extra is sent to storage, and as we will discover, one of your body's favorite storage places is your fat cells. In this lesson, we will take a look at how the amount of glucose found in your blood, referred to as blood glucose or blood sugar, is regulated and how nutrients other than carbs can be converted into glucose. When you stop by a fast food restaurant and enjoy a double cheeseburger, fries, and a soda, the carbohydrates in your meal get broken down into glucose within your digestive tract. These molecules are small enough to pass into your bloodstream causing your blood glucose level to rise. Your pancreas is not happy about this rising blood sugar. In fact, your pancreas acts somewhat like a bouncer at a nightclub; there is too much sugar crowding your bloodstream, so your pancreas tells some of it to leave. To do this your pancreas secretes insulin, which is a hormone that moves glucose out of the blood and into the cells. In other words Continue reading >>

How The Body Controls Blood Sugar - Topic Overview

How The Body Controls Blood Sugar - Topic Overview

The bloodstream carries glucose-a type of sugar produced from the digestion of carbohydrates and other foods-to provide energy to cells throughout the body. Unused glucose is stored mainly in the liver as glycogen. Insulin, glucagon, and other hormone levels rise and fall to keep blood sugar in a normal range. Too little or too much of these hormones can cause blood sugar levels to fall too low (hypoglycemia) or rise too high (hyperglycemia). Normally, blood glucose levels increase after you eat a meal. When blood sugar rises, cells in the pancreas release insulin, causing the body to absorb glucose from the blood and lowering the blood sugar level to normal. When blood sugar drops too low, the level of insulin declines and other cells in the pancreas release glucagon, which causes the liver to turn stored glycogen back into glucose and release it into the blood. This brings blood sugar levels back up to normal. Continue reading >>

Nutrition Brief: Insulin And Blood Sugar Regulation

Nutrition Brief: Insulin And Blood Sugar Regulation

© 2017 CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit, Forging Elite Fitness, 3...2...1...Go!, Fittest on Earth and Sport of Fitness are trademarks of CrossFit, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All Rights Reserved Continue reading >>

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage. As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall. When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar. This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar. Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops. Glycemic index In the past, carbohydrates were commonly classified as being either “simple” or “complex,” and described as follows: Simple carbohydrates: These carbohydrates are composed of sugars (such as fructose and glucose) which have simple chemical structures composed of only one sugar (monosaccharides) or two sugars (disaccharides). Simple carbohydrates are easily and quickly utilized for energy by the body because of their simple chemical structure, often leading to a faster rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion from the pancreas – which can have negative health effects. Complex carbohydrates: These carbohydrates have mo Continue reading >>

The Endocrine System

The Endocrine System

Tweet The endocrine system consists of a number of different glands which secrete hormones that dictate how cells and organs behave. The hormones produced by the endocrine system help the body to regulate growth, sexual function, mood and metabolism. The role of the endocrine system The endocrine system is responsible for regulating many of the body's processes. The list below provides a selection of the roles of glands in the endocrine system: Pancreas – regulates blood glucose levels Adrenal gland – increases blood glucose levels and speeds up heart rate Thyroid gland - helps to regulate our metabolism Pituitary gland – stimulates growth Pineal gland – helps to regulate our sleep patterns Ovaries – promote development of female sex characteristics Testes – promote development of male sex characteristics The endocrine system and energy metabolism Metabolism encompasses all the chemical reactions which enable the body to sustain life. Energy metabolism is one of these processes and is vital for life. The body is able to use fat, protein and carbohydrate to provide energy. The pancreas plays an important part in energy metabolism by secreting the hormones insulin and glucagon which respectively make glucose and fatty acids available for cells to use for energy. The endocrine system and diabetes Diabetes affects how the body regulates blood glucose levels. Insulin helps to reduce levels of blood glucose whereas glucagon's role is to increase blood glucose levels. In people without diabetes, insulin and glucagon work together to keep blood glucose levels balanced. In diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't respond properly to insulin causing an imbalance between the effects of insulin and glucagon. In type 1 diabetes, the body isn't Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Regulation

Blood Sugar Regulation

Most cells in the human body use the sugar called glucose as their major source of energy. Glucose molecules are broken down within cells in order to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules, energy-rich molecules that power numerous cellular processes. Glucose molecules are delivered to cells by the circulating blood and therefore, to ensure a constant supply of glucose to cells, it is essential that blood glucose levels be maintained at relatively constant levels. Level constancy is accomplished primarily through negative feedback systems, which ensure that blood glucose concentration is maintained within the normal range of 70 to 110 milligrams (0.0024 to 0.0038 ounces) of glucose per deciliter (approximately one-fifth of a pint) of blood. Negative feedback systems are processes that sense changes in the body and activate mechanisms that reverse the changes in order to restore conditions to their normal levels. Negative feedback systems are critically important in homeostasis, the maintenance of relatively constant internal conditions. Disruptions in homeostasis lead to potentially life-threatening situations. The maintenance of relatively constant blood glucose levels is essential for the health of cells and thus the health of the entire body. Major factors that can increase blood glucose levels include glucose absorption by the small intestine (after ingesting a meal) and the production of new glucose molecules by liver cells. Major factors that can decrease blood glucose levels include the transport of glucose into cells (for use as a source of energy or to be stored for future use) and the loss of glucose in urine (an abnormal event that occurs in diabetes mellitus). Insulin and Glucagon In a healthy person, blood glucose levels are restored to normal level Continue reading >>

Normal Regulation Of Blood Glucose

Normal Regulation Of Blood Glucose

The human body wants blood glucose (blood sugar) maintained in a very narrow range. Insulin and glucagon are the hormones which make this happen. Both insulin and glucagon are secreted from the pancreas, and thus are referred to as pancreatic endocrine hormones. The picture on the left shows the intimate relationship both insulin and glucagon have to each other. Note that the pancreas serves as the central player in this scheme. It is the production of insulin and glucagon by the pancreas which ultimately determines if a patient has diabetes, hypoglycemia, or some other sugar problem. In this Article Insulin Basics: How Insulin Helps Control Blood Glucose Levels Insulin and glucagon are hormones secreted by islet cells within the pancreas. They are both secreted in response to blood sugar levels, but in opposite fashion! Insulin is normally secreted by the beta cells (a type of islet cell) of the pancreas. The stimulus for insulin secretion is a HIGH blood glucose...it's as simple as that! Although there is always a low level of insulin secreted by the pancreas, the amount secreted into the blood increases as the blood glucose rises. Similarly, as blood glucose falls, the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreatic islets goes down. As can be seen in the picture, insulin has an effect on a number of cells, including muscle, red blood cells, and fat cells. In response to insulin, these cells absorb glucose out of the blood, having the net effect of lowering the high blood glucose levels into the normal range. Glucagon is secreted by the alpha cells of the pancreatic islets in much the same manner as insulin...except in the opposite direction. If blood glucose is high, then no glucagon is secreted. When blood glucose goes LOW, however, (such as between meals, and during Continue reading >>

Brain May Play Key Role In Blood Sugar Metabolism And Diabetes Development

Brain May Play Key Role In Blood Sugar Metabolism And Diabetes Development

A growing body of evidence suggests that the brain plays a key role in glucose regulation and the development of type 2 diabetes, researchers write in the Nov. 7 ssue of the journal Nature. If the hypothesis is correct, it may open the door to entirely new ways to prevent and treat this disease, which is projected to affect one in three adults in the United States by 2050. In the paper, lead author Dr. Michael W. Schwartz, UW professor of medicine and director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence, and his colleagues from the universities of Cincinnati, Michigan, and Munich, note that the brain was originally thought to play an important role in maintaining normal glucose metabolism With the discovery of insulin in the 1920s, the focus of research and diabetes care shifted to almost exclusively to insulin. Today, almost all treatments for diabetes seek to either increase insulin levels or increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. “These drugs,” the researchers write, “enjoy wide use and are effective in controlling hyperglycemia [high blood sugar levels], the hallmark of type 2 diabetes, but they address the consequence of diabetes more than the underlying causes, and thus control rather than cure the disease.” New research, they write, suggests that normal glucose regulation depends on a partnership between the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, the pancreatic islet cells, and neuronal circuits in the hypothalamus and other brain areas that are intimately involved in maintaining normal glucose levels. The development of diabetes type 2, the authors argue, requires a failure of both the islet-cell system and this brain-centered system for regulating blood sugar levels . In their paper, the researchers review both animal and human studies tha Continue reading >>

More in blood sugar