What To Know About Blood Sugar Levels
What is blood sugar/glucose? Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is your body’s main energy source. Your bloodstream carries glucose (a simple sugar) to all of the cells in your body, allowing it to function correctly. We get glucose from the food we eat. Blood glucose measurements represent how much sugar is being transported in your bloodstream at the time of the measurement. Your body regulates its blood sugar levels to keep them at a healthy level as the blood’s internal environment has to remain stable in order for the body to function optimally. This vital balance is known as homeostasis. Glucose is derived from the Greek word meaning “sweet”. Glucose, found in carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes, fruit and bread, travels down the oesophagus and to the stomach. Once food is in the stomach, enzymes and acids will break it down into small pieces, during this process any glucose present will be released directly into the bloodstream in order for it to be transported throughout the body. Blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day, rising after you have eaten and then settling again after an hour or so. These levels are their lowest before your first meal of the day, which is typically breakfast. How does the body control blood sugar? When your blood sugar levels rise, as they do after eating a meal, the pancreas releases insulin1. Insulin enters the bloodstream in order to ensure that the sugar from food is transported by the blood to the cells where it is required, and transformed into energy that allows the body to function. Insulin travels to different target cells within the liver and muscle tissues of the body, causing any excess glucose to be converted into glycogen. Glycogen is a readily mobilised form of stored glucose when the body nee Continue reading >>
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 >>
Glass Of Red Wine A Day 'treats Diabetes By Helping Body Regulate Blood Sugar Levels'
A small glass of red wine every day could keep adult diabetes under control, scientists claimed last night. A new study found that the drink contains high concentrations of chemicals that help the body regulate levels of sugar in the blood. Just a small glass of red contained as many of these active ingredients as a daily dose of an anti-diabetic drug, the researchers found. Although the study didn't look at the effects of wine on people, its authors believe moderate drinking as part of a calorie controlled diet could protect against type 2 diabetes. However, their conclusions angered Diabetes UK who accused the researchers of making 'astonishingly bold suggestions' based on 'limited research'. The charity warned that wine was so high in calories it could lead to weight gain - outweighing any benefit. Around 2.6million people suffer from type 2 diabetes in Britain. The disease occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin - the hormone that regulates blood sugar - or when its insulin does not work properly. High levels of sugar in the blood can cause tiredness, heart disease, strokes, blindness, nerve damage and kidney disease. Past studies have shown that natural chemicals found grape skin and wine called polyphenols can help the body control glucose levels, and prevent potentially dangerous spikes or dips in blood sugar. The new study compared the polyphenol content of 12 different wine varieties. The team, from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, found that levels were higher in red wines. The scientists then studied how these polyphenols interact with cells in the human body, focussing on a particular 'receptor - or molecule that sits on the surface of cells - called PPAR-gamma - involved in the development of fat ce Continue reading >>
Control Of Blood Glucose
Controlling blood glucose (how much sugar is in the blood) is very important in the body. If our blood sugar levels get out of control this can lead to serious short term problems such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or diabetic ketoacidosis. In the long term is can also damage vessels that supply blood to important organs like the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. So basically it’s really, really important! So how does the body control blood glucose I hear you ask, well, it’s all down to a little thing called insulin. Insulin is a hormone that works to decrease the concentration of glucose in the blood. It does this by increasing the number of glucose carrier proteins in the plasma membranes of some cells. (More glucose will be taken up from the blood into cells and so the concentration of the glucose in the blood decreases). Insulin binds to the receptors on the cell membrane of cells. When insulin binds to the receptor it causes blood glucose concentration to decrease. One way it can do this is by activating enzymes involved with converting glucose into fat and glycogen. Insulin comes from the Islets of Langerhans found in the pancreas. There are two types of cells in the Islets of Langerhans. The alpha cells secrete glucagon and beta cells secrete insulin. However, some people are unable to produce enough insulin, this causes someone to suffer from diabetes. There are two main types of diabetes. Type two is insulin independent. Here insulin no longer has an effect on the uptake of glucose by cells in the body. Type two diabetes is often controlled by insulin injections. Insulin cannot be taken as a tablet as it is a protein and so will be broken down by enzymes in the stomach and the small intestine. Type one is often due to a Continue reading >>
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Homeostasis is the tendency to resist change in order to maintain a stable, relatively constant internal environment. Homeostasis typically involves negative feedback loops that counteract changes of various properties from their target values, known as set points. In contrast to negative feedback loops, positive feedback loops amplify their initiating stimuli, in other words, they move the system away from its starting state. What's the temperature in the room where you're sitting right now? My guess would be that it's not exactly 98.6F/ 37.0C. Yet, your body temperature is usually very close to this value. In fact, if your core body temperature doesn't stay within relatively narrow limits—from about 95F/ 35C to 107F/ 41.7C—the results can be dangerous or even deadly. The tendency to maintain a stable, relatively constant internal environment is called homeostasis. The body maintains homeostasis for many factors in addition to temperature. For instance, the concentration of various ions in your blood must be kept steady, along with pH and the concentration of glucose. If these values get too high or low, you can end up getting very sick. Homeostasis is maintained at many levels, not just the level of the whole body as it is for temperature. For instance, the stomach maintains a pH that's different from that of surrounding organs, and each individual cell maintains ion concentrations different from those of the surrounding fluid. Maintaining homeostasis at each level is key to maintaining the body's overall function. Biological systems like those of your body are constantly being pushed away from their balance points. For instance, when you exercise, your muscles increase heat production, nudging your body temperature upward. Similarly, when you Continue reading >>
Blood Glucose Control (blood Sugar Levels)
Introduction to blood sugar levels Our blood glucose level, or blood sugar level, is the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The amount of glucose in the blood is measured in millimoles per litre (mmol/l). Glucose levels are measured most commonly to diagnose or to monitor diabetes. It is also important to keep an eye on blood glucose levels during certain situations – for example: during pregnancy, pancreatitis and with increasing age. Normally, blood sugar levels stay within a narrow range during the day. A good level is between 4 to 8mmol/l. After you consume food, your blood sugar level will rise and after you have had a night’s rest, they will usually be lowest in the morning. Diabetes is a common disease in our society, affecting 2-5% of the general population, with many more people unaware that they may be affected by this condition. Diabetes results from a lack of insulin, or insensitivity of the body towards the level of insulin present. Thus if you have diabetes, your blood sugar level may move outside the normal limits. Why is controlling blood sugar levels so important? Carbohydrate foods are the body’s main energy source. When they are digested, they break down to form glucose in the bloodstream. If you make sure you eat regular meals, spread evenly throughout the day, you will help maintain your energy levels without causing large rises in your blood sugar levels. It is also important to maintain a stable and balanced blood sugar level, as there is a limited range of blood sugar levels in which the brain can function normally. Regular testing of your blood sugar levels allows you to monitor your level of control and assists you in altering your diabetes management strategy if your levels aren’t within the expected/recommended range. Long term c Continue reading >>
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How Does Eating Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Part 1 of 8 What is blood sugar? Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, comes from the food you eat. Your body creates blood sugar by digesting some food into a sugar that circulates in your bloodstream. Blood sugar is used for energy. The sugar that isn’t needed to fuel your body right away gets stored in cells for later use. Too much sugar in your blood can be harmful. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that is characterized by having higher levels of blood sugar than what is considered within normal limits. Unmanaged diabetes can lead to problems with your heart, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. The more you know about how eating affects blood sugar, the better you can protect yourself against diabetes. If you already have diabetes, it’s important to know how eating affects blood sugar. Part 2 of 8 Your body breaks down everything you eat and absorbs the food in its different parts. These parts include: carbohydrates proteins fats vitamins and other nutrients The carbohydrates you consume turn into blood sugar. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher the levels of sugar you will have released as you digest and absorb your food. Carbohydrates in liquid form consumed by themselves are absorbed more quickly than those in solid food. So having a soda will cause a faster rise in your blood sugar levels than eating a slice of pizza. Fiber is one component of carbohydrates that isn’t converted into sugar. This is because it can’t be digested. Fiber is important for health, though. Protein, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals don’t contain carbohydrates. These components won’t affect your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, your carbohydrate intake is the most important part of your diet to consider when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels. Part 3 Continue reading >>
Controlling Blood Sugar Levels
Glucose is a sugar needed by cells for respiration. It is important that the concentration of glucose in the blood is maintained at a constant level. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, controls blood sugar levels in the body. It travels from the pancreas to the liver in the bloodstream. As with other responses controlled by hormones, the response is slower but longer lasting than if it had been controlled by the nervous system. Blood sugar levels- Higher tier What happens when glucose levels in the blood become too high or too low glucose level effect on pancreas effect on liver effect on glucose level too high insulin secreted into the blood liver converts glucose into glycogen goes down too low insulin not secreted into the blood liver does not convert glucose into glycogen goes up Use the animation to make sure you understand how this works. You have an old or no version of flash - you need to upgrade to view this funky content! Go to the WebWise Flash install guide Diabetes is a disorder in which the blood glucose levels remain too high. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1, which usually develops during childhood Type 2, which usually develops in later life. The table summarises some differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Some differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes Type 1 diabetes Type 2 diabetes Who it mainly affects Children and teenagers. Adults under the age of 40. Adults, normally over the age of 40 (there is a greater risk in those who have poor diets and/or are overweight). How it works The pancreas stops making enough insulin. The body no longer responds to its insulin. How it is controlled Injections of insulin for life and an appropriate diet. Exercise and appropriate diet. When treating Type 1 diabetes, the dosage of in Continue reading >>
How Does Your Body Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels When You Eat A Low Carb Diet?
Your liver is an amazing organ. It’s really a shame how poorly people treat it. It is your body’s manufacturing plant. The reason there is no requirement for carbohydrates in the body is that the liver can manufacture all the glucose it needs. You liver takes things like certain amino acids from proteins and glycerol from fats and manufactures all the glucose your body needs. It can also manufacture the stored form of glucose in the body glycogen. In demand driven situations, glycogen can be converted to glucose and burned. I’ve been diabetic for over 20 years. I eat very low carb (less than 25g per day.) My body still has a problem with keeping my blood sugar too high. Very infrequently people doing low carb will get low levels of blood sugar. However, this is a function of too much insulin in the body and not a function of eating too few carbohydrates. It’s really a sign of metabolic dysfunction. Continue reading >>
How Does My Body Control My Blood Sugar Levels?
When high sugar, or low fiber, starchy foods are eaten in excess, blood sugar levels rise quickly, producing a strain on blood sugar control. The body responds to the rise in blood glucose levels after meals by secreting insulin, a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas (a small gland that resides at the base of the stomach). Insulin lowers blood glucose by increasing the rate that glucose is taken up by cells throughout the body. Declines in blood glucose, as occur during fasting or exercise, cause the release of glucagon, another hormone produced by the pancreas. Glucagon stimulates the release of glucose stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. If blood sugar levels fall sharply or if a person is angry or frightened, it may result in the release of epinephrine (Adrenalin) and corticosteroids (cortisol) by the adrenal glands. These hormones provide quicker breakdown of stored glucose for extra energy during a crisis or increased need. Ideally, these mechanisms are effective in keeping blood sugar levels within a very narrow range. Unfortunately, a great deal of Americans stress these control mechanisms through diet and lifestyle. As a result, obesity, diabetes, and other disorders of blood sugar regulation are among the most common diseases of modern society. Hunger Free Forever: The New Science of Appetite Control From two leading authorities on appetite control, obesity, natural medicine, and food comes a breakthrough in getting healthy and staying slim without starving.Millions have spent years searching for... Blood glucose levels naturally vary. They rise after a meal, then go down as the body uses up the glucose provided by the food. Here's how it normally works: As your blood glucose starts to rise after a meal, the pancreas responds by releasin Continue reading >>
Controlling Blood Sugar In Diabetes: How Low Should You Go?
Diabetes is an ancient disease, but the first effective drug therapy was not available until 1922, when insulin revolutionized the management of the disorder. Insulin is administered by injection, but treatment took another great leap forward in 1956, when the first oral diabetic drug was introduced. Since then, dozens of new medications have been developed, but scientists are still learning how best to use them. And new studies are prompting doctors to re-examine a fundamental therapeutic question: what level of blood sugar is best? Normal metabolism To understand diabetes, you should first understand how your body handles glucose, the sugar that fuels your metabolism. After you eat, your digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars that are small enough to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Glucose is far and away the most important of these sugars, and it's an indispensable source of energy for your body's cells. But to provide that energy, it must travel from your blood into your cells. Insulin is the hormone that unlocks the door to your cells. When your blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the beta cells of your pancreas spring into action, pouring insulin into your blood. If you produce enough insulin and your cells respond normally, your blood sugar level drops as glucose enters the cells, where it is burned for energy or stored for future use in your liver as glycogen. Insulin also helps your body turn amino acids into proteins and fatty acids into body fat. The net effect is to allow your body to turn food into energy and to store excess energy to keep your engine running if fuel becomes scarce in the future. A diabetes primer Diabetes is a single name for a group of disorders. All forms of the disease develop when the pancreas is unable to Continue reading >>
How The Body Regulates Blood Glucose Levels
Glucose is a sugar and the main energy source used by the body. Carbohydrates that you eat are broken down, converted to glucose and then absorbed by the bloodstream. Circulating glucose is one of several blood sugars, which also include fructose and galactose, but when discussing “blood sugar” most people mean glucose. Blood glucose is usually maintained by the human body as 70-130 mg/dL, and the levels of glucose are influenced by many hormones, including those involved in blood pressure regulation. Insulin and energy usage Blood sugar levels usually increase after eating, with levels reaching 180 mg/dL according to the American Diabetes Association. When receptors in the pancreas sense increases in blood glucose levels, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin is a hormone that aids in the removal of glucose from the blood in a variety of ways: it promotes the entry of glucose into cells, enhances the storage of glycogen or fatty acids, and prevents the usage of fats and protein as energy. Fats and protein somewhat compete with glucose as sources of energy in the body. Glucagon and hypoglycemia Glycogen is formed by the liver and sometimes the muscles or other tissues in a process called glycogenesis. The process involves the conversion of glucose through structural manipulations of the sugar ring and collecting molecules as a chain and attaching them to a glycogen primer. This is the form in which glucose is stored in the body for later use in animal cells. Its plant counterpart is starch, so glycogen is often referred to as animal starch. The granules take up less storage space than triglycerides (i.e. fat). When blood sugar levels decrease too much, a condition called hypoglycemia, the pancreas releases glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that promotes the release o Continue reading >>
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Controlling Blood Sugar
Insulin is continuously released into the blood stream. Insulin levels are carefully calibrated to keep the blood glucose just right. Insulin is the main regulator of sugar in the bloodstream. This hormone is made by beta cells and continuously released into the blood stream. Beta cells are found in the pancreas, which is an organ behind the stomach. Insulin levels in the blood stream are carefully calibrated to keep the blood glucose just right. High insulin levels drive sugar out of the bloodstream into muscle, fat and liver cells where it is stored for future use. Low insulin levels allow sugar and other fuels to be released back into the blood stream. Overnight and between meals, insulin levels in the blood stream are low and relatively constant. These low levels of insulin allow the body to tap into its stored energy sources (namely glycogen and fat) and also to release sugar and other fuels from the liver. This overnight and between-meal insulin is referred to as background or basal insulin. When you haven’t eaten for a while, your blood sugar level will be somewhere between 60 to 100 mg/dl. When eating, the amount of insulin released from the pancreas rapidly spikes. This burst of insulin that accompanies eating is called bolus insulin. After a meal, blood sugar levels peak at less than 140 mg/dl and then fall back to the baseline (pre-meal) range. The high levels of insulin help the sugar get out of the blood stream and be stored for future use. There are other hormones that work together with insulin to regulate blood sugar including incretins and gluco-counterregulatory hormones, but insulin is the most important. Self-assessment Quiz Self assessment quizzes are available for topics covered in this website. To find out how much you have learned about Facts a Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Control In The Body
The human body is amazing, particularly when you get into the intricacies of it. Each part of the body is continually being monitored and everything is simultaneously kept in perfect balance. Among others, one of the things the body monitors and keeps balanced is blood sugar control, that is, the amount of glucose in our blood. Someone with diabetes has problems keeping the glucose balance in the body; it depends on the type of diabetes as to why this is the case. Before we get into any of that, however, we need to be clear on how the body usually controls the blood sugar. It is only once we can comprehend that that we can begin to get into the details of what happens when someone has diabetes. So let’s get the basics down first. Glucose in the Body Glucose is absolutely essential for the running of our body, as it provides a source of energy for our muscles and fat cells to draw upon. The body gets its supply of glucose from the food we eat and we then absorb it into the bloodstream, which can transport it around the body to all the different cells where energy may be needed. The amount of glucose in our blood is very important and our body keeps this under tight control. The reason for this is simple; both too much and too little glucose can be detrimental for the body. We’ll go into more detail later on in the series but for now it is enough to appreciate that both can lead to serious outcomes. It is absolutely normal for the blood glucose levels to vary a little throughout the course of a day. When we’ve just finished eating a meal, the energy from the foods that we absorb causes our blood sugar to rise. The body then recognises this rise and makes adjustments to maintain the balance in the body. Blood Sugar Control The body controls our blood sugar using two Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Regulation
Blood glucose or blood sugar, as it is commonly called, is a tightly regulated biochemical parameter in normal humans and animals. The body maintains the blood sugar within a narrow range. There are several interacting systems that regulate blood sugar. Of these, regulation of blood sugar by the hormone insulin is the most important. Hormonal regulation of blood sugar Insulin is synthesized in significant quantities only in beta cells in the pancreas. When the beta cell is appropriately stimulated, insulin is secreted from the cell by exocytosis. The insulin then diffuses into small blood vessels of the pancreas. Insulin is secreted in primarily in response to elevated blood concentrations of glucose. Thus insulin is secreted as the body detects high blood glucose and helps regulate the levels of glucose. There are some other stimuli like sight and taste of food, increased blood levels of amino acids and fatty acids that may also promote the release of insulin. During digestion (around one or two hours following a meal), insulin release is not continuous, but occurs in bursts. Other hormones that regulate blood sugar include glucagon, growth hormone, cortisol and catecholamines. These increase blood glucose by reducing uptake of the sugar by the various organs of the body. These are termed catabolic hormones. Insulin is the anabolic hormone that decreases blood glucose. Uptake of blood sugar As blood glucose rises after a large carbohydrate meal, a glucose transporter GLUT 2 increases its affinity for glucose. These transporters GLUT 1, 2, and 3 are proteins and not enzymes. GLUT 2 and the enzyme glucokinase coordinate glucose control in liver. This converts Glucose to Glucose 6 Phosphate. The reaction utilizes ATP or energy. This conversion causes utilization of the Gl Continue reading >>