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How Is Blood Sugar Maintained In The Body

Blood Glucose Control (blood Sugar Levels)

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 >>

Fasting Physiology – Part Ii

Fasting Physiology – Part Ii

There are many misconceptions about fasting. It is useful to review the physiology of what happens to our body when we eat nothing. Physiology Glucose and fat are the body’s main sources of energy. If glucose is not available, then the body will adjust by using fat, without any detrimental health effects. This is simply a natural part of life. Periods of low food availability have always been a part of human history. Mechanisms have evolved to adapt to this fact of Paleolithic life. The transition from the fed state to the fasted state occurs in several stages. Feeding – During meals, insulin levels are raised. This allows uptake of glucose into tissues such as the muscle or brain to be used directly for energy. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver. The post-absorptive phase – 6-24 hours after beginning fasting. Insulin levels start to fall. Breakdown of glycogen releases glucose for energy. Glycogen stores last for roughly 24 hours. Gluconeogenesis – 24 hours to 2 days – The liver manufactures new glucose from amino acids in a process called “gluconeogenesis”. Literally, this is translated as “making new glucose”. In non-diabetic persons, glucose levels fall but stay within the normal range. Ketosis – 2-3 days after beginning fasting – The low levels of insulin reached during fasting stimulate lipolysis, the breakdown of fat for energy. The storage form of fat, known as triglycerides, is broken into the glycerol backbone and three fatty acid chains. Glycerol is used for gluconeogenesis. Fatty acids may be used for directly for energy by many tissues in the body, but not the brain. Ketone bodies, capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, are produced from fatty acids for use by the brain. After four days of fasting, approximately 75 Continue reading >>

The Liver And Blood Glucose Levels

The Liver And Blood Glucose Levels

Tweet Glucose is the key source of energy for the human body. Supply of this vital nutrient is carried through the bloodstream to many of the body’s cells. The liver produces, stores and releases glucose depending on the body’s need for glucose, a monosaccharide. This is primarily indicated by the hormones insulin - the main regulator of sugar in the blood - and glucagon. In fact, the liver acts as the body’s glucose reservoir and helps to keep your circulating blood sugar levels and other body fuels steady and constant. How the liver regulates blood glucose During absorption and digestion, the carbohydrates in the food you eat are reduced to their simplest form, glucose. Excess glucose is then removed from the blood, with the majority of it being converted into glycogen, the storage form of glucose, by the liver’s hepatic cells via a process called glycogenesis. Glycogenolysis When blood glucose concentration declines, the liver initiates glycogenolysis. The hepatic cells reconvert their glycogen stores into glucose, and continually release them into the blood until levels approach normal range. However, when blood glucose levels fall during a long fast, the body’s glycogen stores dwindle and additional sources of blood sugar are required. To help make up this shortfall, the liver, along with the kidneys, uses amino acids, lactic acid and glycerol to produce glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis. The liver may also convert other sugars such as sucrose, fructose, and galactose into glucose if your body’s glucose needs not being met by your diet. Ketones Ketones are alternative fuels that are produced by the liver from fats when sugar is in short supply. When your body’s glycogen storage runs low, the body starts conserving the sugar supplies fo Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Or Blood Glucose: What Does It Do?

Blood Sugar Or Blood Glucose: What Does It Do?

Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is sugar that the bloodstream carries to all the cells in the body to supply energy. Blood sugar or blood glucose measurements represent the amount of sugar being transported in the blood during one instant. The sugar comes from the food we eat. The human body regulates blood glucose levels so that they are neither too high nor too low. The blood's internal environment must remain stable for the body to function. This balance is known as homeostasis. The sugar in the blood is not the same as sucrose, the sugar in the sugar bowl. There are different kinds of sugar. Sugar in the blood is known as glucose. Blood glucose levels change throughout the day. After eating, levels rise and then settle down after about an hour. They are at their lowest point before the first meal of the day, which is normally breakfast. How does sugar get into the body's cells? When we eat carbohydrates, such as sugar, or sucrose, our body digests it into glucose, a simple sugar that can easily convert to energy. The human digestive system breaks down carbohydrates from food into various sugar molecules. One of these sugars is glucose, the body's main source of energy. The glucose goes straight from the digestive system into the bloodstream after food is consumed and digested. But glucose can only enter cells if there is insulin in the bloodstream too. Without insulin, the cells would starve. After we eat, blood sugar concentrations rise. The pancreas releases insulin automatically so that the glucose enters cells. As more and more cells receive glucose, blood sugar levels return to normal again. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen, or stored glucose, in the liver and the muscles. Glycogen plays an important role in homeostasis, because it helps our body function du Continue reading >>

How Insulin And Glucagon Work To Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

How Insulin And Glucagon Work To Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

The pancreas secretes insulin and glucagon, both of which play a vital role in regulating blood sugar levels. The two hormones work in balance. If the level of one hormone is outside the ideal range, blood sugar levels may spike or drop. Together, insulin and glucagon help keep conditions inside the body steady. When blood sugar is too high, the pancreas secretes more insulin. When blood sugar levels drop, the pancreas releases glucagon to bring them back up. Blood sugar and health The body converts carbohydrates from food into sugar (glucose), which serves as a vital source of energy. Blood sugar levels vary throughout the day but, in most instances, insulin and glucagon keep these levels normal. Health factors including insulin resistance, diabetes, and problems with diet can cause a person's blood sugar levels to soar or plummet. Blood sugar levels are measured in milligrams per decilitre (mg/dl). Ideal blood sugar ranges are as follows: Before breakfast - levels should be less than 100 mg/dl for a person without diabetes and 70-130 mg/dl for a person with diabetes. Two hours after meals - levels should be less than 140 mg/dl for a person without diabetes and less than 180 mg/dl for a person with diabetes. Blood sugar regulation Blood sugar levels are a measure of how effectively an individual's body uses glucose. When the body does not convert enough glucose for use, blood sugar levels remain high. Insulin helps the body's cells absorb glucose, lowering blood sugar and providing the cells with the glucose they need for energy. When blood sugar levels are too low, the pancreas releases glucagon. Glucagon forces the liver to release stored glucose, which causes the blood sugar to rise. Insulin and glucagon are both released by islet cells in the pancreas. These cells Continue reading >>

How Does The Body Control Blood Sugar Levels?

How Does The Body Control Blood Sugar Levels?

Your body depends on stable blood sugar levels to function properly. When we eat sugar or carbohydrates, the body converts them into glucose. Our body uses glucose for energy to perform all of its functions from the neurons or nerve cells in the brain all the way down to a cellular level. If the blood sugar gets too high, it can cause damage to organs, tissue and cells in the body. In order to maintain control of the blood sugar, the pancreas produces two different hormones that helps keep the levels just right—insulin and glucagon. The article helps you understand how the body controls blood sugar levels and how the two hormones work in balance. How does the Body Control Blood Sugar Levels? It is very important that the body keep the blood sugar levels under control. There cannot be too little or too much, if it falls out of normal range there can be adverse effects on the body such as: Not enough blood sugar and you can experience confusion, pass out and possibly even go into a coma. If your blood sugar is too high, your eyesight will get blurry and you may feel very tired. In order for the body to keep a normal blood sugar level, your body needs the hormones insulin and glucagon to help blood sugar do its job. General Regulation Glucose Level Effect On Pancreas Effect On Liver Effect On Glucose Level High High blood sugar signals the pancreas to release insulin. The liver converts any excess glucose into glycogen. The blood sugar levels drop. Low Low blood sugar signals the pancreas to stop insulin production until needed. At the same time, it releases glucagon. The liver stops converting excess glucose into glycogen due to the release of glucagon from the pancreas. The blood sugar levels go up. Normal When you eat, glucose goes into your bloodstream and signals th Continue reading >>

How Insulin And Glucagon Work

How Insulin And Glucagon Work

Insulin and glucagon are hormones that help regulate the levels of blood glucose, or sugar, in your body. Glucose, which comes from the food you eat, moves through your bloodstream to help fuel your body. Insulin and glucagon work together to balance your blood sugar levels, keeping them in the narrow range that your body requires. These hormones are like the yin and yang of blood glucose maintenance. Read on to learn more about how they function and what can happen when they don’t work well. Insulin and glucagon work in what’s called a negative feedback loop. During this process, one event triggers another, which triggers another, and so on, to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. How insulin works During digestion, foods that contain carbohydrates are converted into glucose. Most of this glucose is sent into your bloodstream, causing a rise in blood glucose levels. This increase in blood glucose signals your pancreas to produce insulin. The insulin tells cells throughout your body to take in glucose from your bloodstream. As the glucose moves into your cells, your blood glucose levels go down. Some cells use the glucose as energy. Other cells, such as in your liver and muscles, store any excess glucose as a substance called glycogen. Your body uses glycogen for fuel between meals. Read more: Simple vs. complex carbs » How glucagon works Glucagon works to counterbalance the actions of insulin. About four to six hours after you eat, the glucose levels in your blood decrease, triggering your pancreas to produce glucagon. This hormone signals your liver and muscle cells to change the stored glycogen back into glucose. These cells then release the glucose into your bloodstream so your other cells can use it for energy. This whole feedback loop with insulin and gluca Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Regulation

Blood Glucose Regulation

Glucose is needed by cells for respiration. It is important that the concentration of glucose in the blood is maintained at a constant level. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates glucose levels in the blood. How glucose is regulated 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 Glucagon – Higher tier The pancreas releases another hormone, glucagon, when the blood sugar levels fall. This causes the cells in the liver to turn glycogen back into glucose which can then be released into the blood. The blood sugar levels will then rise. Now try a Test Bite- Higher tier. Diabetes is a disorder in which the blood glucose levels remain too high. It can be treated by injecting insulin. The extra insulin allows the glucose to be taken up by the liver and other tissues, so cells get the glucose they need and blood-sugar levels stay normal. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes Type 1 diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin. It can be controlled by: monitoring the diet injecting insulin People with type 1 diabetes have to monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day as the level of physical activity and diet affect the amount of insulin required. Type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes is caused by a person becoming resistant to insulin. It can be controlled by diet and exercise. There is a link between rising levels of obesity (chronic overweight) and i Continue reading >>

How Does The Body Keep Blood Glucose Levels In Check?

How Does The Body Keep Blood Glucose Levels In Check?

Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body. In fact, it is normally the only fuel used by the brain’s nerve cells, called neurons. Neurons can’t store excess glucose for back-up energy, so a constant supply must be available in the blood. However the supply must be kept in tight balance because too much sugar in the blood causes damage to cells throughout the body. Control of the amount of glucose in the blood depends on two hormones that are produced and secreted by the pancreas. The pancreas is an unusual organ because it serves two functions. One part of the pancreas is an endocrine gland that produces and secretes hormones. It’s also an exocrine (or digestive) gland that produces enzymes needed by the small intestine to break down and absorb proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Endocrine Function of the Pancreas The endocrine function of the pancreas is responsible for regulating the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Throughout the pancreas are structures called islets of Langerhans. Two types of cells in the islets are alpha and beta cells. The alpha cells comprise about 25 percent of the islets. They’re responsible for secreting a hormone known as glucagon. The beta cells account for about 75 percent of the islets. They produce and secrete a hormone known as insulin. Capillaries surrounding the islets allow the hormones to be secreted directly into the blood. Glucagon increases the amount of glucose in the blood by accelerating the rate at which the liver converts stored glycogen into glucose and releases it into the blood. Insulin decreases the amount of glucose in the blood by transporting glucose from the blood and into the muscle cells. It also stimulates the conversion of glucose back into glycogen so that it can be stored. Receptors in t 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 >>

How The Body Regulates Blood Glucose Levels

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 >>

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 Sugar Regulation

Blood Sugar Regulation

Ball-and-stick model of a glucose molecule 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. 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.[1] Mechanisms[edit] Blood sugar regulation the flatline is the level needed the sine wave the fluctuations. 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. Glucagon[edit] If the blood glucose level falls to dangerous levels (as during very heavy exercise or lack of food for extended periods), the alpha cells of the pancreas release glucagon, a hormone whose effects on liver cells act to increase blood glucose levels. They convert glycogen into glucose (this process is called glycogenolysis). The glucose is released into the bloodstream, increasing blood sugar. Hypoglycemia, the state of having low blood sugar, is treated by restoring the blood glucose level to normal by the ingestion or administration of dextrose or carbohydrate foods. It is often self-diagnosed and self-medicated orally by the ingestion of balanced meals. In more severe circumstances, it is treated by injection or infusion of glucagon. Insulin[edit] When levels of blood sugar rise, whether as a result of glycogen conversion, or from digestion of a meal, a different hormone is released from beta cells found in the Islets of Langerhans in the p Continue reading >>

Homeostasis - Blood Sugar And Temperature

Homeostasis - Blood Sugar And Temperature

Your pancreas constantly monitors and controls your blood sugar levels using two hormones. The best known of these is insulin. When your blood sugar levels rise after a meal your pancreas releases insulin. Insulin allows glucose to be taken into the cells of your body where it is used in cellular respiration. It also allows soluble glucose to be converted to an insoluble carbohydrate called glycogen which is stored in the liver and muscles. When your blood sugar levels fall below the ideal level your pancreas releases a different hormone called glucagon. Glucagon makes your liver break down glycogen, converting it back into glucose which can be used by the cells. Continue reading >>

Homeostasis Of Glucose Levels: Hormonal Control And Diabetes

Homeostasis Of Glucose Levels: Hormonal Control And Diabetes

Homeostasis According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are almost 26 million people in the United States alone that have diabetes, which is 8.3% of the total U.S. population. With so many Americans suffering from diabetes, how do we treat all of them? Do all of these people now need insulin shots, or are there other ways to treat, or prevent, diabetes? In order to answer these questions, we must first understand the fundamentals of blood glucose regulation. As you may remember, homeostasis is the maintenance of a stable internal environment within an organism, and maintaining a stable internal environment in a human means having to carefully regulate many parameters, including glucose levels in the blood. There are two major ways that signals are sent throughout the body. The first is through nerves of the nervous system. Signals are sent as nerve impulses that travel through nerve cells, called neurons. These impulses are sent to other neurons, or specific target cells at a specific location of the body that the neuron extends to. Most of the signals that the human body uses to regulate body temperature are sent through the nervous system. The second way that signals can be sent throughout the body is through the circulatory system. These signals are transmitted by specific molecules called hormones, which are signaling molecules that travel through the circulatory system. In this lesson, we'll take a look at how the human body maintains blood glucose levels through the use of hormone signaling. Homeostasis of Blood Glucose Levels Glucose is the main source of fuel for the cells in our bodies, but it's too big to simply diffuse into the cells by itself. Instead, it needs to be transported into the cells. Insulin is a hormone produced by the panc Continue reading >>

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