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How Is Blood Sugar Maintained In The Body

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 >>

How Diabetes Works

How Diabetes Works

Since diabetes is a disease that affects your body's ability to use glucose, let's start by looking at what glucose is and how your body controls it. Glucose is a simple sugar that provides energy to all of the cells in your body. The cells take in glucose from the blood and break it down for energy (some cells, like brain cells and red blood cells, rely solely on glucose for fuel). The glucose in the blood comes from the food that you eat. When you eat food, glucose gets absorbed from your intestines and distributed by the bloodstream to all of the cells in your body. Your body tries to keep a constant supply of glucose for your cells by maintaining a constant glucose concentration in your blood -- otherwise, your cells would have more than enough glucose right after a meal and starve in between meals and overnight. So, when you have an oversupply of glucose, your body stores the excess in the liver and muscles by making glycogen, long chains of glucose. When glucose is in short supply, your body mobilizes glucose from stored glycogen and/or stimulates you to eat food. The key is to maintain a constant blood-glucose level. To maintain a constant blood-glucose level, your body relies on two hormones produced in the pancreas that have opposite actions: insulin and glucagon. Insulin is made and secreted by the beta cells of the pancreatic islets, small islands of endocrine cells in the pancreas. Insulin is a protein hormone that contains 51 amino acids. Insulin is required by almost all of the body's cells, but its major targets are liver cells, fat cells and muscle cells. For these cells, insulin does the following: As such, insulin stores nutrients right after a meal by reducing the concentrations of glucose, fatty acids and amino acids in the bloodstream. See the next 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 >>

8 Tips To Avoid Blood Sugar Dips And Spikes

8 Tips To Avoid Blood Sugar Dips And Spikes

If you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar levels are racing up and down like a roller coaster, it's time to get off the ride. Big swings in your blood sugar can make you feel lousy. But even if you aren't aware of them, they can still increase your risk for a number of serious health problems. By making simple but specific adjustments to your lifestyle and diet, you can gain better blood-sugar control. Your body uses the sugar, also known as glucose, in the foods you eat for energy. Think of it as a fuel that keeps your body moving throughout the day. Blood Sugar Highs and Lows Type 2 diabetes decreases the body’s production of insulin, which is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and can damage nerves and blood vessels. This increase of blood sugar also increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Over time, high blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, can lead to more health problems, including kidney failure and blindness. "Keeping blood sugar stable can help prevent the long-term consequences of fluctuations," says Melissa Li-Ng, MD, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Dr. Li-Ng explains that high blood sugar can cause a number of symptoms that include: Fatigue Increased thirst Blurry vision Frequent urination It's also important to know that you can have high blood sugar and still feel fine, but your body can still suffer damage, Li-Ng says. Symptoms of high blood sugar typically develop at levels above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). "You can have high blood sugar that's between 150 and 199 and feel perfectly fine," Li-Ng says. Over time, your body can also get used to chronically high blood sugar levels, so you don’t feel the symptoms, she says. On the flip side, if you 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

How Much Sugar Should Be In Your Blood?

How Much Sugar Should Be In Your Blood?

Many people suffer from diabetes and high blood sugar. It is important to understand that high blood sugar levels can not only predispose you to diabetes, but it is always unhealthy to overload your blood with too much sugar. Normal blood sugar levels should be maintained optimally, and if you have a history of diabetes in your family, it is very important to check your blood sugar levels at least every 6 months. What are Blood Sugar Levels? Blood sugar or blood glucose levels are the levels of glucose present in the blood. Glucose is the primary source of energy for our body, and in order to sustain life, blood glucose has to be at a certain level for us to function optimally. In a normal person, excess blood glucose is transferred to the body tissues with the help of a hormone called ” “insulin” . When there is a deficiency of this hormone or if there are other reasons that impede the normal transfer of glucose from the blood to the body tissues, then a condition called “diabetes mellitus” can develop. What Are The Tests That Determine Blood Glucose Levels? There are two common tests that determine blood glucose levels and whether they are in the normal range or not. These tests are ” “fasting” blood glucose and ” “random” blood glucose tests. In the fasting test one has to fast for approximately 12 hours before giving blood for the test, and in the random test, blood can be given any time of the day to check for normal blood glucose levels. Other tests that check for glucose levels are: Continue reading >>

Homeostasis: Negative Feedback, Body Temperature, Blood Glucose

Homeostasis: Negative Feedback, Body Temperature, Blood Glucose

7 Parts: Homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal environment in response to a changing external environment. Hormones have an important role in this system. Hormones are made of proteins, they are released by glands into the bloodstream, where they reach target cells. A specific hormone will fit a specific receptor protein, and this brings about a change in that cell. Negative feedback is the mechanism by which the body maintains conditions within particular limits. The body will do this by opposing a change that deviates from the normal. The diagram below helps to explain this using the example of body temperature. Note that the opposite change takes the level too far below the normal, therefore a negative response backup will occur, and the process repeats itself, so that over time the temperature oscillates about the normal, within small limits. It is important to maintain a constant temperature so that living organisms can maintain metabolism. There are two types of heat regulation: endothermic where the species controls their own temperature (mammals, birds), and ectothermic where temperature reflects the environmental temperature (lizards, fish). The temperature in mammals is detected by thermoreceptors in the skin and the hypothalamus which is in the brain. Changes in temperature bring about nerve impulses from the brain to the muscles and glands which will bring about changes depending on whether it is hot or cold. The amount of glucose in your blood is carefully controlled. Again, this uses the hormonal system. The hormones responsible for regulating blood glucose are produced in the pancreas in particular areas called islets of Langerhans. After you have eaten a meal, the blood glucose levels will begin to rise because the carbohydrates in the fo 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

8 Ways To Balance Your Blood Sugar Naturally

8 Ways To Balance Your Blood Sugar Naturally

When you master your blood sugar, you'll feel full of energy, cravings will subside, your weight will be controlled, your mood will stabilize, your memory will be better and you will balance your hormones. Also, when you learn to balance your blood sugar you minimize your risk of blood sugar-related diseases, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease. Eating foods that release energy quickly can cause feelings of fatigue, hunger and irritation. Processed foods and those full of refined sugar cause a spike in your blood sugars — they release their glucose in a sudden rush. Blood sugar spikes rapidly, but it quickly crashes back to earth! We have a lovely hormone that comes to the rescue: insulin. Insulin helps the body absorb and process sugar effectively, but the excess is stored as fat! When this cycle happens over and over again, our cells become tired and stop listening to insulin, which leads to insulin resistance, an early warning sign of diabetes. So if you're moody, irritable, hungry, have cravings, experience poor concentration or gain weight? You need to balance your blood sugar! Below are a few natural, diet-based methods to do just that: 1. Eat foods low on the glycemic index. These foods release energy SLOWLY into the bloodstream. You can probably guess what they may be: vegetables, legumes, some fruits (berries and stone fruits are best), whole grains, nuts and seeds. 2. Include a snack in between main meals. This will allow you to stay nice and stable throughout the day. I always encourage a protein-rich snack. 3. Eat protein with each meal. This is especially important to do when you eat carbohydrates, in order to slow down the release of energy. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, meaning it releases energy slowly, which helps signal to t Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose

Blood Glucose

The main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy. Also called blood sugar. PubMed Health Glossary (Source: NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) How the Body Controls Blood Glucose When the blood sugar levels rise, for instance following a meal, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin enters the bloodstream and ensures that the sugar in the food and drinks we consume is transported from our blood to our cells, where it is transformed into energy for the body. Insulin also causes the liver and the muscles to store sugar, and stops new sugar being made in the liver. The blood sugar levels fall because of this. When blood sugar levels are low, the pancreas releases glucagon into the bloodstream. This hormone causes the cells of the liver to release stored sugar. Glucagon also ensures that the cells of the liver produce new sugar from other substances in the body. When the blood sugar level has risen, the release of glucagon is stopped once again. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) Related conditions Terms to know A cell that makes insulin. Beta cells are located in the islets of the pancreas. Checking blood glucose levels by using a blood glucose meter or blood glucose test strips that change color when touched by a blood sample in order to manage diabetes. Tubes that carry blood to and from all parts of the body. The three main types of blood vessels are arteries, capillaries, and veins. A hormone produced by the pancreas that increases the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. A simple sugar the body manufactures from carbohydrates in the diet. Glucose is the body's main source of energy. A hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When Continue reading >>

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