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How Is Blood Sugar Maintained In The Body

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 >>

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 >>

How To Maintain Glucose Levels

How To Maintain Glucose Levels

Blood sugar Fluctuations in blood sugar can cause: cravings water retention excess thirst mood swings Moods can swing from euphoric to unhappy; angry to couldn't care less; irritable and anxious to bored and tired. The positive moods can be as dangerous as the negative, because you are likely to swing rapidly from one extreme of mood to the other. You must take control of those highs and lows because the associated food cravings can undermine your efforts to change your eating patterns. Perhaps you know that you are only overcome by cravings for sweet things at pre-menstrual times. If so, this chapter will later explain how blood sugar levels are connected with our hormones. Nutrition and blood sugar Nutrition is the key to stabilising the levels of blood sugar. After a meal, glucose from the breakdown of food (digestion) is absorbed through the wall of the intestine into the bloodstream. At this point, there is, quite naturally, a high level of glucose in the blood. The body takes what it immediately needs for energy and then produces insulin from the pancreas in an attempt to lower the level of excess glucose. Any glucose that is not used immediately for energy is changed into glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles to be used later. The glucose level in the blood then reduces to normal. How do we maintain glucose levels? To maintain this balance in our blood sugar the body works in a similar way to the thermostat on a central heating system. Our natural 'thermostat' clicks into action as glucose levels rise and fall. The body takes action in the following ways: When the glucose levels fall too low The hormone adrenaline is released from the adrenal glands and glucagon is produced from the pancreas. Glucagon works in the opposite way to insulin and increases bloo Continue reading >>

Insulin Levels Signal The Liver Whether More Glucose Is Needed

Insulin Levels Signal The Liver Whether More Glucose Is Needed

To understand what happens as your blood sugar deteriorates from normal to pre-diabetes, and finally, to full-fledged diabetes you first need to understand how blood sugar control works in a normal body. The most important factor here is the role played by special cells called beta cells. These tiny cells are scattered through an organ called the pancreas which is located just under your stomach. The job of the beta cell is to produce insulin, store it, and release it into the blood stream at appropriate times. You can learn how blood sugar fluctuates during the day in people with normal blood sugar, those with mildly diabetic blood sugars, and those with full fledged Type 2 Diabetes on this page: Blood Sugar Throughout the Day. Healthy beta-cells are continually making insulin, storing it within the cell in little granules you can see in the illustration above. This insulin is released into the blood stream in two different fashions. Some of it is secreted into the blood continually. This is called basal insulin. The rest is secreted only when blood sugars rise, which happens mostly after you eat foods containing carbohydrates. This kind of insulin is secreted in two separate phases. Let's look more closely at these different ways the pancreas secretes insulin. Basal Insulin Release The beta-cells of a healthy person who has not eaten in a while release a small amount of insulin into the blood stream throughout the day and night in the form of very small pulses every few minutes. This is called "basal insulin release." Maintaining this steady supply of insulin is important. It allows the cells of the body to utilize blood sugar even if some time has passed since a meal. Insulin Levels Signal the Liver Whether More Glucose is Needed The steady insulin level as another f 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 Is Blood Glucose Maintained In The Body?

How Is Blood Glucose Maintained In The Body?

The control of blood glucose levels is an example of homeostasis. The human body requires glucose for normal respiration of cells, but the blood levels is in a narrow range. Insulin and glucagon are hormones released from the pancreas into the blood stream. They are called endocrine hormones, because they are in the blood stream (endocrine). How Insulin Controls Blood Glucose Insulin is secreted from the islet cells in the pancreas - in beta cells. HIGH blood glucose stimulates the release of insulin. There is a low level of insulin secreted by the pancreas, but in high glucose levels, more insulin is released into the blood stream. LOW blood glucose results in less secretion of insulin. In HIGH blood glucose, insulin in the blood stream causes glucose to enter cells resulting in a net reduction in blood glucose - into the normal range. In LOW blood glucose, more glucagon is released. The Effect of Glucagon On Blood Glucose Glucagon is also released by the pancreas, but it acts on liver cells to release glucose contained in glycogen molecules - this is called glycogenolysis (the breakdown of glycogen into glucose). Glucagon can also stimualte the liver to produce glucose out of other nutrients in the body, like proteins. If glucose levels are too low then glucagon is released, which results in an increase in blood glucose back to the normal range. 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

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 >>

How Glucose Levels Are Regulated In The Blood Stream

How Glucose Levels Are Regulated In The Blood Stream

Insulin and glucagon are like our yin and yang in regards to blood sugar levels. Both are produced by the pancreatic islets, the endocrine portion of the pancreas. Insulin is made by the beta cells in the pancreatic islets. Glucagon is made by the alpha cells in the pancreatic islets. Mnemonic: I remember this by remembering a vowel goes with a consonant, so Insulin starts with a vowel (i) and is matched up with Beta cells, which starts with a consonant (b). Glucagon starts with a consonant (g) and matches up with Alpha, which starts with a vowel (a). Insulin and glucagon are both protein hormones which means if you had to give either one to a patient it would have to be done through an injection, as opposed to steroid hormones which are lipids and can be taken orally. Insulin causes sugars in the blood stream to be transported into the cells, decreasing the blood sugar level. This sugar is usually used for creating ATP. In the liver, however, the glucose molecules join together to form a polysaccharide called glycogen. This process is called glycogenesis which literally means “to produce glycogen.” Glucagon causes the breakdown of glycogen from the liver to release glucose into the blood stream, thus raising blood sugar levels. Interestingly enough, muscle glycogen can only be used by the muscle while liver glycogen can be re-released into the blood stream to be used by the muscles as well. This process is called glycogenolysis which literally means the breakdown (-lysis) of glycogen. Fundamentally, insulin and glucagon are very important for keeping this balance. If you eat a bunch of sugar, insulin is going to be released to get rid of all the sugar in the blood stream. If you haven’t eaten anything for several hours, your body prevents your blood sugar from ge 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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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