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How Is Blood Sugar Produced

What Is Normal Blood Sugar?

What Is Normal Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar, or glucose, is an important source of energy and provides nutrients to your body's organs, muscles and nervous system. The body gets glucose from the food you eat, and the absorption, storage and production of glucose is regulated constantly by complex processes involving the small intestine, liver and pancreas. Normal blood sugar varies from person to person, but a normal range for fasting blood sugar (the amount of glucose in your blood six to eight hours after a meal) is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter. For most individuals, the level of glucose in the blood rises after meals. A normal blood-sugar range after eating is between 135 and 140 milligrams per deciliter. These variations in blood-sugar levels, both before and after meals, are normal and reflect the way that glucose is absorbed and stored in the body. After you eat, your body breaks down the carbohydrates in food into smaller parts, including glucose, which can be absorbed by the small intestine. As the small intestine absorbs glucose, the pancreas releases insulin, which stimulates body tissues and causes them to absorb this glucose and metabolize it (a process known as glycogenesis). This stored glucose (glycogen) is used to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels between meals. When glucose levels drop between meals, the body takes some much-needed sugar out of storage. The process is kicked off by the pancreas, which releases a hormone known as glucagon, which promotes the conversion of stored sugar (glycogen) in the liver back to glucose. The glucose is then released into the bloodstream. When there isn't enough glucose stored up to maintain normal blood-sugar levels, the body will even produce its own glucose from noncarbohydrate sources (such as amino acids and glycerol). This pro Continue reading >>

Suppress Blood Sugar Without Drugs

Suppress Blood Sugar Without Drugs

The research is conclusive—the longer you wait to tame age-related blood sugar increases, the greater your odds of succumbing to diabetes and its associated increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, cancer, and blindness.1-3 For the majority of aging individuals,urgent action is needed.1,2 The public has not yet recognized the magnitude of damage inflicted after consumption of what most consider only a moderate amount of starch or sugar. A widely publicized study showed that drinking just one 12-ounce sugar-sweetened soda daily resulted in an 18-22% increased risk of type II diabetes.4 While health-conscious people may avoid sodas, there are so many glucose-spiking foods in our diets that virtually none of us are immune. Hard science reveals that fasting blood sugar above 85 mg/dL is associated with increased risks of death and disease. Unfortunately, most adult glucose levels are well above this range.1,2,5 Aging humans should take assertive steps before eating carbohydrates to impede the absorption of glucose into their bloodstream. Just as important, however, is the need to suppress excess production of glucose in our liver and to improve uptake of blood glucose into our muscle cells as opposed to it being stored as fat. The breaking news for those who want to avoid drugs is the discovery of three plant-derived nutrients that target underlying reasons why 80% of American adults today have higher than optimal glucose levels.6 The July 3, 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) examined the impact of fructose on human health.7 High-fructose corn syrup represents over 40% of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages. It’s often the sole caloric sweetener in soft drinks in the United States.8 The digestion and metaboli Continue reading >>

What Is High Blood Sugar?

What Is High Blood Sugar?

Have you ever tried to fly a remote control airplane or helicopter? If you steer too sharply one way, your plane will crash into the ground. And if you go too far in the opposite direction, the plane will nose directly upward, making it difficult to control. For people with diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels (or blood glucose levels) is kind of like piloting that plane. To stay in the air and have the most fun, you have to keep blood sugar levels steady. Having a blood sugar level that's too high can make you feel lousy, and having it often can be unhealthy. The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and it's carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Hyperglycemia (pronounced: hi-per-gly-SEE-me-uh) is the medical word for high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels happen when the body either can't make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can't respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can cause serious health problems if it's not treated. Hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. However, these health problems can occur in adulthood in some Continue reading >>

The Role Of The Pancreas In The Digestive (exocrine) System

The Role Of The Pancreas In The Digestive (exocrine) System

The role of the pancreas in digestion and sugar metabolism Along with the liver, the pancreas is one of the master chemists of the body. In fact, it’s two chemists in one. The pancreas is a gland about the size of a hand, tucked between a bend in the upper part of the intestines (the duodenum) and the stomach. One function of the pancreas produces enzymes for the digestive system in the exocrine tissue. The other function of the pancreas creates hormones as part of the endocrine system. Within the pancreas the tissues of both systems intertwine, which makes it difficult to treat the pancreas because things that work on one system very easily damage the other. In essence, the pancreas is a digestive organ in that all its functions relate to digestion and the regulation of nutrients entering the blood stream – especially sugar in the form of glucose. While its exocrine function connects directly to the small intestine through a system of ducts, the endocrine pancreas connects to the rest of the body through the blood and nervous systems. Both systems react to the demand for energy and the complex chemical biofeedback controlled process of digestion. The stomach breaks down the bulky food you eat and starts the process of reducing the large nutrient molecules with gastric acids. The intestines carry out the task of absorbing the nutrients into the bloodstream. The pancreas, with its ducts leading into the top of the small intestine, plays a crucial role in digestion by secreting enzymes that cut apart large nutrient molecules, making smaller molecules that can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the walls of the intestines. Within the pancreas, acinar cells produce the digestion enzymes, which travel in pancreatic juice into the duodenum through a system of ducts Continue reading >>

Drinking Alcohol & Blood Glucose Level

Drinking Alcohol & Blood Glucose Level

Blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels, can be influenced by alcohol consumption. Interestingly enough, though, different amounts of alcohol can have opposite effects on blood sugar. While moderate amounts of alcohol can create a rise in blood sugar, excessive alcohol consumption can cause blood sugar levels to drop to dangerously low levels. These effects, however, are mostly associated with diabetics. Blood glucose can come from three sources: diet, stored glucose and glucose made by the body from other nutrients. The two key hormones that are necessary in regulating blood glucose levels are insulin and glucagon. When blood sugar drops, the body reacts by producing more, and when blood sugar rises, the body releases insulin to maintain balance. Alcohol can affect the amount of blood sugar and the amount of insulin in the body, particularly when drunk in high amounts. Alcohol Consumption When you consume an alcoholic drink, the alcohol moves directly into the bloodstream without being metabolized in the stomach. It only takes five minutes for alcohol to become detectable in the bloodstream, where it then travels to the liver to be metabolized. For most people it takes about two hours for the liver to metabolize a single drink. If you continue to drink alcohol faster than your liver can metabolize it, the excess alcohol is carried by the bloodstream to the brain and other areas of the body. For those taking insulin -- a hormone that regulates glucose in the blood -- this can lead to low blood sugar because the liver is busy removing alcohol from the bloodstream rather than regulating blood sugar levels. High Blood Sugar and Hypoglycemia In frequent drinkers, the body can become less sensitive to insulin, which can result in high blood sugar levels. Accor Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar

Low Blood Sugar

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin is needed to move glucose into cells where it is stored or used for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells. This leads to symptoms of diabetes. Low blood sugar occurs due to any of the following: Your body's sugar (glucose) is used up too quickly Glucose production by the body is too low or it is released into the bloodstream too slowly Too much insulin is in the bloodstream Low blood sugar is common in people with diabetes who are taking insulin or certain other medicines to control their diabetes. However, many other diabetes medicines do not cause low blood sugar. Exercise can also lead to low blood sugar in people taking insulin to treat their diabetes. Babies born to mothers with diabetes may have severe drops in blood sugar right after birth. In people who do not have diabetes, low blood sugar may be caused by: Drinking alcohol Insulinoma, which is a rare tumor in the pancreas that produces too much insulin Lack of a hormone, such as cortisol, growth hormone, or thyroid hormone Severe heart, kidney, or liver failure Infection that affects the whole body (sepsis) Some types of weight-loss surgery (usually 5 or more years after the surgery) Medicines not used to treat diabetes (certain antibiotics or heart drugs) Continue reading >>

How Does Eating Affect Your Blood Sugar?

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 >>

How Does The Liver Control Glucose In The Blood?

How Does The Liver Control Glucose In The Blood?

Your body needs a constant supply of glucose, or sugar, for cells to have energy, so it requires a readily available reservoir to keep blood glucose in balance. One of the liver’s main roles in the body is controlling the amount of glucose circulating in the blood. By storing excess glucose as glycogen and creating new glucose from proteins and fat byproducts, the liver is able to maintain balanced glucose levels in your body at all times. Video of the Day When you eat carbohydrates, the body releases glucose into the bloodstream immediately, triggering the production of insulin. The body cannot be in a state of constant consumption, so when insulin levels are high enough, the body links long chains of glucose together into a compound called glycogen, which is then stored in the liver and the muscles. The liver uses this stored glucose energy as its main reservoir for releasing glucose into the bloodstream when levels drop. Breakdown of Glycogen Blood glucose levels drop when you're not eating, such as during sleep or between meals. This low blood sugar signals the liver to produce glucose and release it back into the bloodstream. The liver favors glycogen as its primary source since it is efficiently broken down into glucose in a process known as glycogenolysis. In this process, the liver breaks the bonds that hold glucose molecules together as glycogen, degrading most but not all of the glycogen molecule. Effects of Insulin Resistance When your body is chronically subjected to high levels of blood sugar and insulin, such as after you've eaten an excessive amount of foods high in sugar, it develops a resistance to the hormone, and the liver cannot respond properly, eventually leading to type-2 diabetes if the resistance is not controlled. According to a study publish Continue reading >>

10 Blood Sugar–lowering Foods

10 Blood Sugar–lowering Foods

Adapted from The Carb Sensitivity Program It is no exaggeration—balancing your blood sugar could be a matter of life or death. Chronic high blood sugar levels are toxic to your body, destroying organs and blood vessels and paving the way to a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke, dialysis, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, or even blindness. The good news? Out-of-control sugar levels can be reigned in and regulated with the right foods. Here are most potent blood sugar-lowering foods so you know how to lower blood sugar levels naturally. Blood Sugar Benefit: A groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010 found a daily dose of the bioactive ingredients from blueberries increases sensitivity to insulin and may reduce the risk of developing diabetes in at-risk individuals. That's important because too many carbs produces too much insulin, which could lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Adding blueberries to daily smoothies for six weeks also improves insulin sensitivity, so feel free to eat healthy doses of the superfood fruit, too. Added Perk: Low in naturally occurring sugars, blueberries are also packed with antioxidants that fight damage from free radicals, accelerated aging, and diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. Blood Sugar Benefit: Don't let the fat content of avocados fool you—they're still good for you! Avocados are full of monounsaturated fat, the kind that helps slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream, prompting less insulin release, and can even help to lower your cholesterol. Added Perk: Avocados contain beta-sitosterol, a compound that could help quell inflammation after an intense workout. Just limit yourself to one-quarter of an avocado at a time to avoid calorie overload. Or, try avocado oil drizzled on a Continue reading >>

Why Diabetics Over Produce Sugar In The Liver

Why Diabetics Over Produce Sugar In The Liver

Type 2 diabetics often suffer from an over-production of sugar within the liver, a response to falling blood glucose levels. This potentially dangerous mechanism was poorly understood until recently, when researchers uncovered the role that a certain “master regulator” plays in sugar production within the liver. While an inability to regulate blood glucose levels, due to resistance to insulin produced by pancreatic beta cells, is the primary mechanism that leads to and enhances type 2 diabetes, the liver plays a large role as well. Beta-cells, in a healthy body, produce insulin, which helps regulate blood glucose levels, but the liver itself directly responds to low blood glucose levels by producing more sugar. In type 2 diabetics, who suffer from insulin resistance (and therefore dysfunctional regulation of blood glucose with insulin), the liver often has a tendency to produce sugar when not really needed, which can cause potential harm. In other words, the liver continues to produce sugar past what it should, because insulin is not regulating the sugar already being produced, in type 2 diabetics. To illustrate the role that the liver plays in type 2 diabetics, researcher Dr. Jenny Gunton explains that over-production of sugar within the liver is why many diabetics wake up with higher blood glucose levels than they had when going to sleep: “…It upsets people when their blood sugar behaves as if they’re getting up in the night and having a really big snack. I have to tell them it’s just one of those unfair things about having diabetes.” Researchers looked at ARNT, a so-called “master regulator,” which is known to play a large role in insulin production and blood glucose control. Past research by the same research team demonstrated that type 2 diabetics Continue reading >>

How Our Bodies Turn Food Into Energy

How Our Bodies Turn Food Into Energy

All parts of the body (muscles, brain, heart, and liver) need energy to work. This energy comes from the food we eat. Our bodies digest the food we eat by mixing it with fluids (acids and enzymes) in the stomach. When the stomach digests food, the carbohydrate (sugars and starches) in the food breaks down into another type of sugar, called glucose. The stomach and small intestines absorb the glucose and then release it into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, glucose can be used immediately for energy or stored in our bodies, to be used later. However, our bodies need insulin in order to use or store glucose for energy. Without insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream, keeping blood sugar levels high. How the Body Makes Insulin Insulin is a hormone made by beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells are very sensitive to the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Normally beta cells check the blood's glucose level every few seconds and sense when they need to speed up or slow down the amount of insulin they're making and releasing. When someone eats something high in carbohydrates, like a piece of bread, the glucose level in the blood rises and the beta cells trigger the pancreas to release more insulin into the bloodstream. See Illustration: How Insulin Works Insulin Opens Cell Doors When insulin is released from the pancreas, it travels through the bloodstream to the body's cells and tells the cell doors to open up to let the glucose in. Once inside, the cells convert glucose into energy to use right then or store it to use later. As glucose moves from the bloodstream into the cells, blood sugar levels start to drop. The beta cells in the pancreas can tell this is happening, so they slow down the amount of insulin they're making. At the same time, the pancreas slows 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 >>

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 >>

Video: How Diabetes Affects Your Blood Sugar

Video: How Diabetes Affects Your Blood Sugar

Your body uses glucose for energy. Glucose metabolism requires insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas. Here's how normal glucose metabolism works, and what happens when you have diabetes — a disease where your body either can't produce enough insulin or it can't use insulin properly. The food you eat consists of three basic nutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat. During digestion, chemicals in your stomach break down carbohydrates into glucose, which is absorbed into your bloodstream. Your pancreas responds to the glucose by releasing insulin. Insulin is responsible for allowing glucose into your body's cells. When the glucose enters your cells, the amount of glucose in your bloodstream falls. If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn't secrete insulin — which causes a buildup of glucose in your bloodstream. Without insulin, the glucose can't get into your cells. If you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas secretes less insulin than your body requires because your body is resistant to its effect. With both types of diabetes, glucose cannot be used for energy, and it builds up in your bloodstream — causing potentially serious health complications. 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 >>

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