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What Controls Blood Sugar Levels In The Body?

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 >>

Blood Glucose Regulation

Blood Glucose Regulation

Blood glucose regulation involves maintaining blood glucose levels at constant levels in the face of dynamic glucose intake and energy use by the body. Glucose, shown in figure 1 is key in the energy intake of humans. On average this target range is 60-100 mg/dL for an adult although people can be asymptomatic at much more varied levels. In order to maintain this range there are two main hormones that control blood glucose levels: insulin and glucagon. Insulin is released when there are high amounts of glucose in the blood stream. Glucagon is released when there are low levels of glucose in the blood stream. There are other hormones that effect glucose regulation and are mainly controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. Blood glucose regulation is very important to the maintenance of the human body. The brain doesn’t have any energy storage of its own and as a result needs a constant flow of glucose, using about 120 grams of glucose daily or about 60% of total glucose used by the body at resting state. [1] With out proper blood glucose regulation the brain and other organs could starve leading to death. Insulin A key regulatory pathway to control blood glucose levels is the hormone insulin. Insulin is released from the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans found in the pancreas. Insulin is released when there is a high concentration of glucose in the blood stream. The beta cells know to release insulin through the fallowing pathway depicted in figure 2. [2,3]Glucose enters the cell and ATP is produce in the mitochondria through the Krebs cycle and electron transport chain. This increase in ATP causes channels to closes. These channels allow potassium cations to flow into the cell. [2,3,]With these channels closed the inside of the cell becomes more negative causin Continue reading >>

Controlling Blood Sugar Levels

Controlling Blood Sugar Levels

Glucose is a sugar needed by cells for respiration. It is important that the concentration of glucose in the blood is maintained at a constant level. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, controls blood sugar levels in the body. It travels from the pancreas to the liver in the bloodstream. As with other responses controlled by hormones, the response is slower but longer lasting than if it had been controlled by the nervous system. Blood sugar levels- Higher tier What happens when glucose levels in the blood become too high or too low glucose level effect on pancreas effect on liver effect on glucose level too high insulin secreted into the blood liver converts glucose into glycogen goes down too low insulin not secreted into the blood liver does not convert glucose into glycogen goes up Use the animation to make sure you understand how this works. You have an old or no version of flash - you need to upgrade to view this funky content! Go to the WebWise Flash install guide Diabetes is a disorder in which the blood glucose levels remain too high. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1, which usually develops during childhood Type 2, which usually develops in later life. The table summarises some differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Some differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes Type 1 diabetes Type 2 diabetes Who it mainly affects Children and teenagers. Adults under the age of 40. Adults, normally over the age of 40 (there is a greater risk in those who have poor diets and/or are overweight). How it works The pancreas stops making enough insulin. The body no longer responds to its insulin. How it is controlled Injections of insulin for life and an appropriate diet. Exercise and appropriate diet. When treating Type 1 diabetes, the dosage of in Continue reading >>

How To Lower Blood Glucose Levels

How To Lower Blood Glucose Levels

Blood sugar (glucose) is at the heart of diabetes management. Diabetes develops when your pancreas can no longer produce insulin in sufficient quantity, or your body becomes less sensitive to the insulin you produce. Without enough effective insulin, your blood sugar levels can get out of control. High blood glucose (hyperglycemia) is most common in type 2 diabetes. But any person with diabetes can have bouts of high blood sugar. Lowering your blood sugar is crucial to both short-term and long-term diabetes management. When left untreated, hyperglycemia can cause: eye damage cardiovascular disease kidney failure nerve damage (neuropathy) skin and gum infections joint problems diabetic coma Many people with diabetes can detect hyperglycemia. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of high blood sugar start to develop when levels reach more than 200 mg/dL. Some common symptoms include: sudden, excessive fatigue severe headaches blurry vision increased urination abdominal pain nausea dry mouth confusion The goal is to prevent hyperglycemia before it starts. It can develop suddenly, but in many cases high blood sugar develops over the course of several days. Symptoms worsen the longer you experience elevated blood sugar. The key is knowing where your blood sugar levels stand. Regular blood glucose monitoring is essential, especially in type 2 diabetes. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a range of 70 to 130 mg/dL before meals, and blood glucose less than 180 mg/dL after eating. Dietary changes are among the first actions taken by diabetics. Not only does a healthy diet make you feel good, but you can also lower your blood sugar during the process. Carbohydrates are often a source of criticism because they affect glucose more than any other food group. But it’s im Continue reading >>

How Does My Body Control My Blood Sugar Levels?

How Does My Body Control My Blood Sugar Levels?

When high sugar, or low fiber, starchy foods are eaten in excess, blood sugar levels rise quickly, producing a strain on blood sugar control. The body responds to the rise in blood glucose levels after meals by secreting insulin, a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas (a small gland that resides at the base of the stomach). Insulin lowers blood glucose by increasing the rate that glucose is taken up by cells throughout the body. Declines in blood glucose, as occur during fasting or exercise, cause the release of glucagon, another hormone produced by the pancreas. Glucagon stimulates the release of glucose stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. If blood sugar levels fall sharply or if a person is angry or frightened, it may result in the release of epinephrine (Adrenalin) and corticosteroids (cortisol) by the adrenal glands. These hormones provide quicker breakdown of stored glucose for extra energy during a crisis or increased need. Ideally, these mechanisms are effective in keeping blood sugar levels within a very narrow range. Unfortunately, a great deal of Americans stress these control mechanisms through diet and lifestyle. As a result, obesity, diabetes, and other disorders of blood sugar regulation are among the most common diseases of modern society. Hunger Free Forever: The New Science of Appetite Control From two leading authorities on appetite control, obesity, natural medicine, and food comes a breakthrough in getting healthy and staying slim without starving.Millions have spent years searching for... Blood glucose levels naturally vary. They rise after a meal, then go down as the body uses up the glucose provided by the food. Here's how it normally works: As your blood glucose starts to rise after a meal, the pancreas responds by releasin Continue reading >>

Oral Treatments To Control Blood Sugar

Oral Treatments To Control Blood Sugar

When are oral medicines used? In type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes), the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are progressively destroyed by an immune reaction, stopping the production of insulin. Insulin replacement treatment is therefore needed for life, because we cannot make the beta cells in the pancreas work again to produce insulin. Insulin can't be taken in tablet form, because it is broken down in the digestive system. This destroys its effect. Insulin is given by injection. Type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes) is different because the pancreas still produces insulin. Instead, problems are caused because: insulin is produced inefficiently in response to surges of blood sugar, eg following a meal the insulin produced gets less effective at controlling blood sugar, because the cells in the body become increasingly resistant to it. This is called 'insulin resistance'. Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves either improving insulin release in response to meals, or reducing the resistance of the body cells to the effect of insulin. Diet and exercise are the first treatments used to improve insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. If blood sugar is not adequately controlled after at least three months of healthy eating and increasing exercise, oral medicines are used. What oral medicines are used in type 2 diabetes? There are various types of oral medicine that can be used to control blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Glitazones (sometimes called thiazolidinediones): pioglitazone (Actos) is now the only one available, following the withdrawal of rosiglitazone (Avandia) in October 2010. Pioglitazone is also available combined with metformin (Competact). How do they work? Oral medicines work in five basic ways to lower blood gluco Continue reading >>

What Organ Regulates The Amount Of Glucose In The Bloodstream?

What Organ Regulates The Amount Of Glucose In The Bloodstream?

Glucose in the bloodstream provides the primary fuel for all body tissues. Blood glucose levels are highest during the digestive period after a meal. Your blood sugar is lowest when the stomach and intestines are empty. Under normal circumstances, the body tightly controls the amount of insulin in your blood. An organ called the pancreas, which is tucked behind the stomach releases the hormones insulin and glucagon to regulate blood sugar levels. Blood sugar regulation is crucial because high and low blood glucose can cause health problems. The pancreas is an elongated organ wide on one end and slender on the other end and measures about 25 centimeters in length. It has dual functions: it releases digestive enzymes, which plays a role in digestion, and it secretes hormones. Prevents High Blood Glucose Insulin plays an integral role in preventing high blood sugar. After you eat a meal and your blood-glucose rises, your pancreas senses your blood-sugar level. When the glucose in your bloodstream becomes high, the pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. A small clump of pancreatic cells called the ''islets of Langerhans,'' manufacture insulin. Once the insulin is in your bloodstream, it allows your cells to absorb and use glucose as a fuel source. Mediates Low Blood Sugar When you consume more carbohydrate than your body needs at the time, your body stores the extra glucose as glycogen in the liver. The pancreas continuously monitors your blood sugar levels. When glucose is low, the pancreas releases the hormone glucagon. The glucagon triggers the liver to break down glycogen and converts it back to glucose. The stored glucose enters the bloodstream and raises blood-glucose levels. This allows the body to keep blood sugar levels stable in between meals. Blood Gluc Continue reading >>

Controlling Blood Sugar In Diabetes: How Low Should You Go?

Controlling Blood Sugar In Diabetes: How Low Should You Go?

Diabetes is an ancient disease, but the first effective drug therapy was not available until 1922, when insulin revolutionized the management of the disorder. Insulin is administered by injection, but treatment took another great leap forward in 1956, when the first oral diabetic drug was introduced. Since then, dozens of new medications have been developed, but scientists are still learning how best to use them. And new studies are prompting doctors to re-examine a fundamental therapeutic question: what level of blood sugar is best? Normal metabolism To understand diabetes, you should first understand how your body handles glucose, the sugar that fuels your metabolism. After you eat, your digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars that are small enough to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Glucose is far and away the most important of these sugars, and it's an indispensable source of energy for your body's cells. But to provide that energy, it must travel from your blood into your cells. Insulin is the hormone that unlocks the door to your cells. When your blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the beta cells of your pancreas spring into action, pouring insulin into your blood. If you produce enough insulin and your cells respond normally, your blood sugar level drops as glucose enters the cells, where it is burned for energy or stored for future use in your liver as glycogen. Insulin also helps your body turn amino acids into proteins and fatty acids into body fat. The net effect is to allow your body to turn food into energy and to store excess energy to keep your engine running if fuel becomes scarce in the future. A diabetes primer Diabetes is a single name for a group of disorders. All forms of the disease develop when the pancreas is unable to Continue reading >>

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 >>

15 Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

15 Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

High blood sugar occurs when your body can't effectively transport sugar from blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes. One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic (1). This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally: Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction. If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should routinely check your levels. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low (2). Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels. Your body breaks carbs down into sugars (mostly glucose), and then insulin moves the sugars into cells. When you eat too many carbs or have problems with insulin function, this process fails and blood glucose levels rise. However, there are several things you can do about this. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends controlling carb intake by counting carbs or using a food exchange system (3). Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, which may further improve blood sugar control (4, 5). Many studies also show that a low-carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood s Continue reading >>

Controlling Your Blood Sugar Helps Prevent Complications. Here Are 5 Ways To Do It.

Controlling Your Blood Sugar Helps Prevent Complications. Here Are 5 Ways To Do It.

Nerves are the body’s messengers. From your fingertips to your toes, your nerves control everything from a simple sneeze to your beating heart. But sometimes diabetes can damage this complex network. Researchers believe this happens when, over time, a surplus of glucose destroys the walls of the blood vessels that feed your nerves, particularly in the legs. An estimated 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage, also known as neuropathy. Individuals who have lived with diabetes for many years are at the highest risk for developing neuropathy. But even those who have only had diabetes for a short time can suffer from nerve damage if their blood sugar has been out of control. Experts believe that you can drastically lower your chances of neuropathy and other diabetes complications by consistently keeping your glucose levels in the target range. An important 1993 study found that maintaining strict control over blood glucose reduced risk of neuropathy in people with diabetes by as much as 60 percent. Even if you already have some nerve damage, tighter control of your blood sugar levels may help to thwart or delay further injury. 5 tips to keep your blood sugar levels in check As you know, controlling your blood sugar each day is a big task that requires constant monitoring. And if you take insulin, you also require numerous doses of medicine throughout your day. The following tips can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels and avoid complications: 1. Eat healthy. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, a healthy diet can help you manage your glucose level. Monitoring your carb intake is especially important, as carbs can have a dramatic impact on your blood sugar. An ideal meal plan includes a variety of colorful veggies and fruits 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 Human Body Regulate Its Blood Glucose Levels?

How Does The Human Body Regulate Its Blood Glucose Levels?

Once a person has eaten a meal, their digestive system will break the nutrients down into smaller components that can travel in the blood to any parts of the body that need them. Any carbohydrates in this food will be broken down into sugars (e.g. glucose). These sugars will rapidly enter the blood. At this point, it is critical for the body to use the glucose ASAP to avoid hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose) and maintain a constant blood glucose level. The glucose in the blood is therefore stored in liver and muscle cells in the form of a larger molecule called glycogen. The body is able to detect blood glucose levels via an organ called the pancreas. More specifically, it is detected by areas within the pancreas called islets of Langerhans. In this region there are 2 types of cells. Beta-cells and alpha-cells. Beta-cells will detect high blood glucose (e.g. after a meal) and secrete insulin. Insulin is a hormone that will help the liver and muscle cell uptake more glucose and convert it to glycogen, thus lowering the overall blood glucose levels. Alpha-cells will detect low blood glucose (e.g. after exercise) and secrete glucagon. Glucagon is also a hormone, but it has the role of breaking down glycogen and releasing glucose from the liver and muscle cells. This will increase the blood glucose. To provide an overview, the components within this system communicate with each other via hormones in order to provide a relatively constant blood glucose level. This maintanence of the internal environment is an example of homeostasis. 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 >>

7 Ways To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

7 Ways To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Enjoy Mediterranean meals iStock/Thinkstock According to studies involving 140,000 people, the odds of developing diabetes are 21 percent lower for those who follow a Mediterranean diet—building meals around plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, and olive oil. Fish and chicken are eaten regularly but not red meat, butter, or sweets. Phytonutrients and fiber in the plant foods help with blood sugar control, and the olive oil might reduce inflammation. Go blue iStock/Thinkstock Eating more anthocyanins—the nutrients that give grapes and berries their bright red and blue colors—was linked to better blood sugar control in a new British study. One portion a day of grapes or berries can have the same impact on blood sugar as a one-point reduction in your body mass index, says researcher Aedin Cassidy of Norwich Medical School. Don't skip breakfast If you frequently miss a morning meal, you'll be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Eating breakfast may help stabilize blood sugar throughout the day. Prepare a healthy blend of protein, complex carbs, and fat—yogurt mixed with fruit and nuts, for example. Starting the day with lots of simple carbs (such as a bagel and OJ) is just as bad for your blood sugar as skipping the meal, according to experiments at the University of Minnesota. Sweat and strengthen iStock/Thinkstock Women who did both cardio (at least two and a half hours) and strength training (at least one hour) every week had the lowest diabetes risk—about one third less than that of non-exercisers. After an exercise session, your muscles take up more glucose from the bloodstream. As you become more fit over time, cells become more sensitive to insulin. Step away from the desk (and the TV) Hemera, iStock, Photodisc/ Continue reading >>

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