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What Hormone Increases Blood Sugar

Homeostasis - Blood Sugar And Temperature

Homeostasis - Blood Sugar And Temperature

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

How Stress Hormones Raise Blood Sugar

How Stress Hormones Raise Blood Sugar

In this excerpt from “Think Like a Pancreas”, certified diabetes educator Gary Scheiner describes why this happens and what to do about it. (excerpted from Think Like A Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin by Gary Scheiner MS, CDE, DaCapo Press, 2011) Last weekend I decided to stay up late and watch a scary movie. It had something to do with super-gross vampires who get their jollies by eating the flesh of unsuspecting hotel guests. Anyway, after the final gut-wrenching, heart-pumping scene, I decided to check my blood sugar. I’ll be darned – it had risen about 200 mg/dL (11 mmol) during the movie. With blood that sweet, I felt like the grand prize for any vampires that might happen to be lurking in my neighborhood. As you may be aware, the liver serves as a storehouse for glucose, keeping it in a concentrated form called glycogen. The liver breaks down small amounts of glycogen all the time, releasing glucose into the bloodstream to nourish the brain, nerves, heart and other “always active” organs. The liver’s release of glucose depends largely on the presence of certain hormones. Of all the hormones in the body, only insulin causes the liver to take sugar out of the bloodstream and store it in the form of glycogen. All the other hormones—including stress hormones, sex hormones, growth hormones and glucagon—cause the liver to secrete glucose back into the bloodstream. Growth hormone is produced in a 24-hour cycle and is responsible for the blood sugar rise that we sometimes see during the night or in the early morning. The other “stress” hormones, particularly epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol, are produced when our body needs a rapid influx of sugar for energy purposes. The glucose rise I experienced during the scary Continue reading >>

Cortisol — Its Role In Stress, Inflammation, And Indications For Diet Therapy

Cortisol — Its Role In Stress, Inflammation, And Indications For Diet Therapy

Today’s Dietitian Vol. 11 No. 11 P. 38 Cortisol, a glucocorticoid (steroid hormone), is produced from cholesterol in the two adrenal glands located on top of each kidney. It is normally released in response to events and circumstances such as waking up in the morning, exercising, and acute stress. Cortisol’s far-reaching, systemic effects play many roles in the body’s effort to carry out its processes and maintain homeostasis. Of interest to the dietetics community, cortisol also plays an important role in human nutrition. It regulates energy by selecting the right type and amount of substrate (carbohydrate, fat, or protein) the body needs to meet the physiological demands placed on it. When chronically elevated, cortisol can have deleterious effects on weight, immune function, and chronic disease risk. Cortisol (along with its partner epinephrine) is best known for its involvement in the “fight-or-flight” response and temporary increase in energy production, at the expense of processes that are not required for immediate survival. The resulting biochemical and hormonal imbalances (ideally) resolve due to a hormonally driven negative feedback loop. The following is a typical example of how the stress response operates as its intended survival mechanism: 1. An individual is faced with a stressor. 2. A complex hormonal cascade ensues, and the adrenals secrete cortisol. 3. Cortisol prepares the body for a fight-or-flight response by flooding it with glucose, supplying an immediate energy source to large muscles. 4. Cortisol inhibits insulin production in an attempt to prevent glucose from being stored, favoring its immediate use. 5. Cortisol narrows the arteries while the epinephrine increases heart rate, both of which force blood to pump harder and faster. 6. Th Continue reading >>

How Glucocorticoids Effect Blood Sugar

How Glucocorticoids Effect Blood Sugar

Medications known as glucocorticoids, such as prednisone and cortisone, are mainly used as anti-inflammatories or as anti-rejection drugs. They are prescribed, for example, for an arthritis attack or after an organ transplant. One of their side effects is to increase blood glucose (sugar) since these drugs promote glucose production in the liver and reduce the sensitivity of the cells to insulin. Consequently, glucose accumulates in the blood and can cause a rise in blood sugar levels. The side-effects vary from person to person based on the prescribed dose of glucocorticoids, the way it is administered (cream, tablets or injection), and the length of time a person takes the drug. If you are taking glucocorticoids, measure your blood sugar more often than usual in order to monitor the drug’s impact on your diabetes control. It may be necessary to talk to your doctor to adjust your antidiabetes medication or your insulin dosage to maintain normal blood-glucose levels. When glucocorticoids treatment is over, blood glucose levels usually return to normal within a few days. Note: It is essential that the termination of glucocorticoids be supervised by a health professional. Research and text: Amélie Roy-Fleming , Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Scientific review: Louise Tremblay, nurse, M. Ed. September 2014 Continue reading >>

Why Are Fasting Blood Glucose Numbers High?

Why Are Fasting Blood Glucose Numbers High?

Stumped by high fasting blood glucose results? Join the club. "It just doesn't compute. When I snack before bed, my fastings are lower than when I limit my night nibbles," says Pete Hyatt, 59, PWD type 2. "It's logical for people to point the finger for high fasting blood sugar numbers at what they eat between dinner and bed, but surprisingly food isn't the lead villain," says Robert Chilton, M.D., a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The true culprit is compromised hormonal control of blood glucose levels. The Essential Hormones During the years (up to a decade) that type 2 diabetes develops, the hormonal control of blood glucose breaks down. Four hormones are involved in glucose control: Insulin, made in the beta cells of the pancreas, helps the body use glucose from food by enabling glucose to move into the body's cells for energy. People with type 2 diabetes have slowly dwindling insulin reserves. Amylin, secreted from the beta cells, slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream after eating by slowing stomach-emptying and increasing the feeling of fullness. People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are amylin-deficient. Incretins, a group of hormones secreted from the intestines that includes glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), enhance the body's release of insulin after eating. This in turn slows stomach-emptying, promotes fullness, delays the release of glucose into the bloodstream, and prevents the pancreas from releasing glucagon, putting less glucose into the blood. Glucagon, made in the alpha cells of the pancreas, breaks down glucose stored in the liver and muscles and releases it to provide energy when glucose from food isn't available. {C} How the Essential Hormones Work in the Body When d Continue reading >>

Insulin And Glucagon

Insulin And Glucagon

Acrobat PDF file can be downloaded here. The islets of Langerhans The pancreatic Islets of Langerhans are the sites of production of insulin, glucagon and somatostatin. The figure below shows an immunofluorescence image in which antibodies specific for these hormones have been coupled to differing fluorescence markers. We can therefore identify those cells that produce each of these three peptide hormones. You can see that most of the tissue, around 80 %, is comprised of the insulin-secreting red-colored beta cells (ß-cells). The green cells are the α-cells (alpha cells) which produce glucagon. We see also some blue cells; these are the somatostatin secreting γ-cells (gamma cells). Note that all of these differing cells are in close proximity with one another. While they primarily produce hormones to be circulated in blood (endocrine effects), they also have marked paracrine effects. That is, the secretion products of each cell type exert actions on adjacent cells within the Islet. An Introduction to secretion of insulin and glucagon The nutrient-regulated control of the release of these hormones manages tissue metabolism and the blood levels of glucose, fatty acids, triglycerides and amino acids. They are responsible for homeostasis; the minute-to-minute regulation of the body's integrated metabolism and, thereby, stabilize our inner milieu. The mechanisms involved are extremely complex. Modern medical treatment of diabetes (rapidly becoming "public enemy number one") is based on insight into these mechanisms, some of which are not completely understood. I will attempt to give an introduction to this complicated biological picture in the following section. Somewhat deeper insight will come later. The Basics: secretion Let us begin with two extremely simplified figur Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Regulation

Blood Sugar Regulation

Blood glucose or blood sugar, as it is commonly called, is a tightly regulated biochemical parameter in normal humans and animals. The body maintains the blood sugar within a narrow range. There are several interacting systems that regulate blood sugar. Of these, regulation of blood sugar by the hormone insulin is the most important. Hormonal regulation of blood sugar Insulin is synthesized in significant quantities only in beta cells in the pancreas. When the beta cell is appropriately stimulated, insulin is secreted from the cell by exocytosis. The insulin then diffuses into small blood vessels of the pancreas. Insulin is secreted in primarily in response to elevated blood concentrations of glucose. Thus insulin is secreted as the body detects high blood glucose and helps regulate the levels of glucose. There are some other stimuli like sight and taste of food, increased blood levels of amino acids and fatty acids that may also promote the release of insulin. During digestion (around one or two hours following a meal), insulin release is not continuous, but occurs in bursts. Other hormones that regulate blood sugar include glucagon, growth hormone, cortisol and catecholamines. These increase blood glucose by reducing uptake of the sugar by the various organs of the body. These are termed catabolic hormones. Insulin is the anabolic hormone that decreases blood glucose. Uptake of blood sugar As blood glucose rises after a large carbohydrate meal, a glucose transporter GLUT 2 increases its affinity for glucose. These transporters GLUT 1, 2, and 3 are proteins and not enzymes. GLUT 2 and the enzyme glucokinase coordinate glucose control in liver. This converts Glucose to Glucose 6 Phosphate. The reaction utilizes ATP or energy. This conversion causes utilization of the Gl Continue reading >>

How Does The Hormone Glucagon Affect Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes?

How Does The Hormone Glucagon Affect Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes?

Glucagon is the second most important hormone related to blood sugar control. Unlike insulin, which lowers blood sugar, glucagon raises it, and it can be used for the treatment of low blood sugar in an emergency. Under normal circumstances, glucagon is one of the hormones that helps balance insulin, preventing the blood sugar level from going too low. While glucagon plays an important role in balancing insulin under normal circumstances, there is evidence that too much glucagon production contributes to high blood sugar levels in many people with diabetes. The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes Bob Greene has helped millions of Americans become fit and healthy with his life-changing Best Life plan. Now, for the first time, Oprah's trusted expert on diet and fitness teams up with a leading... Continue reading >>

You And Your Hormones

You And Your Hormones

What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made by an organ located behind the stomach called the pancreas. Here, insulin is released into the bloodstream by specialised cells called beta cells found in areas of the pancreas called islets of langerhans (the term insulin comes from the Latin insula meaning island). Insulin can also be given as a medicine for patients with diabetes because they do not make enough of their own. It is usually given in the form of an injection. Insulin is released from the pancreas into the bloodstream. It is a hormone essential for us to live and has many effects on the whole body, mainly in controlling how the body uses carbohydrate and fat found in food. Insulin allows cells in the muscles, liver and fat (adipose tissue) to take up sugar (glucose) that has been absorbed into the bloodstream from food. This provides energy to the cells. This glucose can also be converted into fat to provide energy when glucose levels are too low. In addition, insulin has several other metabolic effects (such as stopping the breakdown of protein and fat). How is insulin controlled? When we eat food, glucose is absorbed from our gut into the bloodstream. This rise in blood glucose causes insulin to be released from the pancreas. Proteins in food and other hormones produced by the gut in response to food also stimulate insulin release. However, once the blood glucose levels return to normal, insulin release slows down. In addition, hormones released in times of acute stress, such as adrenaline, stop the release of insulin, leading to higher blood glucose levels. The release of insulin is tightly regulated in healthy people in order to balance food intake and the metabolic needs of the body. Insulin works in tandem with glucagon, another hormone produced by the pan Continue reading >>

What Is Glucose Serum?

What Is Glucose Serum?

Glucose serum is more commonly referred to as blood sugar, and it refers to the concentration of sugar, or glucose, in the bloodstream. The carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose, which is the human body’s primary source of energy. If glucose levels are too high or too low overall, health problems result, the most prevalent of which is diabetes. The Role of Insulin The amount of glucose in the bloodstream is regulated by a hormone called insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas. The role of insulin is to transport glucose out of the bloodstream and into the body’s cells, where it is either converted to energy or stored for later use. Eating and drinking stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin. Glucose levels in the bloodstream vary throughout the day, rising when sugar is ingested and dropping as insulin removes the sugar from the bloodstream. Normal Blood Sugar Levels Normal fasting glucose serum or blood sugar levels range from 70 to 110 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood. Blood sugar may rise as high as 180 mg/dL following a meal, but it should be neutralized within two hours thereafter. A person is considered to be diabetic if the glucose serum concentration is 126 mg/dL or higher after fasting (not having had anything to eat or drink for the previous six to eight hours). Types of Diabetes There are two types of diabetes. In type I, the pancreas produces little or no insulin. In type II, the pancreas produces insulin, but the cells develop a resistance or immunity to it, such that they no longer respond to insulin as they should. According to the Merck Manual of Medical Information, type I diabetes accounts for only about 10 percent of all cases of diabetes, and it’s usually diagnosed at a young age, whereas the prevalence of type II diabete Continue reading >>

How Does Insulin Lower Blood Sugar?

How Does Insulin Lower Blood Sugar?

Everyone knows that glucose, or sugar, is needed to give the human body energy. That would not be possible without the intervention of the hormone insulin -- a protein produced by the pancreas that responds to sugar levels in the blood. Pancreatic cells take up blood sugar and secrete insulin into the bloodstream. The insulin allows other body organs -- including the brain, liver, heart and muscles -- to take up sugar to fuel their own energy requirements. Video of the Day Insulin is made and released by a type of cell in the pancreas known as a beta cell. This process is complex and occurs in response to changes in glucose concentration in the blood. Glucose concentration is affected by a person’s nutritional status, for example, if the person just ate a full meal or has been fasting for several hours. It is also influenced by hormones released by the intestines that are involved in the digestion of what has been eaten. Further, the brain releases factors into the blood based on its energy status and requirements. A cascade of events begins when a person has eaten something, for example, a piece of bread. Bread is rich in carbohydrates, which when broken down by digestion become the sugar glucose. Glucose is absorbed by the intestines into the bloodstream, raising the blood glucose level, and transported to the pancreatic beta cells. Here it is broken down further into energy known as ATP, and this causes insulin to be released into the blood. Insulin then interacts with the body’s cells and organs, prompting them to absorb glucose from the blood to make their own energy. For example, the heart muscle needs glucose to make energy to sustain its pumping action. Decreasing Blood Sugar This movement of glucose into the body's cells lowers the levels of sugar in the bl Continue reading >>

Endocrine System Glands And Hormones

Endocrine System Glands And Hormones

The endocrine system is one of two systems that control and coordinate many functions to keep our bodies working in balance, called homeostasis. Our nervous system uses electrical impulses, the endocrine system uses chemicals called hormones. Hormones usually work more slowly than nerves, but can have longer lasting effects. The endocrine system is made of 9 major glands located throughout our body. Together, these glands make dozens of chemical messengers called hormones and release them directly into the blood stream that surrounds the glands. The endocrine system plays an important part in homeostasis. Using chemicals, our endocrine system regulates our metabolic rate, growth rate and how our body develops. Lab tests are used to diagnose and manage health conditions caused by imbalances in hormones and chemicals. Endocrine Glands Glands are a group of cells that produce and release hormones directly into our blood stream in a process called secretion. There are 2 types of glands. Exocrine glands have ducts or channels which secrete chemicals such as saliva or sweat. Endocrine glands do not have ducts; they secrete hormones directly into the blood stream. The hypothalamus is located in the brain and links the nervous and endocrine systems to each other. It secrets hormones that put the pituitary gland into action. Pineal Gland The pineal gland is a small, pine-cone shaped endocrine gland in the brain. It produces melatonin, a derivative of serotonin, a hormone that affects wake/sleep patterns and seasonal functions. Pituitary gland The pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is an endocrine gland about the size of a pea. It weighs less than an ounce and is one of the most important organs in the body. It is located at the base of the brain and is closely connected to the hypo Continue reading >>

Human Growth Hormone And Insulin Are Friends

Human Growth Hormone And Insulin Are Friends

Hormone balance, and the cycle by which our hormones are regulated, is very complicated. That’s why we have doctors who specialize in endocrinology. This article is intended as a basic explanation of the function of a few hormones and their interactions within the human body, as well as how nutrition/exercise affect their production and utilization. That said, hormone manipulation through diet and exercise does NOT account for a great deal of your results – you should focus on getting better at exercise, eating enough, and recovering properly before you lose sleep over whether or not you have optimal HGH or insulin levels. Insulin vs. HGH I’ll get down to brass tacks and make myself clear: insulin and growth hormone play antagonist roles against one another. When one is elevated, the other will be low. That does not, however, mean that their functions are all that dissimilar; they’re both responsible for growth in different ways and looking at them as synergists is much more productive. We want to find a way to make the best of insulin’s ability to pull nutrients into cells, but we also want to elicit the muscular, skeletal and neurological growth that (as the name implies) growth hormone is responsible for. Intraday nutrient cycling is the best way to do this. Understanding why is complicated as all heck, but we’ve tried to make it easy to digest (Get it? Digest? Haha?) Before we continue, I am going to ask that you take a look at our articles on insulin and leptin, as well as the sleep tutorial. They’ll help you understand some of the terms in this section and get a better idea of what’s really going on behind the scenes. Growth Hormone and IGF-1 Growth Hormone (GH) is a hormone responsible for cellular growth in the human body. Throughout the day, GH Continue reading >>

How Many Factors Actually Affect Blood Glucose?

How Many Factors Actually Affect Blood Glucose?

A printable, colorful PDF version of this article can be found here. twitter summary: Adam identifies at least 22 things that affect blood glucose, including food, medication, activity, biological, & environmental factors. short summary: As patients, we tend to blame ourselves for out of range blood sugars – after all, the equation to “good diabetes management” is supposedly simple (eating, exercise, medication). But have you ever done everything right and still had a glucose that was too high or too low? In this article, I look into the wide variety of things that can actually affect blood glucose - at least 22! – including food, medication, activity, and both biological and environmental factors. The bottom line is that diabetes is very complicated, and for even the most educated and diligent patients, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that affects blood glucose. So when you see an out-of-range glucose value, don’t judge yourself – use it as information to make better decisions. As a patient, I always fall into the trap of thinking I’m at fault for out of range blood sugars. By taking my medication, monitoring my blood glucose, watching what I eat, and exercising, I would like to have perfect in-range values all the time. But after 13 years of type 1 diabetes, I’ve learned it’s just not that simple. There are all kinds of factors that affect blood glucose, many of which are impossible to control, remember, or even account for. Based on personal experience, conversations with experts, and scientific research, here’s a non-exhaustive list of 22 factors that can affect blood glucose. They are separated into five areas – Food, Medication, Activity, Biological factors, and Environmental factors. I’ve provided arrows to show the ge Continue reading >>

Could Sugar Be One Of The Causes?

Could Sugar Be One Of The Causes?

What are Hormones? Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. Endocrine glands, which are special groups of cells, make hormones. The major endocrine glands in your body are the Pituitary, Pineal, Thymus, Thyroid, Adrenal glands, and Pancreas which is a glandular organ. In addition, men produce hormones in their testes and women produce hormones in their ovaries. In the human body, hormones are used for two types of communication. The first is for communication between two endocrine glands, where one gland releases a hormone which stimulates another target gland to change the levels of hormones that it is releasing. The second is between an endocrine gland and a target organ such as the pancreas. For example, when you eat or drink something sweet (sugar); the pancreas releases insulin which causes muscle and fat cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream. Since hormones are released into the bloodstream and can therefore be carried around the entire body, these chemical messengers can perform both of these actions on many different targets. The complex interplay between the glands, hormones and other target organs is referred to as the endocrine system. Hormones affect many physiological activities which include: Growth and Development Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat Mood Reproduction Sexual Function Sugar and its Role in Hormone Imbalance It is important to know that hormonal imbalance is never caused by a single condition. However, one of the more common causes of hormonal imbalance is consuming too much sugar or refined carbohydrates. Sugar and refined carbohydrates may be best known for their effects on weight gain, yet, their role in hormone imbalance is a discussion worth having. Why? Because uncontrolled blood sugar can cau Continue reading >>

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