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What Part Of The Body Regulates Blood Sugar?

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 >>

What Is Insulin?

What Is Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone; a chemical messenger produced in one part of the body to have an action on another. It is a protein responsible for regulating blood glucose levels as part of metabolism.1 The body manufactures insulin in the pancreas, and the hormone is secreted by its beta cells, primarily in response to glucose.1 The beta cells of the pancreas are perfectly designed "fuel sensors" stimulated by glucose.2 As glucose levels rise in the plasma of the blood, uptake and metabolism by the pancreas beta cells are enhanced, leading to insulin secretion.1 Insulin has two modes of action on the body - an excitatory one and an inhibitory one:3 Insulin stimulates glucose uptake and lipid synthesis It inhibits the breakdown of lipids, proteins and glycogen, and inhibits the glucose pathway (gluconeogenesis) and production of ketone bodies (ketogenesis). What is the pancreas? The pancreas is the organ responsible for controlling sugar levels. It is part of the digestive system and located in the abdomen, behind the stomach and next to the duodenum - the first part of the small intestine.4 The pancreas has two main functional components:4,5 Exocrine cells - cells that release digestive enzymes into the gut via the pancreatic duct The endocrine pancreas - islands of cells known as the islets of Langerhans within the "sea" of exocrine tissue; islets release hormones such as insulin and glucagon into the blood to control blood sugar levels. Islets are highly vascularized (supplied by blood vessels) and specialized to monitor nutrients in the blood.2 The alpha cells of the islets secrete glucagon while the beta cells - the most abundant of the islet cells - release insulin.5 The release of insulin in response to elevated glucose has two phases - a first around 5-10 minutes after g Continue reading >>

Normal Regulation Of Blood Glucose

Normal Regulation Of Blood Glucose

The human body wants blood glucose (blood sugar) maintained in a very narrow range. Insulin and glucagon are the hormones which make this happen. Both insulin and glucagon are secreted from the pancreas, and thus are referred to as pancreatic endocrine hormones. The picture on the left shows the intimate relationship both insulin and glucagon have to each other. Note that the pancreas serves as the central player in this scheme. It is the production of insulin and glucagon by the pancreas which ultimately determines if a patient has diabetes, hypoglycemia, or some other sugar problem. In this Article Insulin Basics: How Insulin Helps Control Blood Glucose Levels Insulin and glucagon are hormones secreted by islet cells within the pancreas. They are both secreted in response to blood sugar levels, but in opposite fashion! Insulin is normally secreted by the beta cells (a type of islet cell) of the pancreas. The stimulus for insulin secretion is a HIGH blood glucose...it's as simple as that! Although there is always a low level of insulin secreted by the pancreas, the amount secreted into the blood increases as the blood glucose rises. Similarly, as blood glucose falls, the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreatic islets goes down. As can be seen in the picture, insulin has an effect on a number of cells, including muscle, red blood cells, and fat cells. In response to insulin, these cells absorb glucose out of the blood, having the net effect of lowering the high blood glucose levels into the normal range. Glucagon is secreted by the alpha cells of the pancreatic islets in much the same manner as insulin...except in the opposite direction. If blood glucose is high, then no glucagon is secreted. When blood glucose goes LOW, however, (such as between meals, and during Continue reading >>

The Liver & Blood Sugar

The Liver & Blood Sugar

During a meal, your liver stores sugar for later. When you’re not eating, the liver supplies sugar by turning glycogen into glucose in a process called glycogenolysis. The liver both stores and produces sugar… The liver acts as the body’s glucose (or fuel) reservoir, and helps to keep your circulating blood sugar levels and other body fuels steady and constant. The liver both stores and manufactures glucose depending upon the body’s need. The need to store or release glucose is primarily signaled by the hormones insulin and glucagon. During a meal, your liver will store sugar, or glucose, as glycogen for a later time when your body needs it. The high levels of insulin and suppressed levels of glucagon during a meal promote the storage of glucose as glycogen. The liver makes sugar when you need it…. When you’re not eating – especially overnight or between meals, the body has to make its own sugar. The liver supplies sugar or glucose by turning glycogen into glucose in a process called glycogenolysis. The liver also can manufacture necessary sugar or glucose by harvesting amino acids, waste products and fat byproducts. This process is called gluconeogenesis. When your body’s glycogen storage is running low, the body starts to conserve the sugar supplies for the organs that always require sugar. These include: the brain, red blood cells and parts of the kidney. To supplement the limited sugar supply, the liver makes alternative fuels called ketones from fats. This process is called ketogenesis. The hormone signal for ketogenesis to begin is a low level of insulin. Ketones are burned as fuel by muscle and other body organs. And the sugar is saved for the organs that need it. The terms “gluconeogenesis, glycogenolysis and ketogenesis” may seem like compli 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 >>

How Insulin And Glucagon Work

How Insulin And Glucagon Work

Insulin and glucagon are hormones that help regulate the levels of blood glucose, or sugar, in your body. Glucose, which comes from the food you eat, moves through your bloodstream to help fuel your body. Insulin and glucagon work together to balance your blood sugar levels, keeping them in the narrow range that your body requires. These hormones are like the yin and yang of blood glucose maintenance. Read on to learn more about how they function and what can happen when they don’t work well. Insulin and glucagon work in what’s called a negative feedback loop. During this process, one event triggers another, which triggers another, and so on, to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. How insulin works During digestion, foods that contain carbohydrates are converted into glucose. Most of this glucose is sent into your bloodstream, causing a rise in blood glucose levels. This increase in blood glucose signals your pancreas to produce insulin. The insulin tells cells throughout your body to take in glucose from your bloodstream. As the glucose moves into your cells, your blood glucose levels go down. Some cells use the glucose as energy. Other cells, such as in your liver and muscles, store any excess glucose as a substance called glycogen. Your body uses glycogen for fuel between meals. Read more: Simple vs. complex carbs » How glucagon works Glucagon works to counterbalance the actions of insulin. About four to six hours after you eat, the glucose levels in your blood decrease, triggering your pancreas to produce glucagon. This hormone signals your liver and muscle cells to change the stored glycogen back into glucose. These cells then release the glucose into your bloodstream so your other cells can use it for energy. This whole feedback loop with insulin and gluca Continue reading >>

How The Body Regulates Blood Glucose Levels

How The Body Regulates Blood Glucose Levels

Glucose is a sugar and the main energy source used by the body. Carbohydrates that you eat are broken down, converted to glucose and then absorbed by the bloodstream. Circulating glucose is one of several blood sugars, which also include fructose and galactose, but when discussing “blood sugar” most people mean glucose. Blood glucose is usually maintained by the human body as 70-130 mg/dL, and the levels of glucose are influenced by many hormones, including those involved in blood pressure regulation. Insulin and energy usage Blood sugar levels usually increase after eating, with levels reaching 180 mg/dL according to the American Diabetes Association. When receptors in the pancreas sense increases in blood glucose levels, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin is a hormone that aids in the removal of glucose from the blood in a variety of ways: it promotes the entry of glucose into cells, enhances the storage of glycogen or fatty acids, and prevents the usage of fats and protein as energy. Fats and protein somewhat compete with glucose as sources of energy in the body. Glucagon and hypoglycemia Glycogen is formed by the liver and sometimes the muscles or other tissues in a process called glycogenesis. The process involves the conversion of glucose through structural manipulations of the sugar ring and collecting molecules as a chain and attaching them to a glycogen primer. This is the form in which glucose is stored in the body for later use in animal cells. Its plant counterpart is starch, so glycogen is often referred to as animal starch. The granules take up less storage space than triglycerides (i.e. fat). When blood sugar levels decrease too much, a condition called hypoglycemia, the pancreas releases glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that promotes the release o Continue reading >>

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 >>

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 >>

Blood Sugar Regulation

Blood Sugar Regulation

Ball-and-stick model of a glucose molecule Blood sugar regulation is the process by which the levels of blood sugar, primarily glucose, are maintained by the body within a narrow range. This tight regulation is referred to as glucose homeostasis. Insulin, which lowers blood sugar, and glucagon, which raises it, are the most well known of the hormones involved, but more recent discoveries of other glucoregulatory hormones have expanded the understanding of this process.[1] Mechanisms[edit] Blood sugar regulation the flatline is the level needed the sine wave the fluctuations. Blood sugar levels are regulated by negative feedback in order to keep the body in balance. The levels of glucose in the blood are monitored by many tissues, but the cells in the pancreatic islets are among the most well understood and important. Glucagon[edit] If the blood glucose level falls to dangerous levels (as during very heavy exercise or lack of food for extended periods), the alpha cells of the pancreas release glucagon, a hormone whose effects on liver cells act to increase blood glucose levels. They convert glycogen into glucose (this process is called glycogenolysis). The glucose is released into the bloodstream, increasing blood sugar. Hypoglycemia, the state of having low blood sugar, is treated by restoring the blood glucose level to normal by the ingestion or administration of dextrose or carbohydrate foods. It is often self-diagnosed and self-medicated orally by the ingestion of balanced meals. In more severe circumstances, it is treated by injection or infusion of glucagon. Insulin[edit] When levels of blood sugar rise, whether as a result of glycogen conversion, or from digestion of a meal, a different hormone is released from beta cells found in the Islets of Langerhans in the p Continue reading >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 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 >>

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 >>

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