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How Does Insulin Control Blood Sugar Levels In The Body?

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 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 >>

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 Control Diabetes: 10 Tips To Maintain Blood Sugar Level

How To Control Diabetes: 10 Tips To Maintain Blood Sugar Level

Living a diabetic life is a challenge. You need to constantly monitor your diet and ensure that your blood sugar level is well under control. One of the major diseases affecting millions and millions of people in the country today, diabetes is life-long and deadly. It is a condition when the hormone called insulin that is produced by the pancreas is unable to break down glucose into energy, and as such, the blood sugar level increases in the body. What one eats plays a crucial role for diabetics, and monitoring it constantly along with following regular meal schedule ca help tremendously. Physical activity is a must too to ensure that insulin is utilized by the body. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and looking for all sorts of ways to keep a check on your blood sugar level, here are some common and uncommon tips that can help you - 1. Lose Those Extra Kilos According to Dr. Shashank Joshi, Endocrinologist, Lilavati & Bhatia Hospital, "Being overweight causes insulin resistance and makes it difficult for the body to maintain appropriate blood glucose levels. For those who are overweight, dropping 5- 10 per cent of your weight can help. Work with your doctor to manage your weight and if necessary consult a dietician." 2. Follow a Balanced Diet with Complex Carbs According to Preeti Rao, Health and Wellness Coach, "Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and good sources of fat. Foods to avoid are those rich in trans fats (also called hydrogenated fat), processed food, and sugar. Complex carbohydrates are rich in fiber and are not highly processed like refined carbohydrates. They take longer to digest and hence provide a sustained source of energy for a longer duration." 3. Benefits of Barley A recent study done by Lund University in Sweden states tha Continue reading >>

How Do Fats & Proteins Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

How Do Fats & Proteins Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

After you eat, your blood sugar levels increase and trigger the release of insulin, an important hormone in managing how your body uses glucose. Different types of nutrients affect blood sugar differently, and maintaining an appropriate intake of carbohydrates, proteins and fats will help control blood sugar levels and prevent or manage metabolic diseases like Type 2 diabetes. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the three macronutrients your body needs. Carbohydrates are primarily used for energy, while proteins are important for rebuilding tissue, and fats are important for maintaining cell membranes and facilitating vitamin absorption, among other functions. Carbohydrates have the most significant impact on blood sugar, so carbohydrate intake should be monitored closely by individuals with or at risk for Type 2 diabetes. Protein's Effects on Blood Sugar Compared to carbohydrates, protein keeps blood sugar levels steady. When consumed alone, protein does not generate a rise in blood sugar. According to a study published in 2003 in “American Society for Clinical Nutrition,” individuals with Type 2 diabetes who maintained a 30:40:30 intake ratio of protein to carbohydrates to fat showed a 40 percent lower blood sugar response than those who maintained a 15:55:30 intake ratio. This suggests that protein is neutral food for blood sugar levels and can replace at least some carbohydrates to yield a better overall blood sugar response. Fat's Effects on Blood Sugar Like protein, fat has significantly less impact on blood sugar than carbohydrates. When consumed alone, ingested fats have no bearing on the concentration of circulating blood sugar. Replacing some carbohydrate content with healthy dietary fats could therefore result in steadier overall levels of blood sugar. M Continue reading >>

Morning Highs? How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar

Morning Highs? How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar

As Type 2 Diabetes Develops During the years when type 2 diabetes slowly develops (which may be up to 10 years through developing metabolic syndrome and continuing on to prediabetes), hormonal control of blood glucose breaks down. To understand how your body responds, it's important to understand the essential hormones involved in blood glucose control. Four hormones are involved in blood 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, hormones secreted from the intestines that include 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 Out-of-Control Blood Sugar During Sleep For people in the early years of type 2 diabetes, the hormones that control blood sugar can particularly go awry. Here's what happens during sleep to a person with type 2 diabetes: "Overnight, the liver and muscles get the message from excess glucagon to ramp up the glucose supply because the person is sleeping, not eating," says Marty Irons, R.Ph., CDE. "There is not enough GLP-1, i 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 >>

The Ultimate Guide To Biohacking Your Blood Sugar Levels (and Why Sugar Sometimes Isn’t Bad).

The Ultimate Guide To Biohacking Your Blood Sugar Levels (and Why Sugar Sometimes Isn’t Bad).

If you enjoy the post you’re about to read, you may want to check out the free Diabetes Summit from April 18-25, 2016, in which 30+ experts (including me) share the best tips, strategies and secrets for controlling and reversing blood sugar issues, type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome… In one of my Quick & Dirty Tips articles last week, I mentioned that one “hack” I use to avoid experiencing big spikes in blood sugar from a big meal is to do some basic strength training with a dumbbell prior to eating that meal, which, as I explain in that article, activates specific sugar transporters responsible for taking up carbohydrate into muscle tissue, rather than partitioning those sugars into storage fat. Since my own personal genetic testing has revealed that I have a higher than normal risk for Type 2 diabetes (there are specific genetic variations associated with diabetes that you can check out here), hacking blood sugar levels to get them lower is a topic near and dear to my heart. This should also be a very important topic for you to educate yourself on, since not only are there are specific genetic variations associated with diabetes that you can check out here), hacking blood sugar levels to get them lower is a topic near and dear to my heart. This should also be a very important topic for you to educate yourself on, since not only are Type 2 diabetes rates rising, both in the United States and globally (even among athletes and so-called “healthy” people), but so are a host of other chronic disease, neural degradation and weight issues directly related to high blood sugar. Characterized by insulin resistance and chronic high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), type 2 diabetes can lead to both brain and metabolic dysfunction, and is also a sig Continue reading >>

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage. As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall. When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar. This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar. Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops. Glycemic index In the past, carbohydrates were commonly classified as being either “simple” or “complex,” and described as follows: Simple carbohydrates: These carbohydrates are composed of sugars (such as fructose and glucose) which have simple chemical structures composed of only one sugar (monosaccharides) or two sugars (disaccharides). Simple carbohydrates are easily and quickly utilized for energy by the body because of their simple chemical structure, often leading to a faster rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion from the pancreas – which can have negative health effects. Complex carbohydrates: These carbohydrates have mo Continue reading >>

What Is Glucagon?

What Is Glucagon?

Blood sugar levels are an important part of overall health. When blood sugar levels drop, an individual may feel lethargic. If they drop too low, the individual may become disoriented, dizzy or even pass out. Blood sugar control involves a complex system of hormones, and one of those hormones is glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that works with other hormones and bodily functions to control glucose levels in the blood. It comes from alpha cells found in the pancreas and is closely related to insulin-secreting beta cells, making it a crucial component that keeps the body’s blood glucose levels stable. What does glucagon do? Although secreted by the pancreas, glucagon directly impacts the liver as it works to control blood sugar levels. Specifically, glucagon prevents blood glucose levels from dropping to a dangerous point by stimulating the conversion of stored glycogen to glucose in the liver. This glucose can be released into the bloodstream, a process known as glycogenolysis. Secondly, glucagon stops the liver from consuming some glucose. This helps more glucose to enter the bloodstream, rather than being consumed by the liver, to keep levels stable. Finally, glucagon works in a process known as gluconeogenesis, which is the production of glucose in the amino acid molecules. In each of these processes, glucagon and insulin work together. Insulin will prevent glucose levels from increasing to a point that is too high, while glucagon prevents it from dropping too low. Glucagon production is stimulated when an individual eats a protein-rich meal, experiences a surge in adrenaline, or has a low blood sugar event. Potential problems with glucagon function Glucagon function is crucial to proper blood glucose levels, so problems with glucagon production will lead to problems 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 >>

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 >>

Insulin Levels Signal The Liver Whether More Glucose Is Needed

Insulin Levels Signal The Liver Whether More Glucose Is Needed

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

3 Easy Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Fast

3 Easy Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Fast

Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management. Extremely high blood sugar levels can be dangerous, and they can cause lasting health complications. Remember: if you ever have blood sugar readings that remain high for more than 24 hours without coming down (and after an effort has been made to lower them), you need to be addressed by a doctor. That being said, we've all had those days when we get a random high blood sugar reading and we are not sure what caused it…or we forget to give insulin, or we eat a delicious dessert without realizing how much sugar is actually in it. For whatever reason, those out of the ordinary high blood sugar readings happen and need to be treated. No need to rush to the doctor for every high blood sugar reading though. There are some simple steps you can take to lower blood sugar fast. Watch for signs of high blood sugar You know the feeling: extreme thirst, sluggishness, nausea, blurred vision, a downright sick feeling. And your family or friends may tell you that extreme irritability is a major sign you need to check your blood sugar to see if it is high. The best thing to do is to catch it before it gets really high, or it will be harder to bring down quickly, causing havoc on your blood sugar readings for days. If you do not take insulin as a part of your treatment plan, these tips will show you how to lower your blood sugar fast. If you take insulin, you will first want to give the appropriate amount of insulin to correct the blood sugar. 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 >>

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