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How Insulin And Glucagon Work To Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

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 pa Continue reading

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Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month! World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated globally on November 14 to raise awareness about both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Join us in celebrating this incredible community all month long — and especially on WDD. Explore the different ways to get involved: by inspiring others, educating peers, knowing your history and giving back.
Once-a-day advocacy actions to help us make some noise for National Diabetes Awareness month in November! Tag @beyondtype1 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook so we can re-share. Use #NDAM #DiabetesAwarenessMonth to join the conversation.
Educate
A big part of spreading awareness is educating others about what Type 1 diabetes is and isn’t. Education is key to dispelling ignorance around the chronic illness and continuing advocacy for those living with it. You can give a presentation to your school or classroom and we’ll ship you materials. Just sign up and we’ll help you get started!
Download the poster: “What is Type 1 Diabetes?”
Download the poster: “Warning Signs of Type 1 Diabetes”
Check out our cool and shareable fact cards HERE!
Get inspired this month by sharing the encouragements of others. Check out our new quote board on Pinterest and start spreading the support by leveraging your social media channels. Type 1 diabetes presents daily challenges that T1Ds and those who love them must learn to navigate. Hopefulness and positivity make those dark days a little easier.
Pay homage to the history of diabetes and the progress of technology that eases T1D management. We’ve come a long way since Continue reading

Type 2 diabetes: Value of home blood sugar monitoring unclear

Type 2 diabetes: Value of home blood sugar monitoring unclear

Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling
It’s a central tenet of diabetes treatment: monitor the blood sugar closely, then adjust your diet, exercise, and medications to keep it in a good range. And that makes sense. Poorly controlled blood sugar is a major risk factor for diabetic complications, including kidney disease, vision loss, and nerve damage.
While efforts to carefully monitor and control the blood sugar in diabetes are worthwhile, “tight control” is not always helpful — and it may even cause harm. For example, in studies of people with longstanding type 2 diabetes, the type that usually begins in adulthood and is highly linked with obesity, those with the tightest control either had no benefit or had higher rates of cardiovascular disease and death. Meanwhile, studies of people with type 1 diabetes — the type that tends to start during childhood due to an immune attack against the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas — suggest that tight control may help protect against cardiovascular disease. So, it seems the benefits and risks of tight control depend on the situation.
Home blood sugar monitoring for type 2 diabetes
People with diabetes are often advised to check their blood sugar levels at home by pricking a finger and testing the blood with a glucose meter. They can review the results with their doctors over the phone, online, or at the next office appointment. The value of this for people with type 2 diabetes is uncertain.
In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers enrolled 450 people with Type 2 diabetes, none of whom were taking in Continue reading

Diabetes drug could help those living with Parkinson's disease, research reveals

Diabetes drug could help those living with Parkinson's disease, research reveals

A drug commonly used to treat diabetes could help those living with Parkinson’s disease, research has revealed.
By 2020 it is predicted that 162,000 individuals in the UK will be living with the condition. While existing drugs help to control its symptoms, there are currently none available which slow or halt its progression.
But now scientists say they have found that a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes appears to improve movement-related issues.
The benefit persisted even when the drug had not been taken for 12 weeks, suggesting it might be helping to slow the progression of the disease.
“It is not ready for us to say ‘well, everyone needs to start this drug’,” said Thomas Foltynie, professor of neurology at University College London and co-author of the study. “[But] if we can replicate these findings in a multicentre trial, especially with longer follow-up, then this can change the face of our approach to treating Parkinson’s.”
Writing in the Lancet, Foltynie and colleagues in the UK and US describe how they tested the impact of the drug, known as exenatide.
With recent studies suggesting problems with insulin signalling in the brain could be linked to neurodegenerative disorders, hopes have been raised that diabetes drugs could also be used to tackle Parkinson’s, with previous research – including in cell cultures and animals, as well as a recent pilot study on humans by Foltynie and colleagues – backing up the notion..
But the latest study is the first robust clinical trial of the drug, randomly allocating 60 people with Parkinson’s t Continue reading

The Alarming Rise of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Teens

The Alarming Rise of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Teens

Having lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of four, I can say with certainty that, while it doesn’t stop me from living a full life, it gets in the way and adds stress and anxiety to what should be normal daily activities. A 20 minute walk can send my blood sugars plummeting on some occasions, while a 30 minute walk on another day might not impact my blood sugar levels at all. I have learned to fine tune and predict as much as possible, but diabetes is still a major obstacle that I have to contend with not only daily, but hourly, sometimes even many times an hour. If I had to calculate the time I spent managing diabetes each day, month or year, it wouldn’t be much less than the same as the amount of time I spend breathing. Diabetes is always on my mind and I’m constantly making decisions based on it, so to read the results of a 10 year study about increasing rates of diabetes in young people is a tough pill to swallow.
The study, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that the annual rate of newly-diagnosed cases of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in young people increased considerably from 2002-2012.
Why is this happening?
In the case of type 2 diabetes, weight is often a contributing factor. But there are unknowns at play. And no one knows what causes type 1 diabetes, let alone why it’s increasing. What I do know is I wouldn’t wish this burden on anyone, even if it’s manageable, so I hope we figure out why rates of are increasing and put a stop to it.
Over the course of a decade the SEARCH study looked at 11,245 youths (0 to 19 y Continue reading

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