Blood sugar regulation


Blood sugar regulation

Blood sugar regulation is the process by which the levels of blood sugar, primarily glucose, are maintained by the body.

Mechanisms of blood sugar regulation

Blood sugar levels are regulated by negative feedback in order to keep the body in homeostasis. The levels of glucose in the blood are monitored by the cells in the pancreas's Islets of Langerhans. If the blood glucose level falls to dangerous levels (as in 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 storage into glucose (this process is called glycogenolysis). The glucose is released into the bloodstream, increasing blood sugar levels.

There are also several other causes for an increase in blood sugar levels. Among them are the 'stress' hormones such as adrenaline, several of the steroids, infections, trauma, and of course, the ingestion of food.

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 pancreas. This hormone, insulin, causes the liver to convert more glucose into glycogen (this process is called glycogenesis), and to force about 2/3 of body cells (primarily muscle and fat tissue cells) to take up glucose from the blood, thus decreasing blood sugar levels. Insulin also provides signals to several other body systems, and is the chief regulatory metabolic control in humans.

Diabetes mellitus type 1 is caused by insufficient or non-existent production of insulin, while type 2 is primarily due to a decreased response to insulin in the tissues of the body (insulin resistance). Both types of diabetes, if untreated, result in too much glucose remaining in the blood (hyperglycemia) and many of the same complications. Also, too much insulin and/or exercise without enough corresponding food intake in diabetics can result in low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Hormones that influence blood glucose level


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blood sugar — Blood sugar, used in a physiological context, is a misnomer and misleading. Physiologically, the term means only glucose in the blood. Other sugars are present, sometimes in more than trace amounts, but only glucose serves as a controlling signal …   Wikipedia

  • blood — bloodlike, adj. /blud/, n. 1. the fluid that circulates in the principal vascular system of human beings and other vertebrates, in humans consisting of plasma in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended. 2. the… …   Universalium

  • Sugar substitute — Sweetener redirects here. For other uses, see Sweetener (disambiguation). Sugar free redirects here. For other uses, see Sugar free (disambiguation). Packets of Assugrin, a brand of cyclamate. A sugar substitute is a food additive that duplicates …   Wikipedia

  • blood disease — Introduction       any disease of the blood, involving the red blood cells (erythrocytes (erythrocyte)), white blood cells (leukocytes (leukocyte)), or platelets (platelet) (thrombocytes) or the tissues in which these elements are formed the bone …   Universalium

  • regulation — 1. noun 1) they obey all the regulations Syn: rule, ruling, order, directive, act, law, bylaw, statute, edict, canon, pronouncement, dictate, dictum, decree, fiat, command, precept 2) …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • regulation — noun 1) EC regulations Syn: rule, order, directive, act, law, by law, statute, dictate, decree 2) the regulation of blood sugar Syn: adjustment, control …   Synonyms and antonyms dictionary

  • Reference ranges for blood tests — Reference ranges edit in: blood urine CSF feces Reference ranges for blood tests are sets of values used by a health professional to interpret a set of …   Wikipedia

  • Diet and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — For some children, diet is suspected of playing a role in the multiple behavioral and cognitive symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Concerns have focused on food additives, blood sugar regulation, food allergies and… …   Wikipedia

  • Neuroendocrinology — is the study of the extensive interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system, including the biological features of the cells that participate, and how they functionally communicate. Neuroendocrinology arose from the recognition… …   Wikipedia

  • Helminthic therapy — Infectious Necator americanus L3 larva. Invisible to the naked eye, from 10 to 35 are applied to the skin in therapy, either in a single dose or in multiple smaller doses over the course of two or three months. Helminthic therapy, a type of… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.