Got It Whats Glucagon
Glucagon is similar to insulin: Its another hormone your pancreas releases that controls the levels of glucose in your blood.
Glucagon works with your liver to prevent your blood sugar level from dropping too low. It also helps convert glycogen into glucose and releases it into your blood so your body can use it for energy.
Ever the multitasker, glucagon also works to keep your liver from consuming too much glucose in order to keep your blood sugar stable throughout your body.
What If I Have Trouble Getting To My Blood Sugar Goals
There may be times when you have trouble reaching your blood sugar goals. This does not mean that you have failed. It means that you and your health care team should see if changes are needed. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is often too high or too low. Taking action will help you be healthy today and in the future.
What Happens To Blood Sugar While You Sleep
Itâs tied to whether the hormone insulin, which removes glucose from the blood, is working the way itâs supposed to. Blood sugar levels surge while youâre sleeping, usually around 4 to 8 a.m. for someone with a normal sleep schedule. In a healthy person, insulin can handle the surge by telling muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb the glucose from the blood, which keeps your levels stable.
For people who have diabetes or who are likely to get it, insulin canât do that job very well, so blood sugar levels will rise higher.
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How Is Type 2 Diabetes Treated
People with type 2 diabetes have to pay a little more attention to what they’re eating and doing than people who don’t have diabetes. They may need to:
- Eat a healthy diet, as determined by the care team.
- Get regular physical activity to achieve a healthy weight and allow insulin to work more effectively.
- Check their blood sugar levels on a regular basis.
- Get treatment for other health problems that can happen more often in people with type 2 diabetes, like high blood pressure or problems with the levels of fats in their blood.
- Have regular checkups with doctors and other people on their diabetes health care team so they can stay healthy and get treatment for any diabetes problems.
People with type 2 diabetes might have to eat smaller food portions and less salt or fat, too. Those who eat healthy foods, stay active, and get to a healthy weight may bring their blood sugar levels into a healthier range. Their doctors may even say they don’t need to take any medicines at all.
So What Affects My Blood Sugar Levels
It is important to understand what can make your blood sugar rise or fall, so that you can take steps to stay on target.
Things that can make blood sugar rise include:
- A meal or snack with more food or more carbohydrates than usual
- Changes in hormone levels, such as during menstrual periods
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What Causes Blood Sugar To Drop Rapidly Apart From Too Much Insulin
Clearly, then, too much insulin is what causes blood sugar to drop rapidly. But theres more to it than simply taking too much insulin.
Skipping meals or eating less than what youre used to will also mean having too much insulin in the body.
In addition, the bodys sensitivity to insulin can change throughout the day. The greater the insulin sensitivity, the less insulin the body will need. If insulin sensitivity has increased, this will often be due to the combination of exercise and diabetes.
Fasting. Aside from not taking in any carbs for the insulin to displace, fasting can also lead to not having enough nutrients, which can hinder the bodys digestive abilities.
Similarly, illness can impact the bodys response to glucose. Illness will usually increase blood sugar but it depends on what kind of illness and how your body responds to it which can give low blood sugar. Read more on this topic with Diabetes and the Flu.
Meanwhile, sleep itself may not lower blood sugar, but you can still get low blood sugar in the night for the same reasons you would in in the day.
The only difference is that you cant treat it as effectively because youre well asleep. So, do have carbs ready by your bed, just in case. Read more on Diabetes and Sleep.
Mechanisms Of Insulin Resistance
Physiologically, at the whole body level, the actions of insulin are influenced by the interplay of other hormones. Insulin, though the dominant hormone driving metabolic processes in the fed state, acts in concert with growth hormone and IGF-1 growth hormone is secreted in response to insulin, among other stimuli, preventing insulin-induced hypoglycaemia. Other counter-regulatory hormones include glucagon, glucocorticoids and catecholamines. These hormones drive metabolic processes in the fasting state. Glucagon promotes glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis. The ratio of insulin to glucagons determines the degree of phosphorylation or dephosphorylation of the relevant enzymes. Catecholamines promote lipolysis and glycogenolysis glucocorticoids promote muscle catabolism, gluconeogenesis and lipolysis. Excess secretion of these hormones may contribute to insulin resistance in particular settings, but does not account for the vast majority of insulin resistant states.
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Regulation And Mechanisms Of Insulin Secretion At The Cellular Level
Synthesis and secretion of insulin is regulated by both nutrient and non-nutrient secretagogues, in the context of environmental stimuli and the interplay of other hormones. Nutrient secretagogues such as glucose appear to trigger insulin secretion from the cell by increasing intracellular ATP and closing of K+-ATP channels as outlined above. Generation of cyclic AMP and other cellular energy intermediates is also augmented, further enhancing insulin release. Glucose does not require insulin action to enter the cell . Non-nutrient secretagogues may act via neural stimuli such as cholinergic and adrenergic pathways, or through peptide hormones and cationic amino acids.
1. Cholinergic Transmission
It has been well recognised that vagus nerve stimulation results in pancreatic insulin secretion. This is thought to mediate the so-called cephalic phase of insulin secretion, occurring when food is seen, smelled or acutely ingested. Islet cell cholinergic muscarinic receptors activate phospholipase C, with subsequent intracellular events activating protein kinase C, phospholipase A2 and mobilizing intracellular calcium. Insulin secretion by these mechanisms does not occur in the fasting state or if blood glucose levels are low, but may augment the anabolic response to feeding.
2. Adrenergic Pathway
Schematic presentation of insulin secretory pathways. Adapted from references: & .
Footnotes: Figure Abbreviations
DAG = diacylglycerol
Clinical Syndromes Associated With Insulin Resistance
Type 2 diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome would be the most common clinical syndromes associated with insulin resistance. Others include hypertension, PCOS, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, certain forms of cancer and OSA, which some authors consider a component of the metabolic syndrome per se. There are also relatively common conditions where insulin resistance is a secondary phenomenon these include acute illness, hepatic cirrhosis, renal failure, pregnancy, hyperthyroidism, Cushings disease and Cushings syndrome as well as acromegaly and phaeochromocytoma which are less common. In many of these, the insulin resistance is due to increased production of counter-regulatory hormones.
However there are also a large number of generally rare disorders where insulin resistance is a major clinical feature., Though individually rare, these conditions may provide insight into the mechanisms of insulin resistance in other settings. Typically they are characterised by disturbances in organ systems where insulin action plays a critical role.
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Causes Of High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar can come about for a number of reasons. In general, though, if you have diabetes, you can experience high blood sugar episodes because the insulin in your body isn’t able to adequately regulate the amount of glucose in your blood, per the Mayo Clinic.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are other reasons your blood sugar can spike when you have diabetes, including:
- You’re not taking the right dose of insulin or diabetes medication.
- The amount of carbohydrates you’re eating isn’t balanced with your insulin medication dosage.
- You’re less physically active.
- You’re physically or emotionally stressed.
- You’re taking steroid medications.
- You’re experiencing the dawn phenomenon, which is when your body produces a surge of hormones early in the morning.
High blood sugar can also occur if you don’t have diabetes, per the Cleveland Clinic. Causes of these spikes can include:
- Endocrine conditions like Cushing syndrome
- Pancreatic diseases like pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis
- Certain medications like diuretics and steroids
- Gestational diabetes
- Side effects from surgery
How Does Lack Of Sleep Raise Your Risk
Itâs hard to know for certain. Many studies have suggested that short sleepers have irregular eating habits, snack more, and are more likely to eat unhealthy foods.
Other research has found that shortchanging sleep can directly affect how the body makes other hormones, which in turn affect blood sugar. For example, when you stay up late, your body makes more of the hormone cortisol, which affects how insulin works.
Also, growing evidence shows that disrupting your bodyâs biological clock by being awake at night can make your cells more resistant to insulin. In one study, researchers altered the circadian rhythms of 16 healthy volunteers by allowing only 5 hours of sleep each night for 5 nights, much like a sleep-deprived workweek. When those volunteers ate food at night — a time when the body isnât biologically prepared for a spike in blood sugar — their bodies didnât use insulin normally.
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Types Of Insulin Administration With Needles Pumps Pens And Why Insulin Is So Expensive
What does insulin do? Help your body turn food into energy, for starters. When you have diabetes, and youre either not producing insulin or your insulin function is off, all sorts of things can go wrong. From needles to pens to pumps to types of insulin, were here to empower you with clear answers to all your pressing questions.
In This Article:
Factors That Speed Insulin Absorption
Variation in insulin absorption can cause changes in blood glucose levels. Insulin absorption is increased by:
- injecting into an exercised area such as the thighs or arms
- high temperatures due to a hot shower, bath, hot water bottle, spa or sauna
- massaging the area around the injection site
- injecting into muscle this causes the insulin to be absorbed more quickly and could cause blood glucose levels to drop too low.
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What Causes Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels To Rise
We have tightly controlled mechanisms to keep our blood sugar levels stable (
Blood sugar levels increase when we eat foods containing carbohydrates.
Potatoes, bread, pasta, cakes and sweets are some foods that are high in carbohydrates.
When digested, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels.
When our blood sugar levels rise, our body releases insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that acts like a key. It allows blood sugar to leave the blood and enter our cells, where it can be used for energy or stored as fat.
But small amounts of insulin are also released before any sugar enters the bloodstream. This response is known as cephalic phase insulin release. It is triggered by the sight, smell, and taste of food, as well as chewing and swallowing .
If blood sugar levels drop too low, our livers release stored sugar to stabilize it. This happens when we fast for prolonged periods, like overnight.
There are theories on how artificial sweeteners may interfere with this process .
Insulin And Blood Glucose Levels
Insulin helps control blood glucose levels by signaling the liver and muscle and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood. Insulin therefore helps cells to take in glucose to be used for energy.
If the body has sufficient energy, insulin signals the liver to take up glucose and store it as glycogen.
The liver can store up to around 5% of its mass as glycogen.
Some cells in the body can take glucose from the blood without insulin, but most cells do require insulin to be present.
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When Should I Take Insulin
You and your doctor should discuss when and how you will take your insulin. Each persons treatment is different. Some people who use regular insulin take it 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. Some people who use rapid-acting insulin take it just before they eat.
Types of insulin:
- Rapid-acting insulin starts working in about 15 minutes. It lasts for 3 to 5 hours.
- Short-acting insulin starts working in 30 to 60 minutes and lasts 5 to 8 hours.
- Intermediate-acting insulin starts working in 1 to 3 hours and lasts 12 to 16 hours.
- Long-acting insulin starts working in about 1 hour and lasts 20 to 26 hours.
- Premixed insulin is a combination of 2 types of insulin .
Do I Need To Monitor My Blood Sugar Level
Yes. Monitoring and controlling your blood sugar is key to preventing the complications of diabetes. If you dont already monitor your blood sugar level, you will need to learn how. Checking your blood sugar involves pricking your finger to get a small drop of blood that you put on a test strip. You can read the results yourself or insert the strip into a machine called an electronic glucose meter. The results will tell you whether your blood sugar is in a healthy range. Your doctor will give you additional information about monitoring your blood sugar.
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What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too Low
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia . It means your blood sugar level drops below 70. Having low blood sugar is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. Anyone with diabetes can have low blood sugar. You have a greater chance of having low blood sugar if you take insulin or certain pills for diabetes.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry, check your blood sugar. Even if you feel none of these things, but think you may have low blood sugar, check it.
If your meter shows that your blood sugar is lower than 70, do one of the following things right away:
- chew 4 glucose tablets
- drink 4 ounces of fruit juice
- drink 4 ounces of regular soda, not diet soda or
- chew 4 pieces of hard candy
After taking one of these treatments, wait for 15 minutes, then check your blood sugar again. Repeat these steps until your blood sugar is 70 or above. After your blood sugar gets back up to 70 or more, eat a snack if your next meal is 1 hour or more away.
If you often have low blood sugar, check your blood sugar before driving and treat it if it is low.
Physiological Role Of Insulin
Insulin is the pivotal hormone regulating cellular energy supply and macronutrient balance, directing anabolic processes of the fed state. Insulin is essential for the intra-cellular transport of glucose into insulin-dependent tissues such as muscle and adipose tissue. Signalling abundance of exogenous energy, adipose tissue fat breakdown is suppressed and its synthesis promoted. In muscle cells, glucose entry enables glycogen to be synthesised and stored, and for carbohydrates, rather than fatty acids to be utilised as the immediately available energy source for muscle contraction. Insulin therefore promotes glycogen and lipid synthesis in muscle cells, while suppressing lipolysis and gluconeogenesis from muscle amino acids. In the presence of an adequate supply of amino acids, insulin is anabolic in muscle.
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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 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, more and more glucagon is secreted. Like insulin, glucagon has an effect on many cells of the body, but most notably the liver.