How is blood sugar regulated?

The norm of blood sugar in a healthy person can range from 3.3 to 5.5 mmol / l. Within this framework, the concentration of glucose in the blood should fit in the morning, after sleep, on an empty stomach.

Higher values ​​are recorded after eating. Normally, the sugar level after a meal after 2 hours should be no more than 7.8 mmol / l. At the same time, the amount of insulin secreted also increases, and the sugar level again soon returns to normal.


This biologically active substance is synthesized by specialized endocrine cells of the pancreas and enters the blood in the required quantities (the higher the blood sugar level, the more hormone enters it). The effect of this hormone on metabolism extends to almost all body tissues. Its main function is the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism, namely, control over the utilization of glucose by tissue cells.

In the scientific world, insulin is considered to be the most well-studied hormone. Under its influence, the enzymes responsible for glycolysis are activated, as well as the stimulation of glycogen synthesis in the liver and muscle tissues. In addition, insulin blocks the activity of enzymes that break down adipose tissue and glycogen.

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  • In case of violation of insulin synthesis, the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism is disturbed; this leads to the development of type 1 diabetes mellitus.
  • Disruption of the action of insulin on tissues at a normal level of its production is part of the mechanism for the development of type II diabetes mellitus.


Like insulin, this hormone is synthesized by the pancreas. The alpha cells that make up its tissue specialize in this.

The action of glucagon on the body occurs through the binding of its molecule with special receptors in the liver. This leads to the launch of a complex of reactions, the result of which is the activation of the breakdown of glycogen stored in the liver tissue. When glycogen breaks down, glucose is released into the blood. It is noteworthy that glycogen, by stimulating the breakdown of glucagon in the liver with the formation of free glucose, controls the constancy of this carbohydrate in the blood.

Glucose deposited as glycogen in muscle tissue is practically not affected by glucagon.

The secretion of the two pancreatic hormones that control blood sugar levels are interrelated.

How is blood sugar regulated?
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Glucagon, for example, increases the production of insulin by beta cells, and also inhibits the activity of an enzyme that breaks down this hormone. This relationship is a mechanism that prevents an excessive increase or decrease in blood glucose levels in a healthy person.

Thus, the body normally controls the blood glucose level itself.

Factors affecting performance

Before donating blood to determine the sugar level in it, it is necessary to exclude a number of factors that can affect the test result (distort it).

  • Food intake. Blood for analysis is taken on an empty stomach (at least 8 hours after the previous meal).
  • Drinking alcohol. It cannot be drunk a day or more before the delivery of the biomaterial.
  • The patient’s age. When evaluating the result of the analysis, it should be borne in mind that children have lower blood sugar levels than adults.
How is blood sugar regulated?
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In addition, the following conditions can cause a one-time increase in blood glucose levels:

  • Pain syndrome. This is especially true for severe, long-term pain.
  • Myocardial infarction in the acute phase.
  • Epileptic seizure.
  • Burns, especially deep and extensive.
  • Damage to the liver tissue by inflammatory or traumatic factors.
  • The defeat of the hypothalamus as a result of traumatic brain injury.
  • Stress, entailing the release of hormones into the bloodstream that affect carbohydrate metabolism.

Some medications can also cause transient hyperglycemia:

  • Diuretics of the thiazide group.
  • Some psychotropic substances.
  • Glucocorticosteroids.
  • Oral contraceptives.

Even one factor from this list can distort the result of a blood glucose test. Therefore, before the diagnostic procedure, the patient should be warned about the need to exclude distorting moments.


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