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The Role of Insulin & Glucagon in Regulation of Blood Glucose Levels

What is insulin and glucagon?

Insulin is a hormone made by our pancreas that allow the body to use sugar from carbohydrates in food that you eat for energy or for future use. Insulin acts like a key to allow glucose into the cells.

Glucagon on the other hand is a peptide hormone which is produced by alpha cells of the pancreas. Its purpose is to raise the concentration of glucose and fatty acids in our bloodstream. It is considered to be the main catabolic hormone of the human body.

When glucose level in blood falls, cells in the pancreas secrete glucagon. Glucagon instructs liver to convert glycogen into glucose. Therefore, making glucose more available in the bloodstream. It is from here that insulin attaches to the insulin receptors in cells to make sure they can absorb glucose.

Effects on blood glucose levels

The pancreas secretes insulin and glucagon, both of which play a vital role in regulating sugar level in blood.

The two hormones work together and if even one does not function right then it can cause an imbalance in blood sugar level.

In simple words, when sugar is high pancreas secrete more of insulin and when blood sugar level drop they release glucagon to bring it back to normal. When it comes to managing diabetes the normal functioning of both becomes extremely crucial.

Signs of blood sugar imbalance:

The ideal blood sugar ranges are as follows:

  • Before breakfast – Less than 100 mg/dl for a person without diabetes and 70-130 mg/dl for a person with diabetes.
  • Two hours after meals -Less than 140 mg/dl for a person without diabetes and less than 180 mg/dl for a person who has diabetes.

When sugar level gets out of hand our body starts giving us signs. Watch out for:

  • Dizziness
  • Frequent Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness
  • Swelling in hands and feet
  • Poor vision
  • Frequent infections

Talk to your medical advisorKnowing how your body works can help you stay fit and keep problems at bay. Insulin and glucagon are two critical hormones and even more so when it come to diabetes management. It helps to understand how these hormones function so you can work to avoid diabetes and its related health complications.

Invest in a glucometerDiabetes management can be difficult with managing lifestyle and medication. Invest in a good glucometer that can help you check sugar levels from the comfort of where you are. You could buy glucometer online or ask your pharmacist about the same.

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