The Roller Coaster Ride of Blood Sugars
Written by October 2017 Phoebe Wynne-Lewis, BHSc, Dip Nat Med, Dip Herb Med – FxMed Technical Support
Glucose (the sugar in our blood) is essential to health because it is required for the formation of ATP, the energy molecule in our bodies, which is necessary for every organ and cell to function. 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 many tissues, but there are two key hormones for blood glucose regulation – insulin and glucagon.
If blood glucose levels fall to dangerous levels (as in very heavy exercise or lack of food for extended periods), the alpha cells in the pancreatic islets release glucagon, a hormone that affects liver cells to increase blood glucose levels. They convert glycogen into glucose (glycogenolysis). The glucose is released into the bloodstream, increasing blood sugar.
When levels of blood sugar rise, whether as a result of glycogen conversion, or from digestion of a meal, Insulin is released from beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Insulin causes the liver to convert more glucose into glycogen (glycogenesis), and to force about 2/3 of body cells (primarily muscle and fat tissue cells) to take up glucose from the blood through the GLUT4 transporter, thus decreasing blood sugar. Insulin also provides signals to several other body systems, and is the chief regulator of metabolic control in humans.
Dysglycemia refers to any abnormalities in blood glucose levels that lead to disease. Abnormally high, low or unstable glucose levels indicate a lack of control that can be attributed to a variety of causes. Dysglycemia can weaken and inflame the gut (leaky Gut), lungs (leaky lungs) and brain (leaky Brain), imbalance hormone levels, disrupt the HPA Axis and affect thyroid and adrenal function, disrupt detoxification pathways, and impair overall metabolism.
Types of Dysglycemia
Although Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are two of the better-known types of dysglycemia, conditions such as gestational diabetes, prediabetic conditions, drug-related and genetically related abnormalities of blood sugar levels also represent types of dysglycemia. Symptoms related to both abnormally high and abnormally low glucose levels can occur with these problems, and they can be signs of a more systemic condition such as Metabolic syndrome.
Causes of Dysglycemia
How to balance blood sugar levels:
Eating a diet with a focus on regulating blood sugars will result in optimal functioning of certain hormones in our body and allow the feedback system to work properly, achieving higher energy levels and optimum health.