Learning objectives – to learn how the blood glucose is controlled in the
body and what can happen if it goes wrong.
When you consume carbohydrates, the body breaks it down into simple
sugars such as glucose. Therefore the body releases hormones to control the
levels. When the body is in-between meals and the glucose levels get too
low, then the body can also release hormones to increase the blood glucose
When you eat:
The blood glucose level increases, this is sensed in the body causes a
hormone called insulin to be released The hormone insulin stimulates the
liver to take up the glucose and convert into a molecule called glycogen,
which is a storage molecule.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas and ensures the blood glucose level
does not get too high.
When you are not eating:
The blood glucose levels decrease and therefore a hormone called glucagon
Glucagon causes the liver to break down glycogen molecules back into
glucose and is released back into the blood Glucagon is secreted by the
pancreas and ensures the blood glucose level does not get too low.