Blood Sugar

Blood Sugar

The blood sugar concentration or blood glucose level is the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood of a human or animal. The body naturally tightly regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic homeostasis.

Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body's cells, and blood lipids (in the form of fats and oils) are primarily a compact energy store. (There are exceptions. For example, because their dietary metabolizable carbohydrates tend to be used by rumen organisms, ruminants tend to be continuously gluconeogenic; consequently their hepatocytes must rely on such primary energy sources as volatile fatty acids, absorbed from the rumen, rather than glucose.) Glucose is transported from the intestines or liver to body cells via the bloodstream, and is made available for cell absorption via the hormone insulin, produced by the body primarily in the pancreas.

The mean normal blood glucose level in humans is about 4 mM (4 mmol/L or 72 mg/dL, i.e. milligrams/deciliter); however, this level fluctuates throughout the day. Glucose levels are usually lowest in the morning, before the first meal of the day (termed "the fasting level"), and rise after meals for an hour or two by a few millimolar. Normal Human Glucose Blood Test results should be 70 - 130 (mg/dL) before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL after meals (as measured by a blood glucose monitor).

Blood sugar levels outside the normal range may be an indicator of a medical condition. A persistently high level is referred to as hyperglycemia; low levels are referred to as hypoglycemia. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by persistent hyperglycemia from any of several causes, and is the most prominent disease related to failure of blood sugar regulation. A temporarily elevated blood sugar level may also result from severe stress, such as trauma, stroke, myocardial infarction, surgery, or illness. Intake of alcohol causes an initial surge in blood sugar, and later tends to cause levels to fall. Also, certain drugs can increase or decrease glucose levels.

Read more about Blood Sugar:  Units, Normal Values in Humans, Animals, Regulation, Etymology and Use of Term

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