Nutrition Basics

Blood Sugar Regulation

Not too little, not too much, juuuuust right. Our bodies need a steady stream of fuel for our various body systems to use. One form of fuel is blood glucose, commonly known as blood sugar. The body tightly regulates the amount of blood sugar circulating in the blood stream using a carefully orchestrated dance mediated by our PAALS system. 

PAALS stands for:

Pancreas
Adrenals
Adipose Tissue
Liver
Skeletal Muscle

Blood Sugar Testing

Pancreas

It manufactures insulin and glucagon on-demand and releases them into the bloodstream to lower or to raise circulating blood glucose levels. 

Adrenals

When blood sugar gets too low, the body releases cortisol and epinephrine to raise levels to ensure a steady supply of fuel. 

Adipose Tissue

Our adipose tissue (also known as body fat) stores energy in the form of triglycerides. These fat stores release a hormone called leptin which supports satiety and reduces hunger. 

Liver

If the body has sufficient blood glucose to meet its energy needs, any excess blood sugar is converted to glycogen in a process known as glycogenesis. Glycogen is made up of long chains of carbon that can easily be converted back into blood glucose during exercise, sleep, or another time of need. The process of converting glycogen into glucose is called glycogenolysis. Protein and fat can also be converted into blood glucose by the liver in a process called gluconeogenesis.  

Skeletal Muscle

The liver can store some glycogen, but much of it is stored in the muscle tissue itself for quick access during times of need, like exercise. Muscle (and fat) tissue can also be converted into blood glucose.  

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