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How does your body use glucose?

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Your body is designed to keep the level of glucose in your blood constant. Beta cells in your pancreas monitor your blood sugar level every few seconds. When your blood glucose rises after you eat, the beta cells release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts like a key, unlocking muscle, fat, and liver cells so glucose can get inside them.

Most of the cells in your body use glucose along with amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and fats for energy, but it's the main source of fuel for your brain. Nerve cells and chemical messengers there need it to help them process information. Without it, your brain wouldn't be able to work well.

After your body has used the energy it needs, the leftover glucose is stored in little bundles called glycogen in the liver and muscles. Your body can store enough to fuel you for about a day.

SOURCES:

American Diabetes Association: "The Liver's Role: How It Processes Fats and Carbs."

American Foundation for the Blind: "What is the Difference Between Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia?"

Group Health: "How Our Bodies Turn Food Into Energy."

Insel, P. Nutrition, 2004.

Joslin Diabetes Center: "Goals for Blood Glucose Control," "High Blood Glucose: What it Means and How to Treat it."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes," "Your Guide to Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2."

NCBI: "Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th Edition."

UCSF: "The Liver & Blood Sugar."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on June 13, 2020

SOURCES:

American Diabetes Association: "The Liver's Role: How It Processes Fats and Carbs."

American Foundation for the Blind: "What is the Difference Between Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia?"

Group Health: "How Our Bodies Turn Food Into Energy."

Insel, P. Nutrition, 2004.

Joslin Diabetes Center: "Goals for Blood Glucose Control," "High Blood Glucose: What it Means and How to Treat it."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes," "Your Guide to Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2."

NCBI: "Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th Edition."

UCSF: "The Liver & Blood Sugar."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on June 13, 2020

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How does your blood glucose level drop and how does it store glucose?

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