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What is Glucose and What Is Its Connection to Metabolic Well-Being?

Glucose finds its origin in the Greek word for "sweet" and is a type of natural sugar that your body uses for energy. Glucose is a simple sugar and is the primary source of energy for the body's cells. It is derived from the breakdown of carbohydrates in food and is also produced by the liver. Glucose in the blood is carried to cells throughout the body, where it is used to produce energy. Glucose is central to your body's energy consumption. All nutrients like carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins are broken down into glucose. It serves as the primary metabolic fuel source and is a precursor for various syntheses.

Glucose is the final substrate, which enters tissue cells and is converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy currency of the body. It is then consumed in a number of ways by active transport of molecules across cell membranes, muscle contraction, and the performance of mechanical work.

The body tightly regulates the level of glucose in the blood to ensure that cells have a constant supply of energy. When blood sugar levels are too low, the body releases hormones such as glucagon and adrenaline to increase glucose production and release stored glucose into the bloodstream. When blood glucose levels are too high, the hormone insulin is released to promote the absorption of glucose into cells and the storage of excess glucose as glycogen.

Did You Know

Carbohydrates are used to supply energy to the cells of the body. Your body breaks down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars, namely glucose and fructose. Glucose in the blood is very strictly controlled and monitored as any fluctuation can lead to serious health complications. When blood sugar is too high, insulin-secreting cells respond by taking glucose out of the bloodstream. When your blood sugar is low, the pancreas releases glucagon.

Your metabolic rate is directly linked to your glucose. When insulin cells are damaged or if your body's cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, it means that your blood sugar levels are not being monitored properly. It is basically type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Energy and Storage Process

Our bodies are designed by beta cells in the pancreas to keep our blood glucose levels stable. Every time you eat your blood sugar rises and then insulin is released into your bloodstream so that the glucose can get inside the cells. Your body uses this glucose and amino acids for energy and is the primary source of fuel for your brain. Nerve cells and chemical messengers need this energy to process information and function. Leftover glucose is stored in the liver and muscles in little bundles called glycogen for about a day.

Once it's been a few hours since your last meal, your blood sugar level drops, which happens when your pancreas stops churning out insulin. The pancreas then begins producing a hormone called glucagon which signals the liver to break down stored glycogen back into glucose. It travels to the bloodstream to replenish your supply.

Blood Sugar and Metabolic Health

Your body's metabolic health refers to how well and quickly your body is able to convert food and stored energy into cellular fuel. When this level changes or worsens, it can lead to diabetes or heart disease. As our daily lifestyle and habits change, it makes our metabolic health worse. According to current statistics, only 12% of American adults are 'metabolically healthy'. This shows how the body's cells use energy to grow, repair, reproduce, and more.

While fat, protein, and glucose all contribute equally to your body's metabolic health; Maintaining a stable blood sugar level and getting enough exercise to have the biggest impact on metabolism. While insulin helps to store excess energy, exercise helps to build muscle, and they are both anabolic. Metabolism is affected by which carbohydrates you choose to consume and which combination your body chooses to burn for energy.

Insulin resistance is known to impair metabolism because glucose chooses to stay in your bloodstream instead of being used for energy. This increased level of insulin leads to fat storage and weight gain.

An Access Health Care Physician is a primary care facility that provides a range of services to help you get your glucose under control. You can connect with our doctors for consultation and learn how to maintain your blood sugar level.

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