Carbohydrates, glucose, blood sugar and diabetes

Created on Monday, July 08, 2013 12:44

Glucose (or dextrose) is among the carbohydrates found in our diet along with fats and proteins.

When we do not ingest glucose with food, we break down other carbohydrates into glucose in the digestive system. Consumption of carbohydrates is important for maintaining glucose levels in the blood because our body cells use glucose in addition to fat to produce energy. When carbohydrate intake is insufficient or low (which can be useful when losing weight), the body will make its own glucose from fat, among other things, via the gluconeogenesis process. This process consumes more energy than the primary process of glucose burning. Gluconeogenesis is often seen at the time of weight reduction. Excess fat is then called upon to be burned in which we release energy, this happens under the influence of our hormone Cortisol produced through the adrenal glands. People with chronically overworked adrenal glands often have a problem losing weight. Logically reasoned, this is also true. The adrenal glands make too little cortisol due to exhaustion usually caused by prolonged stress. The adrenal glands then produce too much cortisol and adrenaline for too long, which can make them exhausted if too little rest is taken and there is a lack of certain nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, good fats and proteins.

Too low a level of glucose in the blood is especially detrimental to the function of the brain, which largely relies on glucose for energy consumption. However, too high a level is detrimental because our organs are damaged when we have too much glucose in the blood. This happens in diabetes.

The body is always trying to maintain glucose levels in the blood within certain limits using glucose-raising hormones (glucagon) and the glucose-lowering insulin. When this does not work optimally, such as when the cells become insensitive to insulin, glucose regulation can become impaired and eventually diabetes can occur.

Some carbohydrates are quickly broken down in our bodies into glucose. They are called “fast” carbohydrates. Sugars in candy and starch in white bread are fast carbohydrates. Other carbohydrates are slowly broken down into glucose. The body then has a fairly stable glucose level in the blood, which is better for our glucose regulation.


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