By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Last week we discussed how insulin open the receptors in the cells to allow glucose to be used or stored in the cells. This week let us examine the balancing act of the rise and fall in insulin and blood sugar. Our blood sugar rises and falls many times during the day and night. It depends on when we eat and how much. If our body is functioning properly, your blood glucose should come close to the levels described below. For example, after fasting, the blood sugar level should be between 80-100 milligrams per deciliter, after eating, between 170 -200, and 2-3 hours after eating, 120-140. These parameters are references for people without diabetes and their pancreas is functioning normally.
Therefore it is a balancing act to have the right amount of insulin to utilize our glucose for energy and store it for later consumption. We need energy to keep us be alive. Even during sleep, we need energy to maintain our body functions. Hence, insulin is an important hormone that regulates our glucose, one of the primary energy sources.
Where does the extra glucose go if you eat a large meal and your body doesn’t need that much glucose right away? Insulin will convert extra food into larger packages of glucose called glycogen. Glycogen is stored in the liver and muscles.
Insulin also helps our bodies store fat and protein. Your body needs protein to work and grow. You also need fat to protect your nerves and as an energy source.
I hope this brief review of the role of insulin help you understand the essential function it plays with every day function of our body and its implication with people with diabetes.
To summarize: insulin metabolizes the blood sugar and turns it into glucose for energy production.
Glycogen is the stored glucose in the liver and muscles for later consumption.
Insulin stores fat and protein; these are essential energy source for bodily function, nerve preservation and hormone regulation.
Your homework from the Care Ministry this week: verbalize how insulin work.
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