What Determines High Blood Sugar?


Quick Answer

High blood glucose is determined by the amount of insulin and glucagon hormones in the body, according to Dr. James Norman for EndocrineWeb. When a hormonal imbalance causes too much glucagon or too little insulin, high blood glucose occurs.

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Full Answer

Blood glucose levels are determined by a balance of the two opposing hormones, insulin and glucagon, explains Healthline. These hormones work to keep blood glucose within a very narrow and functional range. Insulin hormone is released from cells of the pancreas in response to increases in blood sugar levels, states Dr. Norman. Insulin lowers blood sugar levels by moving glucose out of the blood and into the various cell types, including fat and muscle cells. High blood glucose develops when insulin levels fall too low or the body is unable to properly use the insulin it makes. This condition can lead to Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

Glucagon hormone is released from the pancreas several hours after eating or drinking when blood sugar levels dip too low, notes Healthline. Glucagon raises blood sugar levels by stimulating the release of glucose from liver and muscle cells and suppressing the effects of insulin. High blood glucose develops when glucagon allows more glucose into the blood than the insulin is able to remove. This condition leads to hyperglycemia.

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