There is a direct connection between insulin and blood sugar. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the levels of sugar, or glucose, in the blood by helping the cells to utilize it for energy. In a healthy individual, insulin is secreted by the pancreas, and more is released when blood sugar levels are high. When sugar is at low levels in the bloodstream, less insulin is released. Malfunctions of this system occur in those with diabetes, leading to potentially dangerous blood sugar levels if left uncontrolled.
The relationship between insulin and blood sugar is that insulin is responsible for keeping blood sugar at a healthy level. When a person eats, food is converted into glucose by the digestive system and released into the bloodstream. The blood sugar is then absorbed by the cells all over the body and used for energy. The hormone insulin is necessary for the blood sugar to enter the cells.
Large amounts of sugary or carbohydrate rich foods are converted to blood sugar more easily than other foods. This can cause higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. When this occurs, the connection between insulin and blood sugar causes extra insulin to be released by the pancreas. The additional insulin allows the cells to quickly absorb the extra sugar from the blood. This returns blood sugar to normal levels quickly, which is important because high blood sugar levels for an extended period can be very unhealthy.
If a person hasn't eaten for a few hours, blood sugar levels can dip lower than normal. When this happens, due to the relationship between insulin and blood sugar, the pancreas will slow down the rate of insulin secretion. This helps the remaining blood sugar to be taken into the cells much more slowly while the cells utilize stored glucose for energy instead.
In some individuals, there is a malfunction of the relationship between insulin and blood sugar called diabetes. A person with diabetes lacks the appropriate insulin response to elevated blood sugar levels. This may occur because of the following reasons: the pancreas is unable to make and secrete the necessary insulin; the body does not respond correctly to the insulin; or it isn't released in the correct amounts. Diabetes is a potentially dangerous disease that requires careful monitoring and treatment that can include lifestyle changes and medication. There is no cure for diabetes, but diabetic individuals can often live long healthy lives if they are vigilant about controlling their blood sugar.