What are normal blood glucose levels?


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Normal blood glucose levels stay within a relatively small range between 4.4-6.1mmol/L. Your blood sugar levels are maintained by mechanisms that help to balance the amount of glucose being released into your blood from your bodies stores (such as your liver) and from the food that your take in as part of your diet and the amount of glucose being absorbed into the cells of your body from your blood stream. Your body keeps this balance using hormones that are secreted from your pancreas.  The hormone glucagon is released by the α cells of your pancreas and stimulates your liver (and other cells of your body, such as your muscle cells) to release their stored glucose into the blood thereby increasing your blood glucose levels. The hormone insulin is released by the β cells of the pancreas and allows the cells of your body to absorb glucose from your blood stream thereby reducing your blood sugar levels. By releasing glucagon between meals (when your blood sugar level would otherwise be low) and releasing insulin immediately after meals (to absorb the excess glucose that enters your blood from the food that you eat) your pancreas is able to keep your blood sugar level within the normal range. If you are diabetic then your blood glucose level will be able to increase above the normal level in the absence of the effects of insulin.


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