Glucose


Find Diabetes Clinics »

For the body to work properly it must have enough fuel to provide energy for processes such as growth, repair and movement. The most readily available source of energy is a compound called glucose which is present in many sugary foods and drinks. When you eat a meal, the sugar which is usually in the form of carbohydrates, is broken down into the smallest possible molecules called glucose. This is done in the small intestine, where the food is mixed with special enzymes called glycosidases that are produced by the pancreas. The glycosidases are responsible for breaking down the long chain carbohydrates into simple sugars such as glucose, which are then absorbed across the wall of the small intestine and into the blood stream.

Once the glucose is in the blood, it can travel to areas of the body that need it the most, such as muscles and the brain. Without enough glucose you can become tired and lethargic, during which time your liver will be trying to prevent this by breaking down glycogen which is then released into the blood as glucose.

It is important that you monitor your blood glucose levels if you are diabetic, as your body is unable to store glucose as well as it normally does. If they become too high or too low this can be very dangerous.