Hormones Affecting Blood Glucose Levels

Hormones Affecting Blood Glucose Levels

There are other hormonal agents besides insulin that affect the blood glucose levels in your body. It is essential to know about glucagon, amylin, GIP, GLP-1, epinephrine, cortisol, and growth hormonal agent.


Made by islet cells (alpha cells) in the pancreas, controls the production of glucose and another fuel, ketones, in the liver.

Glucagon is released over night and between meals and is very important in maintaining the body’s sugar and fuel balance. It indicates the liver to break down its starch or glycogen stores and assists to form new glucose units and ketone units from other substances. It also promotes the breakdown of fat in fat cells.

Also read: Diabetic Ketoacidosis: Symptoms, Treatment, Causes

On the other hand, after a meal, when sugar from the consumed food rushes into your bloodstream, your liver doesn’t need to make sugar. The effect? Glucagon levels fall.

Unfortunately, in people with diabetes, the opposite happens. While consuming, their glucagon levels rise, which causes blood sugar levels to rise after the meal.

With diabetes, glucagon levels are too high at mealtimes.

GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and amylin:

GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and amylin are other hormones that likewise regulate mealtime insulin. GLP-1 and GIP are incretin hormones. When released from your gut, they signify the beta cells to increase their insulin secretion and, at the very same time, reduce the alpha cells’ release of glucagon. GLP-1 also slows down the rate at which food clears from your stomach, and it acts on the brain to make you feel complete and satisfied.

People with type 1 diabetes have missing or malfunctioning beta cells so the hormones insulin and amylin are missing and the hormone GLP1 can not work correctly. This may describe, in part, why individuals with diabetes do not reduce glucagon during a meal and have high blood glucose after a meal.


Amylin is launched together with insulin from beta cells. It has similar impact as GLP-1. It reduces glucagon levels, which will then decrease the liver’s glucose production, slows the rate at which food clears from your stomach, and makes your brain feel that you have actually eaten a full and gratifying meal.

The overall result of these hormonal agents is to decrease the production of sugar by the liver during a meal to prevent it from getting too expensive.

The bright side is that amylin is now readily available as a medication to control post-meal glucagon and blood sugar level in people with type 1 diabetes. (GLP-1 also is available as a medicine however is not approved for use for people with type 1.)

Also read: A Complete List of Common Diabetes Medications

Epinephrine, cortisol, and growth hormonal agent

Epinephrine, cortisol, and development hormonal agent are other hormones that help keep blood glucose levels. They, along with glucagon (see above) are called “stress” or “gluco-counter-regulatory” hormones — which suggests they make the blood sugar rise.

Epinephrine (adrenaline) is released from nerve endings and the adrenals, and acts straight on the liver to promote sugar production (by means of glycogenolysis). Epinephrine also promotes the breakdown and release of fat nutrients that take a trip to the liver where they are converted into sugar and ketones.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone likewise produced from the adrenal gland. It makes fat and muscle cells resistant to the action of insulin, and enhances the production of glucose by the liver. Under normal situations, cortisol reverses the action of insulin. Under stress or if an artificial cortisol is provided as a medication (such as with prednisone therapy or cortisone injection), cortisol levels end up being elevated and you end up being insulin resistant. When you have Type 1 diabetes, this indicates your might need to take more insulin to keep your blood glucose under control.

Growth Hormone is launched from the pituitary, which is a part of the brain. Like cortisol, development hormone counterbalances the effect of insulin on muscle and fat cells. High levels of development hormone cause resistance to the action of insulin.

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