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Explain How the Body Controls Blood Sugar Concentration

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

image of chocolate cake

 

Now, who doesn't love a slice of chocolate cake?! 

Unfortunately, around 4 million people in the UK have to be cautious when consuming food with lots of sugar in, like chocolate cake. Let's find out why below:


Glucose is the name given to sugar that's used by the body for energy. The amount of sugar in our blood has to be monitored - sometimes you will have too much and sometimes too little.

 

The amount of glucose can be affected by:

Eating which causes glucose levels to rise.

Vigorous exercise which causes blood glucose levels to drop. 

 

The monitoring of glucose levels is an example of homeostasis. ​That's because the body has to keep a constant internal environment. Homeostasis allows the body’s cells to work at their optimum, meaning in conditions that allow them to work at their best.

The conditions of the environment are always changing. Our body has to respond to these changes, but at the same time ensure that certain internal conditions don't vary too much, otherwise, damage could be caused.

 

 

Image of types of homeostasis

 

 

Glucose is monitored and controlled by the pancreas. The pancreas produces different hormones in response to the levels of glucose.

Insulin is a hormone that's released when blood glucose levels are high. It binds to receptors on cell membranes that cause cells to take in glucose -  this glucose is used for respiration. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. 

Diabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels aren't maintained - they can get super high, or low and cause all sorts of issues. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

 

Image of pancreas and insulin effects on glucose

 

Type 1 Diabetes:

The pancreas doesn't produce enough of the hormone insulin.

Blood glucose levels are uncontrollably high.

It is treated with insulin injections.


 

Type 2 Diabetes:

Insulin is produced but liver and muscle cells no longer respond to it.

People who are obese are at risk.

It is controlled by limiting simple carbohydrates in the diet, as well as taking more exercise.

 

By controlling the types of food they eat, diabetics are able to regulate how much sugar is released into the blood through digestion.

Regular exercise means that glucose in the blood will be utilised by cells for increased respiration (which means more energy), this will lower blood glucose levels. This helps diabetics to regulate their blood glucose levels.

 

Image of types of diabetes

 

 

In the following activity, you will explain how the body controls the levels of glucose in the blood. 

 

Sammy went to his grandma's for dinner. He ate all of his favourite food, including dessert.

The levels of glucose in Sammy's blood will rise.

 

What will happen to the excess glucose in Sammy's blood?

 

Image of dinner

Diabetes occurs when the body can't control the levels of glucose in the blood properly. There are two types.

 

What happens in type 1 diabetes? 

Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas fails to produce insulin

Type 1 diabetes is when cells don't respond to insulin

The glucose levels in the blood will remain low

The glucose levels in the blood will remain high unless insulin is injected, usually before meal times

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes? 

Column A

Column B

Type 1
Pancreas doesn't make enough insulin
Type 2
Body cells aren't responsive to insulin

How does the hormone insulin help to regulate blood glucose levels? 

 

 

Column A

Column B

Insulin is released by the pancreas...
...receptors on the cell membrane of cells
Insulin binds with insulin...
...when there is a high level of blood glucose
Binding allows glucose...
...to enter cells, lowering blood sugar levels

The image below shows the body's healthy response to glucose.

 

Which type of diabetes is shown in boxes A and B in the image below?

 

.Image of the two types of diabetes

Excess glucose will make blood sugar levels rise.

 

Complete this sentence from the options below:

 

This excess glucose can be stored in the ...(a)... and muscles as ...(b)...

(a) Liver

(a) Pancreas

(b) Glucose

(b) Glycogen

Jenny ate breakfast at 7 am, which contained carbohydrates. She didn't eat anything else for the next five hours. The table shows the concentration of glucose in her blood at hourly intervals after her breakfast.

Explain why the blood glucose concentration rose between 07:00 and 08:00.

 

 Time of day

 Concentration of glucose in the blood

(mg per 100cm3 of blood)

 07:00 80
 08:00 110
 09:00 60
 10:00 55
 11:00 100
 12:00 70
Her breakfast was being digested to release glucose, causing blood sugar levels to rise

Her liver is breaking down glycogen into glucose, causing blood sugar levels to rise

Insulin is allowing the blood sugar levels to rise

Jenny ate breakfast at 7 am, which contained carbohydrates. She didn't eat anything else for the next five hours. The table shows the concentration of glucose in her blood at hourly intervals after her breakfast.

 

Explain why the blood glucose concentration fell between 08:00 and 12:00. 

 

 Time of day

 Concentration of glucose in the blood

(mg per 100cm3 of blood)

 07:00 80
 08:00 110
 09:00 60
 10:00 55
 11:00 100
 12:00 70
Glucose was used for respiration

Glucose was taken in by cells

Glucose was released into the blood

Glucose was converted into glycogen

What happens to Donna's sugar levels when she eats a whole chocolate cake?

 

Put the events into the order in which they will happen.

    

image of chocolate cake

People who have type 2 diabetes are advised to watch the type of food they eat and to do regular exercise.

 

Why might this advice be given?

 

Image of people exercising

  • Question 1

Sammy went to his grandma's for dinner. He ate all of his favourite food, including dessert.

The levels of glucose in Sammy's blood will rise.

 

What will happen to the excess glucose in Sammy's blood?

 

Image of dinner

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The text above describes what will happen in a healthy body - this will not be the case in a person with diabetes. To help you remember: Glucose to glycogen - they both begin with a 'G'!
  • Question 2

Diabetes occurs when the body can't control the levels of glucose in the blood properly. There are two types.

 

What happens in type 1 diabetes? 

CORRECT ANSWER
Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas fails to produce insulin
The glucose levels in the blood will remain high unless insulin is injected, usually before meal times
EDDIE SAYS
It's easy to get confused by the two types of diabetes. Type 1 is where the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, and type 2 is where cells aren't responsive to insulin. The consequence of this is that type 1 diabetics have to inject themselves with insulin, normally before meals, in order to bring the glucose levels in their blood down to a manageable level.
  • Question 3

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes? 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Type 1
Pancreas doesn't make enough insu...
Type 2
Body cells aren't responsive to i...
EDDIE SAYS
Both types involve insulin - so don't forget that word! Just remember that type 1 involves making insulin (or not making enough), whereas type 2 is about responsiveness to insulin ( or lack of response by body cells).
  • Question 4

How does the hormone insulin help to regulate blood glucose levels? 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Insulin is released by the pancre...
...when there is a high level of ...
Insulin binds with insulin...
...receptors on the cell membrane...
Binding allows glucose...
...to enter cells, lowering blood...
EDDIE SAYS
Insulin has a really important role in maintaining glucose levels in the body - without it, diabetes can arise. In a healthy person, insulin is released by the pancreas when blood sugar levels rise. It binds to the receptors on the membranes of cells, allowing the glucose to enter the cells to use for respiration, and reducing the level of glucose in the blood.
  • Question 5

The image below shows the body's healthy response to glucose.

 

Which type of diabetes is shown in boxes A and B in the image below?

 

.Image of the two types of diabetes

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get them the right way round? Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are both about the body's insulin levels but there is a big difference between them. In type 1, the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, whereas in type 2, insulin is produced but the cells are unresponsive to it.
  • Question 6

Excess glucose will make blood sugar levels rise.

 

Complete this sentence from the options below:

 

This excess glucose can be stored in the ...(a)... and muscles as ...(b)...

CORRECT ANSWER
(a) Liver
(b) Glycogen
EDDIE SAYS
Well done if you got both these options correct because there were several plausible answers here. The pancreas is vital in the production of glucose but it is stored in the liver. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen. This glycogen can be turned back into glucose when the body needs it.
  • Question 7

Jenny ate breakfast at 7 am, which contained carbohydrates. She didn't eat anything else for the next five hours. The table shows the concentration of glucose in her blood at hourly intervals after her breakfast.

Explain why the blood glucose concentration rose between 07:00 and 08:00.

 

 Time of day

 Concentration of glucose in the blood

(mg per 100cm3 of blood)

 07:00 80
 08:00 110
 09:00 60
 10:00 55
 11:00 100
 12:00 70
CORRECT ANSWER
Her breakfast was being digested to release glucose, causing blood sugar levels to rise
EDDIE SAYS
The key to this is to remember that eating (especially carbohydrates) causes blood glucose levels to naturally rise. Jenny has only just finished eating her high carbohydrate breakfast, so this will show up in an increased blood sugar level.
  • Question 8

Jenny ate breakfast at 7 am, which contained carbohydrates. She didn't eat anything else for the next five hours. The table shows the concentration of glucose in her blood at hourly intervals after her breakfast.

 

Explain why the blood glucose concentration fell between 08:00 and 12:00. 

 

 Time of day

 Concentration of glucose in the blood

(mg per 100cm3 of blood)

 07:00 80
 08:00 110
 09:00 60
 10:00 55
 11:00 100
 12:00 70
CORRECT ANSWER
Glucose was used for respiration
Glucose was taken in by cells
Glucose was converted into glycogen
EDDIE SAYS
There were three correct answers this time! Did you get them all? Several hours have passed since Jenny ate anything, so the glucose in her blood will have either been taken in by cells to use for respiration, or converted into glycogen and stored in the liver. The two main reasons that glucose levels drop in the blood are: 1) Cells take in glucose, usually for respiration. 2) Glucose is stored as glycogen.
  • Question 9

What happens to Donna's sugar levels when she eats a whole chocolate cake?

 

Put the events into the order in which they will happen.

    

image of chocolate cake

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
If you found this tricky, have a few more attempts at this activity to consolidate your knowledge of blood sugar regulation in homeostasis.
  • Question 10

People who have type 2 diabetes are advised to watch the type of food they eat and to do regular exercise.

 

Why might this advice be given?

 

Image of people exercising

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
People with diabetes can improve many symptoms by being careful with the type of food they eat and by increasing the amount of regular exercise they do. These life-style changes will mean that they are taking in less glucose and using up more of it by increased levels of activity. Another activity completed! Great work!
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