The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Try an activity or get started for free

Discuss how the Body Controls Blood Sugar Concentration

In this worksheet, students will discuss how the body uses negative feedback to control 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 concentration of sugar in our blood has to be monitored - sometimes you will have too much and sometimes too little.

 

The concentration of glucose can be affected by:

Eating which causes glucose concentrations to rise.

Vigorous exercise which causes blood glucose concentrations 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 that it provides conditions that will allow the cell to work at its 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 concentrations of glucose.

Insulin is a hormone that's released when blood glucose concentrations 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. This is called glycogenesis.

When blood glucose concentrations are low, the pancreas doesn't secrete insulin into the blood. This means the liver won't convert glucose to glycogen, leaving glucose in the blood. This is one way to maintain normal glucose concentrations. 

Glucagon is another hormone involved in maintaining blood glucose concentrations. When blood glucose concentrations are low, glucagon is released from the pancreas, which causes stored glycogen in the liver to convert to glucose. This is called glycogenolysis. By doing this, the body can raise blood glucose concentrations back to normal. This is an example of negative feedback in the body. 

Diabetes is a condition where blood glucose concentrations 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 concentrations 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 and by 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 concentrations. This helps diabetics to regulate their blood glucose concentrations.

 

Image of types of diabetes

 

In the following activity, you will discuss how the body uses negative feedback to control the concentration of glucose in the blood. 

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

 

Describe 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

 

The image below shows a healthy response to glucose and a diabetic's response to glucose.

 

Fill in the boxes A, B, C and D in the image below.

 

.Image of different types of diabetes

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 is 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

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

Glucose was used for respiration

Glucose was taken in by cells

Glucose was released into the blood

Glucose was converted into glycogen

What are the names of the two hormones involved in regulating blood glucose concentration? 

Glucose was used for respiration

Glucose was taken in by cells

Glucose was released into the blood

Glucose was converted into glycogen

Normal blood glucose concentration has to be regulated, as in the image below:

 

Label hormone A and organ B.

 

Image of blood glucose regulation cycle

A: Insulin

A: Glucagon

B: Liver

B: Pancreas

The picture below shows how blood glucose concentrations are maintained.

 

Fill in boxes A, B, C, D and E below.

 

Image of blood sugar feedback loop

The picture below shows how blood glucose concentrations are maintained.

 

Explain why the events shown in the diagram can be described as an example of negative feedback.

 

Image of negative feedback in blood sugar

A change to normal glucose concentrations initiates a response

A change to normal glucose concentrations doesn't cause a response

The response has no effect

The response acts against the change

Describe how insulin and glucagon help to control the blood sugar concentration in a healthy person. 

Column A

Column B

Insulin and glucagon are...
...produced by the pancreas
If blood glucose levels are too high...
...and to the liver where it's converted to glycog...
The insulin allows glucose to move from the blood ...
...insulin is released
If blood glucose levels fall...
...glucagon is released
The glucagon causes glycogen...
...to be converted to glucose
This causes glucose to be released
into the blood
  • Question 1

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

 

Describe 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. They are both to do with the body's insulin levels but there are big differences between the two. Type 1 is where not enough insulin is made by the pancreas, and type 2 is where cells aren't responsive to insulin.
  • Question 2

 

The image below shows a healthy response to glucose and a diabetic's response to glucose.

 

Fill in the boxes A, B, C and D in the image below.

 

.Image of different types of diabetes

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on with these two? In type 1, the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, whereas in type 2, although insulin is produced, the cells are unresponsive to it.
  • Question 3

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 is 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 4

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 5

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.
  • Question 6

What are the names of the two hormones involved in regulating blood glucose concentration? 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
That was a tough question to start off with! How did you get on with the spelling of glucagon? It may be hard to remember them both, but it is important to try because both hormones are needed to regulate a normal blood glucose concentration. Insulin is the hormone that is released from the pancreas when glucose levels are high and need to be reduced. Glucagon is released from the pancreas when glucose levels are too low and need to be raised.
  • Question 7

Normal blood glucose concentration has to be regulated, as in the image below:

 

Label hormone A and organ B.

 

Image of blood glucose regulation cycle

CORRECT ANSWER
A: Glucagon
B: Liver
EDDIE SAYS
It's easy to get muddled up with the role of the pancreas and the liver in blood glucose regulation. To help you remember: Glycogen 'lives' in the liver! If blood sugar levels fall, the hormone glucagon is released from the pancreas. This is used to convert the glycogen stored in the liver back into glucose.
  • Question 8

The picture below shows how blood glucose concentrations are maintained.

 

Fill in boxes A, B, C, D and E below.

 

Image of blood sugar feedback loop

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Don't worry if you found this question challenging - there is a lot to remember for this topic. This is a great activity to consolidate your knowledge of negative feedback! So have a few tries if you didn't manage to get it all correct the first time round! Remember the order: Blood sugar level rises - pancreas releases insulin - cells take in some glucose, rest is stored as glycogen in liver - blood sugar level stabilises to normal. Blood sugar level falls - pancreas releases glucagon - glycogen stored in liver breaks down into glucose - blood sugar level stabilises to normal.
  • Question 9

The picture below shows how blood glucose concentrations are maintained.

 

Explain why the events shown in the diagram can be described as an example of negative feedback.

 

Image of negative feedback in blood sugar

CORRECT ANSWER
A change to normal glucose concentrations initiates a response
The response acts against the change
EDDIE SAYS
Negative feedback is always opposite to the change. If blood sugar levels rise, then negative feedback ensures it goes back down. Conversely, if blood sugar levels fall, then negative feedback ensures it goes back up.
  • Question 10

Describe how insulin and glucagon help to control the blood sugar concentration in a healthy person. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Insulin and glucagon are...
...produced by the pancreas
If blood glucose levels are too h...
...insulin is released
The insulin allows glucose to mov...
...and to the liver where it's co...
If blood glucose levels fall...
...glucagon is released
The glucagon causes glycogen...
...to be converted to glucose
This causes glucose to be release...
into the blood
EDDIE SAYS
This regulation of blood sugar is a constant process, as well as being pretty complicated!! Hopefully, you have found this activity to be a useful way to test yourself on blood sugar regulation. Why not have another go at some of the trickier questions if you're still not too confident on this topic.
---- OR ----

Get started for free so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started
laptop

Try an activity or get started for free