Blood sugar, or glucose, is an important source of energy and provides nutrients to your body's organs, muscles and nervous system. Normal blood sugar varies from person to person, but a normal range for fasting blood sugar (the amount of glucose in your blood six to eight hours after a meal) is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter. These variations in blood-sugar levels, both before and after meals, are normal and reflect the way that glucose is absorbed and stored in the body.
As the small intestine absorbs glucose, the pancreas releases insulin, which stimulates body tissues and causes them to absorb this glucose and metabolize it (a process known as glycogenesis). When glucose levels drop between meals, the body takes some much-needed sugar out of storage.

When there isn't enough glucose stored up to maintain normal blood-sugar levels, the body will even produce its own glucose from noncarbohydrate sources (such as amino acids and glycerol). Too much glucose over an extended time (hyperglycemia) can result in the destruction of nerves, lowered resistance to infection, and heart and kidney disease. The body gets glucose from the food you eat, and the absorption, storage and production of glucose is regulated constantly by complex processes involving the small intestine, liver and pancreas.
After you eat, your body breaks down the carbohydrates in food into smaller parts, including glucose, which can be absorbed by the small intestine.
This stored glucose (glycogen) is used to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels between meals.

The process is kicked off by the pancreas, which releases a hormone known as glucagon, which promotes the conversion of stored sugar (glycogen) in the liver back to glucose. This process, known as gluconeogenesis, occurs most often during intense exercise and instances of starvation. Elizabeth has traveled throughout the Americas, studying political systems and indigenous cultures and teaching English to students of all ages.

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