I know this seems really basic, but is something I've always been unclear of. I always hear that insulin is like a key that lets glucose into your cells to be used as energy. So; if you take too much insulin, your cells suddenly suck too much of the sugar out of your blood, causing hypoglycemia. Why are your cells able to absorb more glucose than they need? And what do they use said energy for? What do the cells do with the excess glucose? It just disappears?
Not at all. I keep medical articles for my pleasure reading. Thank you! This one'll have to wait though seeing as I have a midterm on saturday.
Thanks for the link, Mishi. It is a very good read, although, I found the part on incretin particularly difficult.
Something that I am unclear on: Once energy needs are met, and glycogen stores are full; remainders are used to synthesize fat stores + triglycerides. So, fat would store a lot of energy. But when we eat fat, only 10% available as glucose. Why is this?
Actually, I don't think fat is converted to glucose at all unless we are in dire straits.
The glycerol in the triglycerides can be, but I haven't seen anything conclusive regarding the fatty acid portion once they've been liberated. I always understood the answer to that question to be no, no metabolic pathway in mammals exists.
As to hypoglycemia shock i have come across it twice when i had to perfrom a autopsys.We also call it Dead in Bed Syndrome,Many who become Hypounware brain can programme to ignore the condtion and that is dangerouse also use HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors,thiazide diuretics,calcium channel blockers ETc ETC can also cause this to happen,cerebral arteriosclerosis is another condtion that can also cause this and is common once we pass 60 years of age,I can thinks of another 20 condtions.
The simple answer is that glucose enters the cells through passive diffusion. As long as there is a higher concentration of glucose outside the cell, in the blood and interstitial fluid, compared to inside the cell's cytoplasm, when insulin opens the glucose dooors, glucose will continue to move into the cell.
It doesn't matter if the blood glucose concenration is a normal 80 mg/dl or a hypoglycemic 40 mg/dl. As long as cells continue to use glucose through the various pathways mentioned, there will always be a lower concentration of glucose inside the cell compared to outside the cell, so as long as there is insulin present to keep the doors open, glucose will enter the cell.