Blood Sugar Disorders

Blood Sugar Disorders


This lesson will identify the cause and effects of disorders associated with blood sugar.

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Source: Video and Images Created by Amanda Soderlind

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Welcome to this lesson today on blood sugar disorders.

Today we will be discussing various disorders that are affected by blood sugar levels. Normally, homeostatic mechanisms within the body help to regulate our blood glucose levels. However, sometimes those levels cannot be normally regulated due to certain factors, which can lead to disorders.

The first disorder we are going to talk about today is Type I diabetes.

Type I diabetes is an autoimmune response in which pancreatic cells don't produce insulin. This disorder can be caused by genetics in combination with a viral infection, but usually this disorder occurs early in life. So a person who has this disorder needs to take insulin injections to regulate their glucose levels.

Insulin is a hormone that helps to lower blood sugar levels.

If the pancreas isn't producing insulin, the body doesn't have a way to lower blood sugar levels. And if blood sugar levels get too high, it can damage capillaries, and then have an effect on blood flow throughout the body. So insulin injections are necessary in order to help regulate these blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes is another type of blood sugar disorder, and in this type of disorder, target cells don't respond to insulin, for whatever reason. There could be various reasons that this happens. But in any case, blood sugar levels get too high, and as I mentioned, that can damage capillaries and affect blood flow. So type 2 diabetes can affect blood flow to the skin, eyes, the lower limbs, and it actually correlates with obesity, diet and lifestyle.

This type of diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, generally shows up later in life, and is generally a result of a person's lifestyle and diet, and as I mentioned, correlates with obesity.

Prediabetes is our next condition. Basically, prediabetes is just a condition in which there is a slightly high blood sugar level. So it's more of a warning sign than anything. It's basically a warning sign that a person is on the track to developing Type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes can actually be reversed with diet and exercise. So again, it's just kind of a warning sign that if the person continues the way that they are, Type 2 diabetes will likely develop.

Hypoglycemia is the last condition we're going to talk about today. Hypoglycemia is characterized by low blood sugar. A person can develop low blood sugar if they miscalculate an insulin injection, and maybe inject themselves with too much insulin, or if they have a tumor that is secreting insulin. So basically what happens, because there's too much insulin in the system, too much sugar is being removed from the blood, and then there's not enough fuel left over for proper brain functioning. So in order to fix this, you would need to raise the blood sugar level of the person in order to help reverse it.

This lesson has been an overview on various disorders associated with blood sugar levels.

  • Type I Diabetes

    Also called juvenile onset diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), this is an autoimmune disease that causes the destruction of beta cells. Type I diabetes typically strikes at a young age and since the beta cells are destroyed a person cannot produce insulin anymore. They must, therefore, take insulin injections.

  • Type II Diabetes

    Also called adult onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), type II diabetes is more of a lifestyle disease that affects people when they are older. People with type II diabetics produce and secrete insulin but, for reasons which are poorly understood, it doesn’t work well.

  • Prediabetes

    The signs and symptoms leading up to diabetes.

  • Hypoglycemia

    The clinical term for lower than normal blood glucose levels.