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Question Video: Identifying a Hormonal Disorder Indicated by High Blood Glucose Science

Which hormonal disorder is typically indicated by the presence of too much sugar in the blood?

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Video Transcript

Which hormonal disorder is typically indicated by the presence of too much sugar in the blood?

The question asks us about a hormonal disorder that can be detected by high levels of sugar in the blood. The amount of sugar in our blood is referred to as the blood glucose level. It is important because we need glucose to produce ATP through cellular respiration. However, if too much glucose is in our bloodstream, it will cause damage to our cells and tissues.

You might remember that the pancreas is a gland within the endocrine system. It makes the hormones insulin and glucagon, which regulate the level of glucose in the blood. Let’s take a look at how this regulation works. When blood glucose rises above the optimal level, for example, after drinking juice or soda, a healthy pancreas will produce insulin to be released into the bloodstream. The insulin signals body cells to take up glucose from the blood. The liver and muscle cells can store excess glucose as glycogen. As glucose is taken up and glycogen is formed, the blood glucose level is lowered.

Some people have a pancreas that makes insufficient amounts of insulin. Other people have cells that have become resistant to insulin, meaning the release of insulin no longer properly triggers the uptake of glucose from the blood. Pause the video to see if you can figure out the effect these conditions would have.

If you said that these conditions would lead to high blood glucose levels, well done. Without insulin or an adequate insulin response, glucose will not be taken up by cells or stored as glycogen. Instead, it remains in the blood, causing sustained high blood sugar levels. This hormonal disorder is called diabetes. Diabetes can be managed through lifestyle choices, for example, eating a diet low in refined carbohydrates and medications, such as insulin injections.

We can now answer our question. The hormonal disorder that is typically indicated by the presence of too much sugar in the blood is diabetes.

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