The body needs glucose as energy to function. Glucose is formed in the body through eating carbohydrates. Learn how glucose is used for energy.
Glucose from carbohydrates is released into the bloodstream and increases blood sugar levels. The pancreas must produce a hormone called insulin to access glucose. As blood sugar levels rise, it releases insulin into the bloodstream. Without insulin, the cells will not be able to absorb the glucose needed to get energy.
Insulin problems occur due to insufficient insulin produced or because the cells have become resistant to insulin. It causes symptoms of a disease called diabetes. If the cells become resistant to insulin, this can lead to too much glucose circulating in the blood, which can cause severe damage to the blood vessels.
Every cell in your body has insulin receptors. When these receptors contact insulin, they can bind to it, and the binding draws glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cell itself.
Once glucose has entered the cell, the cell works to convert glucose into energy through aerobic metabolism. During aerobic metabolism, oxygen is drawn from the blood and into the cell by glucose. Mitochondria use oxygen to burn glucose to heat energy and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is used to store or release the energy created, depending on the needs of the cell.