The Glucose-Insulin System Prevents Low Blood Sugar
By Dr Joseph J Collins, ND, RN

This article is part of the Blood Sugar Health Educational Module
As important as it is to keep blood glucose levels from getting too high, the Glucose-Insulin-System also helps keep your glucose levels from dropping too low. Fasting, and exercise may both result in decreased blood glucose (hypoglycemia). In order to prevent hypoglycemia during fasting and exercise, the body requires adequate amounts of glucose stored in the form of glycogen (for immediate use) as well as triglycerides for long term prevention of hypoglycemia.
When glucose levels become too low, such as many hours after a meal or with increased exercise or with excessive stress, your pancreas releases glucagon from alpha-cells in the pancreas. The glucagon stimulates the liver to breakdown glycogen and convert it into glucose, which can increase blood levels. Glucagon can also stimulate the breakdown of glycogen in muscle cells. Epinephrine (adrenaline) can also cause an increase in blood glucose levels due to glycogen breakdown in skeletal muscle and, to a lesser degree in the liver as well.
If there is not proper storage and function of glycogen, then a person is at risk of having episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which may include symptoms such as shakiness, dizziness, sweating, hunger, irritability or moodiness, anxiety or nervousness and headaches, and even heart palpitations and a rapid or irregular heart rate.
Glucagon also increases lipase activity, an enzyme that breaks down triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids. Glycerol is also known as glycerin. Glycerol is also converted to glucose by the liver to help maintain adequate blood glucose levels. The fatty acids from the triglycerides are utilized for energy by metabolic pathways that are different than the Glucose- Insulin System.
The alpha cells in the pancreas secrete glucagon, which prevents blood sugar from getting to low by its effect on carbohydrate, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.
  • Glucagon stimulates the breakdown of glycogen (stored carbohydrates) to be released into the blood as glucose, which is a process called glycogenolysis.
  • Glucagon stimulates the breakdown stored fat (triglycerides) into fatty acids for use as fuel by cells (lipolysis).
  • Glucagon stimulates the breakdown and conversion of amino acids into glucose, in a process called gluconeogenesis.
The presence of postprandial hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can result in excessive postprandial insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia). The excessive insulin levels can result in an excessive drop of blood sugar levels in people, which occurs hours after they have eaten. Low blood sugar hours after a meal is called postprandial hypoglycemia (“hypo” = low, “glycemia” =  blood sugar).
This postprandial hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is more likely to occur in people that have non-alcoholic-liver-disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is frequently associated with insulin resistance, prediabetes and diabetes. NAFLD may worsen and become nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a liver disease that is also associated with insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
The occurrence of hypoglycemic episodes in people with insulin resistance, prediabetes or diabetes is very significant because it highlights the fact that Blood Sugar Health involves the prevention of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), as much as it involves the prevention of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
Since hypoglycemia is associated with NAFLD and insulin resistance, then decreasing the development of insulin resistance and NAFLD will also increase the incidence of hypoglycemia.
In addition of being the result of excessive glucose levels, NAFLD and NASH are disorders of lipid metabolism that include increased accumulation of triglycerides in the liver, as well as increased plasma levels of free fatty acids, triglycerides, and total cholesterol levels. NAFLD may also include decreases contents of liver and muscle glycogen.
Specific herbs in GlucoQuench™ have been shown to decrease the accumulation of triglycerides in the liver, and to decrease plasma levels of free fatty acid levels, triglycerides, and total cholesterol levels. NAFLD may also include decreases contents of liver and muscle glycogen.

The Glucose-Insulin System prevents low blood sugar by improving the functions of glucagon. The risk of prediabetes hypoglycemia is higher in people with NAFLD.
GlucoQuench™ contains herbs that can support the proper functions of glucagon and decrease the risks of developing NAFLD.

Reviewed & Updated: 07/20/2019