Insulin 101: Everything you Need to know about this Vital Hormone

Insulin is a hormone, and we cannot live without it.

It helps to regulate blood sugar levels by guiding cells to uptake glucose from the bloodstream when it exceeds normal levels.

When there are problems, it causes several disorders in the body.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin and type 2 diabetes results from reduced production or its actions.

Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition which occurs during pregnancy. There is reduced production of insulin during this period.

Insulin is a Hormone

Insulin is produced in the beta cells of the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach in the abdominal cavity. The pancreas also produces glucagon. It is also a hormone and has the opposite actions of insulin.

It is responsible for,

1. Energy production by utilizing glucose

2. Conversion of glucose into glycogen for storage in the liver and muscle tissue for future use

3. Conversion of excess glucose (after energy production and glycogen stores are saturated) into fat and stored in adipose tissues.

So, to support these functions, there is a basal secretion of the hormone from the pancreas throughout the day.

But its secretion increases when the blood glucose levels rise after a meal. Secretion is proportional to blood glucose levels.

Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, insulin production is low, is not working properly, or both contribute to high blood glucose.

The latter condition is also known as insulin resistance; cells become resistant to its effects. When this happens, glucose cannot enter the cells for utilization. Therefore, it builds up in the bloodstream, resulting in high blood glucose levels.

When you have type 2 diabetes, there is a reduced insulin secretion rate. It resulted from either reducing beta cell number in the pancreas, reducing the secretion rate, or both. Beta cell number can decrease further over time with the progression of the disease. The cause for these changes is not fully understood.

The main reason for insulin resistance is obesity. However, the exact mechanism is still not known.

Management of type 2 diabetes focuses on lifestyle modifications such as exercise and healthy eating. With exercises, insulin resistance and blood glucose control improve.

Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, beta cells are destroyed due to immune mediates mechanisms. So, beta cells are lost, and the hormone is not produced.

So, the treatment of type 1 diabetes warrants injection of insulin. Lifestyle modifications or oral glucose-lowering medications are not effective in type 1 diabetes.

Insulin Types for Injection

There are various preparations available to treat diabetes. There are three groups based on their time of action: short-acting (including soluble and rapid-acting), intermediate-acting and long-acting insulins.

  1. Short-acting
  2. Intermediate-acting (Isophane insulin)
  3. Long-acting (I.Detemir, I. Glargine, I. Degludec)

Understanding how it works will help you take care of yourself.

Understanding its mechanisms of action will help you take care of yourself. 

Knowing how your body uses it and what happens when it doesn’t make enough is essential.

If you have diabetes and take medication or insulin injections, knowing how they work helps avoid extreme glucose fluctuation.

The Bottom Line

Insulin regulates blood glucose levels by promoting uptake by cells for energy production. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen or fats.

Problems with this hormone resulted in developing diabetes type 1 and type 2. 

Understanding its mechanism of action will help you know how to take care of yourself when you are on treatment for type 1 diabetes or advanced type 2 diabetes.

From Walking to HIIT: A Ultimate Guide to Cardiovascular Exercise

Are you tired of the same old cardio routine? Do you feel unmotivated and...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

10 Proven Strategies to Break Through Weight Loss Plateaus

Maintaining a consistent exercise routine and achieving sustainable weight...

The Connection Between Sleep, Exercise, and Weight Loss

Do you often feel exhausted and sluggish, struggling to...

Foods that cause inflammation: What to Skip for Better Health

Foods that cause inflammation significantly affect our overall health...

The Future of Lung Cancer Prevention is not What you Think

The debate surrounding lung cancer prevention frequently revolves around...

Related articles

From Walking to HIIT: A Ultimate Guide to Cardiovascular Exercise

Are you tired of the same old cardio routine? Do you feel unmotivated and dread your workouts? It's...

10 Proven Strategies to Break Through Weight Loss Plateaus

Maintaining a consistent exercise routine and achieving sustainable weight loss can be challenging, with over 60% of adults...

The Connection Between Sleep, Exercise, and Weight Loss

Do you often feel exhausted and sluggish, struggling to get the energy for your workouts or making poor...

Foods that cause inflammation: What to Skip for Better Health

Foods that cause inflammation significantly affect our overall health and well-being. Eating healthily is not just about weight...