Insulin. What Does It Do?
Glucose comes from the digestion of almost all foods, especially starchy ones. We need insulin to make energy from the glucose in these foods. Insulin is a special chemical (hormone) made by the pancreas gland, and allows the glucose from the blood stream to get in to our body’s cells to give us energy. Without insulin the glucose remains in the bloodstream and cannot give us the energy we need. In someone who does not have diabetes the amount of insulin produced depends on the amount of glucose/starchy foods eaten and the energy used and needed. Blood glucose level stays between 3.5 mmol/L and 7 mmol/L What happens when there is not enough insulin? When the pancreas fails to make enough insulin the glucose remains in the blood stream and the blood glucose level rises. This may come on gradually but eventually the glucose levels in the blood rise so high that they spill out of the blood stream through the kidneys and into the urine. The high blood sugar also pulls water out of the bloodstream, causing you to pass additional urine. This in turn makes you very thirsty. If the glucose in the blood cannot be used for energy the body has to find other alternative fuels. The body begins to use up fat stored around the body, and when fat is used to give the body energy ketones form. High blood glucose levels and ketones can make you feel very unwell. Continue reading >>
Taking Care Of Diabetes
Since our pancreas does not make insulin, we have to take insulin as medicine so that glucose can get from our blood and into our cells to give us energy to do things. Your doctor will tell you how much insulin you need. It can be a little scary at first and there is a lot to understand, that’s why I am here, to help you know what you need to learn. Testing Blood Glucose Because diabetes affects the glucose in your blood, it is important to measure this with a blood glucose meter. You will get used to having your blood glucose meter with you all of the time because checking your glucose level is the only way to know if your diabetes is under control. You always need some glucose in your blood, but not too much. If your blood glucose gets too high or too low it can make you feel sick so you will always want to avoid that. Your doctor will tell you what your glucose levels should be. Low Blood Glucose Low blood glucose happens when you take more insulin than your body needs. It means that too much glucose moved from your blood into your cells, not leaving enough glucose back in the blood (called hypoglycemia). This can be very dangerous. If your blood glucose is low you may feel shaky, start sweating, get a headache, feel dizzy, or your heart may start pounding. These are called symptoms, and they warn you that you need to eat or drink some sugar right away. High Blood Glucose High blood glucose happens when you don’t take enough insulin – when there is too much glucose in your blood (called hyperglycemia). High blood glucose levels can be harder to notice at first, another reason why it is important to test your blood glucose often. Most of the time, you can take insulin so that your high glucose goes down. But if you don’t take insulin and your blood glucose sta Continue reading >>
Symptoms & Causes Of Diabetes
What are the symptoms of diabetes? Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination increased hunger fatigue blurred vision numbness or tingling in the feet or hands sores that do not heal unexplained weight loss Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can start quickly, in a matter of weeks. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly—over the course of several years—and can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems, such as blurred vision or heart trouble. What causes type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease. Studies such as TrialNet are working to pinpoint causes of type 1 diabetes and possible ways to prevent or slow the disease. What causes type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes—the most common form of diabetes—is caused by several factors, including lifestyle factors and genes. Overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index (BMI) charts. Insulin resistance Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resista Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). The cells in your body need sugar for energy. However, sugar cannot go into most of your cells directly. After you eat food and your blood sugar level rises, cells in your pancreas (known as beta cells) are signaled to release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin then attaches to and signals cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is often described as a “key,” which unlocks the cell to allow sugar to enter the cell and be used for energy. If you have more sugar in your body than it needs, insulin helps store the sugar in your liver and releases it when your blood sugar level is low or if you need more sugar, such as in between meals or during physical activity. Therefore, insulin helps balance out blood sugar levels and keeps them in a normal range. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes more insulin. If your body does not produce enough insulin or your cells are resistant to the effects of insulin, you may develop hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which can cause long-term complications if the blood sugar levels stay elevated for long periods of time. Insulin Treatment for Diabetes People with type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin because the beta cells in their pancreas are damaged or destroyed. Therefore, these people will need insulin injections to allow their body to process glucose and avoid complications from hyperglycemia. People with type 2 diabetes do not respond well or are resistant to insulin. They may need insulin shots to help them better process Continue reading >>
Must Read Articles Related To Insulin Reaction
A A A Insulin Reaction An insulin reaction occurs when a person with diabetes becomes confused or even unconscious because of hypoglycemia (hypo=low + glycol = sugar + emia = in the blood) caused by insulin or oral diabetic medications. (Please note that for this article blood sugar and blood glucose mean the same thing and the terms may be used interchangeably.) The terms insulin reaction, insulin shock, and hypoglycemia (when associated with a person with diabetes) are often used interchangeably. In normal physiology, the body is able to balance the glucose (sugar levels) in the bloodstream. When a person eats, and glucose levels start to rise, the body signals the pancreas to secrete insulin. Insulin "unlocks the door" to cells in the body so that the glucose can be used for energy. When blood sugar levels drop, insulin production decreases and the liver begins producing glucose. In people with diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to meet the body's demand. Treatment may include medications taken by mouth (oral hypoglycemics), insulin, or both. The balance of food intake and medication is not automatic, and a person with diabetes needs to be aware that too much medication or too little food may cause blood sugar levels to drop. Interestingly, brain cells do not need insulin to access the glucose in the blood stream. Brain cells also cannot store excess glucose, so when blood sugar levels drop, brain function is one of the first parts of the body to become affected. In an insulin reaction, the blood sugar levels are usually below 50 mg/dL (or 2.78 mmol/L in SI units). Continue Reading A A A Insulin Reaction (cont.) Insulin reactions occur when there is an imbalance of food intake and the amount of insulin in the body. The oral hypoglycemic mediat Continue reading >>
Understanding Insulin Resistance
It's a precursor to diabetes, but it also can be reversed Though you may not be living with diabetes, your body could be battling against the hormone insulin. The condition, called insulin resistance, occurs when insulin can't effectively do its job. "People often don't realize that insulin resistance can develop into diabetes," said Dawn Sherr, a diabetes educator for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. "And if they're not aware they're insulin resistant, they don't know what steps they can take to prevent it." Insulin resistance is a fuzzy, often misunderstood concept. Here, we answer five common questions. Q: How does the body become resistant to insulin? A: When you eat, food is broken down into glucose to be used for energy. Insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, tempers the amount of sugar in the bloodstream by helping glucose get into the muscle, fat and/or liver cells. "We think of insulin as a 'key' that opens doors to the body's cells, so glucose can enter," said diabetes educator Gary Scheiner. With insulin resistance, it's like having locks that are frozen or rusty. The keys won't turn, and glucose can't get into the cell. The pancreas, alarmed by the increase in blood sugar, cranks out more insulin. Eventually, the overworked pancreas breaks down. Blood sugar levels rise even further, causing pre-diabetes and setting the stage for Type 2 diabetes. "Most people think of diabetes as high blood sugar caused by too little insulin," said Scheiner, the author of "Think Like a Pancreas. "But the insulin resistance is really the root cause of almost all cases of Type 2 diabetes. Q: What is pre-diabetes? A: The body's cells are insulin resistant; the levels of glucose in the blood are higher than normal, and the pancreas can't make enough insulin t Continue reading >>
Insulin Shock: Warning Signs And Treatment Options
What is insulin shock? After taking an insulin shot, a person with diabetes might on occasion forget to eat (or eat less than they normally do). If this happens, they may end up with too much insulin in their blood. This, in turn, can lead to hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar. A serious condition called insulin shock may occur if a person: ignores mild hypoglycemia takes too much insulin by mistake misses a meal completely does excessive unusual exercise without changing their carbohydrate intake Insulin shock is a diabetic emergency. It involves symptoms that, if left untreated, can lead to diabetic coma, brain damage, and even death. How insulin works When we consume food or beverages that contain carbohydrates, the body converts them into glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar that fuels the body, giving it the energy it needs to perform everyday functions. Insulin is a hormone that works like a key. It opens the door in the body’s cells so they can absorb glucose and use it as fuel. People with diabetes may lack enough insulin or have cells that aren’t able to use insulin as they should. If the cells of the body aren’t able to absorb the glucose properly, it causes excess glucose in blood. This is called high blood glucose, which is linked with a number of health issues. High blood glucose can cause eye and foot problems, heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, and nerve damage. Insulin shots help people with diabetes use glucose more efficiently. Taking an insulin shot before eating helps the body absorb and use glucose from the food. The result is a more balanced and healthy blood sugar level. Usually, it works great. Sometimes, however, things go wrong. What causes insulin shock? Having too much insulin in your blood can lead to having too little gluco Continue reading >>
In Diabetes, Insulin Production Is Deficient
If the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, do the pancreas cells still contain a high number of rough endoplasmicreticulum or would the cell "dry up"? Question Date: 2001-11-29 Answer 1: The beta cells of the pancreas produce insulin in response to elevated blood glucose levels. They have enormous amounts of endoplasmic reticulum. In diabetes, insulin production is deficient - often this is because the cells themselves are attacked by the immune system and destroyed. In some cases, defective insulin or other proteins accumulate in the ER and do not go on to the Golgi. The ER has a "quality control " pathway to stop unfolded proteins from being secreted. Recently it has been discovered that accumulation of unfolded proteins leads to a decrease in protein translation - to lessen the load on the ER (see here ) for a perspective by Sonenberg and Newgard about this pathway. So, the answer to your question is that the number of proteins going into the ER is decreased when there is a heavy load of bad proteins that accumulate in the ER . Answer 2: You have asked a very interesting question, and one that I am not very familiar with myself...so I had to do some searching around the web for the answer. Let me share what I have learned so far, and hopefully this will help answer your question. As you probably know, scientists have found that diabetes is actually an auto-immune disease (i.e., the immune system sends out lymphocytes to attack cells in your body that it mistakes for invaders/foreign substances.) Other auto-immune diseases include AIDS, which, like diabetes, is thought to be triggered by a virus. In the case of AIDS, the HIV retrovirus is a known causative agent, but for Diabetes it hasn't been discovered yet. They are working hard on this though, as I gather fr Continue reading >>
You And Your Hormones
What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made by an organ located behind the stomach called the pancreas. Here, insulin is released into the bloodstream by specialised cells called beta cells found in areas of the pancreas called islets of langerhans (the term insulin comes from the Latin insula meaning island). Insulin can also be given as a medicine for patients with diabetes because they do not make enough of their own. It is usually given in the form of an injection. Insulin is released from the pancreas into the bloodstream. It is a hormone essential for us to live and has many effects on the whole body, mainly in controlling how the body uses carbohydrate and fat found in food. Insulin allows cells in the muscles, liver and fat (adipose tissue) to take up sugar (glucose) that has been absorbed into the bloodstream from food. This provides energy to the cells. This glucose can also be converted into fat to provide energy when glucose levels are too low. In addition, insulin has several other metabolic effects (such as stopping the breakdown of protein and fat). How is insulin controlled? When we eat food, glucose is absorbed from our gut into the bloodstream. This rise in blood glucose causes insulin to be released from the pancreas. Proteins in food and other hormones produced by the gut in response to food also stimulate insulin release. However, once the blood glucose levels return to normal, insulin release slows down. In addition, hormones released in times of acute stress, such as adrenaline, stop the release of insulin, leading to higher blood glucose levels. The release of insulin is tightly regulated in healthy people in order to balance food intake and the metabolic needs of the body. Insulin works in tandem with glucagon, another hormone produced by the pan Continue reading >>
All About Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)
Hypoglycemia refers to an abnormally low level of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. Hypoglycemia is not a disease in itself, it is a sign of a health problem. The brain uses a lot of energy and needs glucose to function. Because the brain cannot store or manufacture glucose, it needs a continuous supply. Signs of low blood sugar include hunger, trembling, heart racing, nausea, and sweating. Hypoglycemia is commonly linked with diabetes, but many other conditions can also cause low blood sugar. This article will discuss the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of hypoglycemia, and the difference between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. We will also look at how to prevent it. Here are some key points about hypoglycemia. More detail is in the main article. Hypoglycemia is not a disease but a symptom of another condition. Early symptoms include hunger, sweating, and trembling. A common cause is diabetes. Alcohol abuse and kidney disorders can also lower blood sugar levels. What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia is a condition where there is not enough glucose, or sugar, in the blood. Levels of blood sugar are below 4 mmol/L (72mg/dL). Adults and children with mild hypoglycemia may experience the following early symptoms: hunger tremor or trembling sweating irritability a pale face heart palpitations accelerated heart rate tingling lips dizziness weakness Severe hypoglycemia is sometimes called diabetic shock. It may involve: concentration problems confusion irrational and disorderly behavior, similar to intoxication inability to eat or drink Complications If a person does not take action when symptoms of hypoclycemia appear, it can lead to: A person who regularly experiences hypoglycemia may become unaware that it is happening. They will not notice the warning signs, and this can lea Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps unlock the body's cells so that sugar (glucose) from the food we eat can be used by the cells for energy. In people with type 2 diabetes, a combination of problems occurs, and scientists aren't really sure which is the chicken and which is the egg. The person's body may not be producing enough insulin to meet their needs, so some glucose can't get into the cells. Glucose remains in the bloodstream, causing high blood glucose levels. In many cases, the person may actually be producing more insulin than one might reasonably expect that person to need to convert the amount of food they've eaten at a meal into energy. Their pancreas is actually working overtime to produce more insulin because the body's cells are resistant to the effects of insulin. Basically the cells, despite the presence of insulin in the bloodstream, don't become unlocked and don't let enough of the glucose in the blood into the cells. Scientists don't know exactly what causes this insulin resistance, and many expect that there are several different defects in the process of unlocking cells that cause insulin resistance. Medications for type 2 diabetes focus on different parts of this insulin-cell interaction to help improve blood glucose control. Some medications stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. Others improve how the body uses insulin by working on this insulin resistance. Physical activity also seems to improve the body's ability to use insulin by decreasing insulin resistance, which is why activity is so important in diabetes management. Find more information about diabetes in The Joslin Guide to Diabetes available from the Joslin Online Store. Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin?
Essential for life, the hormone insulin regulates many metabolic processes that provide cells with needed energy. Understanding insulin, what insulin does, and how it affects the body, is important to your overall health. Tucked away behind the stomach is an organ called the pancreas, which produces insulin. Insulin production is regulated based on blood sugar levels and other hormones in the body. In a healthy individual, insulin production and release is a tightly regulated process, allowing the body to balance its metabolic needs. What does insulin do? Insulin allows the cells in the muscles, fat and liver to absorb glucose that is in the blood. The glucose serves as energy to these cells, or it can be converted into fat when needed. Insulin also affects other metabolic processes, such as the breakdown of fat or protein. Problems with insulin production or use The most common problem associated with insulin is diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the body either does not secrete enough insulin or when the body no longer uses the insulin it secretes effectively. Diabetes falls into two categories: Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot produce insulin sufficiently to meet its own needs. This commonly occurs in children, and while an exact cause has not been found, many consider it to be an autoimmune disease. Some symptoms of type 1 diabetes include tiredness, increased urination and thirst, and problems with vision. Type 2 diabetes is more commonly associated with adults and lifestyle choices. People with type 2 diabetes will produce insulin but often not enough for their body's needs. They may also struggle to use the insulin they produce effectively. Patients may not know they have type 2 diabetes until they have an annual checkup, as symptoms tend to be mild un Continue reading >>
Diabetes: Basic Facts
What is diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that affects the way the body turns sugar into energy. There are several types of diabetes. How the Body Turns Sugar into Energy The food we eat is made up of three things. They are carbohydrates (CAR-bow-HIdrates), which are sugars and starches; protein (PRO-teen); and fat. When we eat, a healthy body changes all of the carbohydrates and some of the protein and fat into a sugar. This sugar is called glucose (GLOOcose). From the small intestine, glucose moves into the blood. From the blood, glucose then moves into the cells of the body. The sugar we call glucose is the fuel, or energy, that the cells of the body need to do their work. Near the stomach is an organ called the pancreas (PAN-kree-us). The pancreas makes insulin (IN-suh-lin). Insulin is a hormone. When we eat, the sugar level in the blood goes up. The pancreas puts out more insulin. The insulin helps move the sugar out of the blood into the cells. The cells use the sugar for energy or store the sugar for use later. What happens when you have diabetes? When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use the insulin properly. Sugar stays in your blood. Then the cells don’t get enough sugar for fuel. The body doesn’t have enough energy to do its work. Over time, the high level of sugar in the blood can damage the body. What are the types of diabetes? Three types of diabetes are the most common. Type 1 diabetes In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make insulin. Sugar is unable to get into the cells. So the sugar level in the blood goes up. When the sugar level rises above normal, a person has high blood glucose. The name for high blood glucose is hyperglycemia (HIper-glice-EE-mee-uh). Most often children and young adults get Typ Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age. It is most often diagnosed in children, adolescents, or young adults. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by special cells, called beta cells. The pancreas is below and behind the stomach. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar (glucose) into cells. Inside the cells, glucose is stored and later used for energy. With type 1 diabetes, beta cells produce little or no insulin. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells. This buildup of glucose in the blood is called hyperglycemia. The body is unable to use the glucose for energy. This leads to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Most likely, it is an autoimmune disorder. This is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. With type 1 diabetes, an infection or another trigger causes the body to mistakenly attack the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The tendency to develop autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, can be passed down through families. Continue reading >>