What Is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone; a chemical messenger produced in one part of the body to have an action on another. It is a protein responsible for regulating blood glucose levels as part of metabolism.1 The body manufactures insulin in the pancreas, and the hormone is secreted by its beta cells, primarily in response to glucose.1 The beta cells of the pancreas are perfectly designed "fuel sensors" stimulated by glucose.2 As glucose levels rise in the plasma of the blood, uptake and metabolism by the pancreas beta cells are enhanced, leading to insulin secretion.1 Insulin has two modes of action on the body - an excitatory one and an inhibitory one:3 Insulin stimulates glucose uptake and lipid synthesis It inhibits the breakdown of lipids, proteins and glycogen, and inhibits the glucose pathway (gluconeogenesis) and production of ketone bodies (ketogenesis). What is the pancreas? The pancreas is the organ responsible for controlling sugar levels. It is part of the digestive system and located in the abdomen, behind the stomach and next to the duodenum - the first part of the small intestine.4 The pancreas has two main functional components:4,5 Exocrine cells - cells that release digestive enzymes into the gut via the pancreatic duct The endocrine pancreas - islands of cells known as the islets of Langerhans within the "sea" of exocrine tissue; islets release hormones such as insulin and glucagon into the blood to control blood sugar levels. Islets are highly vascularized (supplied by blood vessels) and specialized to monitor nutrients in the blood.2 The alpha cells of the islets secrete glucagon while the beta cells - the most abundant of the islet cells - release insulin.5 The release of insulin in response to elevated glucose has two phases - a first around 5-10 minutes after g Continue reading >>
Tweet Beta cells are unique cells in the pancreas that produce, store and release the hormone insulin. Located in the area of the pancreas know as the islets of Langerhans (the organ’s endocrine structures), they are one of at least five different types of islet cells that produce and secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. What is the role of beta cells? The main function of a beta cell is to produce and secrete insulin - the hormone responsible for regulating levels of glucose in the blood. When blood glucose levels start to rise (e.g. during digestion), beta cells quickly respond by secreting some of their stored insulin while at the same time increasing production of the hormone. This quick response to a spike in blood glucose usually takes about ten minutes. In people with diabetes, however, these cells are either attacked and destroyed by the immune system (type 1 diabetes), or are unable to produce a sufficient amount of insulin needed for blood sugar control (type 2 diabetes). Amylin and C-peptide In addition to insulin, beta cells also secrete the hormone Amylin and called C-peptide, a byproduct of insulin production. Amylin slows the rate of glucose entering the bloodstream, making it a more short-term regulator of blood glucose levels. C-peptide is a molecule that helps to prevent neuropathy and other vascular complications by assisting in the repair of the muscular layers of the arteries. It is secreted into the bloodstream in equal quantities (or moles) to insulin. Beta cells in type 1 diabetes In type 1 diabetes, beta cells die from a misguided attack by the body’s immune system. How and why that happens is not clear, but the results of a study published in early 2011 suggest that these pancreatic cells become stressed at the earliest stages of Continue reading >>
What Does Insulin Do In My Body?
Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications. 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 >>
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 >>
What Does Insulin Do?
The word “insulin” can instill fear in many people who have or who are at risk for diabetes. Some of the beliefs around insulin are that if you have to take it, you’ll go blind or lose a limb. Or that insulin causes you to gain weight. Or that it means your diabetes is worsening. While these beliefs are understandable, the reality is that they’re not true. In fact, insulin is a life-saving medication: without it, people with Type 1 diabetes wouldn’t be alive, and many people with Type 2 diabetes would be struggling. The discovery of insulin is so important that it’s often called one of the greatest medical developments of the 20th century. This week, let’s delve into insulin and learn more about how truly amazing it is! What exactly is insulin? Insulin is a hormone. It’s made in the beta cells of the pancreas, and one of its main roles is to help regulate, or control, your blood sugar. When there’s enough insulin in the body, it helps to keep your blood sugar from going too high. In people who don’t have diabetes, blood sugars are very carefully and tightly controlled, staying within a safe and healthy range. After a person without diabetes eats a meal or a snack, the pancreas releases insulin. The insulin then signals muscle, fat, and liver cells in the body to absorb glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream to be used for energy. In this sense, insulin is like a key that unlocks the doors of the cells to allow glucose to enter. You can also think of insulin as a “storage” hormone, since when there’s more glucose than the body needs, insulin helps the body store that excess glucose in the liver to be used at a later time. Insulin also signals the liver to stop releasing glucose into the bloodstream. Insulin also helps shuttle amino acids (from pro Continue reading >>
- How Does Fat Affect Insulin Resistance and Diabetes?
- Does Bovine Insulin in Milk Trigger Type 1 Diabetes?
- Relative effectiveness of insulin pump treatment over multiple daily injections and structured education during flexible intensive insulin treatment for type 1 diabetes: cluster randomised trial (REPOSE)
How Insulin Really Works: It Causes Fat Storage…but Doesn’t Make You Fat
Many people believe that insulin is to blame for the obesity epidemic. When you understand how it actually works, you’ll know why this is a lie. Insulin has been taking quite a beating these days. If we’re to listen to some “experts,” it’s an evil hormone whose sole goal is making us fat, type 2 diabetics. Furthermore, we’re told that carbohydrates also are in on the conspiracy. By eating carbs, we open the insulin floodgates and wreak havoc in our bodies. How true are these claims, though? Does it really make sense that our bodies would come with an insidious mechanism to punish carbohydrate intake? Let’s find out. What is Insulin, Anyway? Insulin is a hormone, which means it’s a substance the body produces to affect the functions of organs or tissues, and it’s made and released into the blood by the pancreas. Insulin’s job is a very important one: when you eat food, it’s broken down into basic nutrients (protein breaks down into amino acids; dietary fats into fatty acids; and carbohydrates into glucose), which make their way into the bloodstream. These nutrients must then be moved from the blood into muscle and fat cells for use or storage, and that’s where insulin comes into play: it helps shuttle the nutrients into cells by “telling” the cells to open up and absorb them. So, whenever you eat food, your pancreas releases insulin into the blood. As the nutrients are slowly absorbed into cells, insulin levels drop, until finally all the nutrients are absorbed, and insulin levels then remain steady at a low, “baseline” level. This cycle occurs every time you eat food: amino acids, fatty acids, and/or glucose find their way into your blood, and they’re joined by additional insulin, which ushers them into cells. Once the job is done, insu Continue reading >>
How Insulin And Glucagon Work
Insulin and glucagon are hormones that help regulate the levels of blood glucose, or sugar, in your body. Glucose, which comes from the food you eat, moves through your bloodstream to help fuel your body. Insulin and glucagon work together to balance your blood sugar levels, keeping them in the narrow range that your body requires. These hormones are like the yin and yang of blood glucose maintenance. Read on to learn more about how they function and what can happen when they don’t work well. Insulin and glucagon work in what’s called a negative feedback loop. During this process, one event triggers another, which triggers another, and so on, to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. How insulin works During digestion, foods that contain carbohydrates are converted into glucose. Most of this glucose is sent into your bloodstream, causing a rise in blood glucose levels. This increase in blood glucose signals your pancreas to produce insulin. The insulin tells cells throughout your body to take in glucose from your bloodstream. As the glucose moves into your cells, your blood glucose levels go down. Some cells use the glucose as energy. Other cells, such as in your liver and muscles, store any excess glucose as a substance called glycogen. Your body uses glycogen for fuel between meals. Read more: Simple vs. complex carbs » How glucagon works Glucagon works to counterbalance the actions of insulin. About four to six hours after you eat, the glucose levels in your blood decrease, triggering your pancreas to produce glucagon. This hormone signals your liver and muscle cells to change the stored glycogen back into glucose. These cells then release the glucose into your bloodstream so your other cells can use it for energy. This whole feedback loop with insulin and gluca Continue reading >>
- How insulin and glucagon work to regulate blood sugar levels
- Insulin, glucagon and somatostatin stores in the pancreas of subjects with type-2 diabetes and their lean and obese non-diabetic controls
- Effects of Insulin Plus Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP-1RAs) in Treating Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
How Does The Pancreas Work?
The pancreas is 12 to 18 centimeters (about 4.7 to 7.1 inches) long and weighs about 70 to 100 grams. The pancreas is made up of a head, a body and a pointy tail. It is located in the upper abdomen behind the stomach. The organ has two major functions. It produces Hormones and enzymes are produced in two different groups of cells: Exocrine pancreas cells Over 99% of the exocrine pancreas cells produce digestive juices – about 1.5 to 2 liters per day. They are called exocrine ("secreting externally") because they secrete digestive juice "externally" into the small intestine. This clear, colorless juice is mainly made up of water and also contains salt, sodium bicarbonate and digestive enzymes. There are enzymes for breaking down fats (lipases), proteins (proteases), and carbohydrates (amylases). Proteases are inactive while inside the pancreas. They are activated once they have been secreted into the small intestine. The sodium bicarbonate neutralizes the acidic gastric (stomach) juice in the mass of semi-digested food to help the digestive enzymes work better. The digestive juices flows from the pancreas through an excretory duct into the small intestine. In most people, this duct joins up with the the excretory duct of the gallbladder before reaching the small intestine. A sphincter muscle at the end of the duct controls the flow of digestive juice into the small intestine. In case of pancreatitis, enzymes may be activated inside the pancreas before reaching the small intestine, causing the gland to start "digesting itself." Endocrine pancreas cells Groups of endocrine cells are spread over the surface of the pancreas. They are called islets of Langerhans, because they are scattered like small islands and were discovered by pathologist Paul Langerhans. These islet ce Continue reading >>
Everything You Need To Know About Insulin
Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas, a gland located behind your stomach. It allows your body to use glucose for energy. Glucose is a type of sugar found in many carbohydrates. After a meal or snack, the digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates and changes them into glucose. Glucose is then absorbed into your bloodstream through the lining in your small intestine. Once glucose is in your bloodstream, insulin causes cells throughout your body to absorb the sugar and use it for energy. Insulin also helps balance your blood glucose levels. When there’s too much glucose in your bloodstream, insulin signals your body to store the excess in your liver. The stored glucose isn’t released until your blood glucose levels decrease, such as between meals or when your body is stressed or needs an extra boost of energy. Diabetes occurs when your body doesn't use insulin properly or doesn't make enough insulin. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is a type of autoimmune disease. These are diseases in which the body attacks itself. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body can’t make insulin. This is because your immune system has destroyed all of the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. This disease is more commonly diagnosed in young people, although it can develop in adulthood. In type 2 diabetes, your body has become resistant to the effects of insulin. This means your body needs more insulin to get the same effects. Therefore, your body overproduces insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal. However, after many years of overproduction, the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas burn out. Type 2 diabetes also affects people of any age, but typically develops later in life. Injections of insulin as a replacement or supplement 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 >>
Where Does Insulin Come From And What Does It Do?
Insulin is probably a word you’ve heard a lot in relation to diabetes, but have you ever asked yourself, where does insulin come from? Have you wondered about what it does, and how we’re able to put it in vials for injection? It’s true that insulin plays an important role in the body, so let’s have a look at what insulin actually does, how it works, and answer the question ‘where does insulin come from?’ Insulin Basics Insulin is a peptide hormone. Hormones are chemicals that circulate in the body and tell other cells or organs what to do, or how to react in a given situation. Beta cells in the pancreas produce and secrete insulin in our bodies. After you eat, glucose from your food is absorbed into your bloodstream. This glucose then circulates to various parts of your body. When blood glucose levels start increasing, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin helps your body to utilise the glucose that’s in the food you eat so that you have energy to do the things you need to do. To do its job, insulin binds to receptors on the surfaces of the body’s cells. Once insulin has bound itself to a cell’s receptor, various processes take place, allowing the cell to process glucose from your bloodstream. What Happens to Insulin in Diabetes? In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin, thus impairing the body’s ability to utilise glucose. This is why insulin injections are necessary. In Type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin. However, it might not make enough insulin, or the receptors are not as responsive to insulin. This means there is a reduced response. In Type 2 diabetes, it’s not always necessary to use insulin injections because there are other medications that can increase insulin sensitivity or increase insulin secretion. Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin And How Does It Work?
In a previous article, we answered the question of “What is Glucose?” Today, we’re going to tackle a more direct issue facing people with diabetes: what is insulin, and how does it work? This question plays a much more direct role in everyday life, and it’s shocking how many people (even those with diabetes) simply don’t have any understanding of what insulin is and does. The first part of the question is fairly straightforward. Insulin is a type of protein called a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. Specifically, it is produced by cells in the pancreas called beta cells. Once it is produced, insulin is slowly released into the body over the course of a day, with spikes in insulin release during and after eating. Like all hormones, insulin is tasked with regulating the way our bodies function. While insulin actually has multiple functions in the body, the main one we are generally concerned with controls the body’s ability to process glucose, a sugar that serves as one of the most basic sources of energy for everything we do. Specifically, insulin works as a gate keeper between the blood stream and the interior of the body’s cells – it controls how glucose goes from the blood to the cells so that it can be used. When the body doesn’t produce enough insulin naturally, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of being absorbed and used, which is what causes most of the negative symptoms and complications of diabetes. This is the problem faced by people with diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to produce insulin at all, and in Type 2 the production of insulin is either impaired, or the body stops being able to respond to insulin as well, or both. The buildup of glucose in the bloodstream not only means that your body doesn’t get Continue reading >>
Facts About Diabetes And Insulin
Diabetes is a very common disease, which, if not treated, can be very dangerous. There are two types of diabetes. They were once called juvenile-onset diabetes and adult diabetes. However, today we know that all ages can get both types so they are simply called type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1, which occurs in approximately 10 percent of all cases, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system, by mistake, attacks its own insulin-producing cells so that insufficient amounts of insulin are produced - or no insulin at all. Type 1 affects predominantly young people and usually makes its debut before the age of 30, and most frequently between the ages of 10 and 14. Type 2, which makes up the remaining 90 percent of diabetes cases, commonly affects patients during the second half of their lives. The cells of the body no longer react to insulin as they should. This is called insulin resistance. In the early 1920s, Frederick Banting, John Macleod, George Best and Bertram Collip isolated the hormone insulin and purified it so that it could be administered to humans. This was a major breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes type 1. Insulin Insulin is a hormone. Hormones are chemical substances that regulate the cells of the body and are produced by special glands. The hormone insulin is a main regulator of the glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. Insulin is produced in the pancreas. To be more specific, it's produced by the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. When we eat, glucose levels rise, and insulin is released into the bloodstream. The insulin acts like a key, opening up cells so they can take in the sugar and use it as an energy source. Sugar is one of the top energy sources for the body. The body gets it in many forms, but mainly as carbohydr Continue reading >>
What Is Levemir® (insulin Detemir [rdna Origin] Injection)?
Do not share your Levemir® FlexTouch® with other people, even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them. Who should not take Levemir®? Do not take Levemir® if: you have an allergy to Levemir® or any of the ingredients in Levemir®. How should I take Levemir®? Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed. Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to. Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugar levels should be and when you should check them. Do not reuse or share your needles with other people. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them. Never inject Levemir® into a vein or muscle. Do not share your Levemir FlexTouch with other people, even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them. Who should not take Levemir®? Do not take Levemir® if: you have an allergy to Levemir® or any of the ingredients in Levemir®. Before taking Levemir®, tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions including, if you are: pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. taking new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including supplements. Talk to your health care provider about how to manage low blood sugar. How should I take Levemir®? Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed. Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to. Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugar levels should be and when you should ch Continue reading >>