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What Happens To The Body When Insulin Levels Are Low?

Facts About Diabetes And Insulin

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 >>

Too Much Insulin? How To Reset Your Metabolism

Too Much Insulin? How To Reset Your Metabolism

By: Mark Hyman, M.D. Are your hormones out of balance? Does your life feel like a song played badly out of tune? If so, the problem may have to do with imbalances in your hormones, which are wreaking havoc on your body and mind. Today I want to focus on the most common — and therefore the most problematic — of hormonal problems in Americans today: too much insulin. When you eat too much sugar, flour and white rice, your insulin levels spike. When this happens, your cells become resistant to its effects. So you pump out more and more insulin, become even more resistant to its effects, and end up in the vicious cycle of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can cause energy and mood swings — and it can take you down the slippery road toward high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, cancer, brain aging, dementia, and more. Between 80 and 100 million Americans suffer from insulin resistance. It is not exactly the same in everyone, but the ultimate consequences can be similar. How do you know if you suffer from insulin resistance? Most people with insulin resistance have extra fat around the middle. (Quick Tip: Check your waist-to-hip ratio — the measurement around your belly button divided by the measurement around your hips. If it is greater than 0.8, you likely have insulin resistance.) You may be tall, thin, short, fat, or any combination of these and still have insulin resistance. The only way to know for sure is to take an insulin response test, which measures blood sugar and insulin while you are fasting and one and two hours after you consume a 75-gram sugar drink. Just measuring blood sugar alone isn’t enough. You have to measure insulin — this is something that many doctors miss. Fortunately, balancing blood sugar and correcting insulin resistance a Continue reading >>

Do You Know Your Insulin Level?

Do You Know Your Insulin Level?

People often keep close watch on their glucose numbers. But how many of us know our insulin level? Dr. Joseph Mercola says fasting insulin is “the number that may best predict your sudden death.” Sounds important. But what does it mean? Our bodies need some circulating insulin at all times, even when we don’t eat. Otherwise, our livers keep making glucose and dumping it into the blood. Livers do this to prevent blood glucose from going too low. So a fasting insulin level should never be 0, which it might be in a person with untreated Type 1. It shouldn’t go below 3. But a high insulin level is just as problematic. A high insulin level is a sign of insulin resistance or prediabetes. It can also signify early-stage Type 2. According to Dr. Mercola, too much insulin promotes weight gain by storing fat. It promotes insulin resistance, lowers magnesium levels, and increases inflammation. It also tends to lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol and raise levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. All of these increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It may be that high insulin levels come before insulin resistance and help cause it. If you already have diabetes, why should you know your insulin level? Mainly, it helps diagnose what is happening with you. Your blood glucose may be high, but how much of the problem is too little insulin? How much is insulin resistance? A fasting insulin level test is valuable in several situations: • Diagnosing prediabetes and metabolic syndrome. “Prediabetes” is one result of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes high cholesterol, high glucose, and high blood pressure. A high level of fasting insulin indicates insulin resistance and can encourage a person to make changes to lower it. • Separating Type 2 from LADA (latent Continue reading >>

Controlling Blood Sugar Level

Controlling Blood Sugar Level

Diabetes Glucose is a sugar needed by cells for respiration. It is important that the concentration of glucose in the blood is maintained at a constant level. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, controls blood sugar levels in the body. Diabetes is a disorder in which the blood glucose levels remain too high. It can be treated by carefully maintaining a certain diet or injecting insulin. The extra insulin allows the glucose to be taken up by the liver and other tissues, so cells get the glucose they need and blood sugar levels stay normal. Higher only What happens when glucose levels in the blood become too high or too low glucose level effect on pancreas effect on liver effect on glucose level too high insulin secreted into the blood liver converts glucose into glycogen goes down too low insulin not secreted into the blood liver does not convert glucose into glycogen goes up Use the animation to make sure you understand how this works: You have an old or no version of flash - you need to upgrade to view this funky content! Go to the WebWise Flash install guide Menstrual cycle The menstrual cycle in women is a recurring process in which the lining of the uterus is prepared for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not happen, the lining is shed at menstruation. Several hormones control this cycle: oestrogen, which causes the repair of the uterus wall progesterone, which maintains the uterus wall Both hormones are secreted by the ovaries. The image below shows how the levels of oestrogen and progesterone change during the menstrual cycle. If a woman becomes pregnant, the level of progesterone remains high. Controlling fertility Human fertility is controlled by hormones. This means that a knowledge of hormones can be used to decide to increase, or reduce, the chances of fe Continue reading >>

The Insulin Resistance Diet Protocol

The Insulin Resistance Diet Protocol

Understanding the cellular mechanisms of insulin resistance helps us choose more effective therapeutic interventions for the treatment and prevention of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is present in individuals who are obese and those with diabetes mellitus. Several studies have found that an insulin resistance diet protocol and exercise can alter insulin signaling pathways and delay the onset of insulin resistance. It’s estimated that the number of diabetes sufferers in the world will double from about 190 million to 325 million during the next 25 years. (1) It’s obvious that we need to pay more attention to our lifestyle habits and make some changes. An insulin resistance diet, similar to a diabetic diet plan, helps you lose excess weight and regulate your insulin and blood glucose levels in order to reduce your risk of developing prediabetes and diabetes. Insulin Resistance Diet Research suggests that the primary cause of insulin resistance is excess weight, especially excess fat around the waist. Fortunately, weight loss can help the body respond better to insulin. The Diabetes Prevention Program and other large studies indicate that people with insulin resistance and prediabetes can often prevent or delay developing diabetes by changing their diets to follow an insulin resistance diet, along with losing weight. Here are seven ways to start eating an insulin resistance diet. 1. Limit Carbohydrates Research published in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity suggests that monitoring carbohydrate intake, whether by carbohydrate counting or experience-based estimation, remains a key strategy in achieving glycemic control. Although all carbohydrates can be incorporated into carbohydrate counting, for good health, carbohydrates from vegetables, Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance (IR) is a pathological condition in which cells fail to respond normally to the hormone insulin. The body produces insulin when glucose starts to be released into the bloodstream from the digestion of carbohydrates in the diet. Normally this insulin response triggers glucose being taken into body cells, to be used for energy, and inhibits the body from using fat for energy. The concentration of glucose in the blood decreases as a result, staying within the normal range even when a large amount of carbohydrates is consumed. When the body produces insulin under conditions of insulin resistance, the cells are resistant to the insulin and are unable to use it as effectively, leading to high blood sugar. Beta cells in the pancreas subsequently increase their production of insulin, further contributing to a high blood insulin level. This often remains undetected and can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes or latent autoimmune diabetes of adults.[1] Although this type of chronic insulin resistance is harmful, during acute illness it is actually a well-evolved protective mechanism. Recent investigations have revealed that insulin resistance helps to conserve the brain's glucose supply by preventing muscles from taking up excessive glucose.[2] In theory, insulin resistance should even be strengthened under harsh metabolic conditions such as pregnancy, during which the expanding fetal brain demands more glucose. People who develop type 2 diabetes usually pass through earlier stages of insulin resistance and prediabetes, although those often go undiagnosed. Insulin resistance is a syndrome (a set of signs and symptoms) resulting from reduced insulin activity; it is also part of a larger constellation of symptoms called the metabolic syndrome. Insuli Continue reading >>

22 Causes Of Low Insulin In People Who Eat Normal Levels Of Carbs

22 Causes Of Low Insulin In People Who Eat Normal Levels Of Carbs

Do you have problems gaining weight? Have higher blood sugar than you are supposed to give your diet? At risk for type 2 diabetes? If yes, then this post applies to you. There’s a very strong correlation between being overweight and insulin levels because insulin creates fat cells. But some people in the modern environment naturally have lower insulin levels, even if they don’t take care to reduce carbohydrate consumption. These people with low insulin complain to me that they can’t gain weight. Having inadequate insulin secretion is also a cause of type 2 diabetes (together with insulin resistance). So while you might weigh less, you’ll have higher blood sugar levels and be at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Insulin forces artery wall muscles to relax, thereby increasing blood flow, especially in micro-arteries. A lack of insulin reduces flow. In the thin people I deal with, they often feel cold. One of the many reasons is because of low insulin, which reduces blood flow. This post is to give you biological reasons that may contribute to lower insulin secretion. I’ve checked my insulin levels twice and both times they were lower than 2, which is extremely low. The thin clients that checked also had low insulin. The most obvious cause of low or high insulin is your carbohydrate consumption and secondarily your protein consumption. Both stimulate insulin release. But this post focuses on people with lower insulin if they’re not on a very low carb or ketogenic diet. This post is mainly concerned about two people with the same levels of carb and protein consumption: why do their insulin levels differ? But if your mitochondria aren’t producing enough ATP, insulin doesn’t get secreted as well. cAMP is a molecule that is an important second messenger for ce Continue reading >>

What Happens When Insulin Levels Run Low In Type 1 Diabetes

What Happens When Insulin Levels Run Low In Type 1 Diabetes

If they feel unwell, people with diabetes need to take special care as any illness, even if not specifically related to their diabetes (like the flu) can cause their blood sugar (glucose) level to rise. Did you know? Part of the body’s natural response to illness is to raise the circulating blood sugar level. This may mean that people with diabetes need to take a higher dose of insulin than usual, rather than reducing the dose or not taking any. Reducing an insulin dose or stopping it altogether can lead to serious problems and often may cause diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This is an emergency state in diabetes which requires hospital based treatment. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) DKA is a dangerous complication that is caused by a lack of insulin in the body. It occurs when the body is unable to break down glucose, because there is not enough insulin. Instead, it breaks down fat as an alternative source of fuel. This causes a build-up of a by-product known as ketones, which disrupts the metabolism. The more ketones produced, the more ill a person with DKA becomes and left untreated potentially fatal complications can occur. The diagram below illustrates the process of diabetic ketoacidosis. Did you know? Before insulin was used in the treatment of diabetes, children dying from DKA were kept in large wards where they were mostly comatose until they, inevitably, died. Find out more about one of medicine’s more dramatic moments when insulin was first used to successfully treat DKA in January 1922. © University of Southampton 2017 Continue reading >>

The Role Of Insulin In The Body

The Role Of Insulin In The Body

Tweet Insulin is a hormone which plays a key role in the regulation of blood glucose levels. A lack of insulin, or an inability to adequately respond to insulin, can each lead to the development of the symptoms of diabetes. In addition to its role in controlling blood sugar levels, insulin is also involved in the storage of fat. Insulin is a hormone which plays a number of roles in the body’s metabolism. Insulin regulates how the body uses and stores glucose and fat. Many of the body’s cells rely on insulin to take glucose from the blood for energy. Insulin and blood glucose levels Insulin helps control blood glucose levels by signaling the liver and muscle and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood. Insulin therefore helps cells to take in glucose to be used for energy. If the body has sufficient energy, insulin signals the liver to take up glucose and store it as glycogen. The liver can store up to around 5% of its mass as glycogen. Some cells in the body can take glucose from the blood without insulin, but most cells do require insulin to be present. Insulin and type 1 diabetes In type 1 diabetes, the body produces insufficient insulin to regulate blood glucose levels. Without the presence of insulin, many of the body’s cells cannot take glucose from the blood and therefore the body uses other sources of energy. Ketones are produced by the liver as an alternative source of energy, however, high levels of the ketones can lead to a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis. People with type 1 diabetes will need to inject insulin to compensate for their body’s lack of insulin. Insulin and type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body not responding effectively to insulin. This is termed insulin resistance. As a result the body is less able to t Continue reading >>

What Happens When Blood Sugar Drops?

What Happens When Blood Sugar Drops?

Glucose regulation in the body is complex with contributions from many different systems. These multiple controls are designed to keep a steady supply of glucose to the brain. Brain metabolism depends primarily on glucose for fuel. If the amount of glucose supplied by the blood falls, the brain is one of the first organs affected. There are a number of mechanisms that tightly regulate (outside of a disease state) the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood stream. When there is a plentiful supply of glucose (such as after a carbohydrate-containing meal), glucose is absorbed from the intestine, and the level of blood glucose (sugar) rises. Glucose is removed from the blood stream by uptake into virtually all cell types, but most importantly into muscle and adipose (fat) tissue. This removal requires insulin. Insulin, which is released from the pancreas, acts to decrease the level of glucose in the blood by signalling these cells to pick up and store glucose. Insulin also inhibits breakdown of glycogen (glycogenolysis) and formation of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources (gluconeogenesis). The central nervous system can also sense glucose levels and act to affect the blood sugar levels, at least in part by regulating gluconeogenesis. The importance of an adequate supply of glucose to the brain is apparent from the number of nervous, hormonal and metabolic responses to a falling glucose level (1). Most of these are defensive or adaptive, tending to raise the blood sugar via Glycogenolysis - breaking down of glycogen, a polymer of glucose molecules, stored in the liver and muscle. If the blood sugar level falls too low the liver converts a storage of glycogen into glucose and releases it into the bloodstream, to prevent the person going into a diabetic coma, for a short per Continue reading >>

Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance

Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance

What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. The pancreas contains clusters of cells called islets. Beta cells within the islets make insulin and release it into the blood. Insulin plays a major role in metabolism—the way the body uses digested food for energy. The digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates—sugars and starches found in many foods—into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream. With the help of insulin, cells throughout the body absorb glucose and use it for energy. Insulin's Role in Blood Glucose Control When blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin and glucose then travel in the blood to cells throughout the body. Insulin helps muscle, fat, and liver cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, lowering blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscle tissue to store excess glucose. The stored form of glucose is called glycogen. Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels by reducing glucose production in the liver. In a healthy person, these functions allow blood glucose and insulin levels to remain in the normal range. What happens with insulin resistance? In insulin resistance, muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells. The beta cells in the pancreas try to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. As long as the beta cells are able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance, blood glucose levels stay in the healthy range. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes because the bet Continue reading >>

12 Signs Of Insulin Resistance

12 Signs Of Insulin Resistance

Most people think about diabetics when they see the word insulin, but problems with insulin can occur in a number of different conditions, in people with normal blood sugar. You have probably heard of insulin resistance; it is a significant health problem because it’s associated with an increased risk of obesity, heart attacks, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cancer and other serious conditions. People with insulin resistance usually have excessively high levels of this hormone, because it doesn’t work properly. We are seeing an increasing number of patients who have been diagnosed with insulin resistance by their own doctor, yet they don’t fully understand what this term means. How would you know if your insulin level is too high? There is a blood test that can measure your fasting insulin, but it isn’t always reliable and many doctors are not willing to order this test. This is a shame because elevated insulin is bad for your health and shortens your lifespan. Insulin has many important roles in your body. People with too much insulin in their bloodstream are said to have insulin resistance, syndrome X, metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes. They are all interchangeable terms. Due to modern diets and lifestyles, nearly everybody produces more insulin in their pancreas than they should. This is a problem because if blood insulin levels have been high for years, the cells of your body start to ignore it. The insulin becomes less and less effective at its important job in your body (getting glucose inside your cells so you can burn it for energy). Knowing whether or not you have too high insulin is important because it can allow you to make some changes and avoid some serious health problems in the future. Luckily there are several tell tale signs or clues that your bo Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar & Insulin!

Blood Sugar & Insulin!

Lately I've received a whole bunch of questions about the benefits and drawbacks of insulin, so why not straighten out the issue, once and for all? Learn the straight forward facts on insulin! Lately I've received a whole bunch of questions about the benefits and drawbacks of insulin, so why not straighten out the issue, once and for all? (Unfortunately, most of this doesn't apply to diabetics, but if you're one yourself you probably knew that already.) Insulin release is mainly a bodily response, caused by the food you eat. You are able to control this factor to a pretty large degree, just like you can control whether or not you get goose-bumps by making sure to wear a sweater when it's cold - even though the goose-bumps in and by themselves isn't something you can control. You can't choose to have high or low levels of insulin floating around in your system, but you can pretty much steer it by eating. A truckload of fast carbs (like Dextrose), a big bowl of rice, and an extended period without food will all have very different impact on your Insulin levels. But let's not rush ahead of ourselves here - let's get the big picture together. Fast vs. Slow Carbs As you probably know, carbs are actually plain sugar. As an experiment, chew on a piece of non-sweet bread for a while, and you will notice an increasing sweetness developing, because your saliva and jaw-action is breaking down the large chunks of sugar into smaller units, which in turn gets noticeable as they get smaller and smaller. This is how it works in your stomach as well. Now, the difference between slow and fast carbs, aka. complex and simple carbs, is how big the chunks of sugar are! Assume that you have a handful of loose powder. In your stomach, there's really not anything more to digest, so the whole bu Continue reading >>

Physiologic Effects Of Insulin

Physiologic Effects Of Insulin

Stand on a streetcorner and ask people if they know what insulin is, and many will reply, "Doesn't it have something to do with blood sugar?" Indeed, that is correct, but such a response is a bit like saying "Mozart? Wasn't he some kind of a musician?" Insulin is a key player in the control of intermediary metabolism, and the big picture is that it organizes the use of fuels for either storage or oxidation. Through these activities, insulin has profound effects on both carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and significant influences on protein and mineral metabolism. Consequently, derangements in insulin signalling have widespread and devastating effects on many organs and tissues. The Insulin Receptor and Mechanism of Action Like the receptors for other protein hormones, the receptor for insulin is embedded in the plasma membrane. The insulin receptor is composed of two alpha subunits and two beta subunits linked by disulfide bonds. The alpha chains are entirely extracellular and house insulin binding domains, while the linked beta chains penetrate through the plasma membrane. The insulin receptor is a tyrosine kinase. In other words, it functions as an enzyme that transfers phosphate groups from ATP to tyrosine residues on intracellular target proteins. Binding of insulin to the alpha subunits causes the beta subunits to phosphorylate themselves (autophosphorylation), thus activating the catalytic activity of the receptor. The activated receptor then phosphorylates a number of intracellular proteins, which in turn alters their activity, thereby generating a biological response. Several intracellular proteins have been identified as phosphorylation substrates for the insulin receptor, the best-studied of which is insulin receptor substrate 1 or IRS-1. When IRS-1 is activa Continue reading >>

Insulin Basics

Insulin Basics

Diabetics need insulin therapy because they can't make their own. Insulin therapy tries to mimic natural insulin secretion — what happens automatically in non-diabetics. The ultimate goal of insulin therapy is to mimic normal insulin levels. Unfortunately, current insulin replacement therapy can only approximate normal insulin levels. Insulin therapy for type 2 diabetes ranges from one injection a day to multiple injections and using an insulin pump (continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion – CSII). The more frequent the insulin injections, the better the approximation of natural or normal insulin levels. Discuss with your medical provider the insulin regimen that is best for you. On this page you will learn about: Normal or Non-diabetic blood sugar levels and insulin release from the pancreas Natural insulin (i.e. insulin released from your pancreas) keeps your blood sugar in a very narrow range. Overnight and between meals, the normal, non-diabetic blood sugar ranges between 60-100mg/dl and 140 mg/dl or less after meals and snacks. See the picture below of blood sugar levels throughout the day in someone who does not have diabetes. To keep the blood sugar controlled overnight, fasting and between meals, your body releases a low, background level of insulin. When you eat, there is a large burst of insulin. This surge of insulin is needed to dispose of all the carbohydrate or sugar that is getting absorbed from your meal. All of this happens automatically! More About Natural Insulin Release Insulin is continuously released from the pancreas into the blood stream. Although the insulin is quickly destroyed (5-6 minutes) the effect on cells may last 1-1/2 hours. When your body needs more insulin, the blood levels quickly rise, and, the converse – when you need less, Continue reading >>

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