Insulin, a functional health balancing, and an essential hormone in the body play a vital role in regulating glucose levels in the blood. The organs make it called the pancreas. It helps the body to change blood sugar or glucose into energy. It also helps to store the excess glucose in the muscles, fat cells, and liver. This stored glucose can be used later whenever there is a lack of glucose in the body.
The lack of insulin or the body’s inability to respond to insulin will lead to a change in the quantity of sugar in the blood, leading to a condition called diabetes. In addition to the support in maintaining glucose level, it also helps to store fat.
Role Of Insulin In Body
Insulin has a significant role in the metabolism of the body. It mainly regulates the storage of sugar and fat. The body cells mainly depend on glucose for uptaking glucose from the blood for the utilization of energy. Insulin will adjust the body’s glucose level by giving a signal to the fat cells and muscles to take glucose available in the blood. This glucose can be converted to energy. If excess glucose or sufficient glucose needed to be converted to life, insulin signals the liver to absorb the glucose and turn it into glycogen, stored.
The human liver can store up to 5% of its mass as glycogen. Most of the cells need glucose to take insulin, but some can do it even without insulin. It is an anabolic hormone which helps in glycogenesis, glucose uptake, lipogenesis. It also helps in the protein synthesis of skeletal muscle and fat tissue through the tyrosine kinase receptor pathway. In addition to this, it is an essential factor in the optimization of plasma glucose homeostasis. It generally counteracts hormones like Glucagon, other Catabolic Hormones like growth Hormones, Glucocorticoid, and Epinephrine.
How Insulin Works In The Body
After you eat, as a part of the digestive process, the level of sugar in the blood increases. This increase in the sugar level will trigger the pancreas to the hormone insulin in the blood. Insulin will travel through the blood and will reach the body cells. It will make the cells to accept and absorb the glucose.
The cells will absorb the glucose and will convert it to energy. It will also store it for later use. If there is no insulin, the body will become incapable of absorbing glucose, remaining in the blood.
After the intake of food, the intestine will breakdown the carbohydrates obtained from food into a type of sugar called glucose. This glucose will be transferred to the bloodstream, which will lead to a rise in the blood sugar level.
An organ situated behind the stomach called the pancreas releases the hormone insulin, which helps maintain the blood glucose level. The pancreas will produce and release insulin based on the blood sugar level in a feedback loop manner.
There are a group of cells called beta cells in the pancreas. These cells are seen as clusters in the pancreatic tissue. A high amount of glucose parameters in the blood will stimulate these beta cells to release the insulin hormone.
The more glucose in the blood system, the more insulin will be produced by the pancreas. It will help in the transport of glucose to cells. The cells will then create energy from the absorbed glucose and store excess glucose in the muscles, tissues, and fat cells in the form of glycogen. When the cells absorb the glucose, the level will come back to normal.
Likewise, a low amount of glucose in the blood will stimulate another set of cells in the pancreas to release a glucagon hormone. This hormone also helps to regulate the blood sugar level. Glucagon will make the liver break down the stored glucose and release it to the blood that cells will absorb. Insulin and Glucagon exist in tandem together to maintain the blood sugar level.
Insulin and Diabetes
Diabetes, a health imbalance condition that happens when there is a high glucose level in the blood, occurs when there is no enough insulin, or the body cannot produce a sufficient amount of insulin. In that situation, the glucose will stay in the blood and will not reach the cells. Diabetes does not have any complete cure, but through healthy habits, you can control its problems.
There are mainly three types of diabetes:
- TYPE 1: In this condition, the body will not produce enough insulin to control the blood glucose level, hindering the body’s cells from absorbing glucose from the blood. Therefore, the body has to use other forms of energy. The liver will produce ketones as an alternative source of energy. But the high level of secretion of ketones will cause other problems like ketoacidosis.
To compensate for the insufficient amount of glucose, the patients need to take insulin through different injection methods. The immune system on the self will attack to destroy the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin. This condition can appear at any stage. But it is mostly seen in children and young adults.
- TYPE2: This is when the body will not respond enough to the insulin hormone, termed insulin resistance, making the body not take a sufficient amount of glucose from the blood. In type 2 diabetes, during the earlier stage, the body produces more insulin than average.
If this condition prevails for a more extended period, the body will demand the pancreas to produce more insulin, damaging the insulin-producing cells called beta cells in the liver. Depending on the level of resistance to insulin, the patient needed to take insulin externally through injections. It may occur in any instance of age or gender, even during childhood. It is the most common type of diabetes and is seen mostly in middle-aged people and adults.
- Gestational diabetes: These are seen in women during pregnancy. Most of the time, this will be cured after the baby is born. But this will make greater chances to develop type 2 diabetes.
The patients will type 1 and 2 diabetes needs to take insulin, which is not produced by the body called exogenous insulin, mostly injected and delivered through an insulin pump, which continuously provides insulin day and night. This type of synthetic insulin is made in laboratories. And it is mainly prescribed for medicinal uses. The standard injection sites of insulin are the abdomen, upper arms, thighs, lower back, hip, and buttocks. In the stomach, insulin will quickly reach the bloodstream compared to other parts. The absorption of insulin will be prolonged through the lower back and thighs.
Insulin and Storage Of Fat
Insulin can also help in the storage of fat. When the liver crosses the limit to store glucose, insulin will signal the fat cells to absorb and store glucose as triglycerides. It will also inhibit the breaking down of fats.