The hormone insulin is to an important of system metabolism of the body. Without the insulin hormone, cells will lack energy and have to find a replacement source.
Insulin is a natural hormone produced by the pancreas. When we eat, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin which allows the body to convert glucose into energy and spread throughout the body. This one hormone also helps the body store that energy.
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Relationship between Blood Sugar and Insulin
Insulin helps control blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body. The way is by giving signals to fat cells, muscles, and the liver to take glucose from the blood and turn it into glycogen (muscle sugar) in muscle cells, triglycerides in fat cells, and both in liver cells. This is a form of energy source stored by the body.
As long as the pancreas produces enough insulin and the body can use it properly, blood sugar levels will always be in a healthy range. Because in essence, too much or too little glucose is not good for health.
The accumulation of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia) can cause complications, such as kidney and nerve damage, and eye problems. While too little glucose in the blood (hypoglycemia) can make us feel tired, irritable, confused, and lose consciousness, aka fainting.
And if insulin in the blood is not enough, the body’s cells will begin to starve. Insulin which is not enough means that glucose cannot be broken down and that means the cell cannot use it. As a result, fat starts to be broken down to make energy. The process then results in a buildup of chemicals called ketones.
Ketones that accumulate in the blood and urine are very dangerous because they can trigger ketoacidosis in diabetics. Ketoacidosis can even be life threatening if not treated immediately. Symptoms include frequent urination for one or several days, feeling very thirsty and tired, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain , palpitations, shortness of breath , dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness.
If Insulin Is Disrupted
If the production or work of insulin is disrupted, some of these diseases or conditions can attack you:
- Insulin resistance. This condition occurs when muscle cells, fat, and the liver cannot use insulin properly. As a result, the pancreas will work extra to produce more insulin so that glucose can be used as energy. If not treated, over time insulin resistance will develop into diabetes.
- Diabetes mellitus . Diseases in which blood sugar levels become too high due to the body’s inability to use glucose into energy. Glucose cannot be changed because the amount of insulin in the body is not enough, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin. Insulinoma, which is a small tumor in the pancreas, will cause excessive insulin production.
- Metabolic syndrome , a group of conditions that can increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems, such as stroke and diabetes. Conversely, a situation in which insulin does not work effectively to reduce blood sugar levels, or is called insulin resistance, can also increase the risk of developing the metabolic syndrome.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) , which is a medical condition that causes interference with the work of the ovary. PCOS results in abnormal levels of some hormones in the body, including higher levels of the hormone insulin. Many women with PCOS also experience insulin resistance. As a result, the body will produce more insulin.
Insulin is one of the important hormones in the body. Without the insulin hormone, cells will lack energy and must find alternative energy sources. As a result, life-threatening complications can occur. Therefore, it is important to routinely check the health condition to the doctor and check blood sugar regularly. If there are signs of interference with insulin, the doctor will begin to determine the appropriate treatment steps.