What Happens If Insulin Does Not Work Properly
If insulin does not work properly on its receptor it may lead to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be caused by two main factors and its severity will depend on how advanced the problems are. Firstly, the patients beta cells may have problems manufacturing insulin, so although some insulin is produced, it is not enough for the bodys needs. This is relative insulin deficiency rather than the absolute insulin deficiency that is seen in type 1 diabetes. Secondly, the available insulin doesnt work properly because the areas in the cell where insulin acts, called insulin receptors, become insensitive and stop responding to the insulin in the bloodstream. This is called insulin resistance and is very common in obesity and type 2 diabetes. These receptors appear to malfunction more in people who carry excessive amount of weight. Some people with type 2 diabetes might initially experience very few symptoms and the raised blood glucose is only picked up when a routine blood test is arranged for another reason other people might experience symptoms similar to those seen in patients with type 1 diabetes . Some patients with type 2 diabetes can control their symptoms by improving their diet and/or losing weight, some will need tablets, and others will need to inject insulin to improve blood glucose levels. See the article on diabetes mellitus for more information.
The Basics Of High Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia.
When you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into the blood. Insulin then helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. When sugar enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use. In a person with diabetes, there is a problem with insulin. But, not everyone with diabetes has the same problem.
There are different types of diabetestype 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. If you have diabetestype 1, type 2 or gestationalyour body either doesnt make enough insulin, cant use the insulin well, or both.
The Role Of Glucagon In Blood Glucose Control
The effect of glucagon is to make the liver release the glucose it has stored in its cells into the bloodstream, with the net effect of increasing blood glucose. Glucagon also induces the liver to make glucose out of building blocks obtained from other nutrients found in the body .
Our bodies desire blood glucose to be maintained between 70 mg/dl and 110 mg/dl . Below 70 is termed “hypoglycemia.” Above 110 can be normal if you have eaten within 2 to 3 hours. That is why your doctor wants to measure your blood glucose while you are fasting…it should be between 70 and 110. Even after you have eaten, however, your glucose should be below 180. Above 180 is termed “hyperglycemia” . If your 2 two blood sugar measurements above 200 after drinking a sugar-water drink , then you are diagnosed with diabetes.
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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 . 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.
The Link Between The Gut And The Pancreas
Insulin is produced in higher amounts when sugar passes through the gut compared to when glucose is injected into the veins . This is because when sugar enters the gut, messages are sent from the gut to the pancreas to produce more insulin. These messages are chemicals called peptides. The best known gut peptide controlling insulin is called GLP1 . GLP1 speaks to the pancreas after glucose enters the gut, telling it to produce insulin at the right time. It is now known that in type 2 diabetes, GLP1 levels are too low, which is partly why blood sugar levels go too high after a meal . There are now many medicines that increase GLP1 levels to control post-prandial hyperglycaemia which are therefore good treatments for type 2 diabetes.
Last reviewed: Jul 2022
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What Is An Insulin Resistance Diet
An insulin resistance diet is often recommended for people who have insulin resistance, a key component of type 2 diabetes. It incorporates foods that will help maintain your bodys balance of insulin and blood sugar. Think nourishing calories from veggies, fruit, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
The History of a Wonderful Thing We Call Insulin.
Increasing Insulin Affordability.
General Overview of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and Resources for Patients/Families: The American Diabetes Association:
General Overview of Type 1 Diabetes and Resources for Patients/Families: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation :
Table of Non-insulin Medications:
American Diabetes Association. Get a Handle on Diabetes Medication
Joslin Diabetes Center. Managing Diabetes: Insulin A to Z: A Guide on Different Types of Insulin..
Mayo Clinic. Diabetes treatment: Using insulin to manage blood sugar.
Hormones Of The Pancreas
Regulation of blood glucose is largely done through the endocrine hormones of the pancreas, a beautiful balance of hormones achieved through a negative feedback loop. The main hormones of the pancreas that affect blood glucose include insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and amylin.
Insulin lowers BG levels, whereas glucagon elevates BG levels.
Somatostatin is formed in the delta cells of the pancreas and acts as the pancreatic policeman, balancing insulin and glucagon. It helps the pancreas alternate in turning on or turning off each opposing hormone.
Amylin is a hormone, made in a 1:100 ratio with insulin, that helps increase satiety, or satisfaction and state of fullness from a meal, to prevent overeating. It also helps slow the stomach contents from emptying too quickly, to avoid a quick spike in BG levels.
In a healthy liver, up to 10% of its total volume is used for glycogen stores. Skeletal muscle cells store about 1% of glycogen. The liver converts glycogen back to glucose when it is needed for energy and regulates the amount of glucose circulating between meals. Your liver is amazing in that it knows how much to store and keep, or break down and release, to maintain ideal plasma glucose levels. Imitation of this process is the goal of insulin therapy when glucose levels are managed externally. Basalbolus dosing is used as clinicians attempt to replicate this normal cycle.
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Avoiding Injection Bruises And Lumps
Bruising can happen when you catch a tiny blood vessel under the skin where you have injected. It is quite normal for this to happen occasionally when you are injecting regularly and youre not doing anything wrong.
If you are concerned, you could make an appointment with your diabetes specialist nurse who will be able to do a review of your injection technique. In some cases, bleeding and bruising can be reduced by something as simple as using a different sized needle or changing your needle after each injection.
Some people notice hard lumps that can form if you inject in the same place too often. This might be lipohypertrophy , or could be something called cutaneous amyloidosis. These lumps can stop the insulin from working properly, so make sure you rotate where you inject and choose a different spot each time. If you notice any lumps, especially if they’re not going away, speak to your healthcare professional for more advice.
Other side effects from injecting a lot can be itching, rashes and other skin irritations. Changing where you inject helps with this too. You can also get treatments from your local pharmacy that can will help with the irritation.
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What Medicines Prevent A Diabetic From Not Feeling His Blood Sugar Drop
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Regulation Of Blood Glucose
Regulation of glucose in the body is done autonomically and constantly throughout each minute of the day. Normal BG levels should be between 60 and 140 mg/dL in order to supply cells of the body with its required energy. Brain cells dont require insulin to drive glucose into neurons however, there must still be normal amounts available. Too little glucose, called hypoglycemia, starves cells, and too much glucose creates a sticky, paralyzing effect on cells. Euglycemia, or blood sugar within the normal range, is naturally ideal for the bodys functions. A delicate balance between hormones of the pancreas, intestines, brain, and even adrenals is required to maintain normal BG levels.
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What Is Type 2 Diabetes
People who have type 2 diabetes have a hard time using glucose from food for energy.
After we eat, carbohydrates in food break down into glucose. When glucose enters the bloodstream, blood sugar levels go up. When it does, the pancreas sends insulin into the blood. Insulin helps open cells throughout the body to let glucose in, giving the cells the energy they need.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes insulin, but the cells dont respond to it as they should. This is called insulin resistance. When glucose cant get into cells, the blood sugar level rises. Then the pancreas works harder to make even more insulin. At first, the extra insulin keeps sugars in the normal range. But over time, the pancreas cant keep up, and the blood sugars stay high. When blood sugars stay high, the person may have type 2 diabetes.
What Does Insulin Do
Insulin moves glucose from your blood into cells all over your body. Glucose comes from both food and your bodys own natural release of stored glucose. Think of insulin as the key that opens the doors of the cells in your body. Once insulin opens your cell doors, glucose can leave your bloodstream and move into your cells where you use it for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose cant get into your cells and instead builds up in your blood .
Many conditions can affect your bodys ability to produce and release insulin. They include:
- Gestational diabetes, which is diabetes that begins during pregnancy.
- Prediabetes, when your body is resistant to insulin , but blood sugar levels arent high enough for a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
- Type 1 diabetes, when your pancreas doesnt make insulin or doesnt make enough to control blood sugar.
- Type 2 diabetes, when your pancreas doesnt produce enough insulin, or your body cant use the insulin as it should.
- Metabolic syndrome , a group of risk factors that increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Insulin resistance means that the cells in your body cant use glucose from your blood as energy.
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Whats The Role Of Insulin
To understand how insulin impacts your health, we need to first learn what it is. Insulin is a hormone thats produced by your pancreas, and its purpose is to aid in metabolizing what you eat and drink so that your body can use the nutrients you ingest for energy.
Without insulin, your body couldnt utilize protein, carbohydrates, and fat as necessary, or store them for future use, primarily in the form of fat.
In short, insulin and having proper levels of it in your body is truly vital. Without adequate insulin, your organs cant do the work they need to do to keep your systems functioning.