With so much information and methods related to diets and exercises to lose weight circulating on the networks, it is very easy to overlook hormones and the impact they have on our body and general well-being. That is why in this article we will discuss the hormone insulin: what it is, what its function is, and how it is related to diabetes.
Among other questions, could we manipulate insulin in order to lose fat and live longer? Apparently, it is entirely possible. And it is actually easier than it might seem.
Insulin and its relation to diabetes
Insulin is a super important hormone that helps us absorb nutrients from our food. Every time we eat carbohydrates (and to some extent when we eat protein), the amount of sugar in our blood increases, and the pancreas releases insulin to help remove the sugar from the bloodstream and send it to our organs (mainly the liver and cells muscle) where it can be used to produce energy.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the insulin response does not work properly and sugar builds up in the blood with nowhere else to go. This can lead to many problems, such as vision loss, hearing loss, high blood pressure, and gum disease.
There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Type 2 occurs when insulin is produced, but the body does not respond in the correct way.
What causes type 1 is often difficult to identify. The type 2 diabetes is becoming more common, some have estimated that one - third of Americans will develop disease- and often can be prevented. How? Let's talk about insulin sensitivity.
What is insulin sensitivity?
Doing something many times can make you less sensitive to its effects, right? Drinking coffee all the time can decrease the effect of caffeine, regular drinkers find that they need more and more beers to get drunk than they used to, and so on.
In the same way, eating carbohydrates too often (especially simple ones, like sugars) can make us less sensitive to insulin (or more “insulin resistant”). When that happens, we need to produce more insulin than we should to keep our blood sugar stable.
That's too bad. If insulin sensitivity decreases, we will have problems digesting carbohydrates and absorbing nutrients, and we will gain weight. If this continues for a long time, the pancreas will need to produce more and more insulin as we will be very insensitive to it. Eventually, it will run out and stop being able to release the hormone properly, and that's when type 2 diabetes occurs.
But insulin resistance doesn't just increase the risk of diabetes. It also increases the risk of thyroid problems and various types of cancer, and it also makes it much more difficult to control body fat.