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The Role of Insulin in Your Body

The Role of Insulin in Your Body

Insulin is a polypeptide hormone that’s essential for life. Most people associate insulin with the condition known as diabetes. When somebody has diabetes, either their pancreas can no longer produce insulin Type 1), or their body has become resistant to its effects (Type 2).

One of the main roles that insulin plays is acting as a “key” that opens the doors to your cells so that blood glucose can enter them to provide your cells with energy. When you don’t have the key, or the key stops working, your blood glucose levels rise, and thius can lead to prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.

At Modern Wellness Clinic, our team of providers diagnoses and treats diabetes at our Las Vegas, Nevada, facility. When your body produces the right amount of insulin, it can help you prevent Type 2 diabetes and keep you healthy in other ways, too. Here’s how.

Insulin helps convert sugar to energy

When you digest foods, they’re broken down into blood sugar, also known as blood glucose. Your body needs glucose to power its cells so that they have enough energy to keep you healthy and fit.

When your bloodstream is filled with blood glucose from digested food, that signals your pancreas to produce the hormone insulin. Insulin helps transport the glucose out of your blood vessels and into the cells. 

If you have Type 1 diabetes, your immune system erroneously attacks the islet cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Therefore, you can’t create insulin on your own and must take synthetic insulin to stay alive. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that usually appears in childhood or early adulthood.

Too much insulin creates resistance

In contrast, Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle-related condition that usually occurs as a result of eating too many foods with high levels of sugars or simple carbohydrates that quickly become sugar when digested, such as pasta or white potatoes. When your blood glucose levels are too high, your pancreas makes extra insulin. 

Over time, your cells become overwhelmed by the increased levels of insulin and stop responding to it. The glucose stays in your bloodstream, and can’t reach the cells to give them the energy they need.

High blood glucose levels destroy your blood vessels and nerves over time. The high levels of insulin also tell your body to store the excess glucose in the liver, fatty tissue, and muscle, which leads to weight gain.

Insulin resistance can be reversed: Even if you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or as having prediabetes, you can become insulin sensitive again. We recommend lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eliminating sugar from your diet, and getting plenty of exercise so that your blood glucose levels stabilize and your cells respond to insulin again.

Insulin resistance wreaks havoc

If your body stops responding to insulin, more than your blood glucose levels are affected. Insulin keeps your organs, healthy, too, including your:

If you become insulin resistant, your body can no longer use insulin to accomplish tasks such as keeping inflammation at bay and building new bone cells. If you’re a woman, you’re at greater risk for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), too.

Whether you have diabetes, are prediabetic, or just want to stay healthy, insulin is key to a stable metabolism and well-functioning organs. Find out how to keep your insulin levels stable through medically supervised weight loss or diabetes treatment today. Contact our helpful office staff by phone at 702-463-9159 today. Or use our online booking form.

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