Submitted by Thiruvelan on Wed, 06/23/2010

Insulin a hormone needed for effective conversion of glucose into energy, keep as active and maintain the blood-glucose level.

What is insulin?

Insulin is a hormone (a protein molecule), which regulates the level of blood glucose by signaling our body cells to absorb glucose from the blood. Additionally, if the blood glucose level remains high after consumption, then it will prompt our liver to store it as glycogen in the liver or muscle for future requirement.

The pancreas; a digestive organ located in the upper abdominal region secretes the hormone Insulin.

What are the functions of Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone (a protein) secreted by groups of cells within the pancreas called islet cells. Food digested, and glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream after a meal. Concerning the glucose level in the blood, the pancreas secretes Insulin. Body cells have insulin receptors, which bind the insulin, which is in the blood circulation. The cell with insulin attached can absorb sugar glucose from the bloodstream and burnt it for energy.

In people who do not have diabetes, the body makes the right amount of insulin on its own. However, diabetes requires a certain quantity of insulin throughout day and night.

It regulates glucose in your bloodstream: the vital role of insulin is to keep your blood glucose level within a healthy range. After your meals, carbohydrates are break down into glucose (the primary source of energy) and dumped into your bloodstream. Usually, your pancreas responds to this by releasing a proportional amount of insulin, which allows glucose to enter your tissues.

Storage of excess glucose: After consumption by the tissues, the excess glucose in the blood stored as glycogen in the liver & muscle for future requirement.

Release of glucose into the bloodstream: Between meals or when fasting, insulin levels are low. The liver is responding to this by converting glycogen to glucose and released into the bloodstream to maintain the healthy blood glucose level.

Insulin and type 1 diabetes

If no insulin, you can eat food and still in a state of starvation since the cells cannot be able to absorb glucose without insulin. It is the reason that Type 1 diabetic (no or insufficient insulin secretion) can become very weak without insulin shots. The type 1 diabetics have a deficiency or no insulin secretion, so they must have it replaced via artificial insulin.

Insulin and type 2 diabetes

High blood glucose in type 2 diabetes is because of insulin resistance and not insulin deficiency. Mostly, in the case of type 2 diabetes, the level of insulin in the blood is slightly higher than, a non-diabetic. Insulin resistance means the body cells not to respond appropriately or sluggish to the insulin and thus cannot consume enough glucose. It leads to high blood glucose level than usual. Treat type 2 diabetes, mostly with oral medicine, and rarely do they need insulin shots.