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Important: What is insulin and what is it for in our body?

Important: What is insulin and what is it for in our body?

Everyone has heard about insulin, but the truth is that few people know what it really is and what its function is in our body. It is a hormone synthesized by our pancreas.

Insulin is the key for the glucose present in the blood to pass into our cells. Glucose is the essential nutrient for our cells; From it, they obtain the energy necessary to carry out all their functions.

People know insulin for its role in diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which our body fails to synthesize or use this hormone optimally, which is why blood glucose levels increase. This is harmful to tissues and organs.

How does insulin work?

  • Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas, specifically in cells called beta cells. These cells synthesize insulin so that the rest of the cells in our tissues can incorporate and store the glucose we ingest with food.
  • This step is essential, because without glucose our cells are incapable of obtaining energy. Therefore, they could not perform their functions without it. It is important to know that, in addition, the pancreas produces insulin in two different ways.
  • First, the pancreas releases insulin continuously and slowly. This allows blood glucose levels to always remain stable. This fact is very important, since both very low and very high blood glucose levels put our health at risk.
  • On the other hand, the beta cells of the pancreas also release insulin quickly. This allows, when blood glucose levels rise due to meals, the concentration to return to its normal state.
  • The appropriate blood glucose concentration is between 70 and 100 mg/dl on an empty stomach. As we have already mentioned, when levels drop below 70, a situation called hypoglycemia occurs. Hypoglycemia produces symptoms such as nervousness, instability, loss of consciousness, etc. It is an urgent situation that puts life at risk.
  • When fasting glucose remains above 100 mg/dl, there is surely a problem with insulin. This is where diabetes appears: the cells cannot use glucose and its levels rise in the blood.

What happens in diabetes with insulin?

  • It is important to know that there are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The main difference is that in type 1 the pancreas cannot produce insulin. Therefore, these people need injections of this hormone to be able to use glucose.
  • In type 2 diabetes, what happens is that the cells in our body create resistance to insulin. That is, the pancreas does produce it but the cells cannot use it.
  • Insulin is, therefore, one of the main treatments for diabetes. It is usually used as an intramuscular injection. But, in order to use it as a treatment, you have to know its main characteristics.

In conclusion

The insuline is an hormon produced for the pancreas. It allows the glucose we get from food to pass into our cells. It has a main role in diabetes and, in fact, is also often part of the treatment of this disease.

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