Type 2 Diabetes: Learn The Basics Of Insulin

Proinsulin is a protein molecule that turns into insulin. Insulin is related to various health issues like blood sugar levels, diabetes, and prediabetes.

finger with blood and glucose meter

How’s your blood sugar level? It’s important to get it checked out from time to time to get screened for conditions like diabetes and prediabetes. Nearly 9.5% of Americans have diabetes (2015) and the figure is spiking in several countries throughout the world. The hormone insulin is important in the process of blood sugar and diabetes. That’s because it helps to control the amount of blood sugar (glucose) in the blood.  Proinsulin tests are also important since they inform doctors about how much insulin the patient’s body is forming. The whole process is very complex but the good news is we just need to learn the basics about how insulin/proinsulin are formed in the body and how it affects blood sugar.

It’s very interesting about how insulin and proinsulin work in the body. However, one of the keys is to understand how the amount of these substances affect possible health conditions like diabetes and prediabetes. How serious is prediabetes? People with this condition have up to a 30% chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 years. So, it doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop diabetes but over time there’s a greater chance that could happen. As the old saying goes prevention is better than cure.

What Is Insulin? What Does It Do?

First, let’s talk about insulin. This is a hormone in the human body that’s important for allowing blood sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream to enter cells. This gives them the energy needed to function properly.

What’s the big deal? Insulin’s job has a big effect on the development of the disease of diabetes. About 8.5% of the world has diabetes (2014) and the figure is generally higher in developed countries that are heavy in high-processed food like the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Hormones themselves are chemical messengers that tell cells/tissues how to “act” for certain bodily functions. They’re all important including insulin and help us to stay alive. It’s important for the body to have enough insulin flowing throughout the body.

The “message” insulin sends to cells is about taking in the sugar glucose from the blood. Most insulin is made by the pancreas, which is the organ located behind the stomach. There are groups of cells there that create the hormone and make a certain amount based on the level of blood sugar in a person’s body.

The higher glucose levels are in blood the more insulin is made. This helps to balance the blood’s sugar levels.

Insulin is also important in breaking down protein or fats to get energy. People usually get energy from food carbs. However, when fasting or doing the keto diet the body breaks down stored fat to get it.

The body maintains insulin balance to regulate several body processes like blood sugar. When insulin gets too high or low this can trigger blood sugar-related symptoms.

Proinsulin is one-way doctors can check whether or not you have blood sugar issues that could boost the risk of diabetes. This is a protein molecule that develops into insulin.

It’s an important substance because proinsulin levels can help to determine how much insulin the pancreas is producing. This is critical when monitoring for different glucose issues like diabetes/prediabetes. 

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

One of the main reasons to know the basics about insulin/proinsulin is related to diabetes prevention. In the USA 95% of all diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes so this is the most important one to prevent.

It’s important to note that diabetes is a lifelong disease. So, it’s critical to treat conditions like insulin resistance and prediabetes ASAP. Studies show that about half of people with insulin resistance develop prediabetes.

Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body deals with sugar glucose in the blood. People with this condition have higher blood sugar levels than those with prediabetes. So, it’s important to get your glucose levels checked regularly to determine whether or not you’re at risk for these serious diseases. 

Here’s what causes diabetes. The pancreas makes insulin. When people have type II diabetes their pancreas is still performing this function. The problem is how the body’s cells process insulin. This condition is called insulin resistance.

When this happens, the pancreas tries to fix the problem by working overtime to produce more insulin. This causes blood sugar to build up in the blood and can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Risk Factors Of Type 2 Diabetes

There are various factors that can cause this condition including:

1. Overweight/Obese

If you’re overweight or obese then there’s a greater chance you’ll experience insulin resistance. This is especially true if you have more belly fat in particular. About 30% of the world is now obese/overweight, which has caused the rates of type 2 diabetes to surge.

2. Genes

If your family has a history of diabetes then there’s a greater chance your DNA’s insulin production is affected.

3. Liver Glucose

When blood sugar levels spike some people’s, the liver makes sugar but doesn’t stop.

4. Metabolism

When people have insulin resistance there are several factors that are affected including blood sugar, belly fat, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood proteins. 

How to Prevent Type-2 Diabetes

1. Reduce processed foods/alcohol

Both of these foods can cause health issues even when you consume a moderate amount. Instead of eating fast/junk food all the time it’s better to eat home-cooked meals whenever possible. This can help to control ingredients like salt, sugar, and fat.

You should also reduce your alcohol intake. The main exception is wine since studies show one glass a day can be healthy. 

However, high alcohol intake can cause various problems including weight gain and high blood pressure, which can boost the risks of diabetes.

2. Lose weight

If your weight or body mass index (BMI) are higher than normal based on various factors then it’s important to start losing weight ASAP. This can include factors like diet and exercise.

One area to focus on is belly fat. That’s because extra fat in the mid-section boosts one’s chance of insulin resistance. Within time this can result in type II diabetes. You don’t have to eat like a bird or run a marathon but it’s critical to eat balanced meals and exercise regularly.

3. Lower blood pressure

You can do this by eating right, exercising more, reducing stress, and sleeping enough. You might need prescription meds but lifestyle changes can also be very effective.

4. Exercise more

It’s important not only to exercise but to do it regularly. Doing moderate-level exercise during most days can help to provide several benefits. They include lower weight and blood sugar levels. You can also get other benefits like lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

5. Find out your risk level

Make sure to get screened for insulin resistance, prediabetes, and diabetes. There are simple blood tests that are fast and easy. This will help to determine whether or not you’re on track to develop type 2 diabetes based on factors like your body’s level of Insulin.

Learn the basics of insulin

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