Insulin & glucose
Insulin is an important hormone, which makes blood sugar to get into cells to provide them with the energy. The food you take is broken down into glucose that gives you energy for everything you do starting from working to healing.
Glucose moves through bloodstream searching for individual cells that require energy.
- Glucose requires insulin to get into the cells
- Insulin unlocks cells and helps glucose to enter the cells and gives energy
- In fact, insulin sends signals to the cells to activate glucose transporters, which pull glucose to cell walls. When glucose enters the cells, it produces energy
Insulin is secreted in the pancreas by beta-cells. When glucose enters bloodstream, the pancreas will mix it with right proportion of insulin to move glucose into the cells. But, this process doesn’t work in people with diabetes.
Scientists consider that in people with type-I diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys beta-cells in the pancreas. So, these people will not be able to produce insulin.
Whereas in people with type-2 diabetes, pancreas is not producing adequate levels of insulin to satisfy the body’s needs. And, the amount of insulin becomes less and less.
What about insulin resistance?
In some people with type-II diabetes, cells build a resistance to insulin. Though there is insulin in the bloodstream, it is not sufficient to unlock cells that allow glucose to enter. Because of this, it takes more insulin to unlock the cells for glucose. This will make it difficult for cells to get the energy that is required.
The effect of diabetes
When glucose is not able to get into the cells, either because of inadequate insulin or the body is resisting it, glucose starts to accumulate in the bloodstream. This leads to the wastage of energy and it does not get into the cells wherever it is required.
If this continues, the body cells do not hold the energy that is required to keep the body working. To let glucose from accumulating in the bloodstream, an extra amount of insulin is required.
Diabetes and injected insulin
Since patients with type-1 diabetes can’t secrete insulin, they must inject insulin many times a day or should get insulin through an insulin pump. Most people with type-2 diabetes take insulin too.
Injected insulin works similar to body’s insulin and helps cells get the required energy.