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Insulin IS a Hormone

There is so much in the news about Diabetes these days, especially since Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise and the number of new cases seems to be sky rocketing. Since yesterday was American Diabetes Alert Day , I wanted to learn a bit more about the disease. I thought I should start at the beginning, go to the source as they say, and figure out what insulin is and what it does.

First off, insulin is a hormone that is produced in an area of the pancreas known as the Islets of Langerhans hence its name - insulin is derived from the Latin word insula meaning island. Hormones are chemical messengers bringing "information" from one cell to one or more other cells. Inuslin helps move glucose (aka energy) around our bodies, from the bloodstream to individual cells. Cells require glucose for movement, growth, repair, and other functions. It acts as a messenger between the bloodstream and cells, helping the cells absorb energy.

Insulin also regulates carbohydrate metabolism, the breakdown of carbs primarily into glucose. It effects fat metabolism as well.

When glucose enters our blood, the pancreas should automatically produce the right amount of insulin to move glucose into our cells. Type 1 diabetes (previously called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes) is a disorder of the body's immune system that results from the pancreas not producing any insulin. Type 2 diabetes (previously called adult onset diabetes) results when the body doesn't respond appropriately to insulin, a condition called "insulin resistance."

Join The Conversation
JKe895 JKe895 10 years
I thought there were two types! Yay for me for remembering. I don't readily understand the first one. I know that they have other names that they are called by. When I was in high school I was misdiagnosed with one the them and the medication that I was put on messed up my body for years. I'm still fighting to try to become "normal" again I guess you could say. My doctor says that it's all about what you eat, how you eat and when you eat. Fit, are you able to write a posting about that as well?
designergirl designergirl 10 years
Though I don't have diabetes, I find it offensive that Type 1 diabetes is a "disorder," while type 2 is a "disease" - one of the few things i remember from a physiology class. I think its great that your helping educating people on diabetes. Type 2 is so misunderstood; that same physiology teacher (falsely) claimed that people only get tinsuln resistance when they eat "mc donald's and snickers bars all day." She truly hated fat people and several formal complaints were lodged against her for this.
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
I have insulin resistance issues... It's not diabetes yet, but someday it probably will be. It's frustrating that I have that problem since I eat right (most of the time) and exercise regularly. That's not something I can say of my friends that are my age, and they don't have any problems w/this :(
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
Fit, I admire you for being able to actually research something like this. Maybe it's too early yet for me....
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