Allen Wellness & Medical Center

The Role of Insulin in Your Body

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Your endocrine system is a loosely connected network of glands that all have one thing in common: the secretion of hormones that send messages regulating bodily functions. Insulin is one type of hormone secreted from the pancreas, and problems with it can lead to conditions like hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, and diabetes. 

If you’re in Henderson, Nevada, and are struggling with diabetes or other chronic conditions, you can get help from Dr. Evan Allen and his team at Allen Wellness & Medical Center. To better understand the important role of this chemical messenger, let’s examine what insulin is, and what happens if you have too much or too little of it.

Understanding insulin

When you eat, your digestive system converts food and drinks into the nutrients and minerals your body needs. Blood glucose (also known as blood sugar) is derived primarily from dietary carbohydrates and is responsible for providing energy for your body.

Blood glucose travels through your blood and is regulated by the insulin created in your pancreas. Problems with your blood glucose usually arise when your pancreas stops producing insulin, produces too little, or produces too much. 

What happens when you have too much insulin

Since insulin lowers blood sugar, having too much insulin can remove too much of it from the blood, resulting in hypoglycemia

Symptoms of this condition include hunger, nausea, paleness, shaking, sweating, irregular heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, lack of focus, lightheadedness, and numbness or tingling of the tongue and cheek. Severe cases require immediate medical attention and can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness, and unresponsiveness.

What happens when you have too little insulin

Too little insulin can cause elevated blood glucose levels, leading to hyperglycemia and possibly diabetes if left unchecked. Signs of this condition include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, headache, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, skin infections, and cuts and sores that are slow to heal. 

Untreated for long periods of time, it can also turn into diabetes-related ketoacidosis (DKA) which can cause nausea, vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pain, hyperventilation, disorientation, and loss of consciousness.

Both types of insulin imbalances can be related to problems with diabetes. Dietary changes, increased exercise, and insulin injections can all help better control blood glucose under a doctor’s supervision.

If you’re demonstrating the symptoms mentioned above, you may be dealing with insulin-related problems. Make an appointment with Dr. Allen and Allen Wellness & Medical Center as soon as possible to determine the best options for treatment.