Insulin is one of the important hormones in the body. Without insulin, the cells will lack energy and have to look for alternative energy sources. As a result, life-threatening complications can occur.
Insulin is naturally produced by the pancreas. When we eat, the pancreas releases insulin hormone that allows the body to convert glucose into energy and distributed throughout the body. This hormone also helps the body store energy.
The Importance of Insulin for Controlling Blood Sugar
Insulin helps control blood sugar levels (glucose) in the body. The trick is to give a signal in fat cells, muscle, and heart to take glucose from the blood and turn it into glycogen (sugar muscles) in muscle cells, triglycerides in fat cells, and both in liver cells. This is a form of energy source that is stored by the body.
During the pancreas produces enough insulin and the body can use it properly, blood sugar levels will always be in the healthy range. Because in essence, glucose is too much or too little is not good for health.
The buildup of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia) can cause complications such as nerve and kidney damage, as well as problems in the eye. While too little glucose in the blood (hypoglycemia) can make us feel tired, irritable, confused, until losing consciousness, aka swoon.
And when not enough insulin in the blood, the body's cells will begin to starve. Insulin that does not quite mean glucose cannot be broken and that means the cells can not use it. As a result, fat begins to be broken down to create energy. This process results in the buildup of chemicals called ketones.
Ketones accumulate in the blood and urine is very dangerous, because it can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis can even be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Symptoms include frequent urination for one or several days, abdominal pain, feeling very thirsty and tired, vomiting, shortness of breath, heart rate rises, dizziness, drowsiness, until losing consciousness.
Some diseases may appear if Insulin is impaired
If insulin production or work is disrupted, some disease or condition can strike yourself:
- Insulinoma, namely a small tumor in the pancreas to make insulin production becomes excessive.
- Diabetes mellitus. A disease where blood sugar levels become too high due to the inability of the body to break down glucose into energy. Glucose cannot be changed because of the amount of insulin in the body is not enough, or the insulin that is produced does not work properly.
- The emergence of metabolic syndrome, a group of factors that can increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems, such as stroke and diabetes. The circumstances in which the insulin does not work to lower blood sugar levels, called insulin resistance, also can increase the risk of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance causes high blood sugar levels.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common condition that affects the ovaries work. PCOS is associated with abnormal hormone levels in the body, including high levels of insulin. Many women with PCOS are also facing resistance to insulin. As a result, the body produces more insulin.