Why Insulin Is Important
In my opinion, why insulin is so important can be best explained through the example of metabolic syndrome a term used to unify severe health risks of the present.
The risk criteria for metabolic syndrome are:
- High blood glucose
- Low HDL
- High triglycerides
- Central obesity
All these factors significantly contribute to modern metabolic diseases, such as :
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alzheimers disease
- Parkinsons disease
Indeed, metabolic syndromes risk factors all share a common root cause hyperinsulinemia or persistently high insulin levels . And often, they are accelerated through insulin resistance.
Hence, insulin and insulin resistance is at the heart of mortality in Western society.
Lifestyle Systemic Inflammation And Hyperinsulinaemia
Table 1 Association of obesity risk factors with low-grade systemic inflammation and hyperinsulinaemia
Largely independent of obesity status, inflammation appears to be a rapid response to an unfavourable lifestyle and may be responsible for metabolic deterioration. For instance, low levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 increased insulin secretion by ß-cells . Pro-inflammatory cytokines interfere with insulin signalling for example, the induction of IB kinase ß, which phosphorylates serine residues of IRS-1 and thereby interferes with insulin signalling .
Several other pathways may be involved in promoting obesity by environmental/lifestyle factors e.g., the hypothalamicpituitaryadrenal axis, because increased cortisol exposure enhances fat accumulation in visceral depots . Hypothalamic circuits contribute to appetite regulation and energy homeostasis . Recently, glial and endothelial cells have reportedly contributed to metabolic disorders and obesity . Genetic studies confirm the association between neurodevelopmental loci and obesity . Another player is the microbiota . Lipid fluxes and the liver are expected to affect the development of hepatosteatosis and obesity .
Independent of the initial effect of lifestyle factors, the pathway to obesity requires hyperinsulinaemia as a critical mediator in translating an unfavourable lifestyle into body weight gain.
How Much Exercise Should I Get Per Week
It’s recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. Exercise can include:
- Doing work around the house like gardening or vacuuming
It’s also recommended to do strength training exercises a couple of times a week.
Research shows that exercise, even without weight loss, improves blood sugar levels and helps with insulin resistance.
When increasing your exercise time or starting a new exercise program, first discuss how this will affect your medications and blood sugar levels with your healthcare provider before starting. Since exercise can affect these, you may need to make adjustments to your medications or have some snacks with you to prevent low blood sugar levels.
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Does That Mean There Are No Benefits To Fasting
Definitely not. In addition to potentially promoting weight loss, largely via caloric deficit from skipped meals, fasting may positively affect insulin sensitivity. A higher insulin sensitivity means that your cells are able to use glucose more effectively, to help bring down those blood sugar levels while low insulin sensitivity aka insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes. Research suggests that those practicing early time restricted eating, eating earlier in the day and stopping earlier in the day, tend to have better insulin sensitivity than those eating late at night. This has a lot to do with our circadian alignment, or our sleep-wake cycles as it seems that aligning our food intake with daylight hours can benefit our metabolism and glucose response. Strangely, most people who swear theyre doing intermittent fasting have an opposite eating schedule, skipping breakfast and eating from noon until night. So they might be missing out on one of these unique perks and instead just kinda skipping a meal.
How Does Insulin Affect Blood Sugar
Insulin is the hormone that allows the glucose to get into your cells, and when it gets inside, naturally your blood sugar levels drop. Think of insulin as the key that unlocks the door to let glucose do its job. Without insulin, your body wouldnt be able to use or store glucose and youd be walking around with high blood sugar all day long. And thats bad news bears because if untreated, high blood sugar can cause organ damage over time. But back to our frenemy- insulin.
Insulin is made in the pancreas and is secreted in bursts about every 5 minutes. If you havent eaten, the levels are relatively low so this is called your baseline level. When you eat, your insulin levels rise to deal with the sugars now in your bloodstream. And in a healthy individual, insulin comes right back down to their normal steady state once its dealt with the sugar. Note that our discussions today are going to be for the general population aka folks who have healthy working pancreases.
Okay so insulin also buddies up with the hormone glucagon which tells the liver to release glucose when the blood sugar levels get too low. It can either access glycogen which is the stored version of glucose in the liver or muscles, OR the liver can convert any extra protein to glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. This dream team works together to keep your blood sugar levels tightly controlled because again, high blood sugar levels are dangerous as f*ck.
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Whats The Point Of Eating Healthy Foods
So the question now becomes whats the point of eating healthy foods if insulin is always just going to correct our dietary shortcomings? This is where intuition comes into play. That is, focusing on how foods make you feel. Even though the participants blood sugar levels remained normal, albeit at the higher end of normal, they experienced lethargy and poor energy levels. So physically, they were fine, but they maybe werent FEELING their BEST. So thanks to this research, we now know that in healthy individuals, eating carbs are not going to cause uncontrolled blood sugar spikes.
So Does Insulin Make You Gain Weight
It depends on what your health was like before you went on insulin, says Rachael Oxman, M.D., M.P.H., an endocrinologist at The Center for Endocrinology at Baltimores Mercy Medical Center. When diabetes is severely uncontrolled, people frequently have had unintentional weight loss despite eating normally, she explains. This is really unhealthy for their bodies. When they start insulin, they are finally able to make proper use of the calories and carbohydrates in their food and with this comes weight regain.
, medical director of the Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center, agrees. When your blood sugar is chronically high you are in a relative starvation state, he says. Because of this, Dr. Schutta says, youre consuming food and your body isnt properly absorbing the nutrients. Hence, weight loss.
People who experience high blood sugars for a prolonged period of time may have lost 20 pounds in a few months, Dr. Schutta explains. When you give them insulin, youre getting their blood sugars under reasonable control and generally going to regain the weight, often within a matter of weeks. While that can feel like taking insulin made someone gain weight, it actually is just restoring them to their normal weight, he points out.
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The All You Can Eat Pizza Study
So we can see this amazing control in action in a 2020 study thats been affectionately known as the all you can eat pizza study. They basically offered a group of healthy men pizza and first asked them to eat till they were comfortably full, and then again until they literally couldnt take another bite without bursting. They really could have just studied youtube mukbangers and saved a shit ton in research dollars.
Anyway, the first conclusion they found from this study about insulin and weight gain was that these healthy men could eat twice as much as what made them feel comfortably full, so not exactly intuitive eating experts. But im more interested in what happened to their blood sugar and insulin levels after all those carbs. Basically, insulin understood the assignment. The pancreas pumped that shit out in a linear fashion the whole time that they were eating pizza. The more pizza they ate, the more insulin their bodies produced. And because insulin is such a bad ass, the blood sugar levels rose up to a certain point then just levelled off. In fact, their blood sugar levels were the same whether they ate 187g or 367g of carbs. Conclusion? In healthy folks without diabetes, our blood sugar levels are tightly regulated regardless of how much or what we eat.
Both Pharmacological And Nutritional Approaches Have Been Used To Reduce Hypersecretion Of Insulin As A Method For Weight Loss
Diazoxide promoted enhanced weight loss in obese adults when combined with an 8-week energy-restricted diet . Compared to patients on placebo, those receiving diazoxide lost more fat and maintained a higher fat-free:lean mass ratio. Although there was no improvement in glucose tolerance observed compared to that in placebo, there were also no adverse effects despite a large reduction in postprandial insulin secretion. In contrast, a second trial with a similar design did not observe any significant additional weight loss with diazoxide supplementation . The basis for the discrepancies between these two trials is currently unclear. However, a much more profound effect of diazoxide on postprandial insulin secretion was observed in the trial in which diazoxide induced weight loss. A trial testing the ability of 6-month administration of a somatostatin mimetic to induce weight loss in the obese noted a positive correlation between dose and effectiveness .
Chronic exposure to excess glucose and oleate increases proinsulin secretion. a INS-1 cells cultured in 4 mM glucose have lower proinsulin secretion at both basal and stimulatory glucose compared to those cultured at 11 mM glucose and 0.15 mM oleate for 48 h. b 4G cells have a lower ratio of secreted PI/insulin ratio compared to cells cultured at 11 mM glucose and 0.15 mM oleate . Data are mean ± SEM. *p < 0.05 versus control . Data are mean ± SEM. *p < 0.05 versus respective control
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Talk To Your Doctor About Your Treatment Plan
You should never cut back on your insulin dose or stop taking insulin on your own. Not taking your insulin as prescribed can lead to high blood sugar and increase your risk of complications. If youre struggling with weight gain, talk to your doctor about adjusting your treatment strategy.
Your doctor may also recommend other diabetes drugs. There have been advances in medications over the past five to 10 years that have the side effect of helping people lose weight, says McClain. Ask your doctor if these may be appropriate for you. Also confirm with your doctor that youre not on medications that can actually cause you to gain weight, Dr. Jensen says.
The Story Behind Insulin And Weight Gain
In simple terms, insulin therapy increases your efficiency. The excess glucose thats been circulating in your bloodstream, keeping blood sugar levels high as your kidneys work to excrete more, is instead taken into your cells more efficiently. And, so are all of the glucose calories 4 calories per gram of glucose that youve been flushing down the toilet. Your increased efficiency means you are retaining more calories from the food you consume. The statement insulin causes weight gain when the cells absorb too much glucose and the body converts this to fat is both misleading and backward. We want our metabolism to be more normal we want our cells absorbing glucose in a more normal way to keep blood glucose levels in a more normal zone. This statement should read “too much glucose causes weight gain when our body efficiently absorbs glucose into cells and converts excess glucose to fat.”
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Weight Loss For Diabetics
Losing weight can make a big difference for people with diabetesit can lower glucose levels in the blood, which may decrease the effects of diabetes and make the condition more manageable. But there are added complications and risks, too. For example, making big changes to your diet can cause serious problems. One of these is hypoglycemia, when your blood sugar goes so low that you risk the danger of going into a diabetic coma. If you have diabetes, you have to be especially careful about your weight loss plan.
What Exactly Is A Diabetic Stomach
Diabetic gastroparesis is a term that refers to instances of the digestive disorder gastroparesis caused by diabetes. The stomach contracts during proper digestion to aid in the breakdown of food and its passage into the small intestine. Gastroparesis impairs the stomachs contraction, which may result in digestion being interrupted.
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Can Diabetes Type 2 Cause Weight Gain
Is diabetes capable of causing fast weight gain? Diabetes and obesity Weight gain is a frequent sign of diabetes and other insulin-dependent diseases. In comparison to non-diabetics, young adults with type 1 diabetes are more likely to acquire excess body weight or obesity.
Is type 2 diabetes a hindrance to weight loss? To R.P. : It may be more difficult to reduce weight if you have Type 2 diabetes. Because the underlying issue is insulin resistance, blood insulin levels are often elevated. Insulin is a growth hormone it alerts the body that there is sufficient sugar and that it should save energy by storing it as fat.
Are the majority of Type 2 diabetics obese? Obesity has been identified as a significant risk factor for acquiring type 2 diabetes in studies. Today, around 30% of overweight persons have diabetes, and 85 percent of diabetics are obese.
This groundbreaking technique has helped thousands of individuals with unpredictable blood sugar levels
To assist them in burning toxic fat from their essential organs and stomachs
While also naturally and successfully balancing their blood sugar levels.
Animal Grouping And Dietary Plan
SD rats were fed a normal diet with adequate hydration and were kept in individual cages under an optimum temperature of 1825°C with 4060% humidity. After one week, all rats were weighed and randomly divided into four groups: normal control group diabetic control group diabetes plus detemir group and diabetes plus glargine group . The high-fat diet consisted of 58% fat, 25.6% carbohydrate, and 16.4% protein and was provided to all groups except the NC group for 6 weeks.
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Can Lantus Cause Weight Gain
- Yes, weight gain is listed as a side effect for Lantus insulin
In the clinical trial for Lantus called ORIGIN they studied patients for a median time of 6.2 years. There were 6264 patients in the Lantus treatment group and 6273 in the standard care treatment group.
The mean weight gain was 2.2 kg greater in the Lantus treatment group compared to the standard care treatment group, over the 6.2 year time period.
Weight Loss Due To Lack Of Insulin
When someone is suffering from hyperglycemia and doesnt have enough insulin circulating in their bloodstream, they will begin to experience some weight loss. This is because their cells are not able to uptake glucose, which prevents the body from being able to store glucose for energy.
Thus, the person is burning through their glycogen stores, which causes weight loss.
Excess glucose and nutrients are often expelled through urine. This can lead to kidney damage if left untreated.
This what I experienced with the onset of my diabetes condition. I was unaware of what was occurring in my body and didnt know that my pancreas had stopped producing insulin. I experienced rapid weight loss, severe dehydration, and exhaustion. All signs of losing my glycogen stores and not being able to use glucose in my bloodstream for energy.
However, once I was diagnosed and put on an insulin regimen, I began to regain my weight. The cells in my body were able to start picking up glucose again due to the impact of insulin.
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Cost Effectiveness Of Insulin Analogs
Assessing the overall cost effectiveness of insulin analogs relative to older human insulins requires sophisticated economic modeling that factors in not only direct medication expense, but also the expense of hypoglycemic episodes , complications , loss of work time, etc. One study estimated the average cost of complications in patients with type 2 diabetes at $47,240 per patient per 30 years .123 Hence, potential therapeutic benefits associated with lower rates of hypoglycemic episodes and improved PPG and FPG control might be expected to offset the higher initial medication costs of insulin analogs. A number of U.S. health economic modeling studies have carried out this type of analysis comparing detemir, glargine, and NPH insulins,124 insulin glargine and reference therapy,125 and insulin lispro and regular insulin.126,127 General conclusions from these studies suggest that total direct healthcare costs may be relatively similar between insulin analog and older insulin treatments, while treatment with insulin analogs may be associated with increases in quality-adjusted life expectancy.
How Do I Stop Weight Gain On Insulin
To help reduce the chances of weight gain when on Lantus it is important to discuss with your health care profession about how to change your diet so that you are only taking in the number of calories your body needs for the day. That way your body shouldnt have any excess calories to store away, which would cause weight gain. Also discuss with your health care professional how you can incorporate more activity and exercise into your lifestyle.
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What Can I Do About Insulin Resistance
There are a number of factors that can lead to insulin resistance including diet, genetics and weight.
The most exciting thing about insulin resistance is it can be delayed and/or prevented. Dietary changes, physical activity and even some medications can be powerful tools to help reduce both blood sugar and insulin levels.
Knowledge is power! Learn more about insulin resistance and its role in health with our Oregon Medical Weight Loss Department. Contact us as www.swfamilyphysicians.com or call 503.620.5556 to make an appointment.
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