Fitness Monday - A Closer Look At The Metabolic Hormones- Insulin

7:20 AM Posted by jo

This is the second part in my series about the metabolic hormones,and how they especially influence the weight.  Today I will go over insulin.
The goal is to provide the body with the right kind of nutrients from foods to support the hormones to do the job they are meant to do. This will make the metabolism work in your favor, and not against you. The hormones that influence the weight  are insulin, thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, human growth hormone, epinephrine and norepinephrine, leptin and gherlin.

Insulin comes from the pancreas. One of its most important function is to lower the glucose in the blood. Shortly after you have eaten, your food is broken down into simple sugars and released into the blood stream. This causes the pancreas to release a series of insulin surges within minutes. The insulin ushers the sugars into the liver where they are converted into glycogen to be used by the muscles. Insulin also assist in turning some glucose into fatty acids which will be turned into fat cells and stored as fuel.  These activities reduce the sugar in the blood.

High levels blood glucose trigger the release of insulin, while low levels suppress it. The goal is to maintain low levels since this means that the body will be using more of the stored fat for fuel instead. Exercise aids in making the body more insulin sensitive, and therefore more efficient at using stored glucose for fuel.

When the body starts producing too much insulin the problems begin. The biggest problem is when too much of the wrong carbohydrates are consumed. Refined carbohydrates like pasta or white bread, especially rapidly increase the blood sugar. The pancreas delivers proportionate amount of insulin to transfer it into the cells.

A sugary treat on an empty stomach makes the insulin overreact and works twice as hard to remove the sugar out of the blood. Unfortunately, this over-efficient sugar removal depletes the circulating glucose in the blood. This drop in blood sugar makes you hungry again, and you crave more carbohydrates. The problem is that the muscles are still full from the last snack, so the insulin put the new calories into fat. The body cannot use the stored fat for fuel as long as large amount of insulin is sneaking around in the blood stream. This means there's no way you are going to burn any fat.

If this cycle continues your pancreas will overproduce insulin and your cells will eventually ignore it. This is called insulin resistance, the precursor of Type 2 Diabetes. 

So, when the sugar is turned away from the muscles it will roam the blood instead. It the sugar stays in your blood too long it is called impaired fasting glucose in the morning and impaired glucose tolerance if it is measured a couple of hours after meal. 

The more  fat the body has, the more insulin is in your brain. The brain can also become insulin resistant just like the bodies. According to a study, men who had insulin response problems at the age of fifty, were more likely to have vascular dementia, Alzheimers, or cognitive decline thirty-five years later, compared to men with normal insulin response. 

Lack of exercise, certain plastics, infections, certain pesticides, liver or kidney dysfunction, certain food additives, certain prescription drugs, skipping breakfast, stress, pregnancy, skipping meals, too few calories, too many calories, obesity, high glycemic carbs, and  too many calories are some things that can mess up the insulin.

Some signs that you may have too little insulin may be blurred vision, fatigue, increased pulse rate, increased urination, stomach pain, unusual thirst, infections (yeast for example), weight loss. 

Some signs that you may have too much insulin are elevated triglyceride, elevated liver enzymes, acne, abdominal obesity, difficulty sleeping, facial hair, dark patches, depression, fatigue, infertility, high blood pressure, irregular menstrual cycles, lowered good cholesterol, obesity, fasting glucose higher than 100mg/dL.

Don't self diagnose, always check with a health  practitioner before assuming you have a condition. This information is for educational purposes only and not meant to prescribe or diagnose.

Insulin affects almost all the cells in the body, and problems with insulin are the root cause of many conditions. 

Stick around for more information. Next I will talk about the thyroid hormones. Once we know who key hormonal players are, then we can investigate what foods are anti-nutrients and what foods are supporting the hormones. What you eat or don't eat makes a big difference. Your hormones need support from food that the body is designed to eat.

Thanks for visiting!


Johanna is an aromatherapist and an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils.  She is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
She also runs Naturally Sports & Wellness together with her husband.  
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information. Explore her new aromatherapy new blog and find out how you can get her e-book for free. Johanna is also the founder of the new network blog, Living Well Moms, and her posts are published every Monday.

This post is linked up to WFMW. 
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