Blood Sugar and Insulin: The Dynamic Duo

What Happens When Insulin and Blood Sugar Levels Are Not Working?

Whether low blood sugar or high blood sugar levels or blood sugar shifting like a roller coaster, blood sugar and insulin disorders effect too many of us unnecessarily.

The term dynamic duo stems from the relationship between insulin secretion and blood sugar levels. They work together and balance each other. Both are essential factors for good health and both are pivotal factors in weight and many health conditions.

If either one of the dynamic duo is off balance the other is released to compensate. When an imbalance occurs you get:

1. TYPE 1 (high blood sugar)

The body's immune system attacks part of its own pancreas leaving it unable to properly function and it doesn't make insulin, causing unregulated blood sugar levels to reach to a critically high range.

2. TYPE 2 (high blood sugar)

A metabolic disease where the pancreas makes insulin but the delivery is not effective and the cells have difficulty absorbing glucose, therefore blood sugar remains in the blood causing high blood sugar or T2D.

3. INSULIN RESISTANCE (high insulin)

A set of metabolic dysfunctions associated with excessive insulin levels due to the body's lowered level of response to insulin. As a result, the person's body produces larger quantities of insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. There are different levels, with as much as a six times difference in sensitivity, based on each individual.

4. TYPE 3 (high blood sugar)

Diabetes type 3 or brain diabetes was discovered in 2005 when researchers found the brain, and not just the pancreas, produces insulin (it functions in the brain to ward off Amyloid beta-Derived Diffusible Ligands, ADDLs, that destroy brain receptors required to form new memories and prevent memory loss). Dementia is associated with high blood sugar levels even in those who are not diabetic. Like type T2D, obesity is a factor in the onset of type 3 diabetes.

5. HYPOGLYCEMIA (LOW BLOOD SUGAR or LBS)

Hypoglycemia describes an abnormally low level of sugar (glucose) in the blood.

Typically the pancreas over responds to a rapid rise in blood sugar and it secretes too much insulin causing a blood sugar crash. This crash can create mild (dizziness, shakiness, and extreme hunger), moderate or severe life debilitating symptoms (Click to tier 3) that are commonly misdiagnosed or overlooked. LBS is difficult to clinically test because symptoms are being experienced and yet blood work can show as normal. Because hypoglycemia (functional or reactive) is not a "popular" diagnosis (unless it is linked to over medication) many people go undiagnosed and without treatment which is a huge tragedy.

The Dynamic Duo: Partners in Crime

The scope of the havoc on health, as a result of unbalanced insulin and blood sugar levels, can only be underestimated as the clinical community has not realized its full potential on the magnitude debilitating disorders. Low or high blood sugar and insulin levels are associated with medical conditions like:

  • cancer (colon, breast, gastric, liver)
  • mental health (disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and some forms of depression, addiction)
  • acanthosis nigricans
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • metabolic syndrome
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • thyroid
  • adrenal issues
  • skin tags
  • acne

Understanding how the dynamic duo work together and the direct relation to the prevalence of many related conditions will help make you an educated health consumer.

Insulin, a blood sugar regulating, fat storing hormone that counter-regulates other hormones ( glucagon, epinephrine or adrenaline, cortisol, and growth hormone), is released by the pancreas and the brain to maintain a balance amongst all these body systems.

Blood sugar, glucose in the blood directly influenced by what we eat is also directly affected by insulin (and counter-regulatory hormones, mentioned above), sex hormones, stress, illness and medications.

So although each of these 5 conditions (high blood sugar-type 1, type 2 and type 3, low blood sugar and insulin resistance) manifest differently, the underlying culprits (blood sugar and insulin) are tied-in together and are the same underlying factors for each different disease.

  1. high blood sugar, hyperglycemia or type 2 diabetes
  2. low blood sugar, reactive hypoglycemia
  3. insulin resistance, too much insulin
  4. insulin deficit, too little or no insulin, type 1 diabetes
  5. insulin (produced in the brain NOT the pancreas) in reduced levels, type 3 diabetes

Summary

There is no current organization that has categorized or officially made the tie in with insulin and blood sugar levels and the many associated health disorders that should all fall under the same umbrella.

Do not underestimate the power and scope of the unbalanced dynamic duo, blood sugar and insulin. Controlling what you eat, not just sugar but carbohydrates as well, will have a significant impact on maintaining both insulin and blood sugar levels. When the dynamic duo are functioning well weight, health, energy levels and even signs (memory, focus, skin) of aging all improve.

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