Diabetes is so widely spread that it touches almost every family to a certain extent nowadays. And, since it has a direct connection to insulin, it is difficult to overestimate the role this hormone plays in those forced to live with diabetes. But what exactly is diabetes? What is insulin, why is it so vital in life, and what are its main functions? Finally, how is insulin related to diabetes? Keep reading this article to find the answers to the above-mentioned questions.

What Is Diabetes?

First, let’s figure out what diabetes is, or, as it is medically called, diabetes mellitus. It is a common term for several disorders that occur due to high blood sugar levels. The most basic symptoms of diabetes include such medical conditions as an increase in thirst and appetite, more frequent than normal urination, often numb feet and hands, blurred vision, extremely dry skin, etc.

Moreover, diabetes can become dangerous when not treated properly. Excess blood glucose levels might lead to such health complications as nerve damage, eye destruction, cognitive deficit, foot ulcers, stroke, etc. In the worst cases, untreated diabetes might cause not only severe complications but also to be fatal and lead to death.

Taking a form of insulin can cause difficulties in obtaining insurance products.  Matt Schmidt with Diabetes Life Solutions mentions, “Being prescribed insulin for type 1 or type 2 diabetes may cause an underwriter to charge you higher premiums.  This would be referred to as table ratings being assigned to your profile.  Premiums for disability, health, and life insurance may be 25% to 40% higher than non-diabetics.”

What Are the Main Types of Diabetes?

There are three main types of diabetes, namely:

  • Type 1;
  • Type 2;
  • Gestational diabetes.

The major distinction between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes lies in the fact that the first one makes you dependent on insulin injections that regulate your blood sugar. In contrast, the second one can be maintained by healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Gestational diabetes, in its turn, is pretty similar to type 2 diabetes. However, in this case, high blood sugar occurs mainly when a woman is pregnant and disappears on its right after a baby is delivered.

What Is Insulin?

Now, let’s define what is insulin. Simply put, it is a very important hormone the human body produces. When being more precise, insulin is a hormone that is manufactured by your body’s cells called beta cells that can be found in certain pancreas regions. What Are the Functions of insulin in the Body?

Insulin plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the human body. Enough insulin affects your body to a great extent. Here is the list of main functions insulin signals your body to perform:

  • Regulation of blood glucose level;
  • Reduction of excess blood sugar;
  • Delivery of glucose to body cells and, thus, the provision of energy.

How Is Insulin Related to Diabetes?

An answer to insulin’s relation to diabetes is pretty straightforward. Improper functioning of insulin in the body is the major cause of the disease. There is a great chance of starting to experience diabetes symptoms in any of the below-mentioned cases:

  • Your insulin-producing cells are capable of making little or no insulin;
  • Your body is incapable of responding to insulin properly;
  • Your cells have developed insulin resistance.

Therefore, insulin is directly related to the disease as its improper production or functioning is the main reason that often leads to diabetes complications.

What Is Insulin’s Role in Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong illness characterized by excess glucose in the blood. It usually occurs when your beta cells do not produce insulin properly because your immune system mistakenly destroys them. As a result, your body cells do not get or store glucose, resulting in them being incapable of using glucose for energy, as it is not delivered to them but is rather stored in your blood. With this type of disease, a person becomes dependent on insulin to regulate blood sugar and, thus, has to take it regularly. However, thanks to the advancements in contemporary medicine, healthcare providers allow you to choose the most convenient method of intaking insulin. For example, people with type 1 diabetes might regulate the level of their blood sugar with the help of:

  • An insulin pump is a device that mimics the way insulin works in a healthy body. Insulin pumps deliver small amounts of inhaled insulin to body cells constantly;
  • An insulin injection allows you to inject insulin in several different methods. Injectable insulin therapy can employ a syringe and a vial, an insulin pen, and other things to deliver insulin to your body;
  • Etc.

Moreover, you can intake various types of insulin to maintain your glucose levels, such as rapid-acting insulin, short-acting insulin, intermediate-acting insulin, long-active insulin, mixed types of insulin, etc.

What Is Insulin’s Role in Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes, similar to type 1, is a chronic illness that occurs when it is too much glucose in your blood. However, type 2 diabetes, unlike type 1 diabetes, occurs not because your body does not make insulin but because your muscle, liver, and fat cells do not respond to too much insulin correctly. Due to your body cells’ insulin resistance, the sugar can not be delivered to them and is thus stored in your blood.

People with diabetes of this type are not dependent on insulin therapy because their bodies can still produce insulin. Thus, maintaining a healthy diet with a special diabetes menu, leading an active lifestyle, controlling your blood pressure, and keeping your optimal weight can help you regulate your blood sugar levels.

Insulin’s Role in Diabetes: A Bottom Line

To summarize, insulin is directly connected to diabetes and diabetes care. On the one hand, improper functioning of the hormone in the body will eventually lead to high blood glucose and, result in diabetes. On the other hand, regular intakes of insulin doses are vital for diabetes treatment. Thus, people with diabetes might rely on insulin to manage diabetes efficiently, maintain normal blood glucose levels, and stay healthy!