Insulin, what is it?

What is Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone that controls your blood sugar levels in laymen’s terms, it is a very important hormone and one that if it starts to malfunction will cause diabetes.

Let’s start with how it works, when you eat your body breaks down food into glucose. This is the body’s source of energy for everything it does, once the glucose hits the blood stream it starts to look for cells that need energy. Insulin fits like a key in a lock to the outside of cells, which activates glucose transporters within the cell, drawing glucose through the cell wall and delivering energy to the cell.

If a build-up of glucose in the blood stream occurs due to diabetes, insulin resistance or a general overflow of too much glucose in the blood it results in the body storing the left over glucose as fat, this can happen if you eat high sugary foods and have no need for that amount of immediate energy or if you develop some kind of insulin resistance.

Why doesn’t your body like having high blood sugar levels?

High blood sugar levels can cause many issues and wreak havoc on your circulatory system by causing blockages, inflammation or damaging the walls of important channels like your coronary arteries.

Constant spikes in blood sugar like those caused by fast foods can also cause insulin resistance, which can develop into type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is when your cells become slightly to very resistant to insulin causing less glucose to get through. This becomes an issue because the body loses its ability to regulate itself, and get rid of the excess sugar. Your pancreas will continue to excrete more insulin to solve the problem, which we now know won’t work. All the while, the excess glucose is damaging your artery walls. When your body realises its normal systems are failing, it acts to prevent any further damage by storing the excess as fat.


How to avoid or potentially reverse these effects?

Although there is no cure to type 1 diabetes, some believe type 2 can be reversed. In any case, if you are suffering from these or pre diabetes or maybe just worried about it due to family history, here is the top advice.

  • Stay active and on your feet for as much of the day as you can
  • Eat foods with proteins and fats in them as they will cause a slower release of glucose into the blood stream
  • High intensity interval training is the way forward. Some people can even get results with as little as 60 sec all-out effort 3 times a week
  • Green leafy veg never goes a miss, but certain foods can not only help regulate blood sugar but actually increase insulin sensitivity


Christian Thomson

Body Transformation Coach & mentor at body core 

Find out how I use physiological and neurological techniques to create pain free powerful bodies