Health A-Z


Clinical Definition

Insulin is a polypeptide hormone produced by the pancreas that is secreted into the blood to regulate how the body processes carbohydrates and fats, including the conversion of glucose to glycogen. Insulin and its normal cellular response results in blood sugar levels normalizing after a meal as glucose enters the cells, where it is burned for energy or stored for future use as glycogen.

In Our Own Words

Insulin is a natural hormone that everyone has in the healthy state, but insulin preparations are also medicines taken by certain diabetics who need them. Normally, every time you eat something, the pancreas releases insulin, a hormone that allows your body to use glucose. This hormone helps the body move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells and tissues to be used for energy or to be stored as glycogen. . Some people can no longer make insulin, or their body does not respond to regular amounts of insulin (insulin resistance), which results in the condition known as diabetes. All type 1 diabetics need insulin; for people with type 2 diabetes, oral medications can help many patients compensate for insulin resistance. But over time, the ability of the overtaxed pancreas to secrete insulin may run down, creating the need for insulin therapy.

Symptoms and Side Effects


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