Research Roundup: Another Hormone That Regulates Blood Sugar And More Research Stories
Researchers are finding new insights every day about diseases like diabetes that are well understood. For example, new science found another way the body regulates blood sugar levels than just insulin. For that and more research news, continue reading.
A Molecule Independent of Insulin Found to Also Regulate Blood Sugar
For about the last 100 years, it has been understood that insulin, produced in the pancreas, regulates blood sugar levels. And those diseases where that is an issue, primarily diabetes, can be treated with insulin. Now researchers at the Salk Institute have discovered another molecule that appears to potently and rapidly regulate blood sugar. The hormone is called FGF1 and is produced in fat tissue. They believe this could lead to new therapies for treating diabetes and potentially other forms of metabolic diseases. The study was published in Cell Metabolism.
Finding a second hormone that suppresses lipolysis and lowers glucose is a scientific breakthrough, says co-senior author and Professor Ronald Evans, holder of the March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology. We have identified a new player in regulating fat lipolysis that will help us understand how energy stores are managed in the body.
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Understanding The Endocrine System: How Does The Pancreas Work
It’s easiest to understand endocrine regulation through an example. Imagine you’ve just eaten an apple. By eating the apple, you’ve unknowingly caused huge physiological changes in your body. For instance, digesting the sugars from the fruit increases your body’s level of glucose, a sugar molecule that provides quick energy for cells.Although glucose is useful, too much is harmful. Hyperglycemia, or an abnormally high concentration of glucose in the blood, causes symptoms ranging from thirst and vomiting to coma and death if left untreated. To prevent these outcomes, your body needs to store any glucose that isn’t used immediately as a longer-term form of energy. That’s where the pancreas comes in.The pancreas senses when there is extra glucose in the blood and releases insulin, a hormone that helps cells either use up or store the energy from the apple. Once the body has extracted all the energy possible, blood glucose levels decrease, signaling the pancreas to stop releasing so much insulin. This cycle plays out every time we eat, keeping our body properly fueled.For people with diabetes, however, this key regulatory process doesn’t work as it should.
Other Hormones That Are Involved In The Regulation Of Blood Glucose
Like most of the physiological processes, the regulation of blood glucose is complex and there are many other hormones beside insulin and glucagon that play an important function, such as somatostatin.
The role of somatostatin â This is released by the delta cells located in the pancreatic islets in response to a post-prandial increase in blood glucose and amino acids. It reduces gut motility and the further absorption of nutrients as well as inhibiting pancreatic exocrine secretions.
The function of gastrin and cholecystokinin â The gastrointestinal tract also releases hormones such as gastrin and cholecystokinin that stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin in anticipation of the absorption of nutrients.
The role of stress hormones â When a person is experiencing stress, neuro-endocrine mechanisms cause the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline . These increase blood-glucose levels by mobilising glycogen and suppressing the release of insulin.
Other hormones such as amylin and pancreatic polypeptide are involved in glucose regulation but their roles are less well understood.
A summary of the principal hormones involved in glucose regulation is presented in Table 1.
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How To Tell If Blood Sugar Is Low
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This blood sugar levels chart below shows a normal blood sugar range.
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Always carry a sugary snack or drink with you, such as glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or some sweets.
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Endocrinologists might be your best option as they re qualified to diagnose and treat conditions like diabetes.
Get Help With Diabetes
The invention of synthetic insulin has transformed diabetes from a death sentence into a completely survivable condition. With proper management, you can compensate for the endocrine dysfunction that diabetes has caused. To learn how to take control of your Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, contact us today.
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Hormones Of The Pancreas
Regulation of blood glucose is largely done through the endocrine hormones of the pancreas, a beautiful balance of hormones achieved through a negative feedback loop. The main hormones of the pancreas that affect blood glucose include insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and amylin.
Insulin lowers BG levels, whereas glucagon elevates BG levels.
Somatostatin is formed in the delta cells of the pancreas and acts as the pancreatic policeman, balancing insulin and glucagon. It helps the pancreas alternate in turning on or turning off each opposing hormone.
Amylin is a hormone, made in a 1:100 ratio with insulin, that helps increase satiety, or satisfaction and state of fullness from a meal, to prevent overeating. It also helps slow the stomach contents from emptying too quickly, to avoid a quick spike in BG levels.
In a healthy liver, up to 10% of its total volume is used for glycogen stores. Skeletal muscle cells store about 1% of glycogen. The liver converts glycogen back to glucose when it is needed for energy and regulates the amount of glucose circulating between meals. Your liver is amazing in that it knows how much to store and keep, or break down and release, to maintain ideal plasma glucose levels. Imitation of this process is the goal of insulin therapy when glucose levels are managed externally. Basalbolus dosing is used as clinicians attempt to replicate this normal cycle.
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How To Reverse Insulin Resistance
If you have insulin resistance, you want to become the oppositemore insulin sensitive .
Physical activity makes you more sensitive to insulin, one reason why its a cornerstone of diabetes management . Dont wait until youre diagnosed with diabetes to start moving more. The earlier you take action , the better off youll be.
Weight loss is important too, as is avoiding high blood sugar, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep .
These lifestyle changes really work. Talk with your health care provider about how to get started.
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How Does The Pancreas Control Blood Sugar
Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine system also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.Continue reading > >
Insulin And Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body not responding effectively to insulin. This is termed insulin resistance. As a result the body is less able to take up glucose from the blood. In the earlier stages of type 2 diabetes, the body responds by producing more insulin than it would normally need to.
If type 2 diabetes develops over a number of years, the extra demands on the pancreas to produce insulin can lead to a loss of insulin producing cells as they wear out.
Depending on their level of insulin resistance, people with type 2 diabetes may also need to take insulin injections to manage their blood sugar levels.
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Relative Changes In Glucose Fluxes
Plasma glucose concentrations are determined by the relative rates at which glucose enters and leaves the circulation. Thus the plasma glucose will increase only if the rate of entry exceeds its rate of exit and, conversely, plasma glucose level will decrease only if rates of exit exceeded the rates of entry. To maintain relatively stable plasma glucose concentrations, increases in rates of glucose delivery into the systemic circulation require a comparable increase in rates of glucose removal from the circulation . For example, during vigorous exercise, fever or trauma when the bodys utilization of glucose increases, there is normally a compensatory increase in glucose delivery .
Changes in glucose clearance, an index of efficiency of glucose removal from the circulation by itself do not affect plasma glucose concentrations independent of changes in rates of glucose entry and exit.
Impact Of Human Growth Hormone On Hypoglycemia
Adults with growth hormone deficiency can benefit from HGH therapy on many levels. Human growth hormone injections reverse the symptoms of GH deficiency. After exploring the question of does HGH cause hypoglycemia, we see that low growth hormone levels can cause too much insulin to deplete glucose in the bloodstream.
For further information about growth hormone deficiency and hypoglycemia, please contact Nexel Medical for a confidential, no-cost consultation.
*HGH therapy can help improve symptoms of both hypo and hyperglycemia.
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Newly Identified Hormone May Be A Critical Driver Of Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
For immediate release: Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Boston, MA A newly discovered hormone named fabkin helps regulate metabolism and may play an important role in the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, according to research led by the Sabri Ülker Center for Metabolic Research at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The study showed blood levels of fabkin were abnormally high in mice and human patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that blocking the activity of fabkin prevented the development of both forms of diabetes in the animals. Fabkin likely plays a similar role in humans and the hormone complex could be a promising therapeutic target, according to the researchers.
For many decades, we have been searching for the signal that communicates the status of energy reserves in adipocytes to generate appropriate endocrine responses, such as the insulin production from pancreatic beta cells, said senior author Gökhan S. Hotamisligil, director of the Sabri Ülker Center. We now have identified fabkin as a novel hormone that controls this critical function through a very unusual molecular mechanism.
The findings were published online in Nature on December 8, 2021.
Other Harvard Chan School researchers who contributed to this study include , Lauren Robertson, Grace Lee, Karen Inouye, Kosei Eguchi, Alexandra Lee, Ozgur Cakici, Emily Otterbeck, Paulina Cedillo, Ediz Calay, and Feyza Engin.
image: Kacey Prentice
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
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What Is The Difference Between Glucagon And Insulin
Glucagon and insulin are both important hormones that play essential roles in regulating your blood glucose . Both hormones come from your pancreas alpha cells in your pancreas make and release glucagon, and beta cells in your pancreas make and release insulin.
The difference is in how these hormones contribute to blood sugar regulation. Glucagon increases blood sugar levels, whereas insulin decreases blood sugar levels. If your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin or your body doesnt use it properly, you can have high blood sugar , which leads to diabetes.
Talk With Your Doctor
Knowing how your body works can help you stay healthy. Insulin and glucagon are two critical hormones your body makes to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Its helpful to understand how these hormones function so you can work to avoid diabetes.
If you have more questions about insulin, glucagon, and blood glucose, talk to your doctor. Questions you have might include:
- Is my blood glucose at a safe level?
- Do I have prediabetes?
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What Is The Function Of Glucagon
Your body normally carefully regulates your blood glucose primarily with the hormones glucagon and insulin. When your blood glucose levels trend lower or fall too low , your pancreas releases more glucagon. Glucagon helps blood glucose levels rise back up in multiple ways, including:
- Glucagon triggers your liver to convert stored glucose into a usable form and then release it into your bloodstream. This process is called glycogenolysis.
- Glucagon can also prevent your liver from taking in and storing glucose so that more glucose stays in your blood.
- Glucagon helps your body make glucose from other sources, such as amino acids.
If your blood glucose levels trend higher, your pancreas releases insulin to bring it back into range.
When Blood Sugar Dips Too Low
Hypoglycemia refers to a blood sugar level that’s gotten too low. You might have it if you feel you are:
- Shaky or unsteady
You can have hypoglycemia in your sleep, too. That can cause nightmares or night sweats. You may cry out in your sleep or wake up feeling tired or confused.
You can treat mild hypoglycemia with a sugary snack, drink, or glucose tablet. This can quickly get your blood sugar levels back to normal.
If your blood sugar gets too low, you may pass out or even go into a coma. People with type 1 diabetes are at higher risk for this severe type of hypoglycemia. But you also can get it if you have type 2 diabetes and take insulin. It’s important for all people with diabetes to watch their blood sugar levels.
To treat severe hypoglycemia, you need a quick dose of glucagon. If you’ve fainted, someone can give you a shot of the hormone to boost your blood sugar levels.
Your doctor can prescribe an emergency glucagon kit. This contains the hormone in a powder and a syringe filled with fluid. It will have clear instructions on how to quickly mix and inject the glucagon shot.
Teach your family, roommates, or coworkers how to give you the shot in case you pass out. If your child has diabetes, you can give the school nurse a glucagon kit to use in case of an emergency.
After a shot of glucagon, you should become conscious again. Check your kit every six months to make sure the medication hasn’t expired.
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Modulating Insulin Secretion As A Means Of Diabetes Therapy
Due to the worldwide, still spreading epidemic of T2DM, there is an urgent need for anti-diabetic drugs and therapies that are more effective and have fewer side effects. Currently, the most commonly used drugs can be classified into agents that enhance insulin secretion and incretin mimetics), sensitize the target organs of insulin , or reduce glucose absorption from the gastrointestinal tract . Different therapies address different problems and stages of T2DM and may be prescribed in combination to exert synergistic effects.
Consequences Of Blood Sugar Levels
Whilst most symptoms of low and high blood sugar levels are mild, they can worsen if left untreated and sometimes have long term consequences and/or complications. Overtime, a high blood sugar level is what can cause consequences. Lack of treatment can cause severe damage to the blood vessels and lead to complications such as:
- Heart attack
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Altered Glucose Metabolism And Brain Health
Blood glucose is the universal metabolic supply of energy in the human body . As glucose is the preferred source of energy to the brain, the level of blood glucose plays a major role in human cognitive processes . There is an essential relationship between glucose intake and variables affecting the availability of glucose to the brain, such as diseases or conditions affecting blood glucose control, fasting, or hypermetabolism . As glucose cannot be stored in the brain, a stable and regular supply of blood glucose is critical to ensure a continual energy supply to the brain . Homeostatic control of blood glucose is regulated by a complex feedback loop between glucose and insulin . When this is ineffective, it leads to glucose intolerance. Over time, failure of this feedback loop leads to type 2 diabetes . An increase in the level of glucose in the blood stimulates insulin secretion and an increase in blood insulin concentration lowers the blood glucose level .
Joseph I. Wolfsdorf, Katharine C. Garvey, in, 2016