Insulin’s Effect on Weight Gain

Insulin’s Effect on Weight GainWe’re living in a world where more and more people are being classed as obese and morbidly obese every single day, and as a result the population is decreasing rapidly, as are life expectancies. Losing weight is obviously no easy feat and if it were the world wouldn’t be going through its current health crisis as a result of so many people being overweight. Obesity costs governments billions upon billions every single year just in health care and something simply has to change. When it comes to dieting, many of you probably think it’s simply a case of eating healthy and low fat foods, and getting more exercise. The reality of things however, is far different as there are numerous other factors that must be taken into consideration, including natural processes going on in our very own bodies. Insulin for example, is a hormone secreted by the pancreas to help control and regulate our blood glucose (sugar) levels but it has actually been linked with weight gain.

How insulin works – As mentioned, to help our bodies to control and regulate our blood sugar levels, our pancreases secrete a hormone known as insulin. In healthy individuals, beta cells located within the pancreas secrete the insulin to help the body to use the glucose we consume from various food sources. Once we consume various foods and drinks, our pancreases secrete the insulin hormone, which then removes glucose from our blood streams and drives it into the various cells throughout our bodies, to allow them to use this glucose as energy. When we consume too much sugar or too many simple carbohydrates rich in sugars in one go however, the insulin isn’t able to cope with the vast amounts of glucose in the body and so the pancreas has to work even harder to secrete more insulin to attempt to keep up. Over time this can result in the pancreas not being able to secrete enough insulin, or for the body to no longer respond to the insulin, which is when type 1 and/or type 2 diabetes set in.

What about weight gain? – When a person is diagnosed as diabetic, they will either have to use drugs to control their blood sugar levels, metformin for example, or they will have to inject themselves with insulin shots. Like with all other drugs however, there are side effects to content with, one of which can be weight gain. One reason it can lead to weight gain is because it can actually make our cells more efficient. In basic terms this means that it actually can improve our cells and allow them to absorb even more calories from foods and drinks we consume. Another reason why insulin can lead to weight gain is because sometimes insulin can lead to hypoglycaemia which is when the blood sugar levels drop. To counteract this, people using insulin need to consume snacks and meals frequently, which can still cause weight gain if the calories they consume exceed their daily requirements.