The pancreas secretes insulin when blood sugar rises following a meal. Refined and simple carbohydrates are especially effective at stimulating insulin. When the body is balanced, insulin unlocks the door of the cells for glucose to enter. When the body is imbalanced by poor dietary choices, stress, or medical conditions such as diabetes or metabolic syndrome, the cells of the body become resistant to insulin’s activity.
This means that insulin is at the cell to unlock its door, but it does not open, leaving both insulin and glucose in the blood. This is called insulin resistance. This condition has some seriously risky consequences, including increased risk for prediabetes and ultimately diabetes. Additionally, excess insulin promotes belly fat.
Also known as the stress hormone, cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands, which are located above each of the kidneys. Cortisol, when released during times of stress (whether physical, mental or emotional), will cause a rise in blood sugar, which ultimately leads to an insulin response. Cortisol also blunts the effects of insulin on the cell doors, increasing risk of insulin resistance. The effect of chronic stress on insulin resistance ultimately leads to chronic blood sugar dysregulation and weight gain, especially around the midsection.
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Adult onset or Type II diabetes results from abnormal pancreas function caused by insulin resistance in the cells. Insulin resistance is when the cells stop responding to insulin, thus keeping glucose from entering the cells, resulting in high amounts of glucose in the blood.
As long as there is too much glucose in the blood and not enough in the cells, the pancreas will continue to produce insulin, eventually wearing it out and causing it to stop producing sufficient insulin. The build-up of glucose in the blood can result in very serious complications.
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