Everybody, Diabetic and non-Diabetic alike, is usually aware that insulin is commonly used by people with Type-1 Diabetes to control their blood sugars, since their own bodies no longer produce it as a result of their immune system attacking their own body. Most of my life, I’ve had people ask why I don’t just manage without it? After all, if food makes blood sugars go up and insulin and exercise make it go down, can’t I just eat less, eliminating carbohydrates and exercise more to keep my body’s blood sugar’s in check? The simple answer is no. No, I can’t. Besides the fact that one’s body needs carbohydrates as a source of fuel, it turns out that insulin has a number fo functions in the body that we need besides blood sugar regulation.
First and foremost, let’s discuss what insulin actually is… Insulin is a hormone that was created in the 1920’s by Dr. Frederick Banting, a Canadian of course, and Charles Best. once injected into comatose children who were thought to have Diabetes, they would regain consciousness and regain some augury of health. Insulin was originally made by extracting the required from the pancreas of pigs or bovine. Modern versions can be synthetically created or made from human sources. Insulin is usually taken by injecting it into the interstitial tissues beneath the skin.
So, this brings us back to the key question of what insulin is used for, in someone without Diabetes. According to an article posted by Endocrine Web, insulin helps your body turn food into energy. Further, it “controls the amount of glucose in your bloodstream at any given moment. It also helps store glucose in your liver, fat, and muscles. Finally, it regulates your body’s metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.” All those fancy words are to say that your body needs insulin production for a number of different functions in the human body.
To be honest, finding articles that list what a non-Diabetic body uses insulin for that doesn’t involve blood sugar control is surprisingly difficult. But it is required to prevent conditions like ketoacidosis, which can occur in anyone whose body can’t turn glucose into fat. plus, the bottom line is a healthy body’s pancreas WILL produce insulin, allowing for glucose to be processed and stored in the appropriate places in the human body and that body’s immune system doesn’t attack itself, which is the difference between someone WITH Diabetes and someone WITHOUT. So there you have it! Even if you don’t have Diabetes, your body still needs insulin. Don’t be afraid to hit up your friendly, neighbourhood endocrinologist for a deeper list of non-Diabetic uses for insulin. ☯️