HOW INSULIN & GLUCAGON WORK
Inactivity would leave your muscle and liver cells full of glycogen most of the time, causing insulin to transport nutrients to the next available place – your fat cells – which in turn, makes the cells bigger and fatter. This is not some cruel mistake! It is an intelligent survival mechanism. Innately, your body knows that being fat is better than being dead!
Without efficient glucose removal, glucose is like toxic sludge within the bloodstream, clogging arteries and binding with proteins to form harmful AGEs (advanced glycated end-products), leading to systemic inflammation and increasing the risk of stroke, heart disease and some cancers.
Not draining muscle cells through exercise makes those cells begin to ‘resist’ the insulin produced by your pancreas, causing insulin and sugar to build up in your bloodstream. When the build-up occurs, your pancreas produces even MORE insulin, because it thinks the already released insulin is not working.
Unfortunately, insulin, like glucose, is also quite toxic at higher levels, causing, among many other problems, plaque build-up in the arteries (which is why diabetics have so much heart disease). It also acts like rocket fuel for cellular proliferation in cancers.
But wait! There’s more! The essential fats and amino acids (the building blocks of protein that give structure to cells) don’t get transported to where they are needed, meaning that your muscle cells will begin losing the ability to rebuild efficiently. The result is a loss of – and difficulty rebuilding – muscle mass.
Moreover, your body begins sending signals to break down your muscle tissue to make more sugar, adding fuel to the sugar / insulin fire! If you keep this going for a few years, you start to see that chronically elevated insulin is disrupting another hormone called leptin. Leptin is a hormone that talks with the hypothalamus in the brain to signal hunger and energy reserves. In short, you become hungry more often and usually crave…wait for it…SUGAR!
Finally, when your liver becomes completely insulin resistant, it loses the ability to convert thyroid hormone T4 into the T3, and that further slows your metabolism. You can then go on to develop neuropathies (nerve damage) as the damage from the excess glucose destroys nerve tissue. You can even develop retinopathy and begin to lose your eyesight!
Eventually, just like the 1.7 million Australians that have type II diabetes, your pancreas (which makes the insulin) becomes so darn exhausted it stops producing insulin, and you wind up having to inject yourself daily, just to stay alive.