I know this seems really basic, but is something I've always been unclear of. I always hear that insulin is like a key that lets glucose into your cells to be used as energy. So; if you take too much insulin, your cells suddenly suck too much of the sugar out of your blood, causing hypoglycemia. Why are your cells able to absorb more glucose than they need? And what do they use said energy for? What do the cells do with the excess glucose? It just disappears?

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And the insulin prevents the fat from being broken back down into glucose. Thanks, Sally. Makes sense. I can't believe I never figured this part out.

So insulin certainly enables the uptake of glucose into our cells, but it also acts as a signaling hormone. When your dietary sources of glucose run low, the normal non-diabetic will lower their insulin levels and raise their glucagon levels to signal the liver to produce glucose (gluconeogenesis). When your insulin levels are too high, you actually suppress this glucose production further causing hypos. This same effect occurs with alcohol which is metabolized by our livers, gluconeogenesis is suppressed and we can suffer a hypo.

And Sally is right, fat burning (ketosis) is suppressed with higher insulin levels. But during ketosis fat is converted to ketone bodies (by our livers) and our cells actually burn ketones rather than glucose.

I've never been really confused by the hypo thing, what has always confused me is my son. He sits there, eats 250g of carbs in a sitting, has presumably normal blood sugar and insulin levels, yet he gains no weight. Where does all that glucose go? It can't go into his cells, we only store some 300 g of glycogen and he is a couch potato. And he doesn't convert it to bodyfat, he is rail thin. And we only excrete glucose when our blood sugar gets high (> 180 mg/dl), which he doesn't have. Where does it go? That is what I want to know.

His basal metabolism rate is higher than average for some reason?

Well, this may be part of it. Clearly our metabolism slows as we age. And there are differences between individuals in terms of metabolism rate, but the differences are more like 25-30%. Still far from enough to explain the discrepancy.

Its his hormones its called growing up

I know a few people like this. My only explanation is that the cells are using this energy. It could be for brain activity, or maybe he's just fidgeting or doing something invisible that demands energy. Maybe his body temperature is slightly elevated.

Hyperthyroidism increases your metabolism rate. People with hypothyroidism tend to fidget and usually have higher than average temperature. Anybody see a connection here?

I have a 3 yr old who was born premature, and is chronically underweight. He dropped for 20 to 3rd percentile on the growth chart after he quit breastfeeding. I test his BG periodically. He's always normal. Has his thyroid tested twice, along with full battery of tests. All normal. He is very strong, active and otherwise seems fine.

I always figured there was a superstructural, brain component to hypos, like your brain gets fried as the main cause of the symptoms, figuring that since brains are convoluted and cooking away all the time, they need more blood/ energy/ etc. than the rest of us.

As everybody else mentioned, the excess glucose is converted into fat/glycogen for future use. Insulin is an anabolic hormone. When you have excess amounts of insulin and ATP, glycogenesis is promoted through positive feedback.

Sam hello we chatted once in the room this is a article i think you can follow about why insulin and hypoglycemia synthesize so much i hope its not to technical for you and if you need any questions answering i will very happy to.Its a excerlent paper


Not at all. I keep medical articles for my pleasure reading. Thank you! This one'll have to wait though seeing as I have a midterm on saturday.




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