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Insulin is produced by beta cells in the pancreas in response to high blood glucose levels. Once it is released, it binds to insulin receptors and triggers a response to allow glucose to be transported into the cell. GLUT 1 Insulin independentBloodBlood-brain-barrierHeart (partially) GLUT 2Insulin-independentLiverPancreasSmall IntestineGLUT 3Insulin-independentBrain NeuronsSpermGLUT 4Insulin-dependentSkeletal MuscleAdipose tissue (fat)HeartDysfunctions in Glucose RegulationGlucose regulation can become dysfunctional at many
different steps. If insulin is not produced sufficiently, glucose is unable to enter insulin-dependent cells and these
cells can starve. This is known as type 1 diabetes mellitus. If insulin is produced sufficiently, but receptors are damaged or are insulin resistant, they can not signal to allow glucose transport, and again cells become starved for energy. This is known as type 2 diabetes. What is Gestational Diabetes?Gestational diabetes is dysfunction in blood glucose regulation specifically in pregnant women. Women who have gestational diabetes do not have to have a history of diabetes; however, it does put them at higher risk for developing diabetes later in life. It is not well known why some women develop gestational diabetes, however, various hormones do play a role including insulin. Risk factors include being overweight or obese, limited physical activity, PCOS, familial history of diabetes, previously having gestational diabetes, or previously giving
birth to a child over 9 lbs.