Obesity, Diabetes, and The Dance of Insulin and Leptin

No substance in our body functions alone, and one of insulin’s closest working “partners” is another hormone called leptin.

Knowing about leptin has nothing to do with managing diabetes. However, understanding the insulin-leptin dynamic helps explain the association between obesity and the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Glucose, Insulin, and Leptin

The dance of insulin and leptin is influenced by blood sugar levels, and its sway on our body is twofold. First, leptin is largely responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling, which means leptin plays a role in whether people become insulin resistant.

Second, the release of insulin to manage high blood sugar can lead to an overproduction of leptin. The process goes like this:

  • Insulin is released to move surplus blood sugar into storage.
  • Most of this surplus energy is stored as fat.
  • Leptin is produced in fat cells, so having more fat cells means more leptin.
  • Further, as sugar is metabolized in our fat cells, even more leptin is released.

The problem with having too much leptin in our body is the same as with having too much insulin—we become unresponsive to the hormone’s regulating effects.

Leptin and Our Appetite

One of leptin’s regulating effects has to do with appetite. Leptin assists with appetite control by signaling our brain when we’ve eaten enough. As we become increasingly leptin resistant, this “I’m full” signal is lost, leading to chronic hunger, overeating, an inability to adequately burn fat, and frequently obesity.

Many in the U.S. who are overweight, and those with prediabetes, likely have some degree of both insulin and leptin resistance. Unless lifestyle changes are made - wiser food choices and plenty of exercise - insulin and leptin resistance will persist, as does the prospect of developing type 2 diabetes.

Source: Mercola
Photo credit: gmarcos1

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Treatment of Diabetes Depends on if it Is Type 1 or Type 2

The treatment of Diabetes depends upon which type of Diabetes a person has....

Having elevated blood sugar can damage our body’s nerves over time.

Diabetic neuropathy is the generic term for all...

Modern fitness culture has popularized a wide range of high-intensity activities, from Crossfit and spin-class to marathon running and exercise...

Depression is a mood disorder that causes you to feel sadness and lose interest in activities that you once enjoyed. The symptoms of depression...

There have been numerous studies that have demonstrated the link between gut health and autoimmune diseases, immune system, mental health, mood,...

More Articles

Nerve damage affects about 50 percent of people with diabetes, according to the American Physiological Society. Numbness, tingling and pain in the...

Diabetes has no known cure, but there are many ways to control the disease and prevent the symptoms from interfering with daily life. One major...

There are a host of complications that come along with diabetes of either type. Among them are increased risks for amputation, cardiovascular...

There is no question that people with diabetes need a diabetes diet plans and...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your blood glucose. For instance, a half cup of raspberries...

Oil pulling therapy derives from Ayurveda, a holistic healing system developed thousands of years ago in India. Ayurvedic medicine maintains that...

It’s only been recently that doctors, including endocrinologists, have realized the starring role gut microbes play in our health. The unique...

Well-controlled diabetes may depend on medication, but nutrition is perhaps the most important factor. There are many foods that can be added to...

Sleep apnea — a condition that causes shallow or obstructive breathing patterns — is an unpleasant disorder that often goes hand in hand with...

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes difficulty breathing, wheezing, cough, and mucus...

Certain dietary supplements may play a beneficial supporting role in the prevention and management of diabetic neuropathy. Frequently...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose levels and blocked AGE glycation...

Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat...

Diabetes can seem to have an almost limitless list of symptoms. Now headaches are added to the list. The ebb...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...