If you have been diagnosed with Insulin Resistance, Type I or Type II Diabetes, your condition comprises a difficulty in regulating blood sugar.
While insulin has always been viewed as the only hormone involved in blood sugar regulation, new studies show that another hormone plays a crucial role in the process.
Type I v Type II Diabetes
Just as a reminder, Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the cells that produce insulin. And Type II diabetes is the result of the body losing sensitivity to insulin. Both conditions prevent proper regulation of blood sugar.
Leptin plays a role in blood sugar maintenance—really?!
As you may know, the hormone, leptin, acts on the brain to regulate appetite, metabolism, and ultimately weight. So when you eat your fat cells produce leptin and the presence of leptin sets off a number of events in your brain that end in the suppression of appetite.
Therefore, low levels of leptin or the complete absence of leptin can lead to overeating and obesity.
Well, researchers recently discovered that rats who had difficulty controlling their diabetes also had low concentrations of leptin, low levels of insulin, and high amounts of the stress hormone, corticosterone. And corticosterone has been linked to increasing blood sugar levels.
Leptin controls more than just appetite
Providing those rats with just one infusion of leptin increased leptin levels to normal range and decreased blood sugar levels. Furthermore, leptin replacement therapy reversed diabetes and insulin resistance in human patients. In addition, the pathway through which leptin works in the brain also promotes energy storage and better stress response.
Clearly, diabetes therapies including leptin may prove to be as helpful as insulin therapies. Nevertheless, it is important that you ‘Ask a Naturopath’ which therapy option is best for you.