Insulin, Amylin, and Type 2 Diabetes

Almost everyone has heard of insulin and its role in diabetes,  it’s the hormone secreted by the pancreas that lowers blood sugar, and without enough of it we will die.  Insulin isn’t the only thing that the beta cells in our pancreas secrete though, they also secrete another hormone called amylin.

Amylin plays a very significant role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, although this is something that you very rarely see mentioned, and when you do, it’s most often in reference to its alleged therapeutic value in treating type 2 diabetes.

While amylin itself isn’t something we’d want to be injecting, and even the drug companies won’t touch this, since it’s so toxic and dangerous in excess, there’s a medication called pramlintide, better known by its brand name Symlin, which is a synthetic form of amylin that is injected after meals, typically alongside insulin.

Can I hear a big YIKES?  Well you probably don’t know why you’d be saying yikes here but read on, this is very deserving of a real big one.

Amylin, like insulin, does serve to lower blood sugar, and amylin does this primarily by keeping glucagon in check after meals.  Type 2 diabetics very often have glucagon going up rather than down even though they are secreting amounts of insulin several times normal, and glucagon being high during a meal is a particularly bad idea, and is responsible for a lot of the post meal spikes we have.

A lot of people think that when they go up a lot from a meal it’s the glucose in the meal, but a lot of this spike is actually from our livers piling on even more glucose on top of the meal due to high glucagon levels instructing it to do so.

So doesn’t amylin sound great?  Isn’t this something we need?  Should we all ask for this stuff, and get out our needles and oranges and start practicing poking ourselves?  Not so fast Junior.

We’re not sure how much of a negative role amylin plays in type 2 diabetes but it’s anywhere to very significant to extremely so.  Amylin, in excess, is very, very nasty stuff in fact.

Cave men reading about the benefits of amylin that they would get from conventional medical authorities would probably just say duh and then get a prescription for this.  There’s a lot of people who are still back there as far as the evolution of their intellect goes, sadly.

So amylin can put blood sugar down, our blood sugar is too high, let’s do this!  Those higher on the evolutionary scale though would first wonder though what their amylin levels are now, before they add more.

Hormones are designed to function within a fairly tight range in order to function optimally, this is the most basic principle of endocrinology and one that even endocrinologists are aware of, except when it comes to using hormones to control blood sugar, where this basic truth just gets thrown out the window.  This is not something we can ever just ignore unless we’re looking to get ourselves in a lot of trouble.

So we know, clearly, that while insulin lowers blood sugar, that’s one of its functions, too much can cause all sorts of problems, and the list here is very long.  What about amylin?  Well no hormone is healthy in excess.  What about type 2 diabetics?  Well we typically secrete not only too much insulin but too much amylin as well, and these hormones are secreted together actually.

So we are suffering from the long term effects of insulin toxicity and amylin toxicity as well, let’s inject this stuff though, both actually, what an idea, we’re already chronically poisoned from an excess of these hormones so let’s inject some more!

What does an excess of amylin do anyway?  Doesn’t it lower our blood sugar?  Well when you have a hormone in excess, like insulin, it can keep it in check at normal levels, but at toxic levels this causes resistance, insulin resistance for instance, and you can be resistant to any hormone that is in excess.

So if your alpha cells are not only insulin resistant but amylin resistant, and both are supposed to keep glucagon from rising too much, and amylin is supposed to particularly do this after meals, but we’re not sensitive enough to it for this to work, worsening this resistance isn’t the answer for sure, that will just make us worse over time.

However, like insulin, people can get tricked by looking at studies which show a short term reduction in blood sugar from stuff like this, both insulin and amylin in fact.  You can also show people feeling great after injecting heroin but unless you look at the long term effects of these things, you can just be tricked.

Excess amylin is behind a lot of nasty stuff, and when we get too much of this in the brain we call this Alzheimers, and when we get it elsewhere we call it various other diseases, and there’s a disease that is very signficantly influenced by an excess of this hormone and that disease is called type 2 diabetes.

Amylin actually damages all of our cells including the cells of our pancreas.  It damages and kills cells through a number of different pathways, including just killing them directly through apoptosis, where the cells commit suicide, and particularly through increasing something called ROS which is very toxic to cells as well.  ROS plays a significant role in diabetes, both in the disease itself and the complications that often accompany it, such as neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, and so on.

All you hear about from conventional medicine is how our beta cells are burned out and not secreting enough hormones when in fact the opposite is true, they are secreting too much, too much insulin and too much amylin.  An excess of carbohydrates causes both to be too high.  Things that reduce the hyperactivity of our beta cells, like carb reduction, and other therapies that reduce insulin secretion such as metformin and berberine, lower our amylin and that’s what we want, and need in fact.

So this is another reason to pay attention to not jacking up beta cell secretion, but of course they want you to jack it up even more.  No one cares or bothers to measure, or bothers to even think about what our insulin and amylin levels are, but if they did bother, they would see that we are too high in both typically, not too low.

Those who have evolved beyond the grunting stage should be bothered by this, especially if we know, as we do, that excesses of both these hormones are hazardous to our health, very hazardous, we are afflicted by a serious disease as a result, and they want to raise their levels even more and make us even more sick?  That’s indeed a yikes.

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