BioScience Dictionary

 
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Ot.

Found Insulin 12 times.

Displaying results 1 to 10.

1. Insulin
A polypeptide hormone produced by cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Insulin decreases the levels of glucose in the blood and to regulates the metabolism of glucose, fats and protein s. In order to meet the demand for insulin needed by diabetics , the hormone is mass-produced with the aid of genetically engineered bacteria , but can also be taken from pigs and cattle.

2. Insulin allergy
When a person's body has an allergic or bad reaction to taking insulin made from pork or beef or from bacteria, or because the insulin is not exactly the same as human insulin or because it has impurities. The allergy can be of two forms. Sometimes an area of skin becomes red and itchy around the place where the insulin is injected. This is called a local allergy. In another form, a person's whole body can have a bad reaction. This is called a systemic allergy. The person can have hives or red patches all over the body or may feel changes in the heart rate and in the rate of breathing. A doctor may treat this allergy by prescribing purified insulins or by desensitization. See also: desensitization .

3. Insulin antagonist
Something that opposes or fights the action of insulin . Insulin lowers the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood, whereas glucagon raises it; therefore, glucagon is an antagonist of insulin.

4. Insulin binding
When insulin attaches itself to something else. This can occur in two ways. First, when a cell needs energy, insulin can bind with the outer part of the cell. The cell then can bring glucose (sugar) inside and use it for energy. With the help of insulin, the cell can do its work very well and very quickly. But sometimes the body acts against itself. In this second case, the insulin binds with antibodies. If the insulin is an injected form of insulin and not made by the body, the body sees the insulin as an outside or "foreign" substance. When the injected insulin binds with the antibodies, it does not work as well as when it binds directly to the cell.

5. Insulin pump
A device that delivers a continuous supply of insulin into the body. The insulin flows from the pump through a plastic tube that is connected to a needle inserted into the body and taped in place. Insulin is delivered at two rates: a low, steady rate (called the basal rate) for continuous day-long coverage, and extra boosts of insulin (called bolus doses) to cover meals or when extra insulin is needed. The pump runs on batteries and can be worn clipped to a belt or carried in a pocket. It is used by people with insulin-dependent diabetes .

6. Insulin receptor
Areas on the outer part of a cell that allow the cell to join or bind with insulin that is in the blood. When the cell and insulin bind together, the cell can take glucose (sugar) from the blood and use it for energy.

7. Insulin resistance (insulin insensitivity)
Many people with noninsulin-dependent diabetes produce enough insulin , but their bodies do not respond to the action of insulin. This may happen because the person is overweight and has too many fat cells, which do not respond well to insulin. Also, as people age, their body cells lose some of the ability to respond to insulin. Insulin resistance is also linked to high blood pressure and high levels of fat in the blood. Another kind of insulin resistance may happen in some people who take insulin injections. They may have to take very high doses of insulin every day (200 units or more) to bring their blood glucose (sugar) down to the normal range.

8. Insulin shock
A severe condition that occurs when the level of blood glucose (sugar) drops quickly. The signs are shaking, sweating, dizziness, double vision, convulsions, and collapse. Insulin shock may occur when an insulin reaction is not treated quickly enough. See also: hypoglycemia .

9. Insulin
A hormone secreted by the pancreas that stimulates the uptake of glucose by body cells. Insulin works antagonistically with glucagon to control blood sugar levels.

10. Insulinase
An enzyme which breaks down the hormone insulin . It is produced in the liver.


View web definitions »

Learn more about Insulin »