Last updated on September 14th, 2023
The pancreas is a tiny gland that helps with digestion and controls sugar in your blood. It makes juices and hormones to keep you healthy.
Now, the pancreas might struggle to produce enough insulin in conditions like type 1 diabetes (when the immune system attacks insulin-making cells) and type 2 diabetes (when cells don’t respond well to insulin). Ultimately, it leads to rising blood sugar levels.
The development of diabetes also leads to several other health complications like heart problems, kidney issues, and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Generally, there are certain ways to improve this condition through transformation of lifestyle. Some lifestyle changes followed consistently can work wonders to improve insulin functionality. Exercises, stress reduction, weight loss, and detoxification are some of the lifestyle modifications that you can bring into your life.
Read this blog to know ways to stimulate your pancreas to produce insulin hormones in your body.
Pancreas And Its Functions
Before jumping directly on how to increase insulin in body, let’s understand what pancreas is.
Picture a small, flat organ near your stomach – that’s your pancreas! Even though it’s small, its job is super important.
The pancreas is a multitasking organ with two main types of functions: endocrine and exocrine. Let’s dive deeper into the pancreas function insulin.
1. Endocrine Functions:
The endocrine functions of the pancreas involve the production and secretion of hormones directly into the bloodstream. These hormones play a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels and various other bodily functions.
The insulin hormone of pancreas stimulates through special cells called beta cells. Insulin is a key hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. When you eat, your blood sugar rises. Insulin allows sugar to enter your body’s cells, where it’s used for energy. This helps lower your blood sugar back to normal.
Another hormone produced by the pancreas, specifically by alpha cells, is glucagon. When your blood sugar drops too low, glucagon steps in. It tells the liver to release stored sugar, which raises your blood sugar levels back to where they should be.
This hormone, produced by delta cells, regulates the release of other hormones, including insulin and glucagon. It helps maintain a steady balance of these hormones to keep your blood sugar stable.
This hormone is produced by pancreatic polypeptide cells and helps regulate various digestive processes, appetite, and food intake.
2. Exocrine Functions
The exocrine functions of the pancreas involve producing enzymes and other substances that aid in digestion. These substances are released into the digestive tract to help break down food so that the body can absorb nutrients.
The pancreas produces and releases enzymes such as amylase, lipase, and protease. Amylase breaks down carbohydrates into sugars, lipase breaks down fats into fatty acids, and protease breaks down proteins into amino acids. These enzymes are crucial for breaking down the different types of nutrients in your food, making them easier for your body to absorb.
The pancreas also secretes bicarbonate, a substance that neutralizes the acidic contents of your stomach as they enter the small intestine. This provides a more suitable environment for the enzymes to work effectively and protects the lining of the intestine from the acidity.
The pancreas has a dual role. Its endocrine functions involve producing hormones that regulate blood sugar and other bodily processes. Its exocrine functions involve producing enzymes and substances that aid in digestion, making it a vital player in maintaining overall health and ensuring the efficient functioning of the digestive and metabolic systems.
Read More: 16 Best Fruits Juice For Diabetes.
How To Keep Your Pancreas Healthy?
‘Keeping the pancreas healthy’ or how to increase insulin naturally refers to adopting lifestyle choices and habits that support the normal functioning of the pancreas. This includes certain aspects like maintaining a balanced diet, controlling sugar intake, managing weight, etc. The focus is on preventing issues like inflammation, insulin resistance, and pancreatic diseases by following a proactive approach to overall health. Here are some natural ways to keep your pancreas healthy.
- Maintain a Balanced Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can contribute to a healthier pancreas. Limiting sugary foods and excessive consumption of processed foods can help prevent the overproduction of insulin and the strain on your pancreas.
- Watch Your Sugar Intake: Excessive sugar consumption can lead to insulin resistance and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Be mindful of sugary drinks, snacks, and desserts. Opt for natural sweeteners or moderate portions to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water supports various bodily functions, including digestion. Adequate hydration helps maintain the optimal environment for your pancreas to produce enzymes and digestive juices.
- Control Portion Sizes: Overeating can strain your pancreas as it needs to produce more enzymes to break down larger amounts of food. Eat smaller, balanced meals throughout the day to avoid overburdening your digestive system.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of pancreatic problems, including pancreatitis and diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can reduce this risk.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol intake can lead to inflammation of the pancreas, a condition known as pancreatitis. Limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels or avoid it altogether to protect your pancreas.
- Exercise Regularly: Physical activity not only helps maintain a healthy weight but also improves insulin sensitivity. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to support your pancreas and overall health.
- Avoid Smoking: Smoking is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer and other health issues. Quitting smoking can significantly improve your pancreatic health and overall well-being.
- Manage Stress: Chronic stress can impact your pancreas and digestive system. Practicing stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can benefit both your mental and pancreatic health.
- Regular Check-ups: Regular health check-ups can help catch any potential pancreatic issues early on. Discuss your pancreas health with your healthcare provider and follow their recommendations for screenings and tests.
Remember, your pancreas plays a vital role in your body’s digestion and metabolism. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can support its functions and reduce the risk of pancreatic problems. Small changes in your daily habits can lead to a healthier and happier you.
Proven Ways To Increase Insulin Production In Pancreas Naturally
Several reasons cause the inefficiency of the pancreas in terms of insulin production. One of the top causes is a poor lifestyle.
‘How to increase insulin in body’ or ‘stimulating the pancreas’ involves encouraging the pancreas to produce more insulin. This is often done to help regulate blood sugar levels in people with conditions like diabetes.
Whereas ‘keeping the pancreas healthy’ focuses on adopting a balanced lifestyle to prevent issues and promote optimal organ function.
Here are some healthy lifestyle habits that let you know how to increase insulin in body:
Exercise For Pancreas To Produce Insulin
How to increase insulin naturally involves regular exercising. Like the other organs of your body, the pancreas also needs a good blood supply to function properly. Exercise for pancreas helps in improving blood circulation in your body. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day helps improve your overall health. It also helps in regulating blood sugar levels. Some forms of the best pancreas exercise to produce insulin and improve insulin resistance are:
- Rowing repetition
- Resistance training
These exercises improve the beta cell functions responsible for producing insulin in your body.
Stress reduction is another answer to how to increase insulin naturally. Stress can affect the ability of your body to regulate blood glucose levels. It stimulates the production of stress hormones like glucagon and cortisol. When your stress levels are high, these hormones break down the stored glycogen in your body into glucose. This glucose enters your bloodstream to increase your blood sugar levels. However, reducing stress makes your body release healthy hormones, including insulin, from Pancreas. Therefore, it helps in maintaining your blood sugar levels.
Lose Extra Weight
Being overweight can be the biggest hurdle for you to stimulate your pancreas to produce more insulin. How to increase insulin naturally starts with being fit.
Extra body fat, particularly in the belly area, can make your body insulin resistant. It results in higher blood sugar levels. When you lose extra body weight, the pancreas stimulates insulin production. It helps in managing the blood sugar levels in your body.
Detox Your Body
The presence of toxins in your body can make you sick. It also affects the functioning of your body organs. Therefore, you need to get rid of the toxins in your body. Drinking green tea every day is the simplest way to detox your body. Detox diets and supplements also help you to detox your body. Additionally, it improves the functionality of the pancreas to release insulin.
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Foods That Increase Insulin Production
Nature has blessed humans with some natural food items that promote better health. For diabetes patients, many food items are there which stimulate the pancreas for increasing insulin production. Both diabetics and non-diabetics can include such superfoods in their daily meals. It helps them to regulate their blood sugar levels and maintains the pancreas’ health.
Consuming certain dietary nutrients helps increase pancreas insulin production in your body. Here are some foods that boost natural insulin in the body:
- Bitter gourd or Karela: It is a vegetable that is a boon for diabetes patients. It can boost the production of natural pancreas insulin in your body. Bitter gourd contains charantin, vicine, and a polypeptide-p. These substances are responsible for increasing insulin production. Diabetes patients should drink 1 cup of bitter gourd juice mixed with 1 tbsp of gooseberry juice to promote natural insulin secretion. Thus, it helps in managing their blood glucose levels.
- Lady’s Finger or Okra: Pancreas healthy foods also include lady finger or okra, a super vegetable packed with dietary fiber. Seeds of this veggie contain alpha-glucosidase inhibitors that are responsible for preventing the conversion of starch into glucose. Hence, it helps stabilize the natural blood sugar levels. It also aids in the production of natural insulin in your body to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Red Cabbage: Red cabbage is a boon for diabetes patients. The red-colored pigments in red cabbage are betalains. It helps in increasing insulin production in the body to lower blood sugar levels.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice packed with so many health benefits. Curcumin is the compound present in Turmeric. It is responsible for working directly on the pancreatic beta cells to activate the pancreas naturally for insulin production.
- Fenugreek seeds: It is one of the superfoods for diabetes patients. Fenugreek seeds contain trigonelline, a kind of plant alkaloid. It promotes insulin production to improve insulin sensitivity in diabetes patients.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a spice bark that improves cell sensitivity to insulin. It also works as the natural insulin that the pancreas secretes in the body. You can drink cinnamon water or sprinkle the powder on your meals and tea. You can also try a cinnamon supplement to include cinnamon in your daily meals.
- Insulin plant: Insulin plant helps boost the natural insulin production in your body by activating the beta cells of the pancreas. The corosolic acid present in the leaves of this plant induces insulin production to prevent high blood sugar levels. You can chew one or two leaves of this plant every day in the morning to control diabetes.
Read More: Top 10 Homeopathic Medicine For Diabetes.
Normal Insulin Level
Here’s a simple table outlining normal insulin levels in the body:
|Measuring Unit||Normal Insulin Level|
|Fasting (Blood)||5 – 15 micrograms/mL|
|Immediately After Eating||Up to 50 micrograms/mL|
|1 hour after eating||Up to 40 micrograms/mL|
|2 hours after eating||Up to 60 micrograms/mL|
|24-Hour Urine||Less than 20 units/day|
Please note that these values can vary slightly depending on factors such as age, health condition, and the laboratory’s reference range. It’s important to consult a healthcare professional for accurate interpretation and advice.
High Insulin Level Symptoms
High insulin levels, a condition known as hyperinsulinemia, can lead to various health concerns. Insulin plays a vital role in regulating blood sugar levels, but when it becomes excessive, it can have negative effects on your body. Here are some high insulin levels symptoms to watch out for:
- Weight Gain: High insulin side effects include increased fat storage, particularly around the abdomen. This can contribute to weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.
- Hunger And Cravings: High insulin levels can cause frequent hunger and intense cravings, especially for sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods. This can create a cycle of overeating and weight gain.
- Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia): High insulin levels symptoms also extend to low blood sugar. Paradoxically, while high insulin levels are common in conditions like insulin resistance, they can cause episodes of low blood sugar due to the excess insulin pushing glucose into cells. This can result in symptoms like shakiness, irritability, and dizziness.
- Fatigue: Hyperinsulinemia can lead to energy crashes after meals due to rapid drops in blood sugar levels. This can result in feelings of fatigue and tiredness.
- Increased Blood Pressure: High insulin levels are associated with elevated blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.
- Skin Changes: Hyperinsulinemia can lead to skin issues like acanthosis nigricans, which is characterized by dark, thickened patches of skin, often around the neck, armpits, and groin.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): In women, high insulin side effects are linked to PCOS, a hormonal disorder that can cause irregular periods, excessive hair growth, and fertility issues.
- Inflammation: Elevated insulin levels can contribute to chronic inflammation in the body, increasing the risk of various chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
- Difficulty Concentrating: Fluctuations in blood sugar due to high insulin levels can affect cognitive function, leading to difficulties in concentration and focus.
- High Blood Triglycerides: Excess insulin can cause an increase in triglyceride levels in the blood, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
If you suspect you have high insulin levels or are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. They can perform tests to assess your insulin levels and provide guidance on managing your health through dietary and lifestyle changes, if necessary.
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What Is Insulin Deficiency?
Insulin deficiency, also known as insulin insufficiency, occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to properly regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone that plays a crucial role in allowing your body to use glucose (sugar) from carbohydrates for energy. When there’s not enough insulin, glucose can’t enter your cells effectively, leading to elevated blood sugar levels, a condition called hyperglycemia.
Deficiency of Insulin Causes:
Type 1 Diabetes
This is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. As a result, people with type 1 diabetes have little to no insulin production and require insulin injections to survive.
Type 2 Diabetes
Deficiency of insulin causes also include type 2 diabetes, where cells don’t respond properly to insulin signals. Over time, the pancreas may struggle to keep up with the body’s demand for insulin, leading to relative insulin deficiency.
Inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis, can damage the insulin-producing cells, ultimately leading to deficiency of insulin.
Pancreatic Surgery or Disease:
Conditions or surgical procedures that affect the pancreas can lead to deficiency of insulin, impacting blood sugar control.
Symptoms of Insulin Deficiency
High blood sugar levels can cause the kidneys to work overtime, leading to increased urination.
Increased urination can result in dehydration, causing excessive thirst.
Unexplained Weight Loss
When cells can’t access glucose, the body starts breaking down fat for energy, leading to weight loss.
Cells deprived of glucose can leave you feeling tired and lacking energy.
High blood sugar levels can affect the lenses in your eyes, causing temporary blurred vision.
Cells not receiving glucose signal the brain to crave more food, leading to increased hunger.
Slow Wound Healing
Elevated blood sugar levels can slow down the body’s ability to heal wounds.
Insulin deficiency requires proper management to prevent complications. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. People with type 1 diabetes rely on insulin injections, while those with type 2 diabetes may manage their condition through lifestyle changes, oral medications, or insulin therapy. Monitoring blood sugar levels and working closely with healthcare professionals are essential to prevent the complications associated with insulin deficiency.
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Choose The Right Foods To Stimulate Your Pancreas
Knowing about foods that are good for a diabetic patient and deliberately making a choice to consume those foods are two different aspects. Thus, it is important to not just be aware of what is good and what is not for you. Diabetic patients must ensure to include the required foods in their diet. Also, certain food categories must be avoided by diabetic patients.
Nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar in your body. If your body is insulin resistant, you need to focus on your meals. You need to try to include foods that contain plenty of nutrients for keeping you healthy. Instead of eating only superfoods, you should look at the meals that you are eating. Some foods that improve your insulin sensitivity and prevent the risk of developing diabetes are:
- Non-starchy vegetables: Starchy vegetables contain a high amount of carbohydrates. Therefore, they are responsible for increasing your blood sugar levels. Avoid such vegetables and include non-starchy vegetables. Examples of non-starchy vegetables are carrots, beetroot, cabbage, broccoli, pepper, and leafy vegetables.
- Whole-grains: Whole grains are a healthy alternative to refined or processed grain. Whole grains contain more nutrients and fiber that help nourish your body. Some whole grains that sugar patients should include in their meals are brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, barley, and cornmeal.
- High-fiber foods: They contain a high amount of fiber which reduces the absorption rate of glucose in your body. Therefore, it prevents high blood sugar levels. High-fiber foods also help in digesting the food better so that insulin resistance gets minimum.
- Protein-rich foods: Protein is an essential nutrient that supports building muscles. Protein-rich foods help to improve the insulin sensitivity of the body and make a person feel fuller for a long time. Hence, it reduces food cravings and the intake of carbohydrates. Protein-rich foods include lean meat, fish, lentils, beans, and nuts.
- Reducing Added Sugars: Cutting down on added sugars helps regulate blood sugar levels, supporting insulin production. Opt for natural sweeteners and whole fruits, and read labels carefully to make informed choices for a balanced diet that promotes healthy insulin function.
- Herbs and Spices in Cooking: Incorporating herbs like cinnamon, fenugreek, and turmeric can enhance insulin sensitivity. These flavorful additions not only make meals interesting but also contribute to better glucose control, potentially boosting insulin production over time.
- Green Tea Consumption: Drinking green tea provides antioxidants that may improve insulin sensitivity. Regular consumption can aid in managing blood sugar levels and fostering insulin production, promoting a healthier metabolic response within the body.
- Avoiding Trans Fats: Eliminating trans fats from your diet can help prevent insulin resistance. These harmful fats interfere with cell membrane function and insulin signaling, potentially hindering insulin production. Opt for healthier fats like those found in nuts, avocados, and olive oil to support your body’s insulin needs.
Apart from focussing on what you are eating, you should drink plenty of water. Keeping your body well-hydrated helps in removing excess glucose from your blood. Thus, insulin sensitivity gets better. In addition to this, you need to focus on your portion as well. Portion control limits the excessive intake of carbohydrates and calories. Hence, your body can absorb the glucose in your blood at a slow pace and do not cause blood sugar spikes.
Drugs that Increase Insulin Production
Everyone has a different body that responds differently to lifestyle changes. Many people with diabetes type-1 and type-2 face trouble managing blood glucose levels with diet changes and exercise. Therefore, they should contact their doctor to prescribe medicines that stimulate insulin production in the body. In this way, the pancreas releases more insulin to manage diabetes.
Many diabetes patients do not get much benefit from lifestyle changes and diet control alone. They need medication to stimulate the pancreas to increase the production of insulin. Various classes of medicines are helpful in insulin production in people with diabetes type-2. Some drugs that increase insulin production in your body are:
- Incretin mimetics: It is a class of injectable drugs that helps in increasing insulin production. These are the prescription medicines that help manage blood glucose levels in combination with some other drugs. Diabetes patients taking these drugs should exercise more and eat healthy meals. Exenatide immediate-release (Byetta), exenatide extended-release (Bydureon), and liraglutide (Victoza) are some Incretin mimetics.
- Amylin mimetics: These are the injectable drugs that stimulate the release of insulin in your body. Diabetes patients have to take Amylin mimetics drugs along with injectable insulin. When the symptoms of diabetes type-1 do not get better along with the insulin injection, then amylin mimetics drugs are prescribed. Pramlintide (SymlinPen) is an example of this type of drug.
- Dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 inhibitors (DPP-4s): It is a class of drugs that increases the secretion of Insulin from the Pancreas. The drugs that belong to this class also helps in reducing the release of glucose from the liver. Dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 inhibitors are used as combination drugs for diabetes type-2 patients. Examples of DPP-4s drugs are saxagliptin (Onglyza), sitagliptin (Januvia), and linagliptin (Tradjenta).
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The pancreas is the endocrine gland that is responsible for secreting pancreatic juices and Insulin, a hormone. It plays a crucial role in the process of digestion. When the pancreas becomes insufficient to perform its function of releasing Insulin hormone, the blood sugar level rises. High blood sugar levels can affect the life of a person causing several health complications. Therefore, it is essential to stimulate the pancreas to increase the production of Insulin. Several natural ways are there that help the pancreas to increase the production of insulin.
When should you take insulin injections?
Can insulin therapy reverse diabetes?
Insulin therapy is helpful for diabetes type-1 to regulate blood sugar levels as they do not produce natural insulin hormones. Diabetes type-2 patients may also need insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels in case of sudden blood sugar spikes. Diabetes type-2 patients, however, can manage their blood sugar levels through diet control and lifestyle management.
How to check insulin level?
Insulin levels can be checked through blood tests, including fasting insulin levels or the HbA1c test, which indicates average blood sugar levels over several months. Consult a healthcare provider for accurate testing and interpretation.
How to increase insulin in the body during pregnancy?
Pregnant women can manage blood sugar levels by consuming balanced meals, monitoring carbohydrate intake, and engaging in regular low-impact exercises. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.
Which foods produce insulin in the body?
Foods themselves do not produce insulin in the body. However, foods high in fiber and complex carbohydrates help regulate blood sugar levels by promoting steady insulin release in response to digestion.
How to increase pancreas function naturally?
To naturally boost pancreas function, focus on a diet rich in whole foods, engage in regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight, manage stress, and avoid excessive alcohol and smoking.
How to activate the pancreas to produce insulin?
A healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and weight management can help activate the pancreas to produce insulin more effectively. These habits support optimal pancreatic function.
How does the pancreas produce insulin?
The pancreas produces insulin in response to elevated blood sugar levels after meals. Beta cells sense the increase and release insulin, allowing glucose to enter cells, where it’s used for energy.
Can the pancreas start producing insulin again?
In some cases, such as in type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes and proper management can lead to improved insulin production. However, in type 1 diabetes where beta cells are destroyed, external insulin is needed.
How to make the pancreas produce more insulin?
In conditions like type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes like adopting a healthier diet, exercising regularly, and managing weight can help stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin, improving blood sugar control.
How much insulin does the pancreas produce?
On average, the pancreas produces around 25-50 units of insulin daily. This amount varies based on factors such as individual metabolism, dietary choices, and overall health.
Does the pancreas produce insulin?
Yes, the pancreas produces insulin. Insulin is a vital hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. The pancreas releases insulin in response to rising glucose levels after eating, allowing cells to absorb and use glucose for energy.
How to improve pancreas function naturally?
Enhancing pancreas function involves adopting a balanced diet rich in whole foods, engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing stress. These lifestyle changes support insulin production and overall pancreatic health.
Why does the pancreas stop producing insulin?
Various factors can lead to reduced insulin production, such as insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction in type 2 diabetes. Over time, the pancreas struggles to keep up with the body’s demand for insulin.
What causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin?
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly targets and destroys beta cells, leading to a lack of insulin production. This autoimmune response disrupts the pancreas’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels.
Insulin is secreted by which cells of the pancreas?
Insulin is secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas. These specialized cells play a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels by releasing insulin in response to elevated glucose in the bloodstream.
How can I improve the function of the Pancreas?
Foods that are rich in protein and antioxidants help to keep your pancreas healthy. Dairy alternatives like almond milk and flax milk, lean meat, lentils, and beans also help to improve the function of the pancreas. The healthy pancreas helps in stimulating the production of Insulin for better regulation of blood sugar.
What is the function of the pancreas in your body?
The pancreas is an organ in your body that plays a crucial role in the process of digestion. During digestion, Pancreas secretes pancreatic juices called enzymes. They are responsible for breaking down fats and sugar from the food into energy to make your bodywork. Along with enzymes, the pancreas also produces Insulin, a hormone, in the body. It helps in regulating blood sugar in your body.
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.