This is part three in a hormones and weight loss series!
Check out the video series on YouTube for a more in-depth explanation.
The first week we talked about CORTISOL
The second week we talked about INSULIN
and now we are talkling about GLUCAGON
CORTISOL is a hormone made by your adrenal glands, that’s high in the morning and trickles off throughout the day – it helps wake you up in the morning, it helps you deal with stress, and is antiinflammatory in low levels. But we want cortisol at a GOLDILOCKS LEVEL — not too high – not too low.
When cortisol is too high (often due to long term stress or chronic exercise) then you break down proteins in your body (catabolic state) and you store fat, you store the sugar you eat (increase of glycogen synthesis), and you make glucose from other sources (like your precious protein levels or fat).
Exercise increases cortisol, which is why we don’t want too much exercise.
INSULIN is a hormone made by your pancrease, it rises when your blood sugar goes up. It also increases protein synthesis, fat synthesis, and the storage of glucose for later use (glycogen synthesis). If blood sugar is high, then insulin is high, and if insulin is high then your cells become blind or resistant to the signal of insulin, and we can’t bring glucose into our cells for fuel… and then we get FAT and inflammed.
High insulin is a huge issue with most of my patients, and it’s really the secret to a lot of people’s weight loss woes.
ALL OF THESE HORMONES function to balance blood sugar — so if your blood sugar is not balanced, you’re in trouble. BLOOD SUGAR IS #1.
Now lets talk about glucagon…
GLUCAGON IS ESSENTIALLY THE OPPOSITE of insulin. Glucagon increases blood sugar when blood sugar is low, so a rise in blood sugar will DECREASE glucagon. It is also secreted by the pancreas.
– glycogenolysis (use of sugar for fuel)
– gluconeogensis (use of fat and protein for fuel)
^both these increase blood sugar levels in the fasting state
So basically glucagon takes stored fuel (like glucogen from the liver) and release glucose to the blood stream.
Glucagon and insulin are always in a ratio because they are always going to be excreted depending on what is happening metabolically (high blood sugar state, or a lower blood sugar state).
One is higher the other is lower and vice versa.
So glucagons function is to keep your blood sugar stable when you ARE NOT EATING!!
Remember insulin increases the storage of FAT so we don’t like high insulin
<<Glucagon helps make KETONES – and that we will discuss in another video>>
We cannot have high insulin and high glucagon at the same time!!!
WE NEED TO FIX YOUR INSULIN ISSUE FIRST. So if you want to lose weight not gain weight, you need to decrease insulin first, because then we can benefit from the effects of glucagon.
So lets say we fixed the insulin problem, now how do we get proper glucagon secretion? It’s simple –> eat protein and lower your blood sugar levels.
1) PROTEIN RICH MEALS WHICH ARE LOW IN CARBOHYDRATES
2) LOWER BLOOD GLUCOSE
Getting glucagon right IS LIFESTYLE ONLY. You can’t really take supplements to help – unless they are supplements that help with insulin sensitivity.
For more information – please watch my video on YouTube about the importance of glucagon!
Hope this helps with your weight loss journey!
— Dr. Meg