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What are Hormones?

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Updated June 27, 2014

Definition:

Hormones are chemicals that carry messages from organs of your body to your cells. The glands that secrete hormones are part of the endocrine system (pituitary, thyroid, adrenals and pancreas, to name a few) and work in large part to keep the body’s natural balance in check.

Many different hormones are secreted in the body. These include sex hormones and growth hormones. Growth hormones are of particular interest to those with diabetes because insulin is a hormone categorized as a growth hormone.

The purpose of insulin is to convert sugar into energy by letting the glucose (sugar) into the cell. Those with type 1 diabetes lack the insulin necessary to convert that sugar into cellular energy. That’s why one of the first symptoms of type 1 diabetes is extreme fatigue. Once diabetes has been accurately diagnosed, insulin must be obtained from injections or an insulin pump since the body can no longer make adequate amounts.

As a result of this buildup of sugar in the bloodstream over time the risk of diabetes-related complications significantly increases.

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