El Paisano

Too Much Hormones Can Lead to Diabetes: Here’s Why

Danielle Anzures, Staff Writer

A new study shows a high level of hormones can link to heart problems and may increase some people’s risks for diabetes. Journal of the American Heart Association published the study September 4.

Endocrinologist at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, Dr. Joshua J., said that researchers have known for a while that the hormone, aldosterone, increases blood pressure.

The adrenal gland produces aldosterone. Hyperaldosteronism is when there’s excess of it in the blood.

Aldosterone links to conditions; like congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, and some kidney diseases.

And recently researchers discovered aldosterone also increases insulin resistance in muscle and impairs insulin secretion from the pancreas.

“Insulin is the hormone responsible for lower blood glucose by opening doors in the blood vessels to let blood glucose out into muscle, brain, heart, etc. where glucose can be used for energy production,” Joseph said to Healthline. “The two major causes of type 2 diabetes are an inability to utilize ‘insulin resistance’ or impaired insulin secretion from the pancreas.”

Joseph, who was also the lead investigator for the study, has a personal reason for conducting the study.

“I looked into this as a promise to my father. He had high levels of aldosterone that contributed to his hypertension, and he thought it also might be linked to his diabetes,” Joseph said in a press release. “As my career progressed, I had the opportunity to research it, and we did find a link to diabetes.”

The study conducted with nearly 1,600 people between 45 and 84 years old and “across diverse populations” for 10 years. The study was part of the National Institutes of Health’s Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

Researchers found that the impact of aldosterone was highest among African Americans and Chinese Americans. These groups’ risk for developing diabetes was at three to 10 times if they had high levels of aldosterone.

The next step for Joseph is to enroll African-Americans with prediabetes in a federally funded clinical trial later this year. During the trial, they will take medication to lower their aldosterone levels.

“We know there’s a relationship between aldosterone and type 2 diabetes,” Joseph said. “Now we need to determine thresholds that will guide clinical care and the best medication for treatment.”

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Too Much Hormones Can Lead to Diabetes: Here’s Why