The Health Hazards Of High Insulin Levels
It's hard to believe but ONE THIRD of Americans are walking around right now with elevated blood sugar. Higher than normal blood sugar is a sign of prediabetes, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. We always hear about the harmful effects of high blood sugar, but for some reason we never talk about high levels of insulin. Our rigorous pursuit of a low-fat diet over the past 30 years has swung the pendulum to a diet high in carbohydrates. This has literally overwhelmed our bodies with sugar. Our pancreas manufactures more insulin to handle the high amounts of sugar and our bloodstream becomes gorged with insulin. Plain and simple—our lifestyle choices are killing us! Below are 10 ways that high insulin levels harm us. A high level of insulin in the bloodstream: 1. Makes cells insulin resistant. The pancreas pumps more insulin into the bloodstream to counter the high levels of blood sugar. Dr. Ron Rosedale, MD, explains, “Cells become insulin resistant because they are trying to protect themselves from the toxic effects of high insulin.” 2. Damages the heart. High levels of insulin cause the body to retain sodium. Consequently, we retain fluid and develop high blood pressure, all of which are very hard on the heart. 3. Contributes to the risk of many life-threatening diseases. Dr. Rosedale clarifies, “The way to treat virtually all of the so-called chronic diseases of aging is to treat insulin itself.” Not the least of these is type 2 diabetes. 4. Causes the body to store fat. When our cells become insulin resistant, they can’t burn sugar. This further elevates blood sugar. With high levels of insulin, people become more and more insulin resistant and because their cells can’t process sugar it’s converted to fat and they put on weight. 5. Plays havoc with the Continue reading >>
9 Ways To Lower Insulin Levels
Chromium supplements may help to enhance insulin's effectiveness, which might help to lower insulin levels. Some studies have supported the use of supplements in reducing insulin levels. One study , published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, found that overweight women taking a dietary supplement that consisted of 125 milligrams (mg) of green tea , 25 mg of capsaicin, and 50 mg of ginger extract twice daily resulted in a greater decrease in body weight and insulin levels than those who took a placebo . Another supplement that has been widely studied for its insulin-lowering benefits is chromium, which is a trace mineral found in the human body. Supplements of chromium may help enhance insulin's effectiveness, which ideally, would help with lowering insulin levels overall. Chromium supplements are available to buy online . Studies have not definitively proven chromium's benefits in lowering insulin, yet. However, one study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that taking chromium supplements lowered the risk of having type 2 diabetes by helping reduce blood glucose and insulin levels. Sometimes, doctors will prescribe a medication known as Metformin. This medicine makes the body more sensitive to insulin, which can help to lower insulin levels because the body uses it more. According to the Center for Young Women's Health , women with PCOS who were overweight, practiced a healthful lifestyle, and took metformin were more likely to lose weight than those women who adopted a healthful lifestyle alone. However, side effects of taking metformin exist, so it is not always the best solution for women with PCOS or those with similar medical conditions. Excess insulin in the body is known to affect how the body works. For example, excess insulin triggers the body Continue reading >>
The One Test Your Doctor Isn’t Doing That Could Save Your Life
Insulin resistance doesn’t happen overnight. When most of your diet includes empty calories and an abundance of quickly absorbed sugars, liquid calories, and carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes, your cells slowly become resistant to the effects of insulin. Your body increasingly demands more insulin to do the same job of keeping your blood sugar even. Eventually your cells become resistant to insulin’s call, resulting in insulin resistance. The higher your insulin levels are, the worse your insulin resistance. Your body starts to age and deteriorate. In fact, insulin resistance is the single most important phenomenon that leads to rapid, premature aging and all its resultant diseases, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer. Insulin resistance and the resulting metabolic syndrome often comes accompanied by increasing central obesity, fatigue after meals, sugar cravings, high triglycerides, low HDL, high blood pressure, problems with blood clotting, as well as increased inflammation. Even without these warning signs, one test can determine high insulin levels years or even decades before diabetes develops. Early detection can help you reverse these symptoms, yet doctors rarely use this crucial test that can detect high insulin levels. Why Doctors Miss the Initial Warning Sign of Insulin Resistance Doctors have been trained to measure a person’s fasting blood sugar, or the glucose levels present in your blood, at least eight hours after your last meal. Most don’t express concern until results show blood sugar levels reaching 110 mg/dl. That’s when they start “watching it.” Then, once your blood sugar reaches 126 mg/dl, your doctor will diagnose you with diabetes and put you on medication. The important thing to note is that bloo Continue reading >>
Tweet Insulin resistance is the name given to when cells of the body don’t respond properly to the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance is the driving factor that leads to type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and prediabetes. Insulin resistance is closely associated with obesity; however, it is possible to be insulin resistant without being overweight or obese. Modern research has shown that insulin resistance can be combatted by treatment methods that reduce how much insulin the body is producing or taking via insulin injections or insulin pumps. Reducing insulin resistance can be achieved by following low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets. What is insulin resistance? The role of insulin is to allow cells of the body to take in glucose to be used as fuel or stored as body fat.  It also means that glucose is more likely to build up in the blood and this can lead to too high blood sugar levels. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it tries to cope by producing more insulin. People with insulin resistance are often producing too more insulin than healthy people. Producing too much insulin is known as hyperinsulinemia. Symptoms of insulin resistance Initially, insulin resistance presents no symptoms. The symptoms only start to appear once it leads to secondary effects such as higher blood sugar levels. When this happens, the symptoms may include: Lethargy (tiredness) Hunger Difficulty concentrating (brain fog) Other signs that often appear in people with insulin resistance include: Weight gain around the middle (belly fat) High blood pressure High cholesterol levels If insulin resistance develops into prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, the symptoms will include increased blood glucose levels and more of the classic symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Causes of insulin r Continue reading >>
Pcos: Insulin And Metformin
Young women with PCOS often have elevated insulin levels and are more likely to develop diabetes. Metformin is a medication often prescribed for women with PCOS to help prevent diabetes. A lifestyle that includes healthy nutrition and daily exercise is the most important part of a PCOS treatment plan. What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made by an organ in the body called the pancreas. The food you eat is broken down into simple sugar (glucose) during digestion. Glucose is absorbed into the blood after you eat. Insulin helps glucose enter the cells of the body to be used as energy. If there’s not enough insulin in the body, or if the body can’t use the insulin, sugar levels in the blood become higher. What is insulin resistance? If your body is resistant to insulin, it means you need high levels of insulin to keep your blood sugar normal. Certain medical conditions such as being overweight or having PCOS can cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance tends to run in families. What can insulin resistance do to me? High insulin levels can cause thickening and darkening of the skin (acanthosis nigricans) on the back of the neck, axilla (under the arms), and groin area. In young women with PCOS, high insulin levels can cause the ovaries to make more androgen hormones such as testosterone. This can cause increased body hair, acne, and irregular or few periods. Having insulin resistance can increase your risk of developing diabetes. How can I lower my insulin levels? You can help lower your insulin levels naturally by eating fewer starches and sugars, and more foods that are high in fiber and low in refined carbohydrates. Low glycemic foods, on the other hand, don’t raise your blood sugar or insulin levels as much as foods that are high in sugar or refined carbohydr Continue reading >>
Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance
What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. The pancreas contains clusters of cells called islets. Beta cells within the islets make insulin and release it into the blood. Insulin plays a major role in metabolism—the way the body uses digested food for energy. The digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates—sugars and starches found in many foods—into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream. With the help of insulin, cells throughout the body absorb glucose and use it for energy. Insulin's Role in Blood Glucose Control When blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin and glucose then travel in the blood to cells throughout the body. Insulin helps muscle, fat, and liver cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, lowering blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscle tissue to store excess glucose. The stored form of glucose is called glycogen. Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels by reducing glucose production in the liver. In a healthy person, these functions allow blood glucose and insulin levels to remain in the normal range. What happens with insulin resistance? In insulin resistance, muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells. The beta cells in the pancreas try to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. As long as the beta cells are able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance, blood glucose levels stay in the healthy range. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes because the bet Continue reading >>
Hyperinsulinemia, or hyperinsulinaemia is a condition in which there are excess levels of insulin circulating in the blood relative to the level of glucose. While it is often mistaken for diabetes or hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinemia can result from a variety of metabolic diseases and conditions. While hyperinsulinemia is often seen in people with early stage type 2 diabetes mellitus, it is not the cause of the condition and is only one symptom of the disease. Type 1 diabetes only occurs when pancreatic beta-cell function is impaired. Hyperinsulinemia can be seen in a variety of conditions including diabetes mellitus type 2, in neonates and in drug induced hyperinsulinemia. It can also occur in congenital hyperinsulism, including nesidioblastosis. Hyperinsulinemia is associated with hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia, and glucose intolerance. These conditions are collectively known as Metabolic syndrome. This close association between hyperinsulinemia and conditions of metabolic syndrome suggest related or common mechanisms of pathogenicity. Hyperinsulinemia has been shown to "play a role in obese hypertension by increasing renal sodium retention". In type 2 diabetes, the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin as the receptors which bind to the hormone become less sensitive to insulin concentrations resulting in hyperinsulinemia and disturbances in insulin release. With a reduced response to insulin, the beta cells of the pancreas secrete increasing amounts of insulin in response to the continued high blood glucose levels resulting in hyperinsulinemia. In insulin resistant tissues, a threshold concentration of insulin is reached causing the cells to uptake glucose and therefore decreases blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that Continue reading >>
14 Ways To Lower Your Insulin Levels
Insulin is an extremely important hormone that's produced by your pancreas. It has many functions, such as allowing your cells to take in sugar from your blood for energy. However, too much insulin can lead to serious health problems. Having high levels, also known as hyperinsulinemia, has been linked to obesity, heart disease and cancer (1, 2, 3). High blood insulin levels also cause your cells to become resistant to the hormone's effects. When you become insulin resistant, your pancreas produces even more insulin, creating a vicious cycle (4). Here are 14 things you can do to lower your insulin levels. Of the three macronutrients — carbs, protein and fat — carbs raise blood sugar and insulin levels the most. For this and other reasons, low-carb diets can be very effective for losing weight and controlling diabetes. Many studies have confirmed their ability to lower insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity, compared to other diets (5, 6, 7, 8, 9). People with health conditions characterized by insulin resistance, such as metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), may experience a dramatic lowering of insulin with carb restriction. In one study, individuals with metabolic syndrome were randomized to receive either a low-fat or low-carb diet containing 1,500 calories. Insulin levels dropped by an average of 50% in the low-carb group, compared to 19% in the low-fat group (10). In another study, when women with PCOS ate a lower-carb diet containing enough calories to maintain their weight, they experienced greater reductions in insulin levels than when they ate a higher-carb diet (11). Low-carb diets have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin levels in people with obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and PCOS. Apple cider v Continue reading >>
What medical conditions are associated with insulin resistance? While the metabolic syndrome links insulin resistance with abdominal obesity, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure; several other medical other conditions are specifically associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance may contribute to the following conditions: Type 2 Diabetes: Overt diabetes may be the first sign insulin resistance is present. Insulin resistance can be noted long before type 2 diabetes develops. Individuals reluctant or unable to see a health-care professional often seek medical attention when they have already developed type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Fatty liver: Fatty liver is strongly associated with insulin resistance. Accumulation of fat in the liver is a manifestation of the disordered control of lipids that occurs with insulin resistance. Fatty liver associated with insulin resistance may be mild or severe. Newer evidence suggests fatty liver may even lead to cirrhosis of the liver and, possibly, liver cancer. Arteriosclerosis: Arteriosclerosis (also known as atherosclerosis) is a process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries. Arteriosclerosis is responsible for: Other risk factors for arteriosclerosis include: High levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol Diabetes mellitus from any cause Family history of arteriosclerosis Skin Lesions: Skin lesions include increased skin tags and a condition called acanthosis nigerians (AN). Acanthosis nigricans is a darkening and thickening of the skin, especially in folds such as the neck, under the arms, and in the groin. This condition is directly related to the insulin resistance, though the exact mechanism is not clear. Acanthosis nigricans is a cosmetic condition strongly Continue reading >>
Do You Know Your Insulin Level?
People often keep close watch on their glucose numbers. But how many of us know our insulin level? Dr. Joseph Mercola says fasting insulin is “the number that may best predict your sudden death.” Sounds important. But what does it mean? Our bodies need some circulating insulin at all times, even when we don’t eat. Otherwise, our livers keep making glucose and dumping it into the blood. Livers do this to prevent blood glucose from going too low. So a fasting insulin level should never be 0, which it might be in a person with untreated Type 1. It shouldn’t go below 3. But a high insulin level is just as problematic. A high insulin level is a sign of insulin resistance or prediabetes. It can also signify early-stage Type 2. According to Dr. Mercola, too much insulin promotes weight gain by storing fat. It promotes insulin resistance, lowers magnesium levels, and increases inflammation. It also tends to lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol and raise levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. All of these increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It may be that high insulin levels come before insulin resistance and help cause it. If you already have diabetes, why should you know your insulin level? Mainly, it helps diagnose what is happening with you. Your blood glucose may be high, but how much of the problem is too little insulin? How much is insulin resistance? A fasting insulin level test is valuable in several situations: • Diagnosing prediabetes and metabolic syndrome. “Prediabetes” is one result of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes high cholesterol, high glucose, and high blood pressure. A high level of fasting insulin indicates insulin resistance and can encourage a person to make changes to lower it. • Separating Type 2 from LADA (latent Continue reading >>
Insulin: Reference Range, Interpretation, Collection And Panels
Insulin is an anabolic hormone that promotes glucose uptake, glycogenesis, lipogenesis, and protein synthesis of skeletal muscle and fat tissue through the tyrosine kinase receptor pathway. In addition, insulin is the most important factor in the regulation of plasma glucose homeostasis, as it counteracts glucagon and other catabolic hormonesepinephrine, glucocorticoid, and growth hormone. Table 1. Reference Range of Insulin Levels [ 1 ] (Open Table in a new window) A standard insulin test is positive for endogenous insulin and exogenous insulin. In addition, there is a minimal cross-reaction with proinsulin and insulinlike growth factors 1 and 2, with the degree of variability depending on the brand of the testing toolkit and technique used. Insulin testing is used to assist in identifying causes of hypoglycemia (plasma glucose levels < 55 mg/dL), especially upon signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia (neurohypoglycopenic and autonomic symptoms). In this scenario, a 72-hour fasting test is performed. [ 2 ] Insulinoma: High insulin and C-peptide levels Nonbeta cell tumors: Low insulin and C-peptide levels and high insulinlike growth factor 2 level [ 3 ] Excessive insulin administration: High insulin levels and low C-peptide levels Insulin secretagogue administration (sulfonylurea and glinides): High insulin and C-peptide levels Congenital hyperinsulinism (mutation in insulin-secreting gene): High insulin and C-peptide levels Autoimmunity to insulin or insulin receptor (common in patients receiving insulin or those who have autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE] or Hashimoto thyroiditis): Postprandial insulin is bound to antibodies and dissociated 1 hour later, resulting in an extremely elevated insulin level and high insulintoC-peptide ratio [ 4 ] T Continue reading >>
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Tweet Hyperinsulinemia is often associated with type 2 diabetes, but it isn’t diabetes as such. Hyperinsulinemia means that the amount of insulin in the blood is higher than considered normal amongst non-diabetics. When a person has hyperinsulinemia they have a problem controlling blood sugar, meaning that the pancreas has to secrete larger amounts of insulin to keep blood sugar at a normal level. How is hyperinsulinemia caused? Insulin resistance is the primary cause of hyperinsulinemia, with the pancreas compensating by producing more insulin. Insulin resistance of this type can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas cannot secrete the insulin required to maintain normal blood glucose levels. In more rare cases, hyperinsulinemia may be caused by a tumour of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (insulinoma). It may also be caused by excessive numbers of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (nesidioblastosis). What are the risks of having hyperinsulinemia? There are a number of risks involved in having hyperinsulinemia which include: Higher triglyceride levels High uric acid Hardening of the arteries (artherosclerosis) Weight gain Hypertension Type 2 diabetes The sooner hyperinsulinemia is diagnosed, which may be in the form of pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, the sooner the risks or extent of the above can be reduced. What are the symptoms of hyperinsulinemia? Although hyperinsulinemia often has little clear indicator, hyperinsulinemia symptoms may include: Weight gain Cravings for sugar Intense hunger Feeling frequently hungry Difficulty concentrating Feeling anxious or panicky Lacking focus or motivation Fatigue How is hyperinsulinemia treated? Medical treatment, in the form of diabetes medication, may help to relieve t Continue reading >>
Hyperinsulinemia: Is It Diabetes?
Is hyperinsulinemia a form of diabetes? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. Hyperinsulinemia (hi-pur-in-suh-lih-NEE-me-uh) means the amount of insulin in your blood is higher than what's considered normal. Alone, it isn't diabetes. But hyperinsulinemia is often associated with type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that's normally produced by your pancreas, which helps regulate blood sugar. Hyperinsulinemia is a sign of an underlying problem. Hyperinsulinemia is most often caused by insulin resistance — a condition in which your body doesn't respond well to the effects of insulin. Your pancreas tries to compensate by making more insulin. Insulin resistance may eventually lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. This happens when your pancreas is no longer able to compensate by secreting the large amounts of insulin required to keep the blood sugar normal. Rarely, hyperinsulinemia is caused by: A rare tumor of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (insulinoma) Excessive numbers or growth of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (nesidioblastosis) Hyperinsulinemia usually causes no signs or symptoms, except in people with insulinomas in whom hyperinsulemia can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Treatment of hyperinsulinemia is directed at the underlying problem. Continue reading >>
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What Happens When A Person's Insulin Level Is High?
Insulin, a hormone secreted by your pancreas, helps control the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucose, also called sugar, is your body's main source of energy. The food you eat is converted to glucose and then driven into your body's cells where it can be used as fuel. Insulin plays a major role in this process. Too little or too much insulin affects the amount of glucose available for fuel. Video of the Day Your pancreas releases insulin in response to elevated levels of glucose in your blood. Once insulin reaches the blood, it performs a number of functions, one of which is to facilitate the movement of glucose into muscle cells and fat. There, it is used as energy. It also stimulates the storage of excess glucose as glycogen in muscles and in the liver. Insulin also stops your liver's production of glucose, which is a process called gluconeogenesis, which serves as an important source of energy when you fast. When your insulin level is too high, your blood glucose level may drop to a dangerously low level--a state called hypoglycemia. This is the most important consequence of too much insulin. The American Diabetes Association defines hypoglycemia as a glucose reading less than or equal to 70 mg/dL. Hypoglycemia occurs as a result of insulin increasing the uptake of glucose by your body's cells, blocking gluconeogenesis and increasing the storage of glucose in the liver and muscle. However, if you don't have diabetes and your pancreas functions as it should, it will release a hormone called glucagon to counteract the effects of insulin. Hypoglycemia is an acute complication of diabetes. It may be mild, moderate or severe. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, confusion, headache, irritability, personality changes, shakiness, dizziness, trouble concentrating, slurred Continue reading >>
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What Does High Insulin Mean?
If your health care provider has informed you that your insulin is high, you have every right to feel concerned. Insulin is a crucial hormone secreted from your pancreas, and it plays a major role in energy production. When you eat carbohydrates and your blood sugar rises, your pancreas releases insulin to bring blood sugar levels back to normal. Insulin helps glucose get into your cells so your body can use it for fuel. High insulin is a sign of insulin resistance and can lead to problems with glucose control. Video of the Day When you have insulin resistance, your body is insensitive to the effects of insulin. The pancreas secretes more insulin to compensate for this and helps glucose levels stay within a healthy range. Most people who have insulin resistance aren't aware of it, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. The pancreas can compensate by producing higher levels of insulin for many years. Eventually this can lead to type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes commonly occurs in individuals who have insulin resistance, according to the NDIC. In prediabetes, the insulin producing cells in your pancreas, called beta cells, are no longer able to keep up with the added demand to produce enough insulin to overcome insulin resistance. Once this happens, glucose levels rise above normal, because a lack of insulin is not able to keep glucose within a healthy range. Over time, higher-than-normal glucose levels set the stage for type 2 diabetes. Science has yet to determine the exact cause of insulin resistance. Experts believe, however, that excess weight, particularly around the midsection -- along with lack of exercise -- are contributing factors, according to the NDIC. Regularly consuming excess calories promotes weight gain, and as your waist circumference Continue reading >>