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What Are Insulin Levels

Total And Free Insulin (blood)

Total And Free Insulin (blood)

Does this test have other names? Serum insulin level What is this test? This blood test measures two types of insulin in your body: total and free. Insulin is found in your body in many forms. Bound insulin is attached to other proteins. This often happens in people with diabetes who are treated with insulin. Free insulin is not attached to other proteins. Total insulin measures both free and bound insulin. The hormone insulin plays a key role in keeping your blood sugar at the right level. Too little insulin leads to a certain type of diabetes. High levels of insulin can harm your health by leading to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Why do I need this test? You may need this test if you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycemia often include: Anxiety Trembling Sweating Confusion Nausea Irritability Weakness Irregular heartbeat Hypoglycemia can be caused by: Insulin used as a medicine to control diabetes. Each year, up to 30% of people with type 1 diabetes have a serious episode of hypoglycemia. This also can happen in people with type 2 diabetes, but it's much less common in them. Insulinomas. These are rare tumors in the pancreas that produce insulin. They are usually not cancer. Other types of tumors elsewhere in the body that produce a substance called insulin-like growth factor 2, or IGF-2, which may affect your insulin levels. What other tests might I have along with this test? Your healthcare provider may also order other blood tests, including those that measure: Glucose Proinsulin C-peptide Cortisol Plasma beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHOB) Your healthcare provider may also order a urine test to look at levels of sulfonylurea, a medicine used to treat diabetes. What do my test results mean? Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health Continue reading >>

2017 The Nemours Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

2017 The Nemours Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

This test measures the amount of insulin, the hormone that lets cells take in glucose. Glucose, a sugar that comes from food, is the body's main source of energy. Our bodies break down foods we eat into glucose and other nutrients, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. Glucose levels in the blood rise after meals and trigger the pancreas to make insulin and release it into the blood. Insulin works like a key that opens the doors to cells and allows the glucose in. Without insulin, glucose can't get into the cells and it stays in the bloodstream. For good health, the body must be able to keep insulin and glucose levels in balance. With too little insulin, blood sugar remains higher than normal (a condition known as hyperglycemia) and cells can't get the energy they need. With too much insulin, blood sugar decreases (hypoglycemia), causing symptoms such as sweating, trembling, lightheadedness, and in extreme cases, shock. The most common cause of abnormal fluctuations in blood sugar is diabetes. This test is often used to evaluate the cause of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or any other conditions related to abnormal insulin production. It's often used to diagnose and monitor insulin resistance, a condition in which the tissues become less sensitive to the effects of insulin, causing the pancreas to overcompensate and produce more insulin. Insulin resistance is common among obese people who may go on to develop type 2 diabetes and also in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Insulin levels are very low — despite the presence of high blood sugar levels — in children who have type 1 diabetes. Your doctor will let you know if any special preparations are needed for this test. Sometimes a child will need to avoid eating and drink Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance (IR) is a pathological condition in which cells fail to respond normally to the hormone insulin. The body produces insulin when glucose starts to be released into the bloodstream from the digestion of carbohydrates in the diet. Normally this insulin response triggers glucose being taken into body cells, to be used for energy, and inhibits the body from using fat for energy. The concentration of glucose in the blood decreases as a result, staying within the normal range even when a large amount of carbohydrates is consumed. When the body produces insulin under conditions of insulin resistance, the cells are resistant to the insulin and are unable to use it as effectively, leading to high blood sugar. Beta cells in the pancreas subsequently increase their production of insulin, further contributing to a high blood insulin level. This often remains undetected and can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes or latent autoimmune diabetes of adults.[1] Although this type of chronic insulin resistance is harmful, during acute illness it is actually a well-evolved protective mechanism. Recent investigations have revealed that insulin resistance helps to conserve the brain's glucose supply by preventing muscles from taking up excessive glucose.[2] In theory, insulin resistance should even be strengthened under harsh metabolic conditions such as pregnancy, during which the expanding fetal brain demands more glucose. People who develop type 2 diabetes usually pass through earlier stages of insulin resistance and prediabetes, although those often go undiagnosed. Insulin resistance is a syndrome (a set of signs and symptoms) resulting from reduced insulin activity; it is also part of a larger constellation of symptoms called the metabolic syndrome. Insuli Continue reading >>

Wtf Is Insulin And How Does It Affect Our Health And Fat Loss?

Wtf Is Insulin And How Does It Affect Our Health And Fat Loss?

With so much written about diet versus exercise and exercise versus diet, it’s easy to overlook the role hormones play in our health and wellbeing, but they can make all the difference. That's why we’ve decided to take a closer look at the hormone insulin: What is it, and how does it relate to diabetes? Can we manipulate insulin to help us lose fat and live longer? As it turns out, we can—and pretty easily, too. What Is Insulin and How Does It Relate to Diabetes? Insulin is a super important hormone that helps us absorb nutrients from our food. Whenever we eat carbs (and a little bit when we eat protein), the amount of sugar in our blood increases, and the pancreas releases insulin to help take the sugar out of the bloodstream and into our organs (mostly the liver and muscle cells) where it can be used for energy . Diabetes is a disease that occurs when that insulin response doesn’t work properly and sugar piles up in the blood with nowhere to go. This can result in a whole lot of problems, including vision loss, hearing loss, high blood pressure, and gum disease. There are two main kinds of diabetes: Type 1 occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Type 2 occurs when insulin is produced, but the body doesn’t respond to it the right way. What causes Type 1 is often hard to pinpoint. Type 2 diabetes is increasingly common—some have estimated that a third of Americans born in 2000 will develop the disease—and a lot of the time, it can be prevented. How? Let’s talk insulin sensitivity. What Is Insulin Sensitivity? Doing a lot of something can make you less sensitive to its effects, right? Drinking coffee all the time can dull the caffeine, regular drinkers find they need more beers to get drunk than they used to, and so on. In kind of the same Continue reading >>

Hypertension And Insulin Resistance

Hypertension And Insulin Resistance

For years, doctors have been telling their patients with high blood pressure to cut down on sodium. And for those who are salt sensitive—about 50 percent of those affected with hypertension—this is great advice. In these individuals, even small amounts of sodium can trigger rises in blood pressure. But sodium isn’t the only dietary factor in blood pressure. I want to focus on an aspect of hypertension that is largely ignored by conventional physicians: insulin resistance. The Case for Insulin Resistance Insulin is the hormone that ushers glucose and other nutrients into the cells. When there is insufficient insulin or when the cells are resistant to insulin’s attempts to let glucose in, blood sugar levels climb and you have diabetes. In type 2 (insulin-resistant) diabetes the body responds by producing even more insulin, resulting in elevated levels of both glucose and insulin. More than 20 million Americans have type 2 diabetes caused by insulin resistance. However, millions more—an estimated 25 to 40 percent of the entire population—have earlier stages of insulin resistance. In these individuals, glucose levels are not elevated, but their high insulin levels cause other things to go wrong. Excess insulin is associated with increased body fat and obesity. It upsets the normal metabolism of fats, raising cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It disrupts intercellular communication, including blood pressure-regulating signals. It can provoke the sympathetic nervous system, causing the heart to pump with more intensity and the arteries to constrict. And it creates an imbalance in sodium and potassium (which increases blood volume) and calcium and magnesium (which causes arterial constriction), driving up blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart disease. Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

The Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

We recently touched on how you can use the ketogenic diet to control symptoms of diabetes such as elevated glucose and triglycerides. In this article, we examine research showing the impact that the ketogenic diet has on levels of the hormone insulin, a key regulator of blood sugar in the body. What is Insulin’s Role in the Body? Before we look at the research, we need to know our main players. Insulin is a protein-based hormone produced by beta-cells located in the pancreas. The pancreas, which is located under the stomach, also produces enzymes that aid with digestion. Insulin’s primary purpose is to regulate the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches, into a molecule called glucose. This compound can be used by cells to produce energy through a process called cellular respiration. Insulin allows cells in the body absorb glucose, ultimately lowering levels of glucose in the blood stream. After a meal is consumed, blood glucose levels increase and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood. Insulin assists fat, liver, and muscle cells absorb glucose from the blood, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose. Insulin stimulates liver and muscle tissues to store excess glucose as a molecule called glycogen and also reduces glucose production by the liver. When blood sugar is low, the hormone glucagon (produced by alpha-cells in the pancreas) stimulate cells to break down glycogen into glucose that is subsequently released into the blood stream. In healthy people who do not have type II diabetes, these functions allow levels of blood glucose and insulin to stay in a normal range. What Is Insulin Resistance and Why Is It a Problem? Unfortunately, for many Americans and other peopl Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance

What is insulin resistance? Insulin is a hormone that facilitates the transport of blood sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into cells throughout the body for use as fuel. In response to the normal increase in blood sugar after a meal, the pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. With insulin resistance, the normal amount of insulin secreted is not sufficient to move glucose into the cells – thus the cells are said to be “resistant” to the action of insulin. To compensate, the pancreas secretes insulin in ever-increasing amounts to maintain fairly adequate blood-sugar movement into cells and a normal blood-sugar level. What are some insulin resistance symptoms? There are usually no obvious, outward signs of insulin resistance. However, when you are severely insulin resistant, dark patches of skin called acanthosis nigricans can develop on the back of the neck. Sometimes a dark ring forms around the neck. These dark patches can also occur on the elbows, knees, knuckles and armpits. More importantly, insulin has less visible effects on metabolic reactions throughout the body, including converting calories into fat. Insulin resistance influences the liver enzymes that produce cholesterol and acts on the kidneys (which can contribute to high blood pressure). High insulin levels also have a role in the process that regulates inflammation. In time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes, itself a risk factor for heart disease. Insulin resistance can be diagnosed with blood tests that show low levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), a high triglyceride level, a high fasting insulin level or a high uric acid level. What are the causes of insulin resistance? There are genetic factors that can contribute to the development of insulin resista Continue reading >>

Calorie Restriction Not Key To Increasing Life, Lowering Insulin Level Is

Calorie Restriction Not Key To Increasing Life, Lowering Insulin Level Is

Numerous studies have shown that lowering your caloric intake may slow down aging, reduce age-related chronic diseases and extend lifespan. The effects have been observed in a variety of species from worms and yeast to rats and fish, and there’s evidence that it has a similar effect on the human lifespan. However, when digging deeper, it seems clear that the underlying factor that makes calorie restriction beneficial in the first place, is the lowering of insulin levels. What we now know about calorie restriction is that it reduces metabolic rate and oxidative stress, and alters neuroendocrine and sympathetic nervous system function in animals, as noted in a 2003 review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It also improves insulin sensitivity, and this factor may explain much of the longevity phenomenon, as again evidenced by the results in this latest study. This all makes perfect sense since we also know that high insulin levels speeds up the aging process. Reducing Sugar Consumption Can Add Years to Your Life I do believe that eating less is likely to be healthier for most people in the long run, but even more important is eating foods and drinking beverages that do not excessively raise your insulin levels. Eating sugar and grains, for example, increase your insulin level and is a sure way to accelerate the aging process. Beverages play a paramount role here, as high fructose corn syrup from soda is the number one source of calories in the US. and devastates your insulin resistance. Diets high in sugar and grains are also the primary culprit of obesity, and leanness, more so than food restriction in general, is also a key contributor to a long life, as evidenced by another 2003 study published in the journal Science. This elegant study from Harvard also Continue reading >>

What Does High Insulin Mean?

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 >>

Blood Levels Of Insulin And Hemoglobin A1c In Foundation Members

Blood Levels Of Insulin And Hemoglobin A1c In Foundation Members

Life Extension® has an advantage in identifying modern causes of premature aging and death. That’s because we have direct access to tens of thousands of our members’ blood test results. Our review of this real-world data enables us to uncover disease risk factors that are overlooked by the mainstream media. We then alert members about simple steps they can take to mitigate these hazards. Earlier this year, we analyzed fasting insulin and hemoglobin A1c blood levels in over 10,000 members. A startling 66% had higher than desired fasting insulin. Twenty-two percent had hemoglobin A1c levels that placed them in a pre-diabetic state. Hemoglobin A1c measures the percentage of glycated hemoglobin in one’s blood. Hemoglobin A1c levels should be below 5.6%,1 yet more than one in five people we tested had a reading over 6%. Gaining early access to this kind of data can spare aging humans the ravages of degenerative illness. Armed with this knowledge, Foundation members can slash their risk of cancer, vascular occlusion, and other complications before frank diabetes is diagnosed. This article will describe the dangers of elevated fasting insulin and hemoglobin A1c, our recent analysis of member blood tests, and a novel way to protect against glycemic overload. What Is Insulin Supposed to Do? Insulin is a hormone that regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism.2 Insulin enables liver and muscle cells to take up blood sugar (glucose) for energy production or storage.2 Insulin also facilitates the packing of glucose into fat cells as triglycerides.2 A burst of insulin is released in response to food ingestion. Once glucose has been safely shuttled into energy producing cells or stored, insulin levels should drop below 5 µIU/mL.3 Only a tiny amount of residual insulin should b Continue reading >>

Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance

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 >>

You And Your Hormones

You And Your Hormones

What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made by an organ located behind the stomach called the pancreas. Here, insulin is released into the bloodstream by specialised cells called beta cells found in areas of the pancreas called islets of langerhans (the term insulin comes from the Latin insula meaning island). Insulin can also be given as a medicine for patients with diabetes because they do not make enough of their own. It is usually given in the form of an injection. Insulin is released from the pancreas into the bloodstream. It is a hormone essential for us to live and has many effects on the whole body, mainly in controlling how the body uses carbohydrate and fat found in food. Insulin allows cells in the muscles, liver and fat (adipose tissue) to take up sugar (glucose) that has been absorbed into the bloodstream from food. This provides energy to the cells. This glucose can also be converted into fat to provide energy when glucose levels are too low. In addition, insulin has several other metabolic effects (such as stopping the breakdown of protein and fat). How is insulin controlled? When we eat food, glucose is absorbed from our gut into the bloodstream. This rise in blood glucose causes insulin to be released from the pancreas. Proteins in food and other hormones produced by the gut in response to food also stimulate insulin release. However, once the blood glucose levels return to normal, insulin release slows down. In addition, hormones released in times of acute stress, such as adrenaline, stop the release of insulin, leading to higher blood glucose levels. The release of insulin is tightly regulated in healthy people in order to balance food intake and the metabolic needs of the body. Insulin works in tandem with glucagon, another hormone produced by the pan Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance

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. [282] 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 >>

Signs Of Insulin Resistance

Signs Of Insulin Resistance

What is insulin resistance? Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas. It allows your cells to use glucose (sugar) for energy. People with insulin resistance have cells throughout their bodies that don’t use insulin effectively. This means the cells have trouble absorbing glucose, which causes a buildup of sugar in their blood. If your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes, you have a condition called prediabetes caused by insulin resistance. It’s not entirely clear why some people develop insulin resistance and others don’t. A sedentary lifestyle and being overweight increases the chance of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. The effects of insulin resistance Insulin resistance typically doesn’t trigger any noticeable symptoms. You could be insulin resistant for years without knowing, especially if your blood glucose levels aren’t checked. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that nearly 70 percent of individuals with insulin resistance and prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes if significant lifestyle changes aren’t made. Some people with insulin resistance may develop a skin condition known as acanthosis nigricans. This condition creates dark patches often on the back of the neck, groin, and armpits. Some experts believe it may be caused by a buildup of insulin within skin cells. There’s no cure for acanthosis nigricans, but if caused by a specific condition, treatment may allow for some of your natural skin color to return. Insulin resistance increases the risk of being overweight, having high triglycerides, and having elevated blood pressure. Since insulin resistance increases your risk for progressing to diabetes, you may not notice right away if you develop Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance: Causes, Symptoms And Prevention

Insulin Resistance: Causes, Symptoms And Prevention

Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, allows cells to absorb glucose so that it can be used as energy. The cells of individuals with insulin resistance are unable to use insulin effectively. When cells cannot absorb glucose, it builds up in the blood. If glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnostic for diabetes, it is referred to as prediabetes. This page will look at the current understanding of insulin resistance and explain how it is a risk factor for both diabetes and other conditions. The article will also explain the signs and how it can be avoided. Contents of this article: Here are some key points about insulin resistance. More detail and supporting information is in the main article. Insulin resistance itself does not present any symptoms if it occurs without prediabetes or diabetes Blood sugar levels with insulin resistance are normal Insulin resistance alone is not treated, but preventing prediabetes or diabetes from developing can be achieved through lifestyle measures What is insulin resistance? Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing prediabetes, and, eventually, type 2 diabetes. Around 15-30 percent of people with prediabetes go on to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within 5 years, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Similarly, the American Heart Association (AHA) say that about half of people with high blood sugar go on to develop type 2 diabetes within a decade. The AHA also point out that this means half of these people do not develop diabetes - "your choices make a difference." In other words, individuals can reduce their chances of progressing to type 2 diabetes in the future by making some preventive lifestyle changes. Not only that, but these steps can also Continue reading >>

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