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What Do Insulin Levels Mean

Insulin Resistance: What You Need To Know

Insulin Resistance: What You Need To Know

Measuring insulin resistance might be the key to stopping prediabetes from becoming Type 2 diabetes. If you ask the average person on the street to play a word association game with diabetes, the word “fat” will come up sooner rather than later. Links between obesity and Type 2 diabetes are well established. And yet, not all fat people have diabetes, and not all people with diabetes are fat. Like many things connected to diabetes, simple and ubiquitous explanations almost never work. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, 100 million Americans are now obese, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. At the same time, the CDC reports that as many as 80 million Americans were insulin-resistant, and since insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes onset, the two numbers seem to support one another. The correlation breaks down, however, if one assumes that obesity and insulin resistance are always connected. They aren’t; some 12% of those who are insulin-resistant are thin. Since testing only overweight people isn’t a diagnostic solution, heading off diabetes Armageddon in the future boils down to identifying insulin-resistant people, regardless of weight, say diabetes researchers. Early identification of insulin resistance can have a major impact on the long-term prognosis of diabetes in patients, or help patients avoid the onset of diabetes altogether, but the window for early diagnosis of insulin resistance often is missed. Standard tests such as A1c percentages or fasting glucose won’t always identify the problem in time to allow prevention to work. sponsor How Insulin Resistance Begins Insulin resistance is a metabolic condition that causes the body’s cells to require a higher than normal amount of insulin to convert glucose into energy. B Continue reading >>

12 Signs Of Insulin Resistance

12 Signs Of Insulin Resistance

Most people think about diabetics when they see the word insulin, but problems with insulin can occur in a number of different conditions, in people with normal blood sugar. You have probably heard of insulin resistance; it is a significant health problem because it’s associated with an increased risk of obesity, heart attacks, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cancer and other serious conditions. People with insulin resistance usually have excessively high levels of this hormone, because it doesn’t work properly. We are seeing an increasing number of patients who have been diagnosed with insulin resistance by their own doctor, yet they don’t fully understand what this term means. How would you know if your insulin level is too high? There is a blood test that can measure your fasting insulin, but it isn’t always reliable and many doctors are not willing to order this test. This is a shame because elevated insulin is bad for your health and shortens your lifespan. Insulin has many important roles in your body. People with too much insulin in their bloodstream are said to have insulin resistance, syndrome X, metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes. They are all interchangeable terms. Due to modern diets and lifestyles, nearly everybody produces more insulin in their pancreas than they should. This is a problem because if blood insulin levels have been high for years, the cells of your body start to ignore it. The insulin becomes less and less effective at its important job in your body (getting glucose inside your cells so you can burn it for energy). Knowing whether or not you have too high insulin is important because it can allow you to make some changes and avoid some serious health problems in the future. Luckily there are several tell tale signs or clues that your bo Continue reading >>

Insulin

Insulin

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 hormones—epinephrine, glucocorticoid, and growth hormone. Table 1. Reference Range of Insulin Levels [1] (Open Table in a new window) Insulin Level Insulin Level (SI Units*) Fasting < 25 mIU/L < 174 pmol/L 30 minutes after glucose administration 30-230 mIU/L 208-1597 pmol/L 1 hour after glucose administration 18-276 mIU/L 125-1917 pmol/L 2 hour after glucose administration 16-166 mIU/L 111-1153 pmol/L ≥3 hours after glucose administration < 25 mIU/L < 174 pmol/L *SI unit: conversional units x 6.945 Continue reading >>

Fasting Insulin Level Is Positively Associated With Incidence Of Hypertension Among American Young Adults

Fasting Insulin Level Is Positively Associated With Incidence Of Hypertension Among American Young Adults

OBJECTIVE Although hyperinsulinemia, a surrogate of insulin resistance, may play a role in the pathogenesis of hypertension (HTN), the longitudinal association between fasting insulin level and HTN development is still controversial. We examined the relation between fasting insulin and incidence of HTN in a large prospective cohort. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A prospective cohort of 3,413 Americans, aged 18–30 years, without HTN in 1985 (baseline) were enrolled. Six follow-ups were conducted in 1987, 1990, 1992, 1995, 2000, and 2005. Fasting insulin and glucose levels were assessed by a radioimmunoassay and hexokinase method, respectively. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs of incident HTN (defined as the initiation of antihypertensive medication, systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg, or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg). RESULTS During the 20-year follow-up, 796 incident cases were identified. After adjustment for potential confounders, participants in the highest quartile of insulin levels had a significantly higher incidence of HTN (HR 1.85 [95% CI 1.42–2.40]; Ptrend < 0.001) compared with those in the lowest quartile. The positive association persisted in each sex/ethnicity/weight status subgroup. A similar dose-response relation was observed when insulin-to-glucose ratio or homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance was used as exposure. CONCLUSIONS Fasting serum insulin levels or hyperinsulinemia in young adulthood was positively associated with incidence of HTN later in life for both men and women, African Americans and Caucasians, and those with normal weight and overweight. Our findings suggested that fasting insulin ascertainment may help clinicians identify those at high risk of HTN. Hypertens 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 >>

Do You Know Your Insulin Level?

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 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 >>

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 >>

How Insulin Really Works: It Causes Fat Storage…but Doesn’t Make You Fat

How Insulin Really Works: It Causes Fat Storage…but Doesn’t Make You Fat

Many people believe that insulin is to blame for the obesity epidemic. When you understand how it actually works, you’ll know why this is a lie. Insulin has been taking quite a beating these days. If we’re to listen to some “experts,” it’s an evil hormone whose sole goal is making us fat, type 2 diabetics. Furthermore, we’re told that carbohydrates also are in on the conspiracy. By eating carbs, we open the insulin floodgates and wreak havoc in our bodies. How true are these claims, though? Does it really make sense that our bodies would come with an insidious mechanism to punish carbohydrate intake? Let’s find out. What is Insulin, Anyway? Insulin is a hormone, which means it’s a substance the body produces to affect the functions of organs or tissues, and it’s made and released into the blood by the pancreas. Insulin’s job is a very important one: when you eat food, it’s broken down into basic nutrients (protein breaks down into amino acids; dietary fats into fatty acids; and carbohydrates into glucose), which make their way into the bloodstream. These nutrients must then be moved from the blood into muscle and fat cells for use or storage, and that’s where insulin comes into play: it helps shuttle the nutrients into cells by “telling” the cells to open up and absorb them. So, whenever you eat food, your pancreas releases insulin into the blood. As the nutrients are slowly absorbed into cells, insulin levels drop, until finally all the nutrients are absorbed, and insulin levels then remain steady at a low, “baseline” level. This cycle occurs every time you eat food: amino acids, fatty acids, and/or glucose find their way into your blood, and they’re joined by additional insulin, which ushers them into cells. Once the job is done, insu Continue reading >>

What Does My Fasting Insulin Level Mean?

What Does My Fasting Insulin Level Mean?

Diabetes expert - 2017/10/04 Hi A fasting insulin level is not very useful, and doesn't really tell one much. It may be an indicator of insulin resistance, but it isn't the ideal test. The ideal test is a complex test done using an insulin and glucose infusions. The likely cause of a raised insulin is being overweight, and the clinical features of this are skin tags around the neck and upper body or acanthosis(darkness around the neck). Insulin resistance can be improved with weight loss, and is not a cause for weight gain The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content. Continue reading >>

Low-carb Lab Testing – Part 2 – Fasting Insulin Test

Low-carb Lab Testing – Part 2 – Fasting Insulin Test

This is the second installment in a series of articles exploring pertinent lab tests for people following low-carb diets, and how a slightly different perspective is needed when interpreting the results compared to results from people following high-carb diets. In the previous post in this series, we looked at three measurements related to blood glucose: fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1c, and fructosamine. We left off saying that while these are important to monitor regularly, they offer a limited view of a much larger metabolic control system. Blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and fructosamine indicate only what’s happening with blood glucose. They reveal nothing about insulin, which we will explore in this post. Knowing your numbers is an important step for anyone who wants to transform their health. Heads Up Health was designed to empower you to manage all of your health data, including your lab test results, in one secure location. You can learn more on our homepage or by clicking below to create your account and start building your own centralized health portfolio. The Fasting Insulin Test We said it last time, and it’s worth repeating: A fasting insulin test is the most important test your doctor probably isn’t ordering. The reason it’s so important to track insulin is that in many cases, fasting glucose and A1c remain normal due to chronically elevated insulin—that is, sky-high insulin is keeping the glucose “in check.” Fasting glucose and HbA1c are often the last things to rise, and they become elevated only after one of two things has happened: The pancreas can no longer pump out the inordinate amounts of insulin required to keep blood glucose within a safe range (sometimes called “beta cell burnout”). This is relatively rare, except in typ Continue reading >>

Essential Notes On Blood Sugar And Insulin

Essential Notes On Blood Sugar And Insulin

You have approximately 5 liters (about 21 cups) of blood traveling around in your blood vessels and heart at any given moment. In these 5 liters of blood, you need only about one teaspoon of sugar for all of your regular activities. If you regularly have more than a teaspoon of sugar floating through your blood vessels, the excess sugar can slow down your circulation, which, over time, can cause all of the problems you would expect to have if you had thick maple syrup clogging up your blood vessels. This is essentially what happens when a person becomes diabetic. In order to keep the amount of sugar floating through your blood vessels at around a teaspoon, your body releases insulin whenever you eat foods that release sugar into your bloodstream. Eating sugary foods, most sweeteners, grains, cookies, pastries, cakes, pasta, and starchy vegetables like potatoes all lead to a release of sugar into your bloodstream. Insulin works by stimulating your cells to sponge up this excess sugar out of your bloodstream. Once inside your cells, sugar is used for energy, with any excess amount being converted to fat tissue. If you regularly eat sugary foods and highly processed carbohydrates, your body will have released so much insulin that it will begin to lose its sensitivity to insulin, which means that your cells won’t receive as strong a signal to sponge up excess sugar out of your blood. This will lead to excess sugar floating around your blood vessels and all the health problems that come with this scenario. Just a few years ago, 110 - 120 mg/dL (6.1 - 6.7 mmol/L) was widely considered the upper range for a normal fasting blood sugar level. Today, a fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is considered normal, while anything within 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to Continue reading >>

The One Number That May Best Predict Your Risk Of Sudden Death

The One Number That May Best Predict Your Risk Of Sudden Death

There are seven numbers you should track if you want to monitor your health—five are determined by simple blood tests, and the other two you can determine at home The five blood tests you should regularly obtain are fasting insulin, cholesterol/HDL ratio, serum ferritin, uric acid, and vitamin D; two good indicators for assessing your overall “metabolic fitness” and heart attack risk are your percentage body fat and your waist-to-hip ratio Optimizing your vitamin D level is crucial for health because vitamin D influences about 3,000 of your 30,000 genes, helping to prevent a multitude of diseases from cardiovascular disease to the common cold Minimizing dietary sugar, especially fructose, will go a long way toward optimizing nearly ALL seven of these numbers—if you could do only one thing, this would be the one! By Dr. Mercola The Globe and Maili recently published an article outlining "the 5 numbers that most impact your health." I think they have the right idea, but but I disagree with their test selections. If you really want to monitor your health, I believe the numbers you should be tracking are the seven listed in the table below. These are far more important than tracking your total cholesterol, blood pressure, or BMI, as recommended by the Globe and Mail. Let's take a closer look at these values and what they may reveal about your health. 1. Fasting Insulin (I) 2. Cholesterol/HDL Ratio (C) 3. Percentage Body Fat (F) 4. Serum Ferritin (F) 5. Waist/Hip Ratio (WH) 6. Uric Acid Level (U) 7. Vitamin D Level (D) 1. Fasting Insulin Level Your fasting insulin level reflects how healthy your blood glucose levels are over time. Insulin helps sugar move from your blood into your cells, where it can be used or stored. Chronically elevated blood glucose leads to insu Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance And Hypoglycemia In Fitness.

Insulin Resistance And Hypoglycemia In Fitness.

How is it that people who are doing what they are “supposed” to be doing –- eating healthy, exercising, maintaining a normal body composition -– still have blood sugar issues? We’ll explore that, and more, in today’s article. If you’ve ever been interested in blood sugar management, insulin resistance, and hypoglycemia, this is one article you’ll want to check out. ++ In a previous article (Trouble losing body fat? Are anemia and low oxygen delivery to blame?) I focused on oxygen, one of the two fuel sources for what is arguably one of the most important components of your cell, the mitochondria. Without oxygen, it is impossible for your cells to work at their full capacity or for you to be healthy. The second source of fuel for the mitochondria -– glucose –- has an equally important role in the function of cells. In this article, I’ll look at glucose and its role in blood sugar. The blood sugar bandwagon With the epidemic of diabetes and metabolic syndrome plaguing the industrial world in recent years, blood sugar and insulin have gotten their fair share of media attention. In fact, blood sugar balance is a major tenet of virtually every diet book from The Zone to The Atkins Diet. And with good reason: imbalanced blood sugar levels are at the crux of many health issues, including being overweight. But there is much more to know about the blood sugar picture. Real people, real issues In our practice, we constantly see people with blood sugar imbalances. But these people are not run-of-the-mill Americans. Not by a long shot. These are health-conscious, educated individuals who do not spend their time eating Twinkies, bingeing at McDonalds and competing in the World’s Laziest Couch Potato competition. Rather, we see people who eat well, exercise re Continue reading >>

Pcos: Insulin And Metformin

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 >>

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