What Is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). The cells in your body need sugar for energy. However, sugar cannot go into most of your cells directly. After you eat food and your blood sugar level rises, cells in your pancreas (known as beta cells) are signaled to release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin then attaches to and signals cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is often described as a “key,” which unlocks the cell to allow sugar to enter the cell and be used for energy. If you have more sugar in your body than it needs, insulin helps store the sugar in your liver and releases it when your blood sugar level is low or if you need more sugar, such as in between meals or during physical activity. Therefore, insulin helps balance out blood sugar levels and keeps them in a normal range. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes more insulin. If your body does not produce enough insulin or your cells are resistant to the effects of insulin, you may develop hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which can cause long-term complications if the blood sugar levels stay elevated for long periods of time. Insulin Treatment for Diabetes People with type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin because the beta cells in their pancreas are damaged or destroyed. Therefore, these people will need insulin injections to allow their body to process glucose and avoid complications from hyperglycemia. People with type 2 diabetes do not respond well or are resistant to insulin. They may need insulin shots to help them better process 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: 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 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
What Tests Should I Get For Insulin Resistance And Pcos?
Is Insulin Resistance Causing Your PCOS? Insulin resistance and PCOS commonly occur together. Have you got PCOS, but never been tested for insulin resistance? Or maybe you have been tested, but your doctor has told you that your blood sugar is normal? If so, you may have been left wondering what’s causing your PCOS. During my second year at university we did an experiment where were measured our blood glucose levels after eating different foods. We’d just been learning about how blood glucose could be lower in athletes due to higher muscle mass and increased insulin sensitivity. At the time, I was training for 20 hours a week. You can imagine my shock when I found that my results were close to the top end of the normal range. However, when I queried my doctor about this she assured me that it was still within the normal range. She told me that I needn’t be worried. I’m going to explain to you why this is incorrect and why even slight changes in blood glucose can be a sign of insulin resistance. Studies have shown that up to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. I’m always amazed at the number of women I talk to who have been diagnosed with PCOS, but not tested for insulin resistance. You were not born with PCOS. PCOS is a condition that develops due to your environment interacting with your genes. Your ‘environment’ includes what you eat, how much you exercise, stress levels, environmental toxins, etc. It’s therefore easy to see that there is always something in your environment causing your PCOS. If you can find out what this is then you can remove it, then reverse your PCOS symptoms. I’ve written about the main causes of PCOS and how insulin resistance is the main one. Now I want to further explore insulin resistance: – What is it? – Ho 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
High Insulin, Normal Blood Sugar Levels. What Is It?
Is it hypoglycemia? What do I eat with that? I know how to cure type 2 diabetes (Newcastle study) but not sure if it is the same for high insulin levels. I have checked all hypoglycemia plans and it seems that they say to have a snack every 2 hours plus a serving of grain with every meal. Is there anybody here who took care of their hypoglycemia with Paleo and devised a special meal plan? Thanks! 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 >>
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 >>
What Does Elevated Insulin Mean?
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please,join our community todayto contribute and support the site. This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies. I just got the insulin panel back and it said it was elevated. I guess normal is below 24 and mine was 31. The letter said we needed to start medication at the follow up visit. Does this mean I am a diabetic? If I have to much insulin then shouldn't my sugar levels be low and not high? Two hour after most meals I run about 160 to 250. So I am very confused as to what is going on? Thank you for you help with this. With Insulin resistance, that means your body isn't utilizing insulin as well as it should. With that, your sugar goes up. Your body tries to compensate by pushing out even more insulin to counteract the high sugar. "Two hour after most meals I run about 160 to 250" Your doctor is telling you that you are prediabetic with numbers like these? Might want to request an OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Time) from your doctor. It's what is used to diagnose - but a couple fasting sugars above 127 (or 128?) is used also. How are your fasting sugars (blood sugar taken after 8-12 hours of no food)? With your sugars like that, he hasn't ordered a Hemoglobin A1c (aka A1c, HbA1c, HbA1c)? I'm not a doctor, but yes, those numbers seem high. You are not in any immediate danger or anything like that, but you are going to want to get to the doc and figure everything out. Your doctor should steer you down some pathway. If he doesn't and wants to keep playing things by ear, you should probably find a new doctor. I'm not trying to be mean, but the odds of high insulin and sugars in that range being something OTHER than diabetes have to be extremely low. With your sugars like that, he hasn't ordered a Hemogl Continue reading >>