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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Are Elevated Glucose And Low Insulin Problematic ?
"Are elevated glucose and low insulin problematic?" Nope. In fact your numbers are excellent and typical for a low carb eater. For a complete analysis, I defer to Peter at Hyperlipid: A LC eater has a FBG of 5.5mmol/l, technically pre diabetic, but blood insulin is 3.5 IU/ml. This is VERY low. Glucose is in very short supply but blood glucose is maintained by physiological insulin resistance, ie the muscles are full of triglycerides assembled from free fatty acids (NEFA) from lipolysis. The LC eater has breakfast, with enough protein from his eggs or particularly casein from his yoghurt to raise insulin from 3.5 IU/ml to 5.0IU/ml. This inhibits lipolysis enough to reduce NEFA in the bloodstream, intramuscular triglycerides fall and muscle insulin sensitivity returns. There's minimal glucose coming from the gut and so plasma glucose drops to between 4.0 and 5.0mmol/l, probably nearer 4.0mmol/l. It fluctuates between 4.0 and 5.0 after and between each LC meal. In the early hours of the morning there is a growth hormone surge and NEFA from lipolysis peak early morning to give insulin resistant muscles and an elevated FBG. MEAN glucose over 24h will be in 4 point somethingish, HbA1c will be between 4 and 5%. INSULIN will probably average out around 5-10 IU/ml, averaged out over 24h. ... A high carb eater with FBG of 5.5mmol/l implies chronic hyperinsulinaemia, 24/7 and is looking for something to die from. A LC, very high fat eater with a FBG of 5.5mmol/l implies they haven't had breakfast yet. They are not going to be hyperinsulinaemic at any stage. Unless they eat a bagel instead of their normal bacon and eggs that is. If they do this their blood glucose will hit 10mmol/l before insulin can shut down lipolysis and get the muscle accepting glucose. Continue reading >>
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  (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 >>
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 >>
Low Insulin But Normal Fasting Blood Sugar
Low insulin but normal fasting blood sugar Low insulin but normal fasting blood sugar I am not diabetic but I didn't know where to post this question. My Dr. did a fasting insulin and blood glucose test last week. He has gone out of town but his office posts labs on their website so I got the results but won't be able to meet with him until next week. I am not sure if I should be worried about this or not. The results of my fasting blood tests show my insulin as 1.9 and my glucose as 80. I can't find anyting on the internet that says anything about insulin being this low. The last time it was tested, two years ago, it was 6. Does anyone out there know what this might mean??? Re: Low insulin but normal fasting blood sugar The lower the insulin level the better. When you eat something and glucose gets into te blood stream, the pancreas is stimulated to produce insulin, and insulin levesl rise. After fasting, insulin levels should drop right off. A healthy young person should have a fasting insulin of <10. Fasting levels higher than 10 indicate insulin resistance, which is the the underlying problem with type 2 diabetes. So you don't have any insulin resistance. Normal fasting blood glucose is 70 - 90 mg/dl. And a reading of 80 also suggests that you have nothing to be concerned about. :wink: Continue reading >>
Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar From Insulin
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs in people with diabetes when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally. If your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), you may have symptoms, such as feeling tired, weak, or shaky. If your blood sugar drops very low (usually below 20 mg/dL) and you do not get help, you could become confused or drowsy or even lose consciousness and possibly die. If you are pregnant, your baby could be harmed. Low blood sugar can develop if you take too much insulin, do not eat enough food or skip meals, exercise without eating enough, or drink too much alcohol (especially on an empty stomach). You can usually treat mild—and sometimes moderate—low blood sugar by eating something that contains sugar. You should teach your friends and coworkers what to do if your blood sugar is very low. How to deal with low blood sugar emergencies Here are some ways you can manage low blood sugar. Be prepared Always be prepared for the possibility of having a low blood sugar level. Keep some quick-sugar foods with you at all times. If you are at home, you will probably already have something close at hand that contains sugar, such as table sugar or fruit juice. Carry some hard candy or glucose tablets with you when you are away from home. Quick-sugar foods are foods you need to eat to raise your blood sugar. Know the symptoms of low blood sugar, such as sweating, blurred vision, and confusion. Post a list of the symptoms where you will see it often, and carry a copy in your wallet or purse. Add any symptoms you have noticed that may not be on the list. Be sure that your partner (and others) knows your early symptoms, including the signs of low blood sugar at night. Wear medical identification. Continue reading >>
Low Insulin Normal Glucose
Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community My fasting insulin level is very low (below 2 mE/L). I measured it first 2 years ago and it was 3,9 mE/L (ref. range 2-29,1). Carbs intake was 200g per day back then, mostly from low GI foods, absolutely no sugars. Last week my fasting insulin was below 2 mE/L. These weeks I have been eating about 350g of carbs per day (from 450g of brown rice daily, 100g of oats, 1 piece of fruit, so still low GI foods). 350g carbs per day should by my opinion trigger higher insulin, but I have been taking last weeks also high doses of alpha lipoic acid + acetyl l carnitine which are both known to improve insulin resistance and lower insulin. In my case it seems they lowered insulin too much. From the day I started alpha lipoic acid and carnitine my situation started to get even worse than before: -very difficult to do any weight lifting training I have been felling very tired for last 4 years and my doctor thinks it is just depression which I don't believe. I checked thyroid and testosterone levels and they are fine. Do anybody have any idea or thoughts if my symptoms could be related to low insulin levels even if my glucose is always normal? If your blood glucose levels are normal after meals, and you are eating all those carbs, then I suggest your insulin levels are quite normal, otherwise your BG levels would be sky high, low GI or not. (Low GI foods have the same amount of carbs in them, it just takes a little longer for them to convert to glucose) Our pancreases produce insulin all day and all night. In healthy people, small amounts are drip fed into the blood stream to keep glucose levels steady. This is known as our basal insulin. Presumably, as your insulin Continue reading >>
Blood Test: Insulin
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 drin Continue reading >>
Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, can be a dangerous condition. Low blood sugar can happen in people with diabetes who take medicines that increase insulin levels in the body. Taking too much medication, skipping meals, eating less than normal, or exercising more than usual can lead to low blood sugar for these individuals. Blood sugar is also known as glucose. Glucose comes from food and serves as an important energy source for the body. Carbohydrates — foods such as rice, potatoes, bread, tortillas, cereal, fruit, vegetables, and milk — are the body’s main source of glucose. After you eat, glucose is absorbed into your bloodstream, where it travels to your body’s cells. A hormone called insulin, which is made in the pancreas, helps your cells use glucose for energy. If you eat more glucose than you need, your body will store it in your liver and muscles or change it into fat so it can be used for energy when it’s needed later. Without enough glucose, your body cannot perform its normal functions. In the short term, people who aren’t on medications that increase insulin have enough glucose to maintain blood sugar levels, and the liver can make glucose if needed. However, for those on these specific medications, a short-term reduction in blood sugar can cause a lot of problems. Your blood sugar is considered low when it drops below 70 mg/dL. Immediate treatment for low blood sugar levels is important to prevent more serious symptoms from developing. Explaining low blood sugar in layman's terms » Symptoms of low blood sugar can occur suddenly. They include: rapid heartbeat sudden nervousness headache hunger shaking sweating People with hypoglycemic unawareness do not know their blood sugar is dropping. If you have this condition, your blood sugar Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Low Blood Sugar
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin is needed to move glucose into cells where it is stored or used for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells. This leads to symptoms of diabetes. Low blood sugar occurs due to any of the following: Your body's sugar (glucose) is used up too quickly Glucose production by the body is too low or it is released into the bloodstream too slowly Too much insulin is in the bloodstream Low blood sugar is common in people with diabetes who are taking insulin or certain other medicines to control their diabetes. However, many other diabetes medicines do not cause low blood sugar. Exercise can also lead to low blood sugar in people taking insulin to treat their diabetes. Babies born to mothers with diabetes may have severe drops in blood sugar right after birth. In people who do not have diabetes, low blood sugar may be caused by: Drinking alcohol Insulinoma, which is a rare tumor in the pancreas that produces too much insulin Lack of a hormone, such as cortisol, growth hormone, or thyroid hormone Severe heart, kidney, or liver failure Infection that affects the whole body (sepsis) Some types of weight-loss surgery (usually 5 or more years after the surgery) Medicines not used to treat diabetes (certain antibiotics or heart drugs) Continue reading >>