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What Does It Mean To Have Low Insulin?

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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 o Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Ayaju

    I did an insulin fasting test and the results showed that my insulin is low (4.6), but that my glucose is normal. My (temporary) doctor told me that I should have had a high glucose level because of the low insulin level. She told me something is destroying my insulin. She told me to see the endocrinologist, but because it is an HMO, I will have to wait to get an appointment. (These endos don't know the difference between lifestyle-based and glandular-based problems anyway).
    Also, she didn't tell me whether I am insulin-resistant or insulin-sensitive. I don't think she knows. Does anyone have any answers for me?
    We are getting a new healthcare provider next year, a PPO, and I plan on getting an appointment with Dr. Schwarzbein in January. Lucky me.
    In the meantime I am so confused about what to surmise about these test results and how I should be eating. I've been Schwarzbeining for seven months. Is it possible the insulin is low because I'm not eating enough carbs?
    I will really appreciate any information you might provide.
    Sincerely,
    Judy

  2. Lila2002

    Judy,
    I do believe that low-carbers have lower insulin levels than the norm. You'll have to let us know about your appt with Dr S.
    Lila

  3. Natrushka

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ayaju
    I did an insulin fasting test and the results showed that my insulin is low (4.6), but that my glucose is normal. My (temporary) doctor told me that I should have had a high glucose level because of the low insulin level.
    Judy, I did a search and dug up a few posts by Doreen on the subject of fasting insulin levles and what is 'normal' and what that means.
    Do on Insulin Levels (from Dr. Bernstein)
    Fasting Insulin and Blood Sugar
    Since Do took some of her info from Dr. B I've included a link to his website - you might find some info there.
    Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution - Some of his book is included on the site; chapter 3 should be of particular interest: "Blood Sugars: The Nondiabetic Versus the Diabetic"
    Best of luck,
    Nat

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