What Is A High Insulin Level
Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by an abdominal organ called the pancreas. It controls the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the body. It also guides the liver and muscles to store glucose and fat that can be used during periods of increased energy requirements and fasting. Insulin is a key that unlocks the cell gates so that glucose from the blood enters the cells. The cells of the muscle and fat tissue are dependent solely on insulin for glucose uptake and use.
The lack of insulin in the body or inefficient insulin action at cellular levels causes blood sugar levels to spike . Hyperglycemia is the hallmark of diabetes mellitus. Insulin is the only hormone in the body that can prevent hyperglycemia.
Hyperinsulinemia: Some individuals require higher than normal amounts of insulin to maintain their blood sugar levels. This condition is called hyperinsulinemia. It is often found to co-exist with insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is a state in which a given insulin concentration does not cause an expected dip in blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance may be caused by
- Antibodies to insulin or to the site in the cell where insulin binds .
- Suboptimal quality insulin as seen in people with certain genetic diseases.
- Genetic tendency to insulin resistance as seen in the people of Latino, African American, Native American or Asian-American heritage.
How Can Intermittent Fasting Reduce Insulin Resistance
Intermittent fastings effect on insulin sensitivity has been a hot topic in recent years. In a 2018 study, researchers found a link between therapeutic fasting and reversing insulin resistance, permitting patients to wean off insulin therapy without altering their blood sugar levels. This link between insulin and fasting has also helped patients shed significant amounts of body weight and reduced their waist circumference.;
A secondary study which analyzed intermittent fasting and insulin resistance found participants who fasted saw a 3-6% reduction in their blood sugar, and lowered their insulin by 20-31%. Researchers involved with the study suggest that fasting is equally as effective as traditional calorie reduction methods to accelerate weight loss and protect heart health, and can also help inhibit the progression of Type 2 diabetes.
What Are The Risk Factors For Elevated Insulin
The following factors can increase your chance of having excess insulin levels in the blood
Early puberty Girls who attain early puberty are found to have elevated insulin levels.
Lack of sleep if happens on a regular basis can lead to insulin resistance which over time leads to the excess insulin production as a feedback mechanism.
The stress hormone Cortisol causes insulin resistance as one of the side effects, by blocking the insulin receptor which indirectly leads to excess insulin production.
The metabolic syndrome which is a combination of obesity, hypertension, and high blood cholesterol levels can lead to hyperinsulinemia .
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Remind Me: What Exactly Is Insulin Again
Insulin is a hormone our bodies need to, you know, survive. NBD. Its produced by your pancreas and helps the cells in your body absorb the glucose in your blood, which turns into energy that helps your cells function properly.
Insulin is basically in charge of maintaining proper blood sugar levels. When you dont have enough insulin, you may experience high blood sugar or type 1 diabetes. When you have too much, it can be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
A fasting plasma glucose test is taken after at least eight hours of fasting and is therefore usually taken in the morning.
The NICE guidelines regard a fasting plasma glucose result of 5.5 to 6.9 mmol/l as putting someone at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly when accompanied by other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
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Get The Right Amount And Type Of Protein
Consuming adequate protein at meals can be beneficial for controlling your weight and insulin levels.
In a small study from 2015, premenopausal individuals living with obesity had lower insulin levels after consuming a high protein breakfast compared with a low protein breakfast. They also felt fuller and ate fewer calories at lunch .
However, protein stimulates insulin production so that your muscles can take up amino acids. Therefore, eating very high amounts over a prolonged period may lead to higher insulin levels in otherwise healthy individuals .
A larger study from 2018 sheds some light on these diverging results: When it comes to protein, dietary patterns are important.
For instance, researchers found that individuals who ate a majority of plant proteins were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, while individuals who ate a lot of protein in the form of red meat had a greater likelihood of living with or developing type 2 diabetes .
So while protein is important, eating a variety of protein that isnt overly processed and is nutrient-dense is even more important.
Learn To Love Green Tea
Green tea is super healthy, so its no surprise that it has also been shown to help fight insulin resistance. A review of 17 studies found that green tea significantly lowered insulin levels.
Like cinnamon and apple cider vinegar, this may not work for everyone. But since green tea is full of antioxidants and can aid in weight loss, theres no harm in adding it to your diet.
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Testing Blood Sugar Is Easy
Listen guys, blood sugar is something that you can test very easy.Back in the late 1960s, 70s, they developed a fairly easy home test that you can do, and its got better and cheaper as its went along.
You can prick your finger, you can pick wherever you need to prick on your body, and you can get a little blood and these test devises, are, are, you can buy them anywhere.
And you can find out what your blood sugar readings are, both when youre fasted and after you eat, or whatever.You can do tests and people do this, lots of people do this.In a lot of ways, its really good, because you can test how food is doing.;What its doing to your body.
You know, were all different, people respond to foods differently.So you, you really need to know what some foods are doing to you.
Who Should Get The Fasting Insulin Test
Considering that one-third of Americans have insulin resistance, we highly recommend everyone have an annual fasting insulin test. However, its especially important to have a test done if you have the following symptoms of insulin resistance.
The good news is that all Knew Health Members have access to this test through our laboratory diagnostics partner.
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Best Intermittent Fasting Schedules To Reduce Insulin Resistance
Popular intermittent fasting protocols range from fasting a few hours each day, fasting every other day, or doing a modified fast a few days of the week. So, theres not a single, best way to fast to improve your insulin sensitivity. Studies conducted on humans show the best type of IF schedule is the one that works for you.;
One 2018 study showed a 18:6 fasting protocol , improved insulin sensitivity in men with prediabetes. Another smaller study of patients with diabetes showed that various schedules of 24-hour fasts were beneficial to reducing insulin resistance. This review of 12 studies of patients following some form of IF showed insulin sensitivity improved, regardless of the type of fasting protocol they followed.;
IF is flexible. According to Jason Fung MD, founder of The Fasting Method, the most crucial factor of an IF diet is the fasted state will lower your insulin levels. The style of intermittent fasting that fits your lifestyle and is easiest to maintain will be your most effective way to fast for better insulin sensitivity.;
My Focus Is Insulin Not Blood Sugar
But, the focus of this channel has always been, from the very beginning, not on blood sugar, but on insulin.
And, honestly, at this time, 2016, as far as I know, there is no simple, immediate, home test for insulin.
If there is, someone needs to write me and let me know about it, because Id like to know about it.As far as I know, to get your insulin levels tested, you have to either go to a doctor and get a test, which may not help you and well explain that in just a few minutes.
Itll help you a little to know but we really need to know more than that.
Or you can order a test, as far as I know, there may be more than one companies that do it, but I know that this Meridian Valley, and I got my test right here, Meridian Valley, in California, has a test you can order.
They send you a little packet and Ill show you more about that later.
You take and prick your finger, and you have to do a little five blood spots for every hour, for four hours, to see your insulin patterns.Not just when youre fasted, but also after youve had a sugar load, in your body.
And the reason they do that, theyre testing something based on the research of a doctor that I greatly admire and have talked about lots of times on this channel.
Dr. Joseph Kraft.
Dr. Kraft, at this time is still living and vital and active.Hes his nineties.
And theres a great video interview with him, here on Youtube, by Ivor Cummings, and thats a video you need to see and Im going to link it in this video.
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Hyperinsulinemia And Insulin Resistance
High insulin is more an indicator of an underlying condition than a condition on its own. “I would associate high insulin with insulin resistance,” says Heidi Karner, RDN, LDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist at the Joslin Diabetes Center. She also points out that hyperinsulinemia isn’t diabetes in and of itself. “A person could have insulin resistance or prediabetes without necessarily having a diabetes diagnosis,” she says.
Insulin resistance happens when the body becomes insensitive to the insulin it produces, meaning that it can’t effectively use the insulin to lower blood sugar levels, according to the National Institutes of Health. When this happens, the pancreas makes more insulin in an effort to meet the body’s greater demand. But if high blood sugar levels persist, the pancreas may not be able to keep up and without enough insulin, the body can’t reduce blood glucose properly. This inability to manage blood sugar is the core issue for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Recommended Target Blood Glucose Level Ranges
The NICE recommended target blood glucose levels are stated below for adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and children with type 1 diabetes.
In addition, the International Diabetes Federations target ranges for people without diabetes is stated.
The table provides general guidance. An individual target set by your healthcare team is the one you should aim for.
*The non-diabetic figures are provided for information but are not part of NICE guidelines.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance And Prediabetes
Insulin resistance and prediabetes usually have no symptoms. Some people with prediabetes may have darkened skin in the armpit or on the back and sides of the neck, a condition called acanthosis nigricans. Many small skin growths called skin tags often appear in these same areas.
Even though blood glucose levels are not high enough to cause symptoms for most people, a few research studies have shown that some people with prediabetes may already have early changes in their eyes that can lead to retinopathy. This problem more often occurs in people with diabetes.
A New Method Of Gtir Testing
Up until now, the GTIR test has required the capacity to do multiple venipunctures over an extended period of time, whether in the practitioners office or at a lab draw station. Now a new finger-stick version of the test is being introduced making early detection of insulin resistance accessible to those practitioners who do not draw blood in their offices. Finger-stick blood sugar measurements have been around for decades, of course, and finger-stick testing of insulin is not new. However, inherent differences between venous blood and capillary blood in both sugar and insulin levels require careful calibration of references ranges to allow accurate identification of the Kraft patterns of insulin response. The new blood-spot GTIR test is the result of extended testing and verification to authenticate these patterns.
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Get Tested For Diabetes
If you’re experiencing symptoms of high blood sugar, speak with your doctor right away. He or she will likely want to test you for prediabetes or diabetes.
Diabetes is usually diagnosed with a blood test. It is also common to take an oral glucose tolerance test, according to the Mayo Clinic. This test is typically performed first thing in morning, because you’ll have to fast for at least eight hour in advance. The test includes consuming a very sugary drink and then having your blood glucose checked at regular intervals to see how your body is responding to the carbohydrates.
Here are the possible results: A normal fasting blood sugar level is less than 95 milligrams per deciliter . Two hours after drinking the glucose solution, a normal blood sugar level is less than 140 mg/dL. If your results show a blood sugar level between 140 and 199 mg/dL, you will be considered to have prediabetes. If, after two hours, your blood sugar is 200 mg/dL or higher, it indicates diabetes.
If you are diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, you will need to make lifestyle changes. This often includes dietary changes, increased exercise and possibly medications. If diabetes goes untreated, it can, over time, severely damage other parts of the body, including the eyes, liver and kidneys, per the National Institutes of Health.
How To Reverse Insulin Resistance
If you have insulin resistance, you want to become the oppositemore insulin sensitive .
Physical activity makes you more sensitive to insulin, one reason why its a cornerstone of diabetes management . Dont wait until youre diagnosed with diabetes to start moving more. The earlier you take action , the better off youll be.
Weight loss is important too, as is avoiding high blood sugar, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep .
These lifestyle changes really work. Talk with your health care provider about how to get started.
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Start Working On Your Fitness
Exercise is a great natural way to lower your insulin, especially if you have a higher body weight or have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
While any kind of workout will be beneficial, research has found that sustained aerobic exercise seems to lower insulin more than HIIT workouts. Aerobic exercise is any kind of cardio that increases your breathing and heart rate.
Cardio can be anything from a brisk walk to a long run or a Zumba class with friends. Whatever you choose to do, try to get in at least 30 to 60 minutes of it each day or a few times a week.
Intermittent Fasting And Insulin
Intermittent fasting is an eating style where you alternate between periods of eating and fasting. This pattern offers a plethora of weight loss and other health benefits, but intermittent fastings primary benefit is how it affects your insulin levels.;
When you eat, much of your food is broken down into glucose, raising blood sugar levels, thus raising insulin levels. If you are constantly eating, you are constantly raising your insulin levels.
When you fast, it allows your body a chance to stabilize its insulin levels, which gives your pancreas a rest from producing insulin. If you follow an intermittent fasting lifestyle, you can promote healthier insulin levels.;
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Do More Than Just Netflix And Chill
If relaxing on the couch with a good movie is your way to de-stress, thats great. But try to get some physical activity in every day as well.
Research has shown that just getting up and walking around a few times to break up long periods of sitting can improve insulin levels and insulin sensitivity.
Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle can be as easy as taking a walk after eating a large meal or making sure to get up and walk around even when youre sitting at a desk all day.
When you consume soluble fiber, it absorbs water and turns into a gel. This slows foods progress through your digestive tract, which makes you feel full longer and prevents your blood sugar and insulin from spiking.
It can also boost the good bacteria in your colon, which could reduce insulin resistance.
Some foods high in soluble fiber are beans, avocados, brussels sprouts, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pears, figs, carrots, apples, sunflower seeds, and oats.
Taking certain supplements may also help bring down your insulin levels. A 2017 study found that women with higher body weights who took dietary supplements including green tea, capsaicin, and ginger lowered their insulin levels and lost weight.
Be sure to get the OK from your doctor before trying any supplement.