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What Is A High Insulin Level

High Baseline Insulin Levels Associated With 6

Effects of High Insulin Blood Levels in the Body
  • Beverley Balkau, PHD,,
  • Sylviane Vol, MSC,
  • Tiana Andriamboavonjy, MD,,
  • Olivier Lantieri, MD, MPH,
  • Gaelle Gusto, PHD,
  • Jean Tichet, MD and
  • and the Data from an Epidemiologic Study on the Insulin Resistance Syndrome Study Group
  • 1Institut Nationale de la Santé et de la Recherché Médicale, CESP Centre for research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Unité 1018, Epidemiology of diabetes, obesity and chronic kidney disease over the lifecourse, Villejuif, France
  • 2University Paris Sud 11, Unité Mixte de Recherche en Santé 1018, Villejuif, France
  • 3Institut inter Régional pour la Santé, La Riche, France
  • 4Department of Pneumology, Center Hospitalier Universitaire d’Angers, Angers, France.
  • Corresponding author: Beverley Balkau,

    Causes Of High Insulin Levels

    Insulin, a potent hormone released by the pancreas, keeps blood sugar levels in a healthy range. People with type 1 diabetes do not make enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes, however, insulin levels can actually spike in an effort to overcome the body’s resistance to its effects. Other causes of high insulin levels include pregnancy and insulin-secreting tumors.

    Back Away From The Bread Basket

    Carb-heavy foods might be delicious, but theyre not the best ones for you to be eating since they can raise both blood sugar and insulin levels considerably.

    Research has shown that adopting a low carb diet can reduce insulin levels, lower blood pressure, and aid in weight loss.

    This is especially true for people who have health conditions associated with insulin resistance, like metabolic syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome .

    A Mediterranean-style diet, in particular, is a great option because it emphasizes eating veggies, fiber-rich foods, beans, nuts, fish, and healthy fats. Its well-rounded and not too difficult to follow.

    Also Check: Secreted By Beta Islet Cells Of The Pancreas

    Why Is The Test Performed

    Fasting insulin is an important but often overlooked test that can help identify insulin resistance.

    Insulin levels are usually out of order long before there are abnormalities in blood sugar levels. Thats why a blood sugar test might come back completely normal even if you are suffering from insulin resistance .

    Other than to check for insulin resistance, your doctor may order this test to:

    • To help determine the cause of low blood sugar
    • Check how your beta cells in the pancreas are working
    • To help diagnose an insulin-producing tumor in the pancreas
    • To help determine when a person with type 2 diabetes needs to start taking insulin

    So What Affects My Blood Sugar Levels

    The ultimate Guide to Insulin, Insulin resistance and more ...

    It is important to understand what can make your blood sugar rise or fall, so that you can take steps to stay on target.

    Things that can make blood sugar rise include:

    • A meal or snack with more food or more carbohydrates than usual
    • Inactivity
    • Changes in hormone levels, such as during menstrual periods
    • Stress

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    The Basics Of High Blood Sugar

    Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia.

    When you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into the blood. Insulin then helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. When sugar enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use. In a person with diabetes, there is a problem with insulin. But, not everyone with diabetes has the same problem.

    There are different types of diabetestype 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. If you have diabetestype 1, type 2 or gestationalyour body either doesn’t make enough insulin, can’t use the insulin well, or both.

    Learn more about blood sugar Learn more about insulin

    It Contains Antioxidants That Provide Many Health Benefits

    A quick glance at cinnamons nutrition facts may not lead you to believe that its a superfood .

    But while it doesnt contain a lot of vitamins or minerals, it does contain large amounts of antioxidants, which give it its health benefits.

    In fact, one group of scientists compared the antioxidant content of 26 different herbs and spices and concluded that cinnamon had the second highest amount of antioxidants among them .

    Antioxidants are important because they help the body reduce oxidative stress, a type of damage to cells, which is caused by free radicals.

    One study showed that consuming 500 mg of cinnamon extract daily for 12 weeks decreased a marker of oxidative stress by 14% in adults with prediabetes .

    This is significant, since oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of nearly every chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes .


    Cinnamon does not contain many vitamins or minerals, but it is loaded with antioxidants that decrease oxidative stress. This may potentially protect against diabetes.

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    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.

    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 body gives you, alerting you to this problem.

    The role of insulin in your body

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    Could High Insulin Level Be the Real Cause of Your Health Dr. Eric Westman and Amy Berger.

    C-peptide level is based on blood sugar level. C-peptide is a sign that your body is producing insulin. A low level indicates that your pancreas is producing little or no insulin.

    • A low level may be normal if you have not eaten recently. Your blood sugar and insulin levels would naturally be low then.
    • A low level is abnormal if your blood sugar is high and your body should be making insulin at that time.

    People with type 2 diabetes, obesity, or insulin resistance may have a high C-peptide level. This means their body is producing a lot of insulin to keep their blood sugar normal.

    Also Check: Can You Get Diabetes If You Re Skinny

    What Does The Test Result Mean

    Insulin levels must be evaluated in context.

    Results seen:

    Not enough insulin produced by the beta cells Low High
    Hypoglycemia due to excess insulin Normal or high

    Elevated insulin levels are seen with:

  • Acromegaly
  • Use of drugs such as corticosteroids, levodopa, oral contraceptives
  • Fructose or galactose intolerance
  • Insulin resistance, such as appears in type 2 diabetes, acanthosis nigricans, and metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatic diseases such as chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer
  • Insulin: Reference Range Interpretation Collection And Panels

    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 hormonesepinephrine, glucocorticoid, and growth hormone. Table 1. Reference Range of Insulin Levels A standard insulin test is positive for endogenous insulin and exogenous insulin. In addition, there is a minimal cross-reaction with proinsulin and insulinlike growth factors 1 and 2, with the degree of variability depending on the brand of the testing toolkit and technique used. Insulin testing is used to assist in identifying causes of hypoglycemia , especially upon signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia . In this scenario, a 72-hour fasting test is performed. Insulinoma: High insulin and C-peptide levels Nonbeta cell tumors: Low insulin and C-peptide levels and high insulinlike growth factor 2 level Excessive insulin administration: High insulin levels and low C-peptide levels Insulin secretagogue administration : High insulin and C-peptide levels Congenital hyperinsulinism : High insulin and C-peptide levels Autoimmunity to insulin or insulin receptor : Postprandial insulin is bound to antibodies and dissociated 1 hour later, resulting in an extremely elevated insulin level and high insulintoC-peptide ratio TContinue reading > >

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance

    The following are common symptoms of insulin resistance:

    • Acne
    • Weight gain, especially belly fat
    • Fatigue after eating
    • Needing to eat frequently for energy
    • Hormone imbalances, including PCOS and infertility in women
    • Craving carbohydrate foods

    As a precautionary measure, we recommend getting fasting insulin tests done even if you dont have the above symptoms.

    Can Insulin Resistance Be Prevented Or Avoided

    The ultimate Guide to Insulin, Insulin resistance and more ...

    You cannot prevent or avoid risk factors such as race, age, and a family medical history. You can take steps to reduce your insulin resistance by losing weight , exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. Choose healthy carbohydrates. For example, eat whole grain bread instead of white bread, drink water instead of soda, and reduce your intake of sugary foods.

    If you have or have had gestational diabetes, insulin resistance typically goes away after you give birth. However, you are at greater risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when you are older. That should be a warning to change your diet and lifestyle early so that you can delay it for as long as possible.

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    It Can Imitate Insulin And Increase Insulin Sensitivity

    In those with diabetes, either the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or cells do not respond to insulin properly, leading to high blood sugar levels.

    Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and fight diabetes by imitating the effects of insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells .

    It can also help lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.

    One study of seven men showed taking cinnamon increased insulin sensitivity immediately after consumption, with the effect lasting at least 12 hours .

    In another study, eight men also demonstrated increases in insulin sensitivity following two weeks of supplementing with cinnamon .


    Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by acting like insulin and increasing insulins ability to move blood sugar into cells.

    What Happens When Insulin Levels Are High

    4.4/5high levelsHighinsulin levelsinsulininsulin

    The following symptoms may indicate that you have high insulin levels in your blood:

    • Frequent and intensive hunger.
    • Weight gain, especially around the waist, forming an apple shape.
    • Fatigue.
    • Lack of motivation or focus.
    • Anxiety and panic.

    Beside above, what does a high fasting insulin level mean? With insulin resistance, there is a high fasting insulin level and a normal to high fasting blood glucose level. High or elevated insulin levels can be seen with other medical conditions as well, including insulin-producing tumors , Cushing syndrome, and fructose or galactose intolerance.

    Hereof, how do I know if my insulin levels are too high?

    Some signs of insulin resistance include:

  • A waistline over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women.
  • Blood pressure readings of 130/80 or higher.
  • A fasting glucose level over 100 mg/dL.
  • A fasting triglyceride level over 150 mg/dL.
  • A HDL cholesterol level over under 40 mg/dL in men and 50 mg/dL in women.
  • Skin tags.
  • What happens when sugar level is high?

    Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can cause serious health problems if it’s not treated. Hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems.

    Recommended Reading: What Happens If You Stop Taking Diabetes Medication

    Other Causes Of High Insulin

    The most common cause of high insulin is high blood sugar. But in rare cases, hyperinsulinemia can be caused by conditions that affect the pancreas. One of these conditions is a rare type of pancreatic tumor called an insulinoma, according to Johns Hopkins Medical Center.

    Hyperinsulinemia can also be caused by a condition called nesidioblastosis, in which the pancreas makes too many insulin-producing cells, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

    In both of these cases, hyperinsulinemia can cause symptoms of low blood sugar, aka hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia symptoms can include hunger, irritability, confusion, blurred vision and feeling weak, faint, shaky or fatigued, according to the Mayo Clinic. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms.

    What Is Hyperinsulinemia

    What Is Your Fasting Insulin Level And How Do You Improve It?

    Hyperinsulinemia is relatively easy to understand once you break this term up into its root parts.

    Hyper means high, and -emia means blood. So, simply put, hyperinsulinemia is high levels of serum insulin.

    Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas makes. Insulin tells the cells in your adipose tissue , liver, and muscle to take up glucose so that your body can use it for energy.

    We get glucose from the food we eat. The liver can also make glucose when necessary, like when we are fasting.

    After you eat, blood glucose levels rise. Plasma insulin then increases to lower blood glucose and attempt to keep it in the normal range.

    Insulin resistance syndrome happens when the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver do not respond effectively to fed or fasting insulin. As a result, cells wont take up glucose from your blood as efficiently. To make up for this, your pancreas will make even more excess insulin in an attempt to get more glucose into your cells.

    Unfortunately, this can also lead to what we call glucose intolerance or impaired glucose tolerance.

    This means that your cells have a weaker response to insulin and sign an underlying problem.

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    What Do The Results Mean

    If your insulin levels were too high, it may mean you have:

    • Type 2 diabetes

    If insulin levels were too low, it may mean you have:

    • Hyperglycemia
    • Pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas

    If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

    Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.

    Conventional Treatment Of Insulin Resistance And Pcos

    Conventional treatment recommendations for the insulin resistance aspect of PCOS include weight loss, aerobic exercise, and the diabetic drug metformin, which improves insulin sensitivity . Resistance training may also be effective, but more research is needed .

    Oral contraceptives are the other officially-recommended treatment for PCOS, but they can interfere with sugar regulation and insulin resistance that underlies PCOS . The link between PCOS, insulin resistance, and oral contraceptive pills has been dubbed a âmodern medical quandaryâ in need of further research .

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    The Role Of Adiponectin And Leptin In Virally Induced Changes In Metabolism

    In addition to insulin levels, infections are also associated with changes in other hormones, such as adiponectin and leptin. These adipokines are important not only for metabolic homeostasis, but also for control of the immune response . The role of adipokines in energy metabolism and in the immune system are described elsewhere and will not be discussed here. However, absence of leptin is associated with increased vulnerability to infections. In fact, some bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections decrease leptin concentrations in serum which is associated with reduced immune cell function . In contrast, infection with hepatitis C virus , or tuberculosis mycobacterium increase adiponectin levels. Since adiponectin is known as an anti-inflammatory molecule, increased levels of this hormone are associated with impaired immune cell function. Even though it is known that some infections are associated with altered levels of adipokines and thus have the potential to modulate the immune response. However, data on this possibility is mostly lacking. It would be quite interesting to investigate whether the immune system is responsible for these changes, or whether they are mediated by the pathogen as a strategy to avoid the immune system. If the former is true, this would mean that the immune system influences its own responsiveness through the regulation of other endocrine hormones than insulin alone .

    What Is A High Insulin Level

    2: Regulation of blood glucose levels by insulin and ...
  • What Is a High Insulin Level? Center
  • 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.

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