Hyperinsulinemia is the medical term used for increased levels of insulin in the blood. This condition commonly occurs in people with metabolic syndrome like obesity, faulty lipid levels, and other associated factors. Insulin augments fat storage and enhances appetite that is why people with hyperinsulinemia are prone to weight gain and obesity.
Functions of Insulin in the body:
Regulates energy utilization
Signals glucose absorption if the body has insufficient energy
Signals glucose storage if the body has enough energy
Increases cellular uptake of amino acids (proteins)
Enhances fat formation and stops the breakdown of fat
Promotes fat or adipose tissues to take up glucose
Overeating, carbohydrate loading and faulty diet are the main causes of hyperinsulinemia. Insulin is a hormone that is regulated by the blood glucose levels. The amount of insulin produced has the same ratio with the level of blood glucose. As a result, too much carbohydrate in the diet makes the pancreas produce more insulin.
Hyperinsulinemia could also occur when the body cannot effectively use insulin due to resistance. Insulin transfers glucose into the cells but with insulin resistance glucose cannot enter the cells. Because of this, the body will try to produce more insulin to compensate with the insufficient absorption of glucose.
Insulin resistance is a condition which occurs when a person is obese or overweight. Body fat especially in the area of the abdomen makes the body resistant to the effects of insulin. Other causes of high blood insulin and insulin resistance could be due to other medical condition like pancreatic tumor.
What happens when I have high blood insulin levels?
High level of blood insulin will make cells take up too much glucose from the circulation. A person with hyperinsulinemia will feel ill and manifest with the following hypoglycemia symptoms:
Hunger or the compensatory increase in appetite
When all the glucose is absorbed, the insulin will make the person feel thirsty and hungry. The only way to address the symptoms of hyperinsulinemia is to eat in order to normalize blood glucose levels. People with frequent hypoglycemic episodes will have more food intake just to relieve the symptoms.
How does insulin enhance weight gain?
How to avoid hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance
Now that we know what insulin does to the body, it is just wise to prevent hyperinsulinemia from occurring.
Check your carbohydrates
Normally insulin is released after meals because of glucose intake. Any food or beverage with carbohydrates and sugar will stimulate the production of insulin. Monitor your carbohydrate and glucose intake in order to avoid excess insulin production.
Insulin is a hormone that is equally important for all people. Carbohydrates are the primary stimulus for insulin secretion. Limiting carbohydrate intake is one of the cost effective way of
reducing insulin levels and preventing resistance. Consult with your doctor or nutritionist about healthy meal options for your body type.
Be physically activeBody fat especially those in the abdomen causes insulin resistance. Fight and prevent insulin resistance by activities that promote reduction of body fat and weight. Physical activity also uses stored glucose and fat as energy source. Being physically active does not only help control body weight but it also help in hormonal regulation.
Eat and drink healthyAvoid consuming beverages that are loaded with glucose or sugar. Eating healthy foods like vegetables and fish can help eliminate body fat. Small frequent meals are also preferred instead of consuming large meals which will strain the pancreas to produce high levels of insulin. Diet is the primary cause of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. Eliminating the direct cause of the problem is the most effective preventive and treatment option.