Most people confuse hyperinsulinemia with diabetes but the two are different medical conditions because diabetes is more on high blood glucose levels. Although hyperinsulinemia could progress to other conditions like diabetes if left untreated.
Hyperinsulinemia is an independent condition that could occur alongside other diseases. It is a sign of an underlying metabolic problem. It could occur in men and women of different age groups starting from adolescents. But in Australia, studies show that males have a higher risk of having hyperinsulinemia.
Causes and how it affects the body
Overeating and a high carbohydrate diet are risk factors that lead to the development of hyperinsulinemia. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas in normal amounts. When people consume too much carbohydrate, the pancreas has to compensate by secreting higher quantities of insulin in order to regulate blood glucose levels.
Insulin is normally used for glucose metabolism. Hyperinsulinemia could also occur when the body cannot effectively use insulin due to resistance. In this case, insulin levels accumulate and pile up all because of resistance.
Hyperinsulinemia could also be caused by nesidioblastosis, a condition wherein there are too much insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Rarely, the condition could be caused by a pancreatic tumor or an insulinoma. There are also certain risk factors that could lead to the development of hyperinsulinemia which include:
High uric acid
High blood cholesterol levels
Fatty liver disease
Signs and symptoms
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
Increased food cravings
When all of the glucose is used up, the excess 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.
However, there are also instances where hyperinsulinemia is present but it does not produce any symptoms. That is why it is important to have regular checkups to monitor insulin and blood glucose levels.
Blood tests are used to determine insulin levels and diagnose hyperinsulinemia. But other diagnostic tests, tumor markers, and imaging techniques would be required if malignancy is suspected to be the cause of hyperinsulinemia.
Diet and exercise are the most practical ways of managing hyperinsulinemia. But proper management should be geared towards the underlying cause of the condition. Below are further discussions on the management of hyperinsulinemia.
Diet modification: Low-carbohydrate & -adequate protein
According to the Journal of Cardiology, an intensive 3-week diet program is sufficient enough to normalize insulin levels in the blood. Unfortunately this time frame is insufficient to address the Insulin Resistance. 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. That is the reason why a low-carbohydrate diet is recommended to manage the condition and prevent overproduction of insulin.
Protein is best in the regulation of insulin levels without harming your health. It effectively promotes weight loss and controls food cravings. Insulin also plays a role in the cellular uptake of amino acids from protein. With an adequate protein diet with high bioavailability protein , the excess insulin is used as an alternative
Obesity and excess body fat result to insulin resistance and subsequently lead to hyperinsulinemia. It is therefore practical to address the condition by focusing on the cause which is obesity and body fat.
Weight loss is highly recommended, because it enhances proper utilization of insulin. Experts say that a diet with low-carbohydrate and high-protein composition is the best weight-reducing regimen for people with hyperinsulinemia.
Medical and surgical management
Sometimes medications with dietary modification are prescribed for patients with insulinoma and nesidioblastosis. Most often, surgical management is also advised for patients with hyperinsulinemia due to malignancy.
If hyperinsulinemia is left untreated it could lead to other metabolic diseases like diabetes II, heart disease, and cancer. Most patients who follow low carbohydrate diet program are able to lose weight and have normal insulin levels. Early diagnosis and aggressive management of the condition would certainly result to a good prognosis.
Diet is the mainstay preventive measure against hyperinsulinemia. Monitor your carbohydrate and glucose intake in order to avoid excess insulin production. Our revolutionary health protocol can assist in the management of hyperinsulinemia because of its low-carb and adequate protein composition specific for your body. You can contact us for more details about our protocol which can assist insulin levels.
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- Barnard, R.J., Uqianskis, E.J., Martin, D.A., Inkeles, S.B. (1992) Role of diet and exercise in the management of hyperinsulinemia and associated atherosclerotic risk factors. American Journal of Cardiology. 15;69(5):440-4.
- Castro, R. (2014) Is hyperinsulinemia a form of diabetes? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on 10 May 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/expert-answers/hyperinsulinemia/faq-20058488.
- Nevile, K., Cohn, R., Steinbeck, K., Johnston, K., & Walker, J. (2013) Hyperinsulinemia, Impaired Glucose Tolerance, and Diabetes Mellitus in Survivors of Childhood Cancer: Prevalence and Risk Factors. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2006-0128.
- No Author. Hyperinsulinemia. Diabetes: The global diabetes community. Retrieved on 10 May 2015 from http://www.diabetes.co.uk/hyperinsulinemia.html.
- Robertson, S. (2015) What is Hyperinsulinemia? News Medical. Retrieved on 10 May 2015 from http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Hyperinsulinemia.aspx.