Hyperinsulinemia is a condition characterized by abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood. Insulin is manufactured by the pancreas and helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. The chief cause of hyperinsulinemia is insulin resistance. When the body fails to respond correctly to insulin, insulin resistance develops. This wrong response makes the pancreas synthesize more insulin.
As the pancreas manufacture more insulin, the body continues to oppose and responds erroneously to the higher levels of insulin. The pancreas constantly needs to manufacture more to compensate. In due course, the pancreas will not be able to keep up with the amount of insulin that the body requires to keep the blood sugar level normal. Insulin resistance sooner or later leads to diabetes mellitus type 2.
Less common causes for the occurrence of this condition are insulinoma and nesidioblastosis; tumors of the pancreas cells which synthesize insulin.
Hyperinsulinemia is also known to develop after you have had a gastric bypass surgery. A genetic predisposition also increases your risk; as does a family history of hypertension.
Physical Symptoms Of Hyperinsulinemia
The condition may be asymptomatic, with no presenting features; or there may be these symptoms:
- Sugar cravings
- Inexplicable weight gain
- Low blood sugar
- Excessive hunger
- Frequent hunger
- Reduced concentration
- Panic, anxiety, apprehension
- Lack of focus
Treatment And Management Of Hyperinsulinemia
Hyperinsulinemia is diagnosed through a blood test. Your fasting blood sample will be collected.
Treatment comprises of treating the cause. Your treatment regimen will include a combination of medicines, lifestyle changes, and perhaps surgical intervention.
- Drugs to treat this condition are similar to those used to manage diabetes mellitus.
- Some medications can make this condition worse; thus it is very vital that you follow up regularly with your health care provider and have regular tests done too. It’s essential to discuss each medication with your doctor.
- Exercise has a pivotal role to play and is decidedly effective in improving your body’s sensitivity to insulin. Consequently, the body’s insulin resistance reduces – the main cause of hyperinsulinemia. Exercise also helps tackle obesity, which may be an underlying factor for this condition.
- Talk to your doctor and understand the types of exercise that you should try while treating this condition. Some exercises may aggravate your condition instead of improving it; thus, it is important that you discuss the exercise regimen before embarking on one.
Diet is of immense importance in any treatment regimen. A healthy diet helps normalize the body’s functions and decreases the surplus weight. It helps regulate the levels of glucose and insulin in the body.
There are 3 favoured diets for the effective management of hyperinsulinemia. These are:
- Mediterranean diet
- Low carbohydrate diet
- Low fat diet
- These diets control blood sugar level and keep it stable; and this improves your body’s insulin response. Steer clear of a high protein diet. A diet packed with protein may help with some forms of diabetes, but worsen hyperinsulinemia.
- Each of the 3 diets mentioned above consist of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, fibre, and lean meats. Consider and talk about diet changes with your doctor before commencing a new diet plan.