What happens when Insulin Levels are High?

Insulin levels tend to be high in Prediabetes and early type 2 diabetes in many cases. This is because of the phenomenon of insulin resistance, which means that the insulin produced by the body is unable to keep glucose levels in check due to the resistance to its action at the level of several tissues of the body.

These high insulin levels themselves tend to further increase the already existing state of insulin resistance.

In these states, insulin may increase the risk of obesity, coronary artery disease and increase in triglyceride levels in the blood. It also increases the risk of polycystic ovarian syndrome in women, which is a very common endocrine problem in young women leading to menstrual disturbances, increased facial and body hair and infertility.

high insulin levels

There are also other causes of insulin excess in the body; these may be due to tumours of the beta cells of the pancreas, called insulinomas or in a condition called nesidioblastosis.

In these conditions, the very high levels of insulin which are inappropriate for the levels of blood glucose cause an exaggeration of the normal physiologic effect of insulin.

As a result, patients may have a severe reduction in blood glucose levels, called hypoglycemia. These attacks may be severe enough to render the patient unconscious, and can potentially be fatal. In such cases, treating the cause of these dangerously high insulin levels is required to prevent untoward consequences.

Insulin excess may also be drug induced: thus, anti diabetic medications which increase the level of insulin in the body to bring about their effect or insulin itself, which is injected in patients of type 1 diabetes and some cases of type 2 diabetes may be too high at times for the level of glucose in the body: this may also result in attacks of hypoglycemia.

Some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are confusion, excess sweating, palpitations, dizziness, excess hunger etc.

If a patient experiences these symptoms, then he/she needs to ingest rapidly absorbable glucose in order to increase the blood glucose levels and consult your doctor (endocrinologist) for better management.

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