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Hyperinsulinemia: Is it Diabetes? | EVEN



Is hyperinsulinemia a form of diabetes?

Answer by M. Regina Castro, MD

Under hyperinsulinemia (hi-pur-in-suh-lih-NEE-me-uh) is to understand the amount of insulin in your blood is higher than what is considered normal becomes. Alone it is not diabetes. However, hyperinsulinemia is often associated with type 2 diabetes .

Insulin is a hormone normally produced by the pancreas and contributes to the regulation of blood sugar. Hyperinsulinemia is a sign of an underlying problem.

Hyperinsulinemia is most commonly caused by insulin resistance – a condition in which your body does not respond well to insulin effects. Your pancreas tries to compensate by producing more insulin. Insulin resistance can eventually lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. This happens when your pancreas can no longer be counterbalanced by secretion of the large amounts of insulin needed to keep blood sugar normal.

Rarely a hyperinsulinemia is caused by:

  • A rare tumor of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (insulinoma)
  • Excessive number or growth of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (nesidioblastosis)

Hyperinsulinemia usually causes no signs or Symptoms, except in people with insulinomas, for whom hyperinsulemia can cause blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). The treatment of hyperinsulinemia is directed against the underlying problem.

Updated: 2017-09-26

Release date: 2017-09-26


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