What is High Insulin Levels in diabetes?

By  , Expert Content
May 10, 2013

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What is High Insulin Levels in diabetes

Insulin is a hormone that helps in metabolism of blood glucose. Glucose is the type of simple sugar that the cells use for energy. High insulin levels indicates that your body’s control of blood glucose level and secretion of insulin are not functioning properly.


The fasting blood insulin levels ranges from 5 to 20 microU per mL (mcU/ml refers to micro unit per millimeter).


Understanding High Insulin Levels: Excess blood insulin level leads to;

  • Weight gain, as the hormone insulin is known to stimulates storage of fat
  • Sodium retention, and consequently excess water in your system. This can lead to high blood pressure
  • Accumulation of  inflammatory compounds in your blood. These compounds are known to promote damage to the blood vessel walls and encourage formation of blood clots. These factors are known to increase the risk of heart attacks and respiratory failure
  • Decrease in HDL cholesterol “the good cholesterol”, and increase LDL cholesterol “the bad cholesterol” and triglycerides. These factors are known to increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

High blood insulin level has several other side effects----like it possibly increases the risk of some type of cancers.


The commonest cause of high levels of insulin are insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. If your doctor suspects high blood insulin levels he or she will recommend a fasting insulin test.


If you blood insulin level ranges from 5-20 mcU/ml it is ideal. If the levels are high consult your doctor to understand the meaning of your test result.


Your food and lifestyle choices can help you to control your blood sugar and insulin levels;

  • Try to maintain a healthy weight. Consult your doctor to guide you regarding target healthy weight and diet.
  • Be physically active. Doing regular exercise on most days of the week for just 30 minutes can help to control high blood insulin levels.
  • Eat balanced and healthy diet. Consult your doctor to guide you regarding healthy food choices.

Dr Poonam Sachdeva, our in-house medical expert talks about the why what and how in diabetes.


Read more articles on Understand Diabetes

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