The definition of hyperinsulinemia is high insulin levels above normal. “Hyperinsulinemia means that the amount of insulin in the blood is higher than considered normal amongst people without diabetes. When a person has hyperinsulinemia, they have a problem controlling blood sugar, meaning that the pancreas has to secrete larger amounts of insulin to keep blood sugar at a normal level.”1

Both diabetes and obesity are diseases of hyperinsulinemia. “Simply put, dietary fat does not raise insulin. And hyperinsulinemia is the main driver of obesity. Hyperinsulinemia means literally, high insulin in the blood.”2

Unfortunately, there is no way that we, as diabetic patients, can measure our insulin levels at home, like we can measure blood glucose and blood ketones. So we have to rely on what lab tests our physician will order.

Typically, a doctor will order the c-peptide test. “C-peptide is an important indicator of your diabetes health and one of the most important of all diabetes biomarkers.”3 “C-peptide and insulin are released from the pancreas at the same time and in about equal amounts. So a C-peptide test can show how much insulin your body is making.”4 “To measure level of c-peptide a fasting blood test is taken. You will be asked not to eat or drink (certain fluids) for 8 to 12 hours before the test. If you take blood glucose-lowering medication, you will likely be asked to stop taking these in the run up to the test.”5 “Normal results are within the range of 0.5 to 2.0 ng/mL but can vary depending upon the lab that is used for testing.”6

Another important test is a fasting insulin test, “chiefly used as a test for insulin levels and to diagnose diabetes and insulin resistance. The test can also test for hypoglycemia.”7 Insulin normal range averages between 2.6-24.9 mcIU/mL.8

Most mainstream physicians will not order a fasting insulin test. So you would need to purchase an online test or go to a local lab who will do the test for a price. My primary care physician (Kaiser) will order the c-peptide test (so far, once a year) but not fasting insulin. The only way I can get a fasting insulin test is from a third-party walk-in lab, such as LabCorp or Quest, and pay for it out-of-pocket. LabCorp requires fasting for 12 hours. They also say to stop biotin consumption at least 72 hours prior to the collection as biotin can alter the lab test results, even though it has no effect on your fasting insulin.

If you have type 2 diabetes and require insulin, the basic formula for dosage is this: Divide your body weight (in pounds) by 4 to get TDI (Total Daily Insulin), then by 50% to get basal insulin (in units).9 However, discuss this with your physician or other health care practitioner before changing your insulin protocol.

Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics™ Recommends:

  1. Stay informed about your insulin levels with either a c-peptide test or a fasting insulin test (or both), depending on what your health care provider allows and/or what you are willing to pay for out-of-pocket.
  2. If your diabetes requires insulin injections, find out from your doctor or diabetes nurse how much insulin you should use and what type (basal, bolus, or both) and when.

Endnotes

1Editor. “Hyperinsulinemia,” Diabetes.co.uk (updated July 19, 2019). https://www.diabetes.co.uk/hyperinsulinemia.html (accessed on 10/12/2020).

2The Fasting Method. “Dietary Fat and Hyperinsulinemia,” The Fasting Method, n.d. https://thefastingmethod.com/dietary-fat-hyperinsulinemia/ (accessed on 10/12/2020).

3Khambatta, Cyrus, PhD, and Robby Barbaro, MPH. “C-Peptide – The Most Important Blood Test for Diabetes,” Mastering Diabetes (August 5, 2019). https://www.masteringdiabetes.org/c-peptide-diabetes-test/ (accessed on 10/12/2020).

4“C-Peptide Test,” MedlinePlus n.d. https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/c-peptide-test/ (accessed on 10/12/2020).

5Editor. “C-peptide Test,” Diabetes.co.uk (January 15, 2019). https://www.diabetes.co.uk/c-peptide-test.html (accessed on 10/12/2020).

6Haldeman-Englert, Chad, MD; Maryann Foley, RN, BSN; and Raymond Turley, Jr., PA-C, medical reviewers. “C-Peptide (Blood),” University of Rochester Health Education, n.d. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=167&contentid=c_peptide_blood (accessed on 10/12/2020).

7“Insulin Fasting Blood Test,” Walk-in-Lab, n.d. https://www.walkinlab.com/products/view/insulin-fasting-blood-test (accessed on 10/12/2020).

8“Insulin Fasting Test,” Portea Heal at Home, n.d. https://www.portea.com/labs/diagnostic-tests/insulin-fasting-test-225/ (accessed on 10/12/2020).
Insulin normal range averages between 2.6-24.9 mcIU/mL

9“Type 2 Diabetes: How to Calculate Insulin Doses,” Diabetes Education & Research Center (June 25, 2016). https://www.diabeteseducationandresearchcenter.org/insulin-doses (accessed on 11/8/2020).

Video

Blood Sugar vs Insulin: what’s the difference? [25:04]
This video is about the difference between blood sugar and insulin. There is a fairly common misconception that insulin and blood sugar are basically the same thing. Many believe if blood sugar is low, insulin will be low, but that is not always the case. In fact, insulin and blood sugar are often very different and this fact goes to the very heart of the obesity problem and the heart of the type 2 diabetes problem. You need to understand this concept and more importantly, you need to know that while insulin doesn’t always track with blood sugar, it does track with body fat. This video tells you how to test for insulin, where you can buy a test, and what you can do to set your mind at ease, if you can’t afford a test right now.

Eating fat does NOT cause insulin resistance and diabetes
Dr. Brian Mowll
https://youtu.be/C26gc5kZY3k

Additional References

Hyperinsulinemia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinsulinemia

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