What is insulin and how does it help keep you healthy?
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use sugar which we get from food. It stores up the extra sugar in your liver or muscles and then releases it when your body needs it. But insulin has another job too, to take all the extra sugar out of your blood so that you donít have too high a concentration.Itís like insulin is the traffic cop of sugar. So, insulin helps keep you and your body from having too much sugar in the blood, which can lead to diabetes or other health issues.
What else does insulin do in our bodies besides telling cells to turn sugar into energy?
- Insulin is responsible for turning proteins and carbohydrates into energy
- Insulin tells your body when to stop eating because it lets you know if you have had enough food
- Insulin helps regulate the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and protein throughout the day to make sure they are processed efficiently and used as energy.
Here's what you need to know about insulin and blood sugar.
Insulin is the hormone that tells your body to turn sugar into energy. Insulin is like a key that unlocks our cells so they can take insulin into their cell membrane. From there, insulin can do its job. For insulin to be effective, it must not only be in the blood but it must also get into your cells. If you have too much sugar in your blood, insulin can't be effective and if this continues over time, you could develop Type 2 Diabetes which causes many complications including heart disease and stroke.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin Resistance is a term that describes what happens when insulin levels are too high or too low for your bodies needs at any given time. This can cause insulin dysfunction which can lead to numerous diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Insulin resistance occurs when insulin gets stuck at the cell membrane and cannot get into your cells. When insulin can't do its job, you are more likely to have high blood sugar levels. If you have insulin resistance, that means that your insulin doesnít work well which causes higher average blood sugar levels than someone without insulin resistance.
What causes too much insulin in your blood?
If you have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, often caused by being overweight, insulin doesnít do its job very well anymore. Some people don't even know they have insulin problems at first because they feel normal most of the time. But when they get sick or stressed out their bodies might not be able to make enough insulin to get rid of excess sugars and keep their blood glucose levels under control any more so it becomes a problem that must be treated.
What are the risks of too much insulin?
You may be at risk for diabetes and donít even know it.
Itís been proven that insulin levels greater than 100 may cause a variety of health issues including type 2 diabetes, increase the chance of having a heart attack or stroke, overweight and obesity, colon cancer, liver cancer and pancreatic cancer.
What happens when insulin is not able to do what your body needs?
When insulin is working correctly, we typically will not have any symptoms. However, there are times when insulin levels spike/drop for no apparent reason and these may be warning signs that insulin isnít doing its job properly.
If you have too much sugar in your blood it makes your insulin levels spike because insulin and glucose tend to go up together (this is called hyperglycemia). When these levels stay high over time it means that there are problems with either getting insulin into your cells or that there are problems with normal function of insulin once inside the cell.
Insulin levels fluctuate based on what time of day it is, meal timing, exercise intensity, sleep patterns and stress level. Itís important to review your daily routine because each component plays an integral role in how insulin responds to a situation that occurs throughout the day or night.
What are indications that you should test your insulin?
You should test your insulin levels if you experience symptoms like fatigue or mood swings despite getting plenty of rest. When insulin comes in contact with the insulin receptor, it lets sugar into your cell and starts the process for converting glucose into energy. If you have too much glucose in your blood this can lead to insulin resistance. You could have insulin resistance and not even know it.
Symptoms of high insulin can also be weight gain or hunger even after meals. If you experience one or more of these symptoms on regular basis then a lab test may help diagnose why this is happening and provide actionable steps to improve your health heading forward.
When insulin can't do its job due to a insulin problem, the sugar stays in your blood. Insulin testing is really important if you have any symptoms like these: - Feeling thirsty often or very hungry for no reason at all - Extreme thirst and urination, going up to 10 times a day - Having blurred vision that doesnít go away when you use glasses or contacts - Having trouble with cuts or sores that take a long time to heal
Each person with insulin resistance is different. The symptoms may vary, but the underlying cause will be insulin levels that are too high or too low for your bodyís needs at any given time. It's important to get regular insulin testing to identify the root causes of insulin resistance so that you can develop a plan that works best for your goals in life.
If you experience any of these symptoms it is best to get a blood test to determine if your insulin levels are normal or not so they can evaluate how well insulin is responding to changes in your diet or exercise patterns.
Are there any tests for insulin levels I can do from home?
Blood spot tests for insulin levels are very easy to take and convenient to get from home. These tests for insulin resistance can be used to help you get the information you need about insulin resistance so that you can take action before it leads to insulin dysfunction.
It only takes about three minutes to collect a blood spot sample for an insulin test from the privacy of your own home. The samples are then sent to the leading testing laboratory for analysis. Insulin numbers on your lab report will be reviewed to see if they are within a normal range. If your insulin level is higher than normal, it may mean you are already developing insulin resistance and need to change how much sugar and starches you eat.
If your insulin level is lower than normal, you may have insulin-related symptoms such as fatigue or mood swings despite getting plenty of rest. You might also experience extreme thirst or frequent urination on a daily basis. These could all be signs that something is wrong with your insulin network and mean that you should go ahead and get tested today!
How Do I Get Started?
Purchase a blood spot test for insulin. Once you receive your insulin blood spot test kit, you'll need just a pinprick to draw one small drop of blood (about the size of a pencil eraser). This sample will provide the lab the blood needed to analyze your levels and provide your results.
To Learn More About Related Products and Articles
Each of our products has its own detailed information page for you to explore.
To get in-depth information about each product, including ingredients and directions, just click on the product name or image below. More Information and Articles can be found under the products listed below as well as in the Associated Pages box on the right.