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If you are struggling with chronic health issues – the way I used to – you probably have piles of lab tests that can potentially tell you a lot about your health. Blood glucose may be one of them. However, doctors never had enough time to explain it properly. They will only notice it if the lab flags your test results as outside of normal. But what if all your results are coming back normal, yet you know you are feeling nowhere near healthy? They may even tell you there is nothing wrong with you, and that it’s all in your head – I’ve been there.

Lab Test Analyzer is the tool I wish I had when I was dealing with all my health issues. Instead of normal, it will tell you the optimal values for blood glucose and many other lab tests. And if you are outside the optimal range, it will give you actionable tips and recommendations that will help you get there.

The Causes of Insulin Resistance and Hyperinsulinism

The main reason for hyperinsulinism or excessive release of insulin is insulin resistance.  Most of the time people get insulin resistance as a result of eating too much and being overweight.  Even if you are overweight, they’re ways to increase insulin sensitivity.  Usually, if people lose weight their insulin resistance will go down.

One should realize that insulin resistance is a broad term and that you could be insulin sensitive in one way and resistant in another.  Fat, muscle and the liver store glucose.

You could be insulin sensitive in your muscles and resistant in your fat cells, in which case you’ll be muscular and lean. This isn’t always optimally healthy.

For example, if you have elevated levels of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha it will cause insulin resistance in fat cells but not muscle cells.  This isn’t a good situation even though aesthetically you’ll look good.

Sometimes thin people can also have insulin resistance.  PCOS is a relatively common disorder among women, affecting up to 10% of women 12-45.

Thin women with PCOS also have insulin resistance.  There is also research that suggests that there is a male version of PCOS experienced by a certain percentage of men.  PCOS and its associated IR is much easier to detect in women because of overt androgenic signs like facial hair growth, alopecia (balding) and fertility issues, but males can have a similar kind of issue and wouldn’t be noticeable because men all healthy men have facial hair, etc… However, the symptoms can manifest itself as premature balding.

In thin people, IR can in part be caused by an inefficient conversion of Inositol to D-Chiro-Inositol and because of excess inflammation and oxidative stress.

In overweight people who initially were never tired after eating carbs, being overweight is the significantly more likely cause of IR.

Read: What may be the markers of the male equivalent of polycystic ovary syndrome?

About one third of the premature balding men showed the combination of hormonal shifts and higher insulin resistance. This frequency corresponds to the prevalence of PCOS in women.

A significant percentage of people have some level of glucose intolerance and turn to low-carb and other diets.

Carb intolerance can produce negative cognitive effects.

Insulin spikes or hyperinsulinism from insulin resistance can contribute to fatigue, weight gain, and hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia is very damaging to the body and contributes to all kinds of cognitive issues.

Below is a list of reasons why insulin would spike. This list is pretty comprehensive, so go through it one by one until you get to the cause.

Everything on this list is from scientific literature, but I just didn’t have time to link out to everything.

Unfortunately, not even a fraction of this information is coherently put together elsewhere (I’m not sure why).

If the reader finds a cause that is unrelated to the ones given below, please do share.

Checking for Insulin Resistance

You can request that your doctor test your blood glucose. Conventional doctors will look at high or low blood glucose levels and not mention anything. Sometimes, a lab result may be in the reference range, but not actually be in the optimal range. Reference ranges are not the same as optimal ranges. This is why even blood glucose in the ‘normal’ range can be unhealthy and indicate that certain processes in the body aren’t optimal. Lab Test Analyzer will let you know if your blood glucose levels are optimal and what you can do to get them there if they aren’t.

Reasons for insulin resistance

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Lifestyle

  • Eating too much,
  • Not exercising,
  • Obesity,
  • Psychological stress,
  • Sleep deprivation,
  • Circadian disruption,
  • Hypoglycemia(from refined carbs).

These are the main causes among relatively healthy Americans who mostly eat the SAD diet and are sedentary.

Nutrient Deficiencies

It’s easy to jump to the idea that we are probably deficient in something, but don’t forget that the most common explanation is that we just eat too much.

Hormones/Proteins Associated With Insulin Resistance

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Excess

Other

Supplements That May Contribute to Insulin Resistance

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Additives that cause insulin resistance

  • BPA (in canned food)
  • Carrageenan (in almond milk and other fake milks)
  • Tolylfluanid (fungicide used for crops)

Hyperinsulinism Not Related to Insulin Resistance

  • Problems with the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis that may be a result of other causes besides oxidative stress-induced insulin resistance.
  • Increased GLP-1 levels as a result of low levels of the DPP-4 enzyme, because of the gut malfunctioning. Hyperinsulinism, in this case, is not because of insulin resistance.
  • Other less common causes: cancer -insulinoma, an insulin-secreting tumor of the pancreas.  Congenital hyperinsulinism – caused by some genetic mutation.

Irregular Blood Glucose Levels?

If you have not yet tested your blood glucose levels, I recommend that you ask your doctor to do it. If you already have your blood test results and you’re not sure what to make of them, you need to check out Lab Test Analyzer. It does all the heavy lifting for you. No need to do thousands of hours of research on what to make of your various blood tests.

People don’t realize that their blood test results contain a gold mine of information that’s waiting to be unearthed. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or the inclination to sift through dozens of research papers.

It’s super-simple, so that even if you don’t have any background in science, you will understand what your results mean and what you can do to get them in the optimal range.

Lab Test Analyzer gives you up-to-date scientific information about your lab results. In addition, you will get both lifestyle tips and natural solutions to help you optimize your health. You can also rely on our science-based Optimal Ranges to prevent potential health issues and maximize your overall well-being.

All of the content is backed by science and researched by a team of PhDs, professors, and scientists.

We’re all unique, so we deserve solutions that treat us that way.

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The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

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11 COMMENTS

  • Emily Porter

    What is the deal with the rumor of low carb/high fat diets supposedly causing insulin resistance? I am a skinny female. My fasting insulin is 7.1 on this type of diet, with many sources saying under 5 is more optimal. Fasting blood sugar is 80 (and 80-120 all day long). Ha1c is 5.4.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      It differs for everyone.

  • Eddie

    Hi Cate, did you resolve you issues?

  • Kate

    Very confused. Trying to find a reason for my insulin resistance is a losing battle :/ have all the symptoms of IR and it was confirmed by 4 hour blood test last year. For years, I have been extremely active. I run at least 5X week and hit the gym at least 4X a week. I’m 22, 5’6 and usually weigh 125-130 lbs. my diet was pretty good – usually no breakfast unless I had a morning workout. I know that’s not great, but I doubt it could be a cause for IR. Lunch was mostly salad with minimal dressing and dinner was usually grilled chicken. I got up to 140 lbs and absolutely could not lose weight, which was when I was diagnosed. I now weigh 160 lbs and I am miserable. I’m on a diet that my doc and I discussed and take metformin twice a day. I’d sure love to know the cause. This website has been very helpful and informative!

    1. Joe

      Thanks! 🙂

    2. Hans

      Sounds like you were trying to kill yourself by overexercising and undereating. How many calories do you get from a salad with minimal dressing and some grilled chicken? 500kcal? You need carbs and lots of them if you exercise a lot.

  • Sam

    This site is amazing. Thank you for taking the time to document the amazing amounts of info you have researched.

    1. Joe

      Thank you

  • Sidney Phillips

    What is your take on the Kitavan diet, which is carb heavy from tubers and fat heavy from whole coconuts (43 g of fat per day), yet they do not get CVD?

    http://www.staffanlindeberg.com/TheKitavaStudy.html

    Also, I saw this recent study done with people that shows a high fat diet is bad for cognitive performance: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/93/4/748.abstract

    1. Selfhacked

      The kitavan diet is good because the fat comes from WHOLE coconuts. Very hard to overdo fats from whole foods. Also the rs diet is in favor of tubers (potatoes).

      The results of the study echo my experiences.

  • PC

    Well, I have problems with carbs and likely lots of the problems on your list (sleep problems especially). How did you come up with this list by the way?

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