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Hyperinsulinemia and Hypoglycemia – What’s the Difference?

By Dita Faulkner
 
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When being proactive about our own health issues, it is very important to obtain correct and clear information. There is a lot of information out there and that can be a bit confusing. Take for instance the two conditions of hyperinsulinemia and hypoglycemia – they sound similar, but are they?

Hyperinsulinemia

When most hear the word, hyperinsulinemia, they probably think that this condition has something to do with diabetes. I did. A lot of the time, this condition is associated with type 2 diabetes, but in some rare cases, it’s not.

Let’s define hyperinsulinemia first. Basically, it’s occurs when you have too much insulin in your blood. If there is too much insulin in your blood, this signals doctors that there actually is another problem that’s the real cause of it. In most cases, the main cause is “insulin resistance.” If experiencing insulin resistance, the body won’t allow insulin to do it’s job – which is to lead sugar into cells in order to energize the body. Insulin resistance leads to type 2 diabetes.

However, there are rarer conditions that cause hyperinsulinemia, like tumors of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas or excessive numbers of insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Detection and treatment of these two conditions can only be done by a physician. Please seek medical assistance of your health assessment team if you suspect you are at risk.

Hypoglycemia

So now we are clear on hypoinsulinemia but what is hyperglycemia about? Simply defined, it is a condition in which a person has very low blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels must be high enough to allow an individual to have energy to live. Hypoglycemia is also commonly connected with diabetes but there are also other conditions/situations that can can cause a persons to become hypoglycemic.

For instance, taking someone else’s oral diabetes medications, side affects of other medications (such as, quinine), or too much alcohol consumed can cause the sugar levels to drop dramatically.

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