Hyperinsulinemia: Is it diabetes?

content provided by mayoclinic.com

Hyperinsulinemia: Is it diabetes?


Is hyperinsulinemia a form of diabetes?



Hyperinsulinemia (hi-pur-in-suh-lih-NEE-me-uh) means the amount of insulin in your blood is higher than considered normal. It isn't diabetes. But hyperinsulinemia is often associated with type 2 diabetes.

Insulin is produced by your pancreas and helps regulate blood sugar. Hyperinsulinemia is a sign of an underlying problem controlling blood sugar, which requires your pancreas to secrete large amounts of insulin to keep your blood sugar within a normal range.

Hyperinsulinemia is most often caused by insulin resistance — a condition in which your body is resistant to the effects of insulin and your pancreas tries to compensate by making more insulin. Insulin resistance may also eventually lead to the development of type 2 diabetes — when your pancreas is no longer able to secrete the large amounts of insulin required to keep the blood sugar normal.

Rarely, hyperinsulinemia is caused by:

  • A tumor of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (insulinoma)
  • Excessive numbers of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (nesidioblastosis)

Hyperinsulinemia causes no signs or symptoms unless it causes low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Treatment of hyperinsulinemia is directed at the underlying problem.

Last Updated: 2011-12-07
© 1998-2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use


Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version