Q:

What causes low insulin levels?

A:

Quick Answer

Low insulin levels occur when the beta cells of the pancreas do not produce enough insulin, according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. This can occur in diabetes, hypopituitarism or pancreatitis.

Know More

Full Answer

Insulin is a hormone produced and stored in the beta cells of the pancreas, explains the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Insulin helps to transport glucose into cells. If there is too little insulin or there is resistance to insulin, the cells starve. Glucose is unable to enter the cells and remains in the blood, resulting in high blood glucose levels. High insulin levels occur in insulin resistance, obesity, acromegaly, Cushing syndrome and insulinoma.

Doctors should evaluate insulin levels in the context of blood glucose levels, states the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Low levels of insulin with high levels of glucose in the blood indicate inability of the beta cells to produce insulin in diabetes or pancreatitis. High levels of insulin with high or normal levels of glucose indicate insulin resistance. High or normal levels of insulin with low levels of glucose indicate hypoglycemia due to excess insulin.

Doctors are likely to order insulin testing in people with low glucose levels. They also order the test for people who exhibit symptoms such as fainting, profuse sweating, palpitations, blurred vision, confusion and unusual hunger.

Learn more about Medical Ranges & Levels

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some causes of elevated hematocrit?

    A:

    Elevated hematocrit levels may be caused by dehydration; lung disease or smoking; or congenital heart disease, according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Polycythemia vera, a condition where the body overproduces red blood cells, and kidney tumors that produce high levels of erythropoietin may also cause high levels.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What are the causes of low RBC?

    A:

    Sudden or chronic bleeding, such as gastrointestinal and heavy menstrual bleeding, may cause a low red blood cell or RBC count, according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Iron, vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies may also decrease red blood cell count.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does a high level of "eos" in your blood mean?

    A:

    An elevated eos in the blood signifies an increased eosinophil count, according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Eosinophils are a component of the immune system and can be elevated in patients with parasitic infections, fungal diseases, allergies, adrenal illnesses, skin disorders, toxin exposure, autoimmune disease, endocrine disorders and tumors, states Mayo Clinic.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What does it mean when leukocytes are in urine?

    A:

    The presence of leukocytes, or white blood cells, in the urine may indicate a urinary tract infection, according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Contamination, such as from vaginal secretions, may also cause leukocytes to show up during a urinalysis.

    Full Answer >

Explore