It is a condition where the blood insulin level is higher than what is considered normal in people without diabetes. Although hyperinsulinemia is not diabetes, the condition is often associated with type 2 diabetes. People with hyperinsulinemia has difficulty maintaining a normal blood sugar level which means the pancreas has to produce increasing amount of insulin in order to control it.
The primary cause of insulinemia is insulin resistance, which occurs when insulin levels remain high enough over a long period for the body to to become less sensitive to hormones. This means that the body's usual response to a given amount of insulin is decreased, which results in the pancreas secreting higher levels of insulin in order for the hormone to exert its usual effects. The pancreas produces increasing levels of insulin until eventually it can no longer produce enough to meet the body' s needs. This leads to rise in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance is therefore a risk factor for the development of diabetes.
Hyperinsulinemia can result from a variety of metabolic diseases and conditions. It is associated with hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia and glucose intolerance. This close association between these metabolic conditions ( also known as metabolic syndrome) suggest a common mechanism of pathogenicity. Hyperinsulinemia has been shown to play a role in the obese and also in people with hypertension by increasing renal sodium retention.
Studies on mice with genetically reduced circulating insulin suggest that hypesinsulinemia plays a causal role in high fat diet induced obesity.