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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    My 13 yr daughter's insuline lever is 29.1, what can I do to help her?

    She gain 50 pounds in 7 months, feels tired, dizzy, always hot.
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    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    Writing as a non-clinical health professional, that insulin level sounds high. It may indicate what is called “insulin resistance” - essentially the body does not respond to insulin well so the pancreas (the organ which makes insulin) reacts by secreting high levels of insulin.

    Insulin resistance is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes as is being over-weight.

    I suggest that you get her GP to do a detailed clinical investigation. In particular I would ask for an HbA1c test (this measures how much glucose is bound to haemoglobin), a fasting plasma glucose test (this measures blood glucose after an overnight fast) and an oral glucose tolerance test (this measures how blood glucose levels change after taking some glucose). The results of those tests will indicate whether your daughter is at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

    Apart from that, it might help if you arranged for your daughter to see an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). APDs are health professionals who can offer advice about healthy eating - this could help with her weight gain.

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    Kate Marsh

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Dietitian

    Kate works with clients with type 1 and gestational diabetes, PCOS, and those following a plant-based (vegetarian or vegan) diet. As a diabetes educator, she … View Profile

    If this was a fasting blood test, this insulin level is high and suggests your daughter may have insulin resistance. This is a condition where the body’s insulin doesn’t work properly to control blood glucose levels and as a result the body produces more insulin than normal.  It is the underlying problem in type 2 diabetes and is also an underlying cause of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women.

    The best thing you can do for your daughter is to encourage a healthy lifestyle including regular physical activity and a healthy diet.  Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding weight gain is important as insulin resistance can encourage weight gain, and carrying extra weight can worsen insulin resistance.  A healthy diet for insulin resistance and diabetes prevention should be low in saturated fat and high in fibre with a moderate intake of carbohydrate and protein and mostly good quality low GI carbohydrate foods (like grainy bread, oats, barley, quinoa, freekah, cracked wheat, low GI brown rice, corn, sweet potato and most fruits).  As Simon suggested, an Accredited Practising Dietitian could help with more individualised advice for your daughter.

  • Dr Kevin Lee

    Endocrinologist, Nuclear Medicine Physician

    Consultant Physician in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nuclear Medicine. I am on Twitter @dr_kevinlee. I am on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kevinleefracp/ I help patients with obesity, diabetes, thyroid, … View Profile

    There are also other endocrine/metabolic disorders that can give appearance of “insulin resistance”.

    I am not a paediatrician, but if an adult patient has the constellation of significant weight gain, lethargy, dizziness and heat intolerance, one would be concerned about other serious endocrine causes.

    Her GP would've done other tests and also to ensure close follow-up.

    Otherwise one has to advise you in the strongest terms to seek further medical advice regarding these symptoms.

  • Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been … View Profile

    Hi there,

    As mentioned above it would be worth exploring why her insulin is elevated with and endocrinologist. You may also find this article of interest 

    https://authoritynutrition.com/insulin-and-insulin-resistance/

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