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Raised Insulin FAQ

·      What does this diagnosis mean?

Firstly, this diagnosis does not mean that you are diabetic, Insulin is not a sugar.  Insulin is actually a hormone released by the pancreas in response to the level of Glucose (sugar) in the blood, which is determined by the food we eat. Starches and sugars will require the pancreas to release more insulin than certain vegetables and proteins do.


A raised insulin level thus reflects on your diet and informs us that you are eating too many starchy and sugary foods. This diet has a very big influence on the quality of eggs your ovaries are able to produce. Similarly raised insulin levels also affect the ability of the testes to produce good quality sperm.


·      How can I reduce a raised Insulin level?

Your doctor will prescribe medication which will help the ovaries / testes to produce better quality eggs / sperm.


Unfortunately this medication alone will not reduce your insulin level – you need to adjust your diet to a low GI diet.

As we are all so uniquely made food affects our bodies differently and the most effective way to reduce this level is to see a dietician – you can ask your doctor for a recommendation.  Attached you can find a sample of a low GI diet that was kindly given to us from a dietician who works in the building next to us (Medpark).


The medication together with the low GI diet and moderate exercise three times per week is the most effective way to get good results quickly.


·      How long will it take before my Insulin level will be normal?

This will depend how raised your level was when first diagnosed and the discipline you apply in making the necessary changes to your diet and exercise program.

Medfem prefer the Insulin level to be less than 9 before starting with fertility procedures.


·      Will this medication interact with any other medication I am currently taking?

We do not expect any problems but is important to discuss all current medication with your doctor to make sure all is good.


·      What side effects can I expect from this medication?

Glucophage / Metformin can cause nausea, diarrhoea, hot flushes and sometimes even vomiting.


These symptoms are worsened when your diet includes rich, starchy and sugary foods. Please inform the doctor’s rooms if you are experiencing any side effects – it may be necessary to reduce the amount of tablets prescribed for a little while until your body has adjusted. The side effects can be minimized if the medication is taken with food.


·      How long will I need to continue with this medication?

This treatment have two main components – it is primarily prescribed to achieve better quality eggs and sperm.  The female partner will need to continue until she is at least 3 months pregnant.  Secondly the treatment aims to improve and aid in a better lifestyle, which will ultimately lead to optimizing your general health. It is your choice to continue beyond the above parameters as you will probably feel the positive changes in your body. Should you decide to continue with treatment for longer you will need to ask your local GP for further prescriptions after your treatment at Medfem have stopped.

Your fertility specialist will require you to please repeat the Fasting Insulin blood test after 1 month on treatment to evaluate if your medication strength is correct, please contact the receptionist for a blood request form a day before the blood test is to be repeated.

Courtesy of Medfem Fertility Clinic

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