Am I what?! I realize this is probably not a question that you've asked yourself. It's not something you see by looking in the mirror. And if you've never heard anyone talk about it, you probably don't even know what it means.
So why should you care?
Insulin resistance leads to diabetes. Wait...before you click away and say...well that's not me. You should probably know the CDC estimates 1 out of 3 American adults (84.1 million) have prediabetes and 9 out of 10 don't know it. And if that's not shocking enough, another 7.2 million people with diabetes are undiagnosed.
These millions of people that are undiagnosed either
don't have symptoms
have symptoms of insulin resistance, prediabetes, or type 2 diabetes and have no idea that they are related
suspect they have it, but don't want to know the truth
Don't be #3. The good news is that if you discover you're insulin resistant and make the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can prevent prediabetes and type 2 diabetes all together. And even with a diagnosis of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, you're not doomed. You can do something about it!
Symptoms of Insulin Resistance
increased belly fat
fatigue after meals
feeling hungry even after a meal
high blood pressure
problems with blood clotting
A sign of severe insulin resistance is acanthosis nigricans, which is a skin condition that causes darkening of the skin on the neck, elbows, knees, knuckles and armpits. You may also have skin tags or dry, itchy skin.
So What Is Insulin Resistance?
When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into more simple molecules, such as glucose. When glucose enters the blood stream your pancreas releases insulin. Insulin's job is to move the glucose out of the blood stream and into the cells.
Insulin resistance is when your body no longer responds normally to the release of insulin. This causes glucose to stay in the blood stream longer causing high blood sugar and the need for larger amounts of insulin to be released to move it out of the blood stream.
Eventually, your pancreas will struggle to keep up with the amount of insulin needed leading to prediabetes and then type 2 diabetes.
Elevated blood sugar causes cellular degeneration and increased health risks, such as, cancer, kidney disease, and neuropathy.
So How Do You Know If You're Insulin Resistant?
Typically fasting blood glucose or hemoglobin A1c is ran as part of your annual blood work. If not, this is a great place to start.
If your fasting glucose is high, you're likely insulin resistant. The A1c is your 3-month average blood glucose and can indicate if you're prediabetic or diabetic.
There is also a glucose tolerance test. This is the test they recommend during pregnancy to determine if you have gestational diabetes because an A1c is not a good indicator during pregnancy. This test can also be performed to determine insulin resistance. You drink 50g of glucose and then have your blood sugar tested after one hour.
So What Happens If My Doc Confirms I'm Insulin Resistant?
Although this news might be upsetting, you should be thankful you've caught it now and not much later down the road. There is a lot you can do to turn this around and never look back. I suggest starting by downloading this free guide.
Ready to end the rollercoaster?
It's true you don't have prediabetes, yet, but the information in this guide still applies to you. Start taking action today and get moving in the right direction.
Think of insulin resistance as the earliest warning sign of much bigger health issues down the road. Don't be in denial. Seize the day and take action. The sooner you know the better your health will be long term.
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