Category Archives: metabolic syndrome
Insulin resistance is so common it now has multiple names. You may hear it called “metabolic syndrome,” “Syndrome X,” “pre-diabetes,” or “dysmetabolic syndrome.” MedicineNet.com says recent studies found 32% of the US population has insulin resistance. Sadly, this number includes many children.
Why is insulin resistance so common? Our modern lifestyle tends to combine a lack of exercise with a high carbohydrate eating style. This combination forces the body to release high amounts of insulin to counteract the blood sugar increases caused by the high intake of carbohydrates. Over time, the body’s cells become overwhelmed by the high levels of insulin in the bloodstream. They therefore stop absorbing and using the insulin. Insulin Resistance tends to be a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and other negative health conditions. For more information on Insulin Resistance, please read Metabolic Syndrome: Modern Epidemic.
Signs of Insulin Resistance
The following signs may indicate you have insulin resistance:
- Weight gain, especially around the stomach and waist: Insulin signals the body to store fat, so increased levels of insulin caused by insulin resistance often creates an increase in body fat. The waist is the most common location of body fat caused by insulin resistance. People with insulin resistance often gain weight or find it impossible to lose weight even if they are eating less and exercising more. For more information on insulin, read Surprising Facts About Insulin.
- Fatigue: Increased insulin levels and insulin resistance put a strain on the body that results in decreased energy levels. People who reverse insulin resistance often comment the increase in energy is their favorite part of restoring their health.
- Feeling sleepy after eating a big meal: Insulin resistance often results in slightly elevated glucose levels after a big meal loaded with carbohydrates. The body puts such a high priority on digestion it will divert energy from other body systems to help digest the meal. This, combined with the energy-draining effects of elevated blood sugars, often results in sleepiness.
- High cholesterol and triglycerides: The body creates triglycerides from the carbohydrates we eat, not from the fats we eat. When the body’s metabolism is negatively affected by insulin resistance, cholesterol and triglyceride levels will rise dramatically.
- High blood pressure: One of insulin’s lesser-known jobs is to control the pressure inside blood vessels. If the body stops absorbing insulin, an increase in blood pressure is a very common sign. I believe improving insulin resistance should be the primary course of action for most people with high blood pressure.
- Brain fog and difficulty concentrating: High insulin levels affect brain chemicals and neurotransmitter balance, which may negatively affect concentration.
- Depression: Due partly to the physical changes caused by insulin resistance and partly by the effects insulin resistance has on brain chemistry and neurotransmitter balance.
- Constant or increased hunger: When insulin levels and/or blood sugars are elevated even slightly, the body stops turning food into energy. This results in a constant feeling of hunger as the body signals its need for fuel.
- High blood insulin levels: Did you notice I didn’t list high blood sugar? This is because people with insulin resistance often have normal fasting glucose levels, especially during the early stages of the condition. A fasting glucose level is not a realistic reflection of the body’s normal state, as most of us eat at least three times daily and very rarely fast more than 6-8 hours. The best way to detect insulin resistance is to measure the amount of insulin circulating in the blood stream. Although many labs claim insulin levels as high as 18 are “normal,” I start recommending subtle lifestyle changes as soon as insulin levels creep above 8.
- Fatty liver disease: If left unchecked, insulin resistance and elevated triglyceride levels cause fatty deposits to develop in the liver. These fatty deposits can result in fatty liver disease, liver damage that is unrelated to alcohol consumption.
Please note that each of these symptoms can be indicators of other health conditions. If you suspect you have insulin resistance, please consult with your health practitioner.
The good news is that insulin resistance can often be reversed using simple modifications to lifestyle and eating habits. There is hope! If you would like assistance creating healthier lifestyle habits, please feel free to contact me to schedule a consultation.
If you are ready to move forward and receive coaching to achieve your health goals, please join me for the E.N.E.R.G.Y. Life Revitalization Program! The program addresses insulin resistance and more. Click the link to learn more about this innovative 12-week program and receive a special discount.