Insulin resistance is a significant danger to your health and puts you at risk for diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer, depression, dementia and death. You need to know if you are one of between an estimated 70 to 100 million North Americans who are insulin resistant?
After you eat, your pancreas secretes the hormone insulin which is responsible for taking carbohydrates in the form of glucose out of your blood (absorbed from your intestines) and putting them into cells where they can either be used for energy or stored for future energy needs.
If you are insulin resistant, you are less able to transport the carbohydrates and sugars from the bloodstream and your blood sugars rise. This triggers more insulin secretion by the pancreas in the hopes of getting sugar out of the blood and into your cells where it is needed.
With the progression of time and more insulin resistance, you become unable to keep sugar levels in reasonable ranges and this is what leads to diabetes. However, high insulin levels (sometimes referred to as “pre-diabetes”) should be sounding your alarm bells because it is the high levels of insulin that lead to weight gain and the storage of excess fat especially around the belly.
Insulin at elevated levels also drives inflammation and oxidative stress which lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thick and easily coagulating blood and much more.
Now here’s the way for you to answer my initial question. If you are feeling well, your weight is appropriate for your height and body type and you do not have a “belly,” then chances are you are not an insulin resistor.
If on the other hand, you are overweight, have a bigger tummy than you would like or have any doubts then the only way to go is this…
* A fasting insulin test and in fact if you have a history of having slightly high sugars then you should also have a 2 hour insulin and sugar test following a 75g glucose load. (Have you even heard of these tests before?)
These tests done at a laboratory will give you your answer. If your insulin levels are out of normal range then it is time to make some urgent and significant life changes.
Normal insulin levels are < 5 – 10 IU/dl fasting and < 30 IU/dl 2 hours after a glucose load. For those who do the SI units the numbers correspond to < 35- 50 pmol/L fasting and < 210 pmol/L after the glucose load.
Later this week I’ll get into what to do about insulin resistance. In the meantime, answer my question and keep prevention on your radar.
*** Minding your body and your belly; Embodying your mind ***