What You Should Know About Prediabetes and Insulin Resistance
A very science-y sounding term, insulin resistance is something doctors and physicians have known about for a few decades. Also referred to as pre-diabetes, this state of poor metabolism in your body can make losing weight extremely difficult. And it makes your risk of future health issues skyrocket.
Insulin resistance, also referred to as pre-diabetes, is a state of poor metabolism in your body can make losing weight extremely difficult. And it makes your risk of future health issues skyrocket.
The Basics of Insulin Resistance
Your body is complex. We can probably all agree that sometimes, losing weight is not as simple as we think it should be. Diet and exercise is hard enough to keep up with. Add to that pre-diabetes and insulin resistance, and you've got a recipe for a bulging belly, chubby arms and legs, and a double chin to boot.
When you carry extra weight, you likely have an automatic condition of insulin resistance, just because you are holding extra pounds. This is because fat tissue doesn't only sit on your body doing nothing but making it hard to tie your shoes. Body fat is quite active and secretes a number of hormones and chemicals that communicate to the rest of the cells in your body. These are typically 'bad' signals when it comes to weight loss and can make you resistant, or insensitive, to the hormone insulin.
How Do I Know if I'm Insulin Resistant?
Pre-diabetes and insulin resistance are largely connected and intertwined. Some of the symptoms of insulin resistance include:
• Weight gain
• Afternoon energy slumps
• Difficulty sleeping
• Extreme fatigue
• Mood swings
• Frequent headaches
Being resistant to insulin can also lead to increased risks for breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, lymphoma, dementia, kidney disease, nerve damage and heart attack. No one wants any of that to happen in their lives.
How to Test for Insulin Resistance
Researchers will usually perform a test called HOMA-IR which stands for Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance. This tests the ratio of insulin and glucose in your bloodstream after drinking a sugar-rich beverage. If your ratio of insulin is quite high, then you are less sensitive to this hormone. The more resistant to insulin you are, the more insulin your body must produce.
Pre-diabetes can be identified by your doctor with a simple blood test. When you have a fasting blood sugar reading between 100-124 mg/dL, this is consistent with pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is your wake-up call, and it means that if you don't start to make changes to your diet and your lifestyle, you are at a massively increased risk of progressing to full onset type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes comes with a comprehensive list of complications all on its own, so this is a condition you will want to avoid at all costs.
How to Reverse Insulin Resistance
Researchers agree that losing weight and exercising are the two primary ways to increase sensitivity to insulin and reverse insulin resistance. Losing weight helps reduce the amount insulin you need each day to process your meals, and exercising helps make your body cells more receptive to insulin.
Other things may help reverse insulin resistance, such as getting enough sleep, reducing stress, getting enough Vitamin D, and certain medications like metformin.
The most important part of reversing insulin resistance is keeping in mind that it usually requires a lifestyle change. Making daily changes one at time can help you develop and progress toward a healthy lifestyle, so that you are not always dieting.
Reversing insulin resistance is vastly important. This is not something to ignore, and it won't just go away. In fact, the opposite is true. Very often, insulin resistance gets worse, and weight gain often leads to more weight gain. If you want to have an increased quality of life and fulfill the age-old adage of 'health is wealth' later in life, reversing insulin resistance, losing weight, and beginning to exercise is something to focus on today, not tomorrow. Don't delay. Tell yourself your health is important. Make taking care of your body a priority.