Insulin Resistance - Is It Impacting You?
Updated: Aug 3, 2021
Insulin Resistance is being talked about quite a bit in the health field nowadays. Dr. Jockers is a great doctor to follow. This graphic is one of his.
The truth is, many people don't even realize they are struggling with insulin resistance until it's too late....they go to the doc and are surprised to hear they are pre-diabetic or diabetic. Or they start to struggle with health issues and there seems to be no definite answer as to what's wrong. And scientific data shows a direct link between insulin resistance and the body's ability to have a strong immune system and fight off illness. Insulin resistance can also impact our metabolism causing us to gain weight and struggle to lose it.
As you look over this graphic, maybe you see some things that have you wondering if this is a condition you are facing.
The good news is...you are not alone.
And it's something you can change.
But first, you need to understand some basics when it comes to what happens when you take in foods. When we eat, foods are converted into glucose and other small components. These are absorbed into the bloodstream, causing your blood glucose levels to rise. This rise signals your pancreas to produce insulin. We need insulin. It directs glucose into our cells so we can use it for energy. Meals that are more carb heavy require more insulin. The problem becomes when we are always calling for our body to produce insulin by eating foods that require more insulin, like high carb meals. Eventually when the body’s blood sugar keeps spiking, the signal for the pancreas to produce more insulin starts to be ignored keeping your blood sugar levels high. This is what leads to insulin resistance. It’s similar to that friend that always calls you for advice, but then never listens to you. At some point, you will stop answering those calls.
So how can we monitor our insulin levels? It’s important to note that many docs will order a fasting glucose test as part of your regular labs. The problem with relying on that test alone is that it measures the glucose levels present in your blood about eight to twelve hours after you have eaten, and blood sugar is the last thing to increase. So by the time that number begins to reach high levels, it’s too late. You are already on the road to a diabetes diagnosis.
When we rely on this measurement alone, we are ignoring the fact that it’s possible to have normal blood sugar levels for years, while someone who is insulin resistant is experiencing rising insulin levels without knowing it. Therefore, I recommend you ask your doctor to have your fasting insulin levels checked. This will give you a picture where you are currently and allow you to watch for a pattern. You will also want to have your A1C checked. This test measures your blood sugar levels over a 3 month period. It’s important to note that this value can remain normal while your fasting insulin is slowly rising over time. Because of this, people can watch for the pattern in their fasting insulin and make changes before the A1C is ever affected. And this is what we want in order to avoid a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.
In addition to monitoring your insulin levels, you can also modify your diet if you suspect you may be struggling with insulin resistance. Try increasing the amount of protein you eat, along with healthy fats while decreasing your carb intake. Protein does not impact your insulin levels as much as carbs, and you actually burn calories just by digesting protein. Healthy fats don’t move the needle much at all when it comes to insulin so they are another great macro to include in your daily diet.
For more information on this topic, feel free to reach out to me. This is an area where I help many clients learn to make changes, and I’m happy to talk to you about your needs.