Are You Insulin Resistant?

By: Annie Robinson

Do you have the signs of being Insulin Resistant? Are you pre-diabetic?

Do you have heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels?

Are you gaining weight around your middle even though you're dieting?

Are you depressed or chronically tired?

Do you have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Do you have non-viral Chronic Fatigue or Fibro-myalgia?

If you have one or more of these symptoms, you just might be Insulin Resistant.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by your pancreas to help the body to utilise sugars in your diet, it helps the glucose (sugar) pass from your blood into your cells. Once it is in your cells, it is either used to fuel muscles or stored as fat for future needs.

Insulin resistance happens when a diet high in carbohydrates forces the cells to resist the flood of carbohydrates and all that glucose just stays in the blood, and not only do you now have high blood sugar which is the forerunner to diabetes, the pancreas continues to produce more insulin and you now have insulin overload as well.

What are the symptoms of Insulin Resistance?

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fogginess and inability to focus. Sometimes the fatigue is physical, but often it's mental
  • Low blood sugar. Mild, brief periods of low blood sugar are normal during the day, especially if meals are not eaten on a regular schedule. But prolonged hypoglycaemia with some of the symptoms listed here, especially physical and mental fatigue, are not normal. Feeling agitated, jittery, moody, nauseated, or having a headache is common in Insulin Resistance, with almost immediate relief once food is eaten
  • Intestinal bloating. Most intestinal gas is produced from carbohydrates in the diet. Insulin Resistance sufferers who eat carbohydrates suffer from gas, lots of it
  • Sleepiness. Many people with Insulin Resistance get sleepy immediately after eating a meal containing more than 20% or 30% carbohydrates
  • Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight. For most people, too much weight is too much fat. The fat in IR is generally stored around the midsection in both males and females
  • Increased triglycerides
  • Increased blood pressure. It is a fact that most people with hypertension have too much insulin and are Insulin Resistant. It is often possible to show a direct relationship between the level of insulin and blood pressure: as insulin levels elevate so does blood pressure
  • Depression. Because carbohydrates are a natural "downer," depressing the brain, it is not uncommon to see many depressed persons who also have Insulin Resistance.**
  • Other Signs of Metabolic Syndrome

    WHO Criteria - the World Health Organization bases it's definition on the above, plus two of the following:

  • High blood pressure (>=140 mm Hg systolic or >=90 mm Hg diastolic) or taking blood pressure medication
  • Plasma triglycerides >=150 mg/dL (>=1.7 mmol/L)
  • HDL cholesterol <35 mg/dL (<0.9 mmol/L) in men or <39 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) in women
  • BMI greater than 30 and/or waist:hip ratio >0.9 in men, >0.85 in women
  • Urinary albumin excretion rate >=20 ?g/min or albumin:creatinine ratio >=30 mg/g
  • American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists criteria are similar, but with some different cutoffs, and no particular number of factors required for diagnosis:

  • High blood pressure (>=130 mm Hg systolic or >=85 mm Hg diastolic) or taking blood pressure medication
  • Plasma triglycerides >=150 mg/dL (>=1.7 mmol/L)
  • HDL cholesterol <40 mg/dL (<0.9 mmol/L) in men or <50 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) in women
  • BMI greater than 25

  • Other risk factors including:

  • Family history of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease
  • Ethnic groups with an increased incidence of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Advancing age
  • How is it diagnosed?

    First of all see your doctor, for a full panel of tests, including: Glucose Tolerance Test (2 hour), Lipid Profile (LDL, HDL, Cholesterol, Triglycerides), Insulin Levels (you may show both high blood sugar and high Insulin).

    And may include: Plasma Cortisol, Catecholamines, Blood Pressure test, Full Blood profile, C-Peptide.

    What can be done?

    First of all the good new is Insulin Resistance can be controlled by diet, this is a whole new lifestyle, not a diet that you do for a few weeks or months. A whole new way of eating and exercising is needed. If you need more help there are some drug treatments and supplements that can greatly help with the challenge of getting your insulin and blood sugar under control. The great new is that once you have changed your lifestyle, most if not all of your previous health challenges will often disappear completely.

    For more information on Insulin Resistance and the Lifestyle choices you need to make please see "Sick, Tired and Overweight" and "A Rainbow on My Plate" on our website.

    **This is not a guide to the various types of depression and in no way constitutes a medical diagnosis or recommendation.

    Quick Guide to Metabolic Syndrome

    Symptoms and Markers

  • Growing waist measurement (Buddha Belly)
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart and Circulatory problems
  • Inflammation (pain e.g. muscles, arthritis, etc..)
  • Low energy (chronic fatigue)
  • Depression
  • Hypo/Hyperglycaemia (blood sugar irregularites)
  • Diabetes
  • PCOS
  • Brain Fog
  • High Cholesterol and LDL's
  • Weight gain that is difficult to budge
  • Recommendations

  • Low Carbohydrate lifestyle (Rainbow on My Plate)
  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink Water (1.5 to 3.0 litres per day)
  • See your doctor (monitoring, blood tests, insulin sensitising drugs)
  • Supplements (Chromium, Fish Oil, Pro, Fit, NingXia)
  • Diabetes

    » More on Diabetes