Ten Scary Signs You Are Resistant To Insulin

Ten Scary Signs You Are Resistant To Insulin

Many people think of diabetes or being obese when they hear the words “insulin resistance.” But problems with insulin can occur under a number of conditions including in people with normal blood sugar levels. The effects of insulin resistance are damaging and widespread, affecting everything from body fat levels to exercise performance to brain function and energy levels.

How can you know if you’re insulin resistant?

There are various blood tests that can indicate problems with blood sugar. For example, the standard fasting glucose test, which you’ve probably had as part of a physical, could be within normal range but you may still have high insulin and a large degree of insulin resistance because glucose is the last thing to increase on the road to diabetes.

In addition, “normal” glucose levels fall into a wide range (70 to 100 mg/dL), and because insulin resistance and diabetes are so widespread, many doctors won’t express concern until you are prediabetic with values above 110 mg/dL.

Even hemoglobin A1c isn’t 100 percent reliable because it measures red blood cells that have been damaged by glycated glucose (glucose that has been hanging around too long and attaches to proteins). In diabetics, red blood cells die off much more quickly than in healthy people, so there is less opportunity for glycation to occur and A1c levels may not actually reflect the severity of insulin resistance.

A fasting insulin test and a glucose tolerance test are other options that tend to have high reliability and are preferred by doctors with experience at restoring insulin sensitivity and helping patients prevent diabetes.

Of course, it’s completely possible you can have a hard time losing body fat or putting on muscle with training, but this won’t be detected by a doctor’s tests. Here are some other signs that may indicate problems with insulin resistance.

#1: Severe Fatigue

When your cells become resistant to insulin, they aren’t getting the energy they need. A chronic, debilitating fatigue sets in and it seems like no matter what you do you can’t get back on your feet.

#2: Feeling Hungry Even After A Meal

When you’re cells are sensitive to insulin, you eat a meal, blood sugar rises, insulin is released, and your brain receives a messages that energy is incoming and you don’t need to eat any more. But with insulin resistance, this message is no longer effective and you can feel the need to keep eating even though you’ve eaten more than enough calories and blood sugar levels are high.

#3: Belly Fat Gain

Problems with insulin sensitivity and high blood sugar lead to inflammation, which causes the body to store excess calories around the organs in the abdominal area. Then, as your waist grows larger, insulin becomes increasingly ineffective, exacerbating the problem. Measuring changes in your waist size over time are the best indicator of belly fat gain.

#4: Intense Cravings For High-Carb Foods

If you feel like nothing will satisfy your appetite except high-carb foods, it’s probably because you have insulin resistance. Cells that are resistant to insulin are essentially “starving” for glucose, which sends a message to the brain that you “need” carbs even though you’ve consumed sufficient calories.

#5: Low Exercise Tolerance

When you are insulin resistant, the body doesn’t store glycogen as efficiently so fuel stores in muscle are reduced, lowering exercise tolerance. Additionally, the body doesn’t process blood sugar as well and you get fatigued more quickly during exercise.

#6: Low Muscle Mass

Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone, supplying amino acids and other nutrients in muscle tissue so that it can grow. If you are insulin resistant, muscle mass will be reduced and you will experience smaller physique changes from exercise.

#7: Excessive Thirst & Increased Urination

When you have insulin resistance, excess glucose builds up in the blood. Your kidneys are called on to work overtime to filter and absorb the excess sugar. If your kidneys can’t keep up, the excess sugar is excreted into the urine, leading to increased urination. The fluid loss leaves you feeling dehydrated and triggers sensations of thirst.

#8: Darkened Skin Patches (Acanthosis Nigricans)

Insulin resistance causes dark colored skin on the back of the neck, armpits, and groin area.

#9: Numbness & Tingling In The Hands & Feet

Chronically high blood sugar levels causes damage to nerves, which leads to a tingling sensation in the hands and feet.

#10: Depression

Insulin resistance leads to dysregulated levels of serotonin—the brain transmitter that makes us feel good. When serotonin levels get out of whack we often feel highs and lows, which can lead to an overall feeling of depression and low mood.

So What Can You Do To Solve Insulin Resistance?

Start by incorporating these ten habits into your daily life and you’ll be well on your way to healthier insulin levels.

#1: Do strength training.

#2: Do sprints or endurance training.

#3: Avoid sitting for long periods.

#4: Eat a high-protein diet to reduce hunger and manage blood sugar.

#5: Avoid refined carbs and added sugar.

#6: Take magnesium—it has an automatic insulin sensitizing effect on cells.

#7: Eat more vegetables.

#8: Get enough sleep.

#9: Avoid eating late at night.

#10: Eat healthy fats: Fish, meat, nuts, seeds, eggs, and avocados.


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