How To Accurately Assess Your Level Of Insulin Resistance
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Understanding insulin resistance can be somewhat challenging, but it doesnt have to be.
At Mastering Diabetes, our mission is to provide you with a clear understanding of what causes insulin resistance, and provide you with the tools to reverse it using your food as medicine, so that you can maximize your metabolic health safely and effectively.
Our team hears the following statement all the time: My A1c is now in the non-diabetic range. Does that mean that I reversed insulin resistance completely? If not, what am I supposed to do now?
The what now? part of the question is important, because if youve fully adopted a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food lifestyle, then your habits will continue to improve your insulin sensitivity over time.
How To Use The A1c Home Test Kit
There can be many reasons to measure your A1C at home, such as limited access to see your doctor, the distance to a lab, the cost of the lab work, etc.
There are great options for measuring your A1C at home, but please consult with your medical team before making any changes to your care or self-diagnosing diabetes.
One very affordable A1C home test kit is the A1CNow SelfCheck which I demonstrate how to use in the video below.
The kit comes with 4 A1C tests and will give you your A1C result in only 5 minutes. Follow the instructions that come with the kit and make sure to add enough blood or it will return an error message.
What Are Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, are a measurement that show how much glucose you have in your blood. Glucose is a sugar that you get from food and drink. Your blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day and for people living with diabetes these changes are larger and happen more often than in people who don’t have diabetes.
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Ways To Decrease Homa
The most important thing is to work with your doctor to find out whats causing your high HOMA-IR and insulin resistance and to treat any underlying conditions.
The additional lifestyle changes listed below are other things you may want to discuss with your doctor. None of these strategies should ever be done in place of what your doctor recommends or prescribes!
In general, the best approach to decreasing insulin resistance is changing your lifestyle. The two most important steps you can take are :
- Improving your nutrition: reducing the amount of overall calories in meals, eating more fiber and less processed carbs
- Becoming more active: getting plenty of exercise and taking regular active breaks from prolonged sitting.
Warum Haben Wir Zucker Im Blut
Der Blutzucker ist ein wichtiger Teil unseres Energiestoffwechsels. Der Zucker Glukose liefert Energie, die unser Körper zum Funktionieren benötigt. Über das Blut gelangt die Glucose zum Beispiel ins Gehirn.
Das Hormon Insulin spielt dabei eine wichtige Rolle. Es kontrolliert, wie viel Zucker aus dem Blut in die Körperzellen gelangt. So reguliert es auch den Blutzuckerspiegel und sorgt bei gesunden Menschen dafür, dass der Wert sich stets im Normbereich bewegt. Ist zu wenig Insulin im Körper, steigt der Blutzucker.
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What Are Normal Fasting Insulin Levels
Unfortunately, because the focus has been on glucose for so long, there is not a wide consensus on insulin levels. Ideally, your blood insulin levels should be less than ~6 microunits per milliliter of blood .
While ~89 microunits per milliliter is the average for men and women, its not good to be average in this case. According to Dr. Bikman in Why We Get Sick, a person with 8 microunits per milliliter has double the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as a person with 5 microunits per milliliter.
Is It Covered By Insurance
Whereas most health insurances cover blood work prescribed by your doctor and performed in a lab, its doubtful that your insurance will cover an at home A1C test unless its a prescribed kit.
However, you can always call your insurance company or look up your benefits and find out if your plans cover at-home kits. If it does, your insurance company may have a preferred brand or specific process for you to get your kit.
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When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar
It depends on which type of diabetes you have:
- Type 1 diabetes. Itâs up to your doctor. They could suggest you test anywhere between four and 10 times a day. For example, you could test before meals and snacks, before and after exercise, before bed, and even during the night. You may also need to check more often if youâre sick, making changes to your daily routine, or starting a new medication.
- Type 2 diabetes. It depends on what you take to treat your diabetes:
- Insulin. The doctor may tell you to test a few times a day, depending on the type and amount of insulin you use. Youâll probably test before meals and at bedtime if you’re taking multiple daily injections. You may need to test only twice daily, before breakfast and dinner, if you only use a long-acting insulin.
- Medications. If you use drugs to manage diabetes, your doctor will tell you how often to check your blood sugar.
- Lifestyle changes. If youâre relying on diet and exercise, you may not need to test your blood sugar daily.
Stats On Insulin Resistance And Prediabetes
Before I get into discussing how to diagnose insulin resistance, here are some stats:
- Nearly 50% of adults in the US have diabetes or prediabetes
- Over 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes and only 11% know they have it
- Over 50% of those over age 65 have prediabetes
- Approximately 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. 50% of women with PCOS will develop prediabetes or type 2 diabetes by age 40.
- Almost everyone with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes has some level of insulin resistance
- 66% of adults in the US are overweight or obese. Nearly everybody that is overweight is insulin resistant reference
So considering that 66% of adults are overweight or obese, it would seem that at least 60% of adults are insulin resistant to some degree
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How Can We Help
We can help you get this insulin blood test easily at home, through our expert pathological lab services that is part of our at – home healthcare services. So if need insulin test at home, dont look any further and contact us to witness superior quality services delivered to you within the comfort of your home. In the insulin test at home, our representative phlebotomists will visit you at the time and day of your convenience and draw the blood sample. After the testing, the insulin test results are made available online.
Why It Is Done
A home blood glucose test is an accurate way to measure your blood sugar level at the time of testing. If you have diabetes, testing your blood glucose levels at home provides information about:
- Your blood sugar level. It is important to know when your blood sugar is high or low, to prevent emergency situations from developing. It is also important to treat consistently high blood sugar levels so you can decrease your chances of developing heart, blood vessel, and nerve complications from diabetes.
- How much insulin to take before each meal. If you take rapid-acting or short-acting insulin before meals, the blood sugar test results can help you determine how much insulin to take before each meal. If your blood sugar level is high, you may need extra insulin. If your blood sugar level is low, you may need to eat before you take any insulin.
- How exercise, diet, stress, and being ill affect your blood sugar levels. Testing your blood sugar can help you learn how your body responds to these things. Where possible, you can adjust your lifestyle to improve your blood sugar level.
Home blood sugar testing also may be used to:
- Test blood sugar levels in people who have symptoms of high blood sugar or low blood sugar .
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Why You Should Check Your Blood Sugar
Testing blood glucose can help you manage diabetes by showing you:
- How well your diabetes treatment plan is working
- How exercise and food affect your blood sugar levels
- How things like stress and illness affect your levels
- How well your diabetes medication is working
- When your blood sugar levels are too high or too low
What Can Affect My Results
They may not be accurate if you have anemia or gout. If itâs hot, humid, or youâre at a high altitude, that can interfere with the results, too. So can vitamin C.
If you consistently see results that arenât expected, recalibrate your meter and check the strips.
The chart below shows you the ideal blood sugar ranges for most adults except for pregnant women. Your ideal range may be different from another person’s and will change throughout the day, so check with your doctor for your targets.
Time of Test
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How Can I Reverse Insulin Resistance
Hereâs the part youâve been waiting for. Yes, itâs possible to reduce insulin resistance, even to the point where you no longer have insulin resistance. Research shows that with the right diet, insulin receptors start to work better within just a couple of months.
The best way to stop insulin resistance is to lose fat.
This way, youâll lower the amount of cytokines that damage the insulin receptors. You can lose weight in a number of ways, by eating fewer calories by intermittent fasting by eating more nutrient-dense and fiber-rich calories, such as vegetables, legumes, lean meats and fish and whole grains. About half the patients I work with are able to improve their bodyâs insulin response over time by losing weight. Others donât entirely reverse their insulin resistance with weight loss but because of their weight loss, their blood sugar levels stop increasing. In other words, their pre-diabetes never progresses to diabetes.
You especially want to reduce your carbohydrates and sugars.
This will not only help you lose weight, it will also reduce the pressure on your pancreas to produce insulin. And the less sugar you consume, the less potential for damage to your arteries.
Getting enough sleep and reducing your stress levels are also vital.
Both poor sleep and stress contribute to the development of insulin resistance by triggering the liver to release sugars into the bloodstream.
Raising Awareness To Save Lives
Itâs my mission to stop people from progressing to diabetes, and to help people lower their level of insulin resistance. Thatâs why I want to help people find out about insulin resistance at the beginning stages. In the early stages of insulin resistance, or in pre-diabetes, itâs possible that glucose tests will be normal but insulin tests are not normal.
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What Are The Target Ranges
Blood glucose targets are individualized based on:
- duration of diabetes
- conditions a person may have
- cardiovascular disease or diabetes complications
- hypoglycemia unawareness
- individual patient considerations
The American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes. A1C targets differ based on age and health. Also, more or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for each individual.
- A1C: Less than 7%A1C may also be reported as eAG: Less than 154 mg/dL
- Before a meal : 80130 mg/dL
- 1-2 hours after beginning of the meal *: Less than 180 mg/dL
Why A Fasting Glucose Test Isnt Enough
Most people who are insulin resistant â a whopping 90% â donât realize it. Thatâs because most doctors donât routinely check glucose levels, and if they do, they only test fasting glucose, which doesnât show the full picture.
As a doctor with insulin resistance myself, and as someone who has helped hundreds of patients lower their blood glucose and insulin levels, I recommend doing a fasting glucose test, an oral glucose tolerance test, and an insulin test.
Let me share an example to illustrate my point. A patient of mine was concerned about diabetes. Why? He was slightly overweight, he had family members with diabetes, and his father had died of a heart attack. He told me his family doctor checked his fasting glucose once a year and it always came back normal.
So I ran the tests. His fasting glucose indeed came back normal, at 88mg/DL. But when we did an oral glucose tolerance test, his sugar levels were through the roof: at 291mg/Dl at the two-hour mark. . As you can see, fasting glucose doesnât tell the whole story. Some people can bring their sugars down to normal levels over time but the worrying part is that it takes them too long to do so. The sugar in their bloodstream can still cause damage. This is especially common in prediabetes and early diabetes.
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What Do The Results Mean
If your insulin levels were too high, it may mean you have:
- Type 2 diabetes
If insulin levels were too low, it may mean you have:
- Pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas
If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
How To Test Your Blood Sugar At Home
Follow these steps:
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Are Home A1c Test Kits Accurate
Most home A1C kits are considered to be as accurate as lab A1C tests. The results are accurate within plus/minus 0.5 percentage points, which is about the same as most lab results.
To ensure accuracy, look for products that are NGSP-certified and/or have FDA-clearance or CE-mark. All the products mentioned in this article are NGSP-certified.
When I tried the A1CNow SelfCheck at home , the A1C results came back with exactly the same result as the A1C lab test I had done a few days earlier .
How To Test For Insulin Resistance
This article was medically reviewed by . Dr. Litza is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Wisconsin. She is a practicing Physician and taught as a Clinical Professor for 13 years, after receiving her MD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in 1998.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 37,217 times.
Insulin resistance is when your body becomes less effective at utilizing insulin it starts out as a gradual problem, and becomes more severe with time. Over a number of years, insulin resistance can lead to many chronic health problems such as diabetes, elevated lipid levels, and an increased risk of heart disease. Insulin resistance can be tested for indirectly by performing blood sugar tests, lipid tests, and by evaluating for clinical signs and symptoms that may correlate to insulin resistance.
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How Do I Check
People with diabetes check their blood sugar levels by poking their fingertips and using a blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor to measure the blood glucose level at that moment. Read on to find out how to use a blood glucose meter. To find out more about CGMs, start by talking to your doctor.
Why Is The Test Performed
Fasting insulin is an important but often overlooked test that can help identify insulin resistance.
Insulin levels are usually out of order long before there are abnormalities in blood sugar levels. Thats why a blood sugar test might come back completely normal even if you are suffering from insulin resistance .
Other than to check for insulin resistance, your doctor may order this test to:
- To help determine the cause of low blood sugar
- Check how your beta cells in the pancreas are working
- To help diagnose an insulin-producing tumor in the pancreas
- To help determine when a person with type 2 diabetes needs to start taking insulin
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How To Test For Insulin Resistance Using Fasting Insulin
So how do we test for it? Unfortunately, unlike blood glucose, theres not a simple finger prick solution to check your insulin at home. Researchers are actively developing that technology, but it isnt available yet.
Nevertheless, you do have some options. And these options will vary based on your geographical location and whats available in your area.
First, you can request an insulin blood test from your physician. Often the test will be covered by your insurance, but not always .
If insurance wont cover the expense, your physicians office can tell you how expensive the test will be, but it is usually under $100 in the United States.
If your insurance wont cover the insulin test or you dont want to wait for a clinic visit, you can simply request a test on your own.
Companies like walkinlab.com and labtestsonline.org offer insulin testing.
These companies partner with local blood testing services to request the test directly. All you do is go into your local lab, have blood drawn, and the company sends you the results. The test costs around 30 to 60 US dollars.