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.
When Does Insulin Expire
There are two different expiration dates that insulin users should be aware of. The unopened expiration date is generally one year after the purchase date, and can be found on the box or vial of insulin. That is the date that you can open the insulin and begin using it by.
Once you open a vial of insulin or pen, another expiration date starts. Generally, insulin expires 28 days after it’s opened , says Fernandez de Fiore, but some pens only last 7 days.
It’s important to read all the information on your packaging and speak to your healthcare provider about when your insulin expires after opening it. To help you keep track of the expiration date, it may be helpful to write the date that you opened the insulin on the package or vial.
When you hit either expiration date, any left over insulin should be discarded, says Fernandez de Fiore.
How Do I Inject The Insulin
Generally, you will want to inject insulin as the dog is eating her meal because it is critical that insulin be given with a meal. Some dogs need a second person to hold them steady initially.
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What Is Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver donât respond well to insulin and canât use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. Over time, your blood sugar levels go up.
Insulin resistance syndrome includes a group of problems like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. It could affect as many as 1 in 3 Americans. You might also hear it called metabolic syndrome.
Diabetes And Your Child
For a parent whose child is diagnosed with a life-long condition, the job of parenting becomes even tougher.
Although being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will involve coming to terms with the diagnosis, getting used to treatment and making changes to everyday life, your child can still lead a normal and healthy life.
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How Long Can Insulin Stay Unrefrigerated
All insulin manufacturers agree that insulin can stay unrefrigerated for a maximum duration of a month. After that time, it starts loosing its efficiency. Unopened insulin pens and vials need to be stored in the fridge, while your in-use open ones can stay at room temperature for a month and only need to be protected in case of high heat.
Always check on your insulins notice paper what storage rules are recommended by the manufacturers. There may have some differences from one brand to the other.
What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too High
High blood sugar is also called hyperglycemia . It means that your blood sugar level is higher than your target level or over 180. Having high blood sugar levels over time can lead to long-term, serious health problems.
If you feel very tired, thirsty, have blurry vision, or need to pee more often, your blood sugar may be high.
Check your blood sugar and see if it is above your target level or over 180. If it is too high, one way to lower it is to drink a large glass of water and exercise by taking a brisk walk. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is high more than 3 times in 2 weeks and you dont know why.
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Freezing Temperatures Can Also Break Insulin
Watch out for cold temperatures as well! Insulin is a protein dissolved in water, and just like water, its freezing point is at 32°F . The freezing process breaks down the insulin which would lose its potency even if thawed afterward. To maintain a safety margin, you should always make sure your insulin is kept above 36°F .
Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance
You can’t tell that you have insulin resistance by how you feel. You’ll need to get a blood test that checks your blood sugar levels.
Likewise, you wonât know if you have most of the other conditions that are part of insulin resistance syndrome without seeing your doctor.
Some signs of insulin resistance include:
- A waistline over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women
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How To Know When You’ll Need Insulin
Injecting insulin above and to the side of the belly button can result in more consistent results.
There’s no simple way to tell when a patient with type 2 would do best on insulin, says Richard Hellman, MD, former president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. But there are guidelines.
“In general if a patient has a hemoglobin A1C that is higher than the agreed upon goal and they are not on insulin, we recommend insulin therapy,” Dr. Hellman says. The American Diabetes Association recommends an A1C of 7% or below, and the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommend an A1C of 6.5% or below.
If you can’t lower your A1C with diet, exercise, or other medications, you may need insulin to do the job.
Exceptions to the insulin ruleThere are exceptions, of course. Someone who otherwise seems to be a good candidate for insulin may not be able to manage such a regimen if he or she has limited vision and dexterity and no family support. Good News About Today’s Improved Insulins
If you do need insulin in the short- or long-term, your doctor may prescribe one of four different types. These vary by how quickly or slowly they reach the bloodstream , the amount of time they work at maximum strength , and how long they continue to be effective .
According to the American Diabetes Association , your need for insulin is based on several factors.
Are There Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia Or Warning Signs Of Insulin Shock
The symptoms of hypoglycemia can be classified as mild or early, moderate, and severe. Mild symptoms include:
Hypoglycemia can also occur overnight while you sleep. Symptoms may include:
- Crying out in your sleep
- Damp pajamas or sheets resulting from perspiration
- Waking tired, irritable, or confused
If you experience any possible signs of mild hypoglycemia, it’s important to check your blood sugar if you can to make sure it isn’t low. If it is, you should treat it quickly or seek emergency care. If you can’t check your blood sugar level for some reason, you should go ahead and treat yourself for low blood sugar if you notice symptoms or seek emergency care. If symptoms are severe or you are unable to help yourself, seek emergency medical attention.
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What Is Diabetes Mellitus
In dogs, diabetes mellitus is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar. This is insulin dependent diabetes mellitus . This type of diabetes usually results from destruction of most or all of the beta-cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. As the name implies, dogs with this type of diabetes require insulin injections to stabilize blood sugar levels.
How Is Insulin Stored
Insulin is a hormone that will lose its effectiveness if exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures. It should be kept in the refrigerator, but it should not be frozen. If you have any doubt about the storage of your dog’s insulin, it is safer to replace it rather than risk using ineffective insulin. Insulin is safe as long as it is used as directed. Keep it out of reach of children.
Insulin comes in an airtight bottle that is labeled with the insulin type and the concentration. It is important to make sure you match the insulin concentration with the proper insulin needles. Insulin needles show their measurement in “units per mL”, which must correspond to the concentration of the insulin you are using. There are two common forms of insulin and corresponding syringes: U-100 and U-40. Your veterinarian will instruct you on which type of insulin you are using and which type of syringe you should use.
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How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar
The number of times that you check your blood sugar will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and the type of medicine you take to treat your diabetes. For example, people who take insulin may need to check more often than people who do not take insulin. Talk with your health care team about how often to check your blood sugar.
The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up , before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime. Talk with your health care team about what times are best for you to check your blood sugar.
Signs Of Insulin Resistance
Most people think about diabetics when they see the word insulin, but problems with insulin can occur in a number of different conditions, in people with normal blood sugar. You have probably heard of insulin resistance it is a significant health problem because it’s associated with an increased risk of obesity, heart attacks, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cancer and other serious conditions. People with insulin resistance usually have excessively high levels of this hormone, because it doesn’t work properly. We are seeing an increasing number of patients who have been diagnosed with insulin resistance by their own doctor, yet they don’t fully understand what this term means.
How would you know if your insulin level is too high?
There is a blood test that can measure your fasting insulin, but it isn’t always reliable and many doctors are not willing to order this test. This is a shame because elevated insulin is bad for your health and shortens your lifespan.
Insulin has many important roles in your body. People with too much insulin in their bloodstream are said to have insulin resistance, syndrome X, metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes. They are all interchangeable terms.
Knowing whether or not you have too high insulin is important because it can allow you to make some changes and avoid some serious health problems in the future. Luckily there are several tell tale signs or clues that your body gives you, alerting you to this problem.
The role of insulin in your body
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How Should I Draw Up The Insulin
Insulin is a suspension not a solution, so before administering it you must mix it. Some insulins should be gently rolled and not shaken, while others should be shaken thoroughly. Your veterinarian will advise you on how to handle the insulin. Some insulin has more of a tendency to settle out of suspension, so mixing is very important for accurate dosing.
“The trick is to mix it vigorously enough to blend it without creating foam.”
The trick is to mix it vigorously enough to blend it without creating foam. When you have finished mixing the insulin, turn the bottle upside down to see if any of the white insulin molecules still adhere to the bottom of the bottle. If so, more mixing is needed.
Have the needle and syringe, insulin bottle, and dog ready. Then, follow these steps:
How To Lower Insulin Level
Lowering insulin levels seems pretty similar to lowering glucose. Authorities like Dr. Mercola say the key is to reduce intake of sugar and grains. Those foods stimulate insulin production. Refined grains and fructose-sweetened drinks are the worst, he says. Better to eat fats and proteins.
Writing on Livestrong.com, Andy Jackson has a somewhat different take.Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, he says. Avoid processed and fast foods, which are high in sugar, fat, and salt.
Exercise also lowers insulin levels and insulin resistance.
So ultimately, testing for insulin levels isnt an earthshaking idea. Its mainly important for diagnosis, especially of LADA. Its also a powerful screen for risk of Type 2.
Since most people with or without diabetes have never had the test, it may be worth asking for. Youll get a better idea of whats happening with you. But for day-to-day monitoring, glucose testing is just as good as insulin testing.
**Want to learn more about diabetes lab test results? Read Understanding Your Lab Test Results, by Clinical Laboratory Scientist Judith Grout.
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How To Keep Insulin Cool While Camping
Camping is another scenario where diabetics need to find ways to keep insulin cool without electricity or fridge. There are numerous insulin coolers that are made to be used without electricity and are ideal for camping and outdoor trips.
When planning a camping trip with diabetes, get an insulin cooler thats waterproof and dont forget to pack plenty of hypo snacks and glucose tabs.
P Stands For Pressure
Your blood pressure is a measurement of the effort it takes for your heart to circulate blood throughout your cardiovascular system. The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart must work to push blood throughout your body.
In most cases, hypertension is caused by the hardening of blood vessels, which creates resistance against your heart. Over time, hypertension can become life-threatening, because it increases your risk for a heart attack or stroke .
Most doctors prescribe medication to treat hypertension, unaware that simple dietary changes are more powerful and free of dangerous side effects .
The evidence-based research shows that hypertension is an independent risk factor for insulin resistance . Reducing your blood pressure to less than 120/80 without medication is essential in helping you reverse insulin resistance.
Recommended Blood Pressure RangeDiastolic pressure = 60-80 mmHg
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What Are Signs That My Insulin Is Not Okay To Use
Never use insulin if it looks abnormal. Regular, lispro, aspart, and glargine insulins are clear. If you use clear insulin, always check for any floating particles, cloudiness, or change in color. This could be a sign that your insulin is contaminated or has lost its strength.
Other types of insulin come as suspensions. This means that the material is not completely dissolved, and you might be able to see solid material floating in liquid. However, it should look uniformly cloudy. If you are using NPH, check that your insulin is free of any large clumps of material. Do not use any insulin if you see chunks of material floating around. These changes could mean that crystals or aggregates are forming and the insulin is spoiled or denatured. This can be caused by too much shaking of the insulin bottle or storing insulin at temperatures that are either too hot or too cold.
If you have been instructed to dilute your insulin, use only the diluent recommended by the manufacturer. Properly diluted insulin is good for 2 to 6 weeks stored in the refrigerator. If you find anything wrong with your insulin right after you buy it, return it immediately. If the condition develops later, try to figure out whether you have handled or stored the insulin the wrong way. If not, talk to your pharmacist about a refund or exchange.