What Is Insulin Resistance Syndrome
Insulin is a kind of hormone. It helps your body store sugar in your tissues. Your body uses stored sugar for energy.
In some people, the tissues stop responding to insulin. We say that these people are resistant to insulin. If you have insulin resistance, your body will pour more and more insulin into your blood, but it will not help you store sugar.
Insulin resistance often goes along with other health problems, like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart attack. When one person has many of these problems together, we call it insulin resistance syndrome.
Insulin Resistance In Children
- Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
Insulin resistance is a pathological condition strongly associated with obesity. However, corticosteroids or growth hormone therapy and genetic diseases may affect insulin sensitivity lifelong. In obese children and adolescents of any age there is an evident association between IR and an increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes and other elements contributing to the metabolic syndrome, leading to a higher cardiovascular risk. Therefore, early diagnosis and interventions in the attempt to prevent T2D when glycemia values are still normal is fundamental. The gold standard technique used to evaluate IR is the hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp, however it is costly and difficult to perform in clinical and research sets. Therefore, several surrogate markers have been proposed. Although the treatment of insulin resistance in children is firstly targeted to lifestyle interventions, in selected cases the integration of a pharmacological intervention might be taken into consideration. The aim of this review is to present the current knowledge on IR in children, starting with an outline of the recent evidences about the congenital forms of deficiency in insulin functioning and therefore focusing on the physiopathology of IR, its appropriate measurement, consequences, treatment options and prevention strategies.
Can We Cure Insulin Resistance
Once someone has dramatically improved their insulin resistance, bringing insulin and blood sugar levels down by eating a low-carb diet, and improving their exercise, stress management, and sleep, the question then becomes: are they cured?
Probably not. The word cure implies that the person can go back to eating however they want and the insulin resistance will not return. Unfortunately, thats not how it works. The vast majority of people who reverse their insulin resistance, lower their chronically high insulin levels, and lower their blood sugars will see those all return to previous high levels if they stop their lifestyle interventions and return to their old diets and habits.41
This reinforces the need to make lifestyle changes that can be maintained for decades and lifetimes. Crash diets or short-term interventions only help in the moment. Insulin sensitivity is a lifelong balance.
However, some people may have what amounts to a partial cure, especially if their insulin resistance is caught early. Clinical practice suggests that for some people, eating a low-carb diet, losing weight and getting insulin levels down will restore insulin sensitivity and may allow them to regain the degree of metabolic flexibility found in healthy individuals.42
See our companion guide: What you need to know about insulin resistance, which discusses diagnostic tests.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance may not cause any noticeable symptoms, so you can have insulin resistance and not know it. Symptoms dont usually occur until you develop prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Finding A Healthful Balance
However, people can still eat foods on this list occasionally without causing any long-term harm to their insulin sensitivity. The key is to limit these foods and replace them with more healthful options as often as possible.
Sometimes, the occasional treat can help a person satisfy their sweet tooth and focus on adjusting their diet more regularly.
Daily exercise is also a significant factor. During activity, the muscles soak up glucose from the bloodstream and do not require insulin. Taking a walk after a meal and being active throughout the rest of the day can significantly improve blood sugar management.
By losing 510 percent of their body weight, a person can also significantly improve insulin sensitivity.
These lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems.
Following a fixed diet plan, such as the Mediterranean Diet, can improve insulin sensitivity .
The Mediterranean diet involves eating lots of seasonal, plant-based foods, eating fruit for dessert, and using olive oil as the primary source of fat. People following this diet eat fish, poultry, legumes, and nuts as main protein choices and dairy products in moderation.
Mediterranean eaters also limit their intake of red meat and consume a little wine during meals.
In a recent study, women who followed the Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of cardiovascular health problems, including factors such as insulin resistance, by .
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What Can You Do About It
While it may not be possible to defeat insulin resistance entirely, there are ways to make the bodys cells more receptive to insulin.
- Getting active is probably the best way to combat insulin resistance. Exercise can dramatically reduce insulin resistance in both the short and long terms. In addition to making the body more sensitive to insulin and building muscle that can absorb blood glucose, physical activity opens up an alternate gateway for glucose to enter muscle cells without insulin acting as an intermediary, reducing the cells’ dependence on insulin for energy. While this doesn’t reduce insulin resistance itself, it can help people who are insulin resistant improve their blood sugar control.
- Weight loss can also cut down on insulin resistance. No single diet has been proved to be the most effective. Some evidence suggests, though, that eating foods that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates can worsen insulin resistance. Research has also shown that people who undergo weight-loss surgery are likely to become significantly more sensitive to insulin.
- No medications are specifically approved to treat insulin resistance. Yet diabetes medications like metformin and thiazolidinediones, or TZDs, are insulin sensitizers that lower blood sugar, at least in part, by reducing insulin resistance.
> Signs That You Have May Insulin Resistance
Having several of the following may also be indicators of insulin resistance :
- You are middle-aged or older and overweight
- Increased abdominal circumference with a waist measurement of 35 inches or greater for a woman and 40 inches or greater for a man
- Increased Waist-Hip Circumference Ratio is associated with abdominal obesity and insulin resistance. This test is even more accurate than the waist measurement alone. A diagnosis of abdominal obesity is made if the waist-hip ratio is equal to or higher than 0.8 in females, and equal to or higher than 1.0 in males. For example, if your waist is 32 and your hips are 35 -> 32 divided by 35 = .91. This would indicate abdominal obesity. This can be helpful test that you can do on your own. And even if you are lean, high WHR levels are associated with insulin resistance markers.
- Waist to height ratio . < 42 very slim> 50 increased risk for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- Acanthosis nigricans
- Skin tags
- Meeting 3 out of the 5 criteria as noted above
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> Checklist For Insulin Resistance And Metabolic Syndrome
Insulin resistance is associated with a condition called Metabolic Syndrome. This is a constellation of symptoms including higher blood sugar, excess body fat around the abdomen, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure. Here is a simple quiz to identify if you could possibly have it.
The presence of 3 of the following 5 criteria means you have Metabolic Syndrome and are likely insulin resistant:
- Systolic blood pressure greater than 130 or diastolic blood pressure > 85 or on treatment for hypertension.
- Central Obesity .
- Excess fat in the abdominal area can be dangerous compared to the fat on your hips, thighs and butt. This is because abdominal fat accumulates not only subcutaneously but also in internal organs such as the heart, pancreas, and liver, and in skeletal muscles , thus affecting their function. This fat releases active, hormone-like chemicals into the circulation. The majority of these are carried to the liver and contribute to fatty liver and insulin resistance.
- Fasting blood sugar greater than 100 mg/dl or on treatment for elevated blood sugar.
- Triglycerides > 150 mg/dl or on treatment for elevated triglycerides.
- HDL cholesterol levels below 40 mg/dl for men or 50 for women.
What Medications Treat Insulin Resistance
Metformin is a medication used for treating type 2 diabetes. It exerts two actions to help control blood glucose levels. Metformin prevents the liver from releasing glucose into the blood, and it also increases the sensitivity of muscle and fat cells to insulin, allowing them to remove more glucose from the blood. By these actions, metformin lowers blood insulin levels because lower blood sugar levels tell the pancreas to put out less insulin.
Metformin is a reasonably safe medication when used in the proper population. Though occasionally associated with gastrointestinal side effects, metformin is usually well tolerated. While no FDA-approved drugsexist to prevent type 2 diabetes or to treat pre-type 2 diabetes , the American Diabetes Association has recommended that metformin be the only drug considered for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
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Regional At And Skeletal Muscle By Ct Imaging
CT imaging was performed on a General Electric CT/i scanner before and after the treatment. An initial lateral scout, centered at the level of the iliac crest, allowed accurate positioning of a single non-angled axial image at the L4/L5 vertebral disc space. A 10-mm single-image scan was taken using the parameters of 120 kVp, 300 mA, with 1 s duration, with a 512 by 512 matrix. This image was used to assess cross-sectional areas of subcutaneous and visceral AT. A second anterior-posterior scout covered the iliac crest to just below the knee to allow accurate positioning of a second image at the midpoint of the femur, from the superior rim of the femoral head to the inferior surface of the femoral condyles. A single non-angled axial image was taken at this position, and muscle cross-sectional areas were assessed.
CT images were analyzed using the Slice-O-Matic software . Standard attenuation ranges were used to visualize and quantify AT . Muscle characteristics were expressed as the cross-sectional area of muscle and were separated into the cross-sectional areas of low-density muscle or normal-density muscle .
Reverse Insulin Resistance: Use These 8 Simple Steps
Do you want to make yourself immune to chronic disease?
If so, you need to prevent and reverse insulin resistance.
Good news and bad news. Which first? Okay bad news
Insulin resistance is related to almost every chronic disease:
It may not cause them all. But at the very least, persistently high insulin levels exacerbates them.
Good news: you can reverse insulin resistance. And reversing it is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Learn more below about why insulin resistance is bad and the 8 simple steps to reversing it.
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Ways To Combat Menopausal Weight Gain Due To Insulin Resistance
Many women find that they gain weight sometimes a significant amount during menopause. And, to make matters worse, their old tried and true ways of getting the weight off simply dont work.
There are many theories regarding the causes of weight gain at menopause. Its a complex issue that includes a combination of poor diet sedentary lifestyle, stress, and many other factors. But, the truth is, whatever the underlying cause, insulin resistance is the primary driver of menopausal weight gain. And, the key to reversing it and achieving lasting weight loss is to keep insulin levels low.
Now, to be clear, menopause does not cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the result of overall poor hormonal health. If you are struggling with post-menopausal insulin resistance and weight gain here are some additional recommendations:
Have you ever been diagnosed with insulin resistance? What have you done to reverse it?
Additional Resources from Dr. Northrup
S Of Measurement And Diagnosis
The gold standard for the assessment of IR is the hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp however the intravenous glucose tolerance test and/or the insulin tolerance test /insulin suppression test are more frequently used because they are easier to perform .
During the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp insulin is administered intravenously at a constant rate which increases and maintains systemic insulinemia, while a glucose intravenous infusion at variable rates occurs, in order to maintain glucose levels within the normal range.
The glucose infusion rate during the steady state is directly related to insulin sensitivity in fact, in case of insulin sensitivity, glucose is rapidly consumed by tissues in a condition of hyperinsulinism, therefore high doses of glucose must be infused in order to maintain euglycemia. In contrast, insulin resistant subjects have a low need of glucose infusion to maintain euglycemia since they are characterized by impaired glucose uptake and consumption .
The glucose tolerance test analyses the effects of exogenous glucose, administered orally, intraperitoneally, or intravenously, on the systemic clearance of glucose. This method is not applicable to individuals with altered pancreatic functioning .
Table 2. Main surrogate indexes of Insulin Resistance in children and adolescents.
Some clinicians use serum sex hormone-binding globulin as a surrogate index of IR, but it has not been fully validated in the clinical setting, particularly in children .
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Tip For Reversal #: Get Active
Did you know that if youre someone with insulin resistance, prediabetes, or diabetes, fitting exercise into a busy schedule can have the potential to improve your health? Studies show that daily exercise can improve insulin resistance in people with diabetes. And it doesnt have to be all-or-nothing. In fact, even modest exercise can be an effective strategy for not only improving insulin resistance but overall quality of life and well-being as well. The key to adopting a consistent exercise routine is to find a form of movement that you enjoy: easy yoga flow, walking, running, cycling, dance, at-home HIIT workout, martial arts – whatever it is, aim to make it a healthy, consistent habit!
How Do I Know If A Mole Is Cancer
The vast majority of moles are not dangerous. Moles that are more likely to be cancer are those that look different than other existing moles or those that first appear after age 25. If you notice changes in a mole’s color, height, size, or shape, you should have a dermatologist evaluate it. You also should have moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, or become tender or painful.
Examine your skin with a mirror or ask someone to help you. Pay special attention to areas of the skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as the hands, arms, chest, neck, face, ears, legs, and back.
If a mole does not change over time, there is little reason for concern. If you see any signs of change in an existing mole, if you have a new mole, or if you want a mole to be removed for cosmetic reasons, talk to your dermatologist.
The following ABCDEs are important characteristics to consider when examining moles. If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately by a dermatologist. It could be cancerous.
- Asymmetry. One half of the mole does not match the other half.
- Border. The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
- Color. The color of the mole is not the same throughout or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.
- Diameter. The diameter of a mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
- Evolution. The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
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You Crave Carbs And Sugar
Do you love a sweet treat? Or maybe you love those salty junk foods?
These cravings are fueled by insulin resistance. The more you eat them, the more your body wants them.
Your body becomes accustomed to craving more sugar and it becomes an addiction.
Is there such a thing as sugar addition? YES!!!
In fact, there are studies that use fMRI scans to conclude that sugar activates the same brain regions that are activated when a person consumes drugs like cocaine.
That is why breaking a sugar addiction is straight-up hard. Sugar is that bad boy that we lust for but in the end, will only end up breaking your heart.
Unfortunately, this vicious cycle can mess with your hormones and waistline. Leaving you with extra unwanted pounds and unbalanced hormones that cause you to feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster.
Constantly craving these types of carbohydrates is not normal. Make sure you read this article for more detailed information on insulin resistant foods to avoid.
To reduce cravings, try insulin resistance supplements like Ovasitol which promotes insulin sensitivity. Ovasitol has been shown to reduce sugar cravings and promote normal hormone levels. To learn more about how Ovasitol can help PCOS and insulin resistance, check out this review on Ovasitol for PCOS.
OVASITOL is a 100% pure inositol supplement to promote menstrual regularity, normal ovarian function, and insulin sensitivity. Inositols are one of the best supplements for insulin resistance.