Identifying Insulin Resistance: Key Signs And Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore

Identifying Insulin Resistance: Key Signs And Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore

Insulin regulation is important for avoiding health problems like diabetes

Luke CoutinhoUpdated: Sunday, June 02, 2024, 11:28 AM IST
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So many men and women struggle with insulin resistance. It's a condition where the cells in your body (muscles, fat, and liver) no longer respond appropriately to insulin and cannot use glucose from your blood for energy. This leaves you with higher than anticipated blood sugars and an overproduction of insulin, which over time could be damaging to your body in many ways. It could also be the driving factor that leads to type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, prediabetes, and PCOD-like conditions. Insulin is important, and we need it, but this finely tuned system can quickly get out of whack and too much of it can be a problem.

Some signs and symptoms to look out for that may indicate insulin resistance include:

Weight gain

Insulin resistance often leads to central obesity, where excess weight is concentrated around the abdomen. This is because insulin resistance promotes fat storage in the abdominal area, increasing waist circumference.

Hormonal imbalances

Insulin resistance is a less-focused aspect of diabetes. It is directly correlated with diabetes, PCOS, gallbladder stones, hair fall, acne, hormonal issues, and almost every condition linked to the endocrine system. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of pre-diabetes and diabetes. Knowing this is so important because then you no longer blame your genes, but begin the process of reflecting on your lifestyle and what changes can be made.

Darkening of skin

Dark patches of skin, especially around the neck, armpits, or groin area, known as acanthosis nigricans, can be a visible and classic sign of insulin resistance. This condition is often associated with higher levels of insulin in the blood. Even random skin tags can point towards the same.

PCOD

Insulin resistance is a hallmark of PCOS. Symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, and infertility. Acne, unwanted facial hair growth are often accompanied by insulin resistance and elevated androgen levels.

Frequent urination

Insulin resistance can lead to higher blood sugar levels, causing the kidneys to work harder to filter glucose. This can result in increased urine production (polyuria) and thirst (polydipsia).

Sugar cravings

Individuals with insulin resistance may experience frequent hunger, especially shortly after meals, due to unstable blood sugar levels. This can result in cravings for sugary or high-carbohydrate foods to quickly raise blood glucose levels.

Fatigue

Fluctuations in energy levels, including periods of fatigue after meals, can be indicative of insulin resistance. When cells are resistant to insulin, glucose cannot enter effectively, leading to decreased energy production.

If this sounds like you, consider having your insulin and glucose levels tested and treat this as your body's warning sign to make lifestyle changes. Because an early intervention through lifestyle changes and, if necessary, medication, can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and its associated complications.

Simple test

One test you must include as a part of your protocol to get better if you are suffering from any of these is - Fasting Insulin Levels.

Whether your sugar levels and HbA1C levels are within range, check your fasting insulin levels. This test can indicate whether you are insulin resistant or not, or if you have too much insulin in your system.

Take this test and let your health expert help you interpret it and guide you through the right steps and lifestyle changes, so you truly heal and not just suppress the symptoms.

(Luke Coutinho is an Integrative Lifestyle Expert)

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