Insulin Resistance, Diabetes + Obesity = Diabesity (Part 1 of 2)
Insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity (diabesity) are global epidemics that continue to rise and come with major health consequences. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder affecting nearly 300 million people worldwide. Type 2 diabetes is commonly associated with poor food choice and inactivity. However, there is now evidence of autoimmunity in Type 2 diabetes.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans are medically classified as overweight or obese. What’s crazy is that 30 percent of overweight individuals believe they’re at a healthy weight and 70% of obese individuals feel they’re simply overweight. This excess weight costs our nation approximately $93 billion in annual medical bills and that number is expected to rise.
And, if you think diabetes and insulin resistance affects only those who are overweight, feast on junk food and are sedentary, listen up. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 15 percent of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are not overweight – they’re skinny on the outside, but fat on the inside commonly known as “skinny-fat.” On the inside these folks have excessive visceral fat (intra-abdominal fat around organs), which is known to increase risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. Just because someone is thin, does not mean they’re healthy – a common misconception in our society.
A study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts that by 2020 close to 75 percent of the American population will be overweight or obese. What does this mean? More than two-thirds of all Americans will be pre-diabetic or suffer with type 2 diabetes. What exactly is insulin resistance? What leads to type 2 diabetes?
Insulin resistance is when the cells loses its responsiveness on the insulin receptor site (particularly liver, muscle and fat cells, with the liver losing sensitivity first, followed by muscle, then fat cells). Your body adds more and more insulin to store fat. Overtime, the pancreas give up, leading to type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, your body isn’t making enough insulin and/or the cells are resistant to insulin causing too much sugar to remain in the blood. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. Although insulin is necessary for your body’s use of sugar, higher insulin levels accelerate the aging process, increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and lead to diabetes.
You want to create an environment in which you’re sensitive to insulin. Insulin sensitivity is your body’s ability to use insulin properly to regulate the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Optimal serum glucose fasting blood levels are 70-80 (Harry Eidenier, Jr., PhD). Fasting blood sugars in the 70s are the most protective for prevention of CVD and neurological decline. Abnormal is 100. Glucose levels 70-100 are an opportunity to restore back to an optimal range. Fasting serum insulin levels should be <10. Longevity studies of all creatures from worms and yeasts to humans show that the lower the levels of insulin are over the course of a life, the longer the life will be.
High levels of insulin cause major oxidative damage to your body. The most recognized of these is diabetes, but that is far from the only disease. As Ron Rosedale, M.D. said "It doesn't matter what disease you are talking about, whether you are talking about a common cold or cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis or cancer, the root is always going to be at the molecular and cellular level, and I will tell you that insulin is going to have its hand in it, if not totally control it."
Be smart and obtain annual lab tests. Red flags: fasting glucose >100, HbA1C >5.7, low vitamin D and elevated triglycerides equate to an early warning signs that you’re not metabolizing sugars adequately, may be pre-diabetic and could soon develop diabetes. Another red flag is low HDL and increased GGT. A fasting HbA1C >6.5 and a fasting glucose >120 is indicative of type 2 diabetes.
Chronic insulin resistance and diabetes are significant players in risk of dementia and cognitive dysfunction. Diabetes (and high blood pressure) in middle age (age 40-64) may lead to brain cell loss, dementia, problems with memory, thinking skills and other damage to the brain later in life. Alzheimer’s aka type-3 diabetes
Symptoms & Conditions Related to Insulin Resistance, Unstable Blood Sugar & Diabetes
|Brain fogginess, inability to focus, memory decline||Hypertension|
|Elevated triglycerides, high LDL and low HDL levels||Gout; Hepatitis; Underlying viruses|
|Excess belly fat or excess fat around the scapula||Inflammation|
|Sleepiness; Dizziness; Fatigue||Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)|
|Extreme thirst. Frequent urination.||Elevated blood sugar, HbA1C & triglycerides|
|Environmental toxicity||Nutritional deficiencies|
|Moodiness and emotional instability||Sugar and carb cravings|
When glucose (sugar) builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause:
- An increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (diabetes of the brain, a.k.a. Type 3 diabetes). Hyperinsulinemia doubles risk for Alzheimer’s compared to people without diabetes. Inflammation increases risk for diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
- Damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, brain and heart.
- Hormone disruption: insulin, glucagon, cortisol, catecholamines
High blood sugar drives the body into a fat storage mode rather than a fat burning mode. ALL hormones work in synergy with one another. The hormone you have the most control over is insulin. This is regulated by your diet and what you choose to eat.
Triggers that Cause Insulin Resistance, Pre-diabetes & Type 2 Diabetes
- Inflammatory foods! Too many carbs and excessive amounts of sugar. Processed foods, fast and fake foods, soda and fruit juices, microwaved foods.
Unbalanced meals high in processed carbohydrates, sugar, wheat and grains, gluten, HFCS, excess omega-6 fats & vegetable oils. Low intake of fibrous veggies and greens, healthy fats and clean protein.
Fast food. Consuming fast food two or more times a week results on average an extra weight gain of 10 pounds and doubles the risk of prediabetes.
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Calorie restriction, skipping meals, diet pills
- Elevated lypogenic (fat storing) enzymes and decreased lypolytic (fat burning) enzymes
- Lack of quality sleep
- Toxins in our food supply
- Emotional stress, adrenal dysfunction, altered hormonal levels and chronic inflammation. Years of chronic stress, adrenal dysfunction, high adrenaline and elevated cortisol (which elevates blood sugar) from chronic and poorly managed stress, poor nutrition, overtraining/excessive exercise, and/or unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Make an appointment. Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation. I consult with clients locally in the Phoenix area and with men and women around the world via telephone or Skype. Thank you!
Copyright © Paula Owens. All Rights Reserved.
The material in this article and on this blog is copyright material and may NOT be reproduced or copied without written permission. Reproduction of the articles on this blog may be shared and are permissible ONLY when instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.
- Jerry Palmer, et al. Identification of Autoantibody Negative Autoimmune Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Diabetes Care. 2011 Jan; 34(1): 168 – 173. Epub 2010 Sep 20.
- Am J Clin Nutr 2010;92 1344-1349.
- Am J Clin Nutr 2010;92 1468-1477.
- "Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes," Vasanti S. Malik, Barry M. Popkin, George A. Bray, Jean-Pierre Despres, Walter C. Willett, Frank B. Hu,
- Diabetes Care, vol. 33, no. 11, online Oct. 27, 2010.
- PJ Pussinen, et al. Endotoxemia is associated with an increased risk of incident diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2011 Feb; 34 (2): 392 – 397.
- Influence of magnesium status and magnesium intake on the blood glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Clinical Nutrition, 1 February 2011.