Monday, March 21, 2011

Insulin Resistance, Diabetes & Tips to Balance Blood Sugar

Insulin Resistance, Diabetes + Obesity = Diobesity  (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. 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 is above 100, HbA1C above 5.7, low vitamin D and elevated your triglycerides equate to an early warning sign that you’re not metabolizing sugars adequately and could soon develop diabetes. Another red flag is low HDL and increased GGT.

Chronic insulin resistance and diabetes are significant players in risk of dementia and cognitive dysfunction. Diabetes (and high blood pressure) in middle age (40-64 yrs of age) 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

Insulin Resistance and Diabetes: Symptoms, Indicators and Conditions

     Brain fogginess, inability to focus, memory decline Hypertension
     Elevated triglycerides and Low HDL Levels Gout; Hepatitis; Underlying viruses
     Excess belly fat or excess fat around the scapula Inflammation and/or Intestinal Bloating
     Sleepiness; Dizziness; Fatigue Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
     Extreme thirst. Frequent urination. Elevated blood sugar, HbA1C & triglycerides
     Environmental toxicity Nutritional deficiencies

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.
  • Obesity
  • Damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, brain and heart.

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.

What Causes Insulin Resistance, Pre-diabetes and Diabetes?

  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Calorie restriction, skipping  meals, diet pills
  • Processed foods, fast foods, crap in a box, can or drive up window, soda and fruit juices, microwaved foods and fake foods. Unbalanced meals high in processed carbohydrates, sugar, wheat and grains,  HFCS, excess omega-6 fats, vegetable oils, and a low intake of fibrous veggies, greens, healthy fats and clean protein.

Fast food. Consuming fast food 2 or more times a week results on average an extra weight gain of 10 pounds and doubles the risk of prediabetes.

  • Elevated lypogenic (fat storing) enzymes and decreased lypolytic (fat burning) enzymes
  • Lack of quality sleep
  • 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

Star Part 2: Solutions to Balance Blood Sugar and Strategies to Boost Diabetes Protection

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