Insulin Resistance | Pre-diabetes | Diabetes | Diabesity (Part 1 of 2)
Insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity (diabesity) are global epidemics that continue to rise resulting in major health consequences. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder affecting 400 million people worldwide. Nearly half of them don’t know it. It is commonly associated with poor lifestyle choices, unhealthy food choice, and inactivity. There is also evidence of autoimmunity in Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease that is completely reversible.
Over 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 percent 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.
If you think diabetes and insulin resistance affects only those who are overweight, are sugar and carb junkies, 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 at the cellular level, these folks have excessive visceral fat (intra-abdominal fat around organs), which is known to increase the 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 metabolizing sugar, higher insulin levels accelerate the aging process, increase the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and lead to diabetes, oxidative damage, excess inflammation, PCOS, estrogen dominance and other hormone imbalances.
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 85-95 are an opportunity to restore blood sugar 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."
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) leads 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
In a recent edition of the journal Neurology, German researchers evaluated the size of the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus, using a specialized type of MRI scanner. They measured the blood glucose levels in the same individuals. When the data was analyzed, a direct relationship was found between the degree of atrophy or shrinkage of the hippocampus and blood sugar measurements. Even subtle elevations of blood sugar, far below the level where one would be labeled as being diabetic, were already associated with brain shrinkage. What’s more, the researchers also performed cognitive testing on these individuals and showed a direct relationship between failing memory and blood sugar elevation.
The take home message here is straightforward. Even mild elevations of blood sugar correlate perfectly with both brain degeneration and cognitive dysfunction. And because your blood sugar directly reflects your sugar and carbohydrate consumption, you can choose to directly influence the size, and more importantly the preservation of function of your brain.
Be smart, obtain annual lab tests and Balance your Body Chemistry with a Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis. Red flags: fasting glucose >95, HbA1C >5.7, low vitamin D and elevated triglycerides are early warning signs that you’re not metabolizing sugars adequately, a pre-diabetic environment and could soon develop diabetes. Another red flag is low HDL, increased uric acid and increased GGT. A fasting HbA1C >6.5 and a fasting glucose >120 is indicative of type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms & Conditions Related to Insulin Resistance, Blood Sugar Imbalances and Type 2 Diabetes
* Brain fogginess & an inability to focus
* Hepatitis; Underlying viruses
* Excess belly fat or excess fat around the scapula
* Increased blood sugar, HgA1C, GGT
* Environmental toxicity
* Extreme thirst. Frequent urination.
* Sleepiness, dizziness, fatigue
* Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
* Nutritional deficiencies
* Moodiness and emotional instability
* Increased uric acid. Gout
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. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, even a mild elevation of blood sugar (105-110) is dramatically associated with an elevated risk for developing dementia.
- Chronic low level inflammation, which increases the risk for not only diabetes, but also increases the risk for Alzheimer’s and many other diseases.
- Damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, brain and heart.
- Major hormone disruption: insulin, glucagon, cortisol, estrogen dominance, thyroid dysfunction; low testosterone
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 processed carbs, excessive amounts of sugar, wheat, grains, fructose and overdoing the alcohol. Processed foods, fast and fake foods, GMOs, soda and fruit juices, microwaved foods.
Unbalanced meals that are heavy in processed carbohydrates, sugar, wheat and grains, gluten, HFCS, excess omega-6 fats & vegetable oils. Low intake of fibrous veggies and leafy 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.
- Lack of sleep, poor quality sleep and disrupted circadian rhythms
- GMOs, glyphosate, pesticides and other chemicals and toxins in our food supply
- Inflammation overload, which can be caused by any number of things including poor food choice, toxic overload, chronic and poorly managed stress, excessive exercising, and unhealthy lifestyle habits. .
- Sedentary lifestyles
- Chronic dieting
- Statin drugs. Cholesterol-lowering statins increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 50 percent!
- Overfed and undernourished
- Excessive EMF exposure
- Elevated lypogenic (fat storing) enzymes and decreased lypolytic (fat burning) enzymes
- Emotional stress, adrenal dysfunction and altered hormonal levels. Years of chronic stress (emotional, mental, physical & spiritual stress), adrenal dysfunction, high adrenaline and extremely low or elevated cortisol levels (which elevates blood sugar).
As a holistic nutritionist and functional health practitioner, my philosophy is to identify the root cause of any underlying health issues, slowly "peel away the layers of the onion," and design a healing protocol and comprehensive LIFESTYLE plan specific to your unique biochemistry so you can heal, experience vibrant health, stable blood sugar, balanced hormones, reverse diabetes, and look, think and feel better than ever for a lifetime. I consult with men and women around the world and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation!
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