Insulin resistance is rising in epidemic proportions.
Insulin resistance occurs when the body cannot use insulin effectively. Insulin is needed to help control the amount of sugar in the body. As a result, blood sugar and fat levels rise. When you eat a high carbohydrate diet, your insulin levels increase.
Insulin is needed to move sugar throughout your body. It helps carry sugar into your cells. When you are eating a lot of sugar and carbohydrate foods your insulin level has to go up to meet this demand. In fact, every time you eat anything your insulin levels go up.
But, if you continue eating more sugar and carbohydrate foods day after day your insulin receptors on every cell in your body will become desensitized to insulin—they can’t handle any more! This is the beginning of insulin resistance.
The sugar your cells need to make fuel (ATP), cannot get into your cells very efficiently. If sugar isn’t getting into your cells, it accumulates in your blood stream. Instead of the efficient way of processing sugar via insulin into the cells, your body now has to deal with it another way—a less than ideal way.
This is not as efficient. Your body processes the extra sugar, as much as it can, in your liver and turns it into mostly triglycerides and then stores this as fat. Your fatty acid pathways now have to process the extra sugar. It does so by putting stress on your liver and building up your fat stores.
As the process continues, your arteries and nerves are not getting their normal supply of sugar and they begin to break down. We call this neuropathy. You may have changes in your vision, decreased sensations in your hands and most commonly, changes in your feet. You lose sensations in your feet to touch, vibration and two-point discrimination. Most people aren’t even aware of this when it happens.
Metabolic syndrome is a name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes.
According to the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, metabolic syndrome is present if you have three or more of the following signs:
>>Blood pressure equal to or higher than 130/85 mm Hg
>>Fasting blood sugar (glucose) equal to or higher than 100 mg/dL
>>Large waist circumference (length around the waist): 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women
>>Low HDL cholesterol: Under 40 mg/dL for men and under 50 mg/dL for women
>>Triglycerides equal to or higher than 150 mg/dL
Tests that may be done to diagnose metabolic syndrome include:
>>Blood pressure measurement
>>Pulse rate changes
>>HDL cholesterol level
>>LDL cholesterol level
>>Total cholesterol level
Your sugar metabolism may be a major factor in your health.
It might be the reason you cannot lose weight in addition to setting yourself up for even more health problems in the future. If you don’t know how you are doing you should get the proper lab testing done and see if this is impacting your health.
The good news is that this vicious cycle can be changed. Even better news is that blood sugar metabolism can be managed with diet, exercise and balancing the metabolic imbalances that have led to your breakdown in sugar metabolism.
Dr. Peter Lind practices metabolic and neurologic chiropractic in his wellness clinic in Salem, Oregon. USA. He is the author of three books on health, one novel and hundreds of wellness articles. His clinical specialty is in physical, nutritional and emotional stress. For more health tips go to wellnessbite.com.
Editor: Sara McKeown