Why Am I gaining Weight?
How do you define Insulin Resistance Syndrome(Metabolic Syndrome)?
Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of any three of the following conditions:
• waist measurement of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women
• triglyceride levels of 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or above, or taking medication for elevated triglyceride levels
• HDL, or “good,” cholesterol level below 40 mg/dL for men and below 50 mg/dL for women, or taking medication for low HDL levels
• blood pressure levels of 130/85 or above, or taking medication for elevated blood pressure levels
• fasting blood glucose levels of 100 mg/dL or above, or taking medication for elevated blood glucose levels
About 1/3rd of the US population meets the criteria for Metabolic Syndrome or Insulin Resistance Syndrome.
Why does it matter if I am Insulin Resistant?
The key to understanding this is to understand what insulin does to the body. Insulin is the principal anabolic(body buidling) hormone in the body. More insulin you have, more body building happens, especially around the waist. Unfortunately, the weight around the waist produces many harmful inflammatory chemicals called cytokines that in turn raise body's inflammation. Inflammation can lead to many diseases including cardiovascular, diabetes, or even cancer.
What are the actions of Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone produced in the Pancrease, a gland in our stomach. Insulin is produced primarily in response to carbohydrates in the diet. If you are insulin resistant, your body needs to produce more and more insulin to get the same effect. Insulin is also an anabolic hormone with many effects on the body's tissues including an effect on the fat cell. If the insulin level is high, and glucose is high, the body stores energy by converting glucose into fat. If the insulin levels are low and glucose is low, the body releases the fat back to be used as a fuel for the tissues.
Are obese people internally starving?
In general, yes. If you are insulin resistant, your body's fat cells are told to be in storage mode even when you need the fat to be released back. This is phenomenon that leads to "starvation" in obese people as they are unable to access their own fat stores when they need them. When this happens, you become hungry all the time and you tend to crave for carbs. Unless you reverse the underlying Insulin resistance, you will not be able to lose weight.
What are the symptoms of insulin resistance and prediabetes?
Insulin resistance and prediabetes usually have no symptoms. People may have one or both conditions for several years without noticing anything. People with a severe form of insulin resistance may have dark patches of skin, usually on the back of the neck. Sometimes people have a dark ring around their neck. Other possible sites for dark patches include elbows, knees, knuckles, and armpits. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans.
Can medicines help reverse insulin resistance or prediabetes?
Clinical trials have shown that people at high risk for developing diabetes can be given treatments that delay or prevent onset of diabetes. The first therapy should always be an intensive lifestyle modification program because weight loss and physical activity are much more effective than any medication at reducing diabetes risk.
Several drugs have been shown to reduce diabetes risk to varying degrees. No drug is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat insulin resistance or prediabetes or to prevent type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that metformin is the only drug that should be considered for use in diabetes prevention. Other drugs that have delayed diabetes have side effects or haven't shown long-lasting benefit. Metformin use was recommended only for very high-risk individuals who have both forms of prediabetes (IGT and IFG), have a BMI of at least 35, and are younger than age 60. In the DPP, metformin was shown to be most effective in younger, heavier patients.
Points to Remember
- Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body's cells do not use insulin properly. Insulin helps cells use blood glucose for energy.
- Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
- Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.
- Causes of insulin resistance and prediabetes include genetic factors, excess weight, and lack of physical activity.
- Being physically active, making wise food choices, and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent or reverse insulin resistance and prediabetes.
- The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study confirmed that people at risk for developing type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through regular physical activity and a diet low in fat and calories.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it properly. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps the body use glucose for energy. Glucose is a form of sugar that is the body’s main source of energy. The body’s digestive system breaks food down into glucose, which then travels in the bloodstream to cells throughout the body. Glucose in the blood is called blood glucose, also known as blood sugar. As the blood glucose level rises after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin to help cells take in and use the glucose. It is believed that eating high glycemic or starchy foods such as Bagels, White Bread, Rice, Sweets, Donuts, Sugary Beverages etc. over time leads to insulin resitance.
What happens if I am Insulin Resistant?
When people are insulin resistant, their muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin. As a result, their bodies need more insulin to help glucose enter cells. The pancreas tries to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. Eventually, the pancreas fails to keep up with the body’s need for insulin. Excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, setting the stage for diabetes. Many people with insulin resistance have high levels of both glucose and insulin circulating in their blood at the same time. Insulin resistance increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Learning about insulin resistance is the first step toward making lifestyle changes that can help prevent diabetes and other health problems.
Let W8MD Partner with you.
At W8MD, we will partner with our patients to a life long process of wellness by reversing this inflammation causing process by reducing the insulin resistance. We customize all treatments to suit your needs and work with you providing the tools, education, support and materials that help you succeed in your efforts to lose weight.
Want to learn more?
Contact W8MD today to learn more about how and your family can learn to reverse this epidemic of Insulin Resistance that is sweeping across the United States. Call 1(800)W8MD-007 to find a center closest to you. You have nothing to lose but your unwanted pounds!