Did you know it takes 7-8 years for a person to “officially” have type 2 diabetes. What is happening before that?
According to the CDC, 1 out of 3 adults have prediabetes. 8 in 10 don’t know it!
Wow, let that sink in- That’s the bad news...
The good news is- it’s REVERSIBLE...
Can you do anything to avoid it? In the years before, people start developing something called insulin resistance.
Did you know this process is reversible with lifestyle changes & body fat loss- especially the fat around the mid-section, liver and pancreas? Let’s discuss what the process is & 9 signs you might have it.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance is a process that develops over time (silently) that can lead to insulin not being able to do its job- deposition of fat in the muscles, liver and pancreas causes dysfunction and over time, this increases your risk for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Not only that, it is accompanied by inflammation that increases risk for heart disease, stroke, liver disease and even certain cancers.
What are some signs for this risk?
1. Elevated fasting insulin level- Along with fasting glucose, checking an insulin level allows one to calculate a HOMA-IR score to better understand how much insulin is being released to keep the blood sugar down.
2. Highly sensitive C reactive protein- This can help identify inflammation levels in the body & help assess risk for heart disease
3. Increased triglycerides- A type of cholesterol that increases in insulin resistance
4. Elevated fasting blood sugar- Increasing or blood sugar higher than 100- often seen creeping up slowly over years can indicate prediabetes and progression to type 2 diabetes
5. Increased hemoglobin A1C- Often not seen until the condition has “settled in” so to speak
6. Increasing waist size- Can be a sign of storage of unhealthy visceral fat around the organs associated with inflammation and insulin resistance.
7. Abnormal liver tests- Can be a sign of fat deposition in the liver leading to fatty liver & insulin resistance. Note, one can have fatty liver without elevated liver tests.
8. Progressive weight gain with difficulty losing weight
9. Darkening of the skin behind the neck- This is called Acanthosis nigricans.
What lifestyle changes can you make to reduce your risk?
🌀 Minimize sugar- Most commonly, people are getting these from sugar sweetened beverages- this includes soda and yes those seasonal Starbucks drinks! Other sources are sweet treats, chips and baked goods including bread made of white flour. Opt for whole grains. Cut down on meat intake. Remember, you don't have to be perfect but being mindful about these choices and trying your best to treat them as the occasional treat is helpful!
🌀Eat more vegetables and fruit! These are filled with fiber and flavor and will give you lots of nutrition- you will also stay full for longer. The fiber in fruits and vegetables also helps to stabilize your blood sugar. Fruit can help with sugar cravings too.
🌀Try to move more! You don’t have to be in the gym all day- Aim to hit small targets like monitoring your steps on a fitness tracker and slowly increase your goals. Consider getting out and moving whenever you can, take a walk, stand while you work and take the stairs instead of the elevator!
🌀If you have excess body fat, especially around your midsection, work to reduce that weight. Get help from a professional if you need it! Doctors who specialize in obesity can help you with the tools for sustainable weight loss.
These are just some signs. If you have concerns, please discuss with your personal physician. I work with my patients via telemedicine and in-person throughout Texas on a comprehensive prevention plan that addresses conditions by treating root cause.
Do you know someone who would benefit from this information? Please share!