Insulin is a hormone that is naturally made in the pancreas to help the body absorb glucose from the blood. The ability to absorb glucose allows the body to use it for energy. When the cells are unable to absorb, resulting in insulin resistance, the glucose levels are elevated in the blood and leads the body to store this excess sugar as fat instead of using it for energy. The after-affect leads to cravings for sweets and a feeling of sluggishness. The higher volume of sugar you consume, the more likely insulin resistance will occur and lead to Type 2 Diabetes.
Here is a list of symptoms associated with insulin resistance:
- Excess abdominal fat
- Cravings for carbohydrates and sugary foods
- Frequently experiencing a “sugar crash”
- Experiencing “Hangry”
- Development of a buffalo hump – a build-up of fatty tissue at the base of the neck, which can also affect spinal alignment.
- Gynecomastia Syndrome – development of breasts in men or excess fatty tissue build-up over the pectoral muscles.
- The feeling of euphoria or “buzzed” after food consumption
- Abnormal blood work
- Development of Thyroid Disease
- Female hormone imbalance
- Mood swings
An individual who is overweight, lacks physical activity, was predisposed from a parent, or has a history of hypertension, gestational diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels, or polycystic ovary syndrome is at a higher risk of developing insulin resistance. Those who are over the age of 45 are also included in that high-risk group. Furthermore, a prolonged increase of glucose in the blood from insulin resistance can lead to several other health complications besides Type 2 Diabetes. You will find that list below.
- Increased inflammation
- High cholesterol
- Elevated or high blood pressure
- Decreased ability of the liver to detox
- Abnormal fluctuation in neurotransmitters
- Increase in oxidative stress levels
- Increased estrogen levels in men
- Increased testosterone levels in women
You can see from the lists of symptoms and potential health complications, that insulin resistance can be detrimental to one’s health. The main preventative for this condition is to maintain a healthy diet to reach optimal health. “You are what you eat” is a cliché statement but so much of our body’s ability to properly function comes from what we fuel it with. Check out the sugar quiz below. You can score yourself to see how much sugar is affecting you.
A QUIZ to see if you are sugar-addicted
Taken from Dr. Nancy Appleton’s Lick The Sugar Habit
Answer each of the following questions as truthfully as you can using true or false.
- I do not eat refined sugar every day.
- I can go more than a day without eating some kind of sugar-containing food.
- I never have cravings for sugar, coffee, chocolate, peanut butter, or alcohol.
- I’ve never hidden sweets around the house so I can eat them later.
- I can stop after eating one bite of a pastry or one piece of candy.
- There are times when I have no sugar in the house.
- I can have sweets in the house without eating them.
- I can go at least 3 hours without eating without shakes, fatigue, or bad moods.
- I do not eat something sweet after every meal.
- I rarely drink sweetened coffee, eat donuts or sweet rolls for breakfast.
- I can go more than an hour after waking without eating.
- I don’t drink sweetened soft drinks every day.
If you answered “false” to more than four of the statements, chances you are probably sugar-sensitive. You are probably allergic to sugar and also addicted to it- the same way an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol. You crave sugar, have withdrawal symptoms when you don’t get it, and probably feel better for a short time after you’ve eaten it. If you are eating sugar to feel better, you are actually making your condition worse. If you answered “false” to four statements or fewer, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem with sugar. You may not be addicted to it, but perhaps you don’t quite realize just how much sugar you are eating.
Here are a few helpful links to programs offered by Standard Process to help you detox and live a healthier life.
If you or someone you know suffers from anything mentioned above or has concerns about how the sugar you/they consume is affecting your or their health, please come in to see Dr. Lisa. You can discuss the benefits of Nutrition Response Testing. Don’t forget to ask about the Medi Herb product Gymnema. This product can help to curb sugar cravings.