Insulin resistance is rising with epidemic proportions. Insulin resistance is a state in which 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 carb diet, your insulin levels skyrocket. Insulin is needed to move sugar throughout your body as it helps carry sugar into your cells. When you’re eating a lot of sugar and carbohydrates 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 in 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 that 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 mostly into triglycerides and stores this as fat. Your fatty acid pathways now have to process your extra sugar and they do 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 hand and most commonly, changes in your feet. You lose sensations in your feet to touch, vibration and two-point discrimination. Most people have this happening and aren’t even aware of it.
- Blood pressure equal to or higher than 130/85 mmHg
- Fasting blood sugar (glucose) equal to or higher than 100 mg/dL
- Large waist circumference (length around the waist):
- Men – 40 inches or more
- Women – 35 inches or more
- Low HDL cholesterol:
- Men – under 40 mg/dL
- Women – under 50 mg/dL
- 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
- Glucose Test
- HDL cholesterol level
- LDL cholesterol level
- Total cholesterol level
- Triglyceride 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’re doing, you should get the proper lab testing done and see if this is impacting your health.
The good news is that this viscous 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.