Insulin Resistance

A Bowl Full of Jelly

Clement C. Moore, author, scholar, and the poet who wrote the timeless “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” describes St. Nicholas as having a belly similar to “a bowlful of jelly”.

Those words, first written in 1822, permit us to meander through memories of our childhood and sitting on Santa’s ample lap.

Not So Jolly Anymore

While those reminiscences are fond, our own bowls full of jelly are not quite as jolly as that of St. Nick. In the last 200 years, we’ve discovered that, oftentimes, a bowl full of jelly (aka an ample midsection) is an indicator of a medical condition. Those who are round in the middle often have a condition called insulin resistance which can lead to more serious health conditions like diabetes.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance is related to excess fat or adipose tissue and how the hormone insulin is processed in the body. It’s a process that begins with insulin itself. When we eat something, our body automatically produces a hormonal response that causes the pancreas to produce insulin which propels glucose to the adipose (or fat) tissue and liver so that food can be converted to the energy our body needs to function. Glucose is the primary energy source on which the body works. Our bodies require food energy, or glucose from carbohydrates, to work correctly.

When you gain weight, your cells can’t process the insulin your body produces, making your pancreas work harder to produce even more insulin. In turn, the cells don’t respond as well to the insulin your body produces, which increases your blood sugar levels. As most of us know, increased blood sugar levels are related to either pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Other conditions related to insulin and insulin resistance are:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Non-alcohol related liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • High markers of systemic inflammation

What are Symptoms of Insulin Resistance?

As mentioned above, weight carried in the midsection or abdomen is one clear indicator of insulin resistance. Other symptoms are:

  • Those annoying little skin tags
  • Urinating more frequently than normal
  • Skin darkening in areas like your armpits or neck

Symptoms of diabetes include those symptoms and:

  • Delayed healing
  • Blurry vision
  • Being hungry more often than normal

What Can be Done About Insulin Resistance?

There are things that can be done to help ameliorate or even reverse insulin resistance. These include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Increasing your level of physical activity
  • Eating well and eliminating as many processed foods as possible
  • Ruling out contributing hormonal and/or genetic factors
  • Determining whether your insulin resistance is related to certain medications
  • Determining whether a medication is contributing to your insulin resistance

Where Do I Go For Help?

For those in the Parker, CO area, APEX Hormone Health can help. Initially, we’ll do a comprehensive consultation and lab work to determine whether you have hormonal imbalances or elevated glucose levels. We also offer telehealth options for Colorado and New Mexico. If you do, we can help you manage hormone imbalances and support you through a weight loss regimen. Our goal is to help you recover and maintain good health, including prevention or reversal of insulin resistance. Call or Text: 720-856-0200

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