What is Insulin Resistance and why is that important?

To explain Insulin Resistance (IR) on one page is difficult.  Let us describe it briefly as the chemical abnormality of pre-diabetes with normal blood sugars. Estimates are over 50% of Americans have IR.

Insulin is a very important hormone for our body. Its primary function is to regulate the sugar in our bloodstream at a constant level. Each adult has about 5 quarts of blood. The entire amount of sugar normally dissolved in our bloodstream is ½ to 1 teaspoon of sugar in all 5 quarts of blood.  That is important.  THE NORMAL SUGAR IN OUR BLOOD IS ½ TO ONE TEASPOON IN FIVE QUARTS OF BLOOD.

We teach our patients how to calculate the teaspoons of sugar in every food serving we eat or drink.

Example if you eat two plates of spaghetti, two cups pasta on each plate, you absorb 48 teaspoons of sugar into your blood.  A 12 ounce pop is 7.5 teaspoons of sugar.  Within 2 hours, the sugar in our blood should be back to ½ to 1 teaspoon.  Insulin is the main hormone that moves the sugar out of blood into the cells of the body.  Extra sugar in the cells is turned to fat, the form of fat called called triglycerides.  Triglycerides are released back into the blood and then are collected in the fat cells.

As we gain weight, the cells don’t want any more sugar and fat so they become RESISTANT to more sugar coming into the cell.  Insulin is less effective. The body compensates for this by putting higher levels of insulin into the blood. INSULIN RESISTANCE IS HIGH INSULIN LEVELS IN THE BLOODSTREAM.  If insulin resistance progresses to the point that blood sugar is not controlled then we have developed type II diabetes.

Why is this important?  Insulin in normal levels is a great hormone.  In high levels Insulin results in weight gain, blocking weight loss, increased hunger and sugar cravings and several other negative consequences to our health such as fatigue, headaches, premature heart disease and many others .

How does the doctor diagnosis IR?  Information from your history, physical, and from blood testing gives the information.  Sometimes specific testing for blood insulin levels may be needed.

With over half-a-million pounds lost and counting, Idaho Weight Loss offers safe and effective ways to lose weight affordably. Call us at 208.343.3652 (Boise office), 208.420.9310 (Twin Falls office) and 208.739.5679 (Fruitland office) or fill out our online Request an Appointment form to schedule your consultation with us.