Watermelon & Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body does not use insulin properly. The pancreas releases the hormone insulin into the bloodstream to help convert glucose, which comes from food, into energy. Because the muscles, liver and cells can't use the insulin effectively, glucose builds up in the bloodstream. Watermelon is high in sugar and can affect blood glucose, but it can also be part of a healthy diet. Video of the Day The glycemic index, or GI, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods, including beverages, based on how they affect blood glucose. A carbohydrate-containing food is considered high on the glycemic index if it has a value above 70. High-glycemic foods are quickly digested by the body, causing fluctuations in your blood sugar level. High blood glucose and excessive insulin secretion can damage the pancreas and cause Type 2 diabetes. Low-glycemic foods are absorbed more slowly and stay in your digestive track longer. This slower process does not put a sudden demand on the pancreas to release lots of insulin, so blood sugar increases gradually and in a regulated fashion. A balanced blood sugar level can help reduce the risk of insulin resistance. Watermelon is a nutritious, high-glycemic fruit whose GI value is 72. Watermelon can have the same affect on blood glucose as a bagel, because they have the same GI value. However, the GI of a carbohydrate-containing food is an incomplete assessment and should not be used as the only yardstick for determining foods that can affect blood glucose, according to the University of Wisconsin Health. The glycemic load takes the GI into account, but also measures the quality and amount of carbohydrates in foods. Watermelon has a high GI, but there aren't a lot of carbohydrates, so watermelon's glycemic load is relative Continue reading >>
Practice Essentials Insulin resistance is a state in which a given concentration of insulin produces a less-than-expected biological effect. Insulin resistance has also been arbitrarily defined as the requirement of 200 or more units of insulin per day to attain glycemic control and to prevent ketosis. The syndromes of insulin resistance actually make up a broad clinical spectrum, which includes obesity, glucose intolerance, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome, as well as an extreme insulin-resistant state. Many of these disorders are associated with various endocrine, metabolic, and genetic conditions. These syndromes may also be associated with immunological diseases and may exhibit distinct phenotypic characteristics. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] The metabolic syndrome —a state of insulin-resistance that is also known as either syndrome X or the dysmetabolic syndrome—has drawn the greatest attention because of its public health importance. In addition to hypertension, findings can include central obesity, peripheral arterial disease, type A syndrome, type B syndrome, ancanthosis nigricans, polycystic ovary syndrome, and other insulin-resistant states. In clinical practice, no single laboratory test is used to diagnose insulin resistance syndrome. Diagnosis is based on clinical findings corroborated with laboratory tests. Individual patients are screened based on the presence of comorbid conditions. Lab tests include the plasma glucose level, the fasting insulin level, and a lipid profile, among others. Treatment involves pharmacologic therapy to reduce insulin resistance, along with surgical management of underlying causes if appropriate. Comorbid conditions should be evaluated and addressed; this is generally feasible on an outpatient basis, though some patients wi Continue reading >>
Insulin Resistance: Causes, Symptoms And Prevention
Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, allows cells to absorb glucose so that it can be used as energy. The cells of individuals with insulin resistance are unable to use insulin effectively. When cells cannot absorb glucose, it builds up in the blood. If glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnostic for diabetes, it is referred to as prediabetes. This page will look at the current understanding of insulin resistance and explain how it is a risk factor for both diabetes and other conditions. The article will also explain the signs and how it can be avoided. Contents of this article: Here are some key points about insulin resistance. More detail and supporting information is in the main article. Insulin resistance itself does not present any symptoms if it occurs without prediabetes or diabetes Blood sugar levels with insulin resistance are normal Insulin resistance alone is not treated, but preventing prediabetes or diabetes from developing can be achieved through lifestyle measures What is insulin resistance? Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing prediabetes, and, eventually, type 2 diabetes. Around 15-30 percent of people with prediabetes go on to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within 5 years, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Similarly, the American Heart Association (AHA) say that about half of people with high blood sugar go on to develop type 2 diabetes within a decade. The AHA also point out that this means half of these people do not develop diabetes - "your choices make a difference." In other words, individuals can reduce their chances of progressing to type 2 diabetes in the future by making some preventive lifestyle changes. Not only that, but these steps can also Continue reading >>
What Tests Should I Get For Insulin Resistance And Pcos?
Is Insulin Resistance Causing Your PCOS? Insulin resistance and PCOS commonly occur together. Have you got PCOS, but never been tested for insulin resistance? Or maybe you have been tested, but your doctor has told you that your blood sugar is normal? If so, you may have been left wondering what’s causing your PCOS. During my second year at university we did an experiment where were measured our blood glucose levels after eating different foods. We’d just been learning about how blood glucose could be lower in athletes due to higher muscle mass and increased insulin sensitivity. At the time, I was training for 20 hours a week. You can imagine my shock when I found that my results were close to the top end of the normal range. However, when I queried my doctor about this she assured me that it was still within the normal range. She told me that I needn’t be worried. I’m going to explain to you why this is incorrect and why even slight changes in blood glucose can be a sign of insulin resistance. Studies have shown that up to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. I’m always amazed at the number of women I talk to who have been diagnosed with PCOS, but not tested for insulin resistance. You were not born with PCOS. PCOS is a condition that develops due to your environment interacting with your genes. Your ‘environment’ includes what you eat, how much you exercise, stress levels, environmental toxins, etc. It’s therefore easy to see that there is always something in your environment causing your PCOS. If you can find out what this is then you can remove it, then reverse your PCOS symptoms. I’ve written about the main causes of PCOS and how insulin resistance is the main one. Now I want to further explore insulin resistance: – What is it? – Ho Continue reading >>
12 Signs Of Insulin Resistance
Most people think about diabetics when they see the word insulin, but problems with insulin can occur in a number of different conditions, in people with normal blood sugar. You have probably heard of insulin resistance; it is a significant health problem because it’s associated with an increased risk of obesity, heart attacks, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cancer and other serious conditions. People with insulin resistance usually have excessively high levels of this hormone, because it doesn’t work properly. We are seeing an increasing number of patients who have been diagnosed with insulin resistance by their own doctor, yet they don’t fully understand what this term means. How would you know if your insulin level is too high? There is a blood test that can measure your fasting insulin, but it isn’t always reliable and many doctors are not willing to order this test. This is a shame because elevated insulin is bad for your health and shortens your lifespan. Insulin has many important roles in your body. People with too much insulin in their bloodstream are said to have insulin resistance, syndrome X, metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes. They are all interchangeable terms. Due to modern diets and lifestyles, nearly everybody produces more insulin in their pancreas than they should. This is a problem because if blood insulin levels have been high for years, the cells of your body start to ignore it. The insulin becomes less and less effective at its important job in your body (getting glucose inside your cells so you can burn it for energy). Knowing whether or not you have too high insulin is important because it can allow you to make some changes and avoid some serious health problems in the future. Luckily there are several tell tale signs or clues that your bo Continue reading >>
Mechanisms Of Obesity-associated Insulin Resistance: Many Choices On The Menu
Abstract Obesity-associated insulin resistance is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In the past decade, a large number of endocrine, inflammatory, neural, and cell-intrinsic pathways have been shown to be dysregulated in obesity. Although it is possible that one of these factors plays a dominant role, many of these factors are interdependent, and it is likely that their dynamic interplay underlies the pathophysiology of insulin resistance. Understanding the biology of these systems will inform the search for interventions that specifically prevent or treat insulin resistance and its associated pathologies. The number of obese individuals worldwide has reached 2.1 billion, leading to an explosion of obesity-related health problems associated with increased morbidity and mortality (Li et al. 2005; Olshansky 2005). Obese individuals develop resistance to the cellular actions of insulin, characterized by an impaired ability of insulin to inhibit glucose output from the liver and to promote glucose uptake in fat and muscle (Saltiel and Kahn 2001; Hribal et al. 2002). Insulin resistance is a key etiological factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), which has reached epidemic proportions: In the United States, ∼6% of the current adult population is diagnosed with this disease. An additional 41 million people are prediabetic, with a constellation of insulin resistance, hypertension, and dyslipidemia that puts them at increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality (Zimmet et al. 2001; American Diabetes Association diabetes statistics at Lifestyle changes, while desirable, have proven difficult to achieve. Thus, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying insulin resistance will be required to combat the epidemics Continue reading >>
What Causes Insulin Resistance? Lipid Overload
Over the past year I have interacted with hundreds of people with diabetes, and have come to learn one very important lesson that has changed my view of diabetes altogether. This realization came to me early on in my career as a nutrition and fitness coach for people with diabetes, and continues to hold true. While insulin resistance is a condition that is most commonly associated with type 2 diabetes, an increasing body of evidence is now shedding light on the fact that insulin resistance is a common thread that underlies many health conditions previously unassociated with blood sugar, including (but not limited to) heart disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, the metabolic syndrome, obesity and cancer. What that means is simple: insulin resistance significantly increases your risk for the development of a collection of health conditions that can significantly reduce your quality of life and decrease your life expectancy. Watch this video for a synopsis of the causes of insulin resistance: What is insulin and why should you care? Insulin is a hormone which is released by the pancreas in response to rising blood glucose. When you consume carbohydrates, the glucose that enters the bloodstream knocks on the door of the beta cells in the pancreas as a signal to make insulin. Insulin serves as the key that unlocks the door to allow glucose to enter body tissues. Insulin tells your cells “Yoo hoo! Pick up this glucose. It’s all over the place.” Without insulin, cells in the liver, muscle, and fat have a difficult time vacuuming up glucose from the blood. These tissues are capable to vacuuming up only a small percentage (5-10%) of the glucose in circulation without the help of insulin. When insulin is present, the amount of glucose that can be transported into tissues sign Continue reading >>
Tweet Insulin resistance is the name given to when cells of the body don’t respond properly to the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance is the driving factor that leads to type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and prediabetes. Insulin resistance is closely associated with obesity; however, it is possible to be insulin resistant without being overweight or obese. Modern research has shown that insulin resistance can be combatted by treatment methods that reduce how much insulin the body is producing or taking via insulin injections or insulin pumps. Reducing insulin resistance can be achieved by following low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets. What is insulin resistance? The role of insulin is to allow cells of the body to take in glucose to be used as fuel or stored as body fat.  It also means that glucose is more likely to build up in the blood and this can lead to too high blood sugar levels. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it tries to cope by producing more insulin. People with insulin resistance are often producing too more insulin than healthy people. Producing too much insulin is known as hyperinsulinemia. Symptoms of insulin resistance Initially, insulin resistance presents no symptoms. The symptoms only start to appear once it leads to secondary effects such as higher blood sugar levels. When this happens, the symptoms may include: Lethargy (tiredness) Hunger Difficulty concentrating (brain fog) Other signs that often appear in people with insulin resistance include: Weight gain around the middle (belly fat) High blood pressure High cholesterol levels If insulin resistance develops into prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, the symptoms will include increased blood glucose levels and more of the classic symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Causes of insulin r Continue reading >>
What medical conditions are associated with insulin resistance? While the metabolic syndrome links insulin resistance with abdominal obesity, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure; several other medical other conditions are specifically associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance may contribute to the following conditions: Type 2 Diabetes: Overt diabetes may be the first sign insulin resistance is present. Insulin resistance can be noted long before type 2 diabetes develops. Individuals reluctant or unable to see a health-care professional often seek medical attention when they have already developed type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Fatty liver: Fatty liver is strongly associated with insulin resistance. Accumulation of fat in the liver is a manifestation of the disordered control of lipids that occurs with insulin resistance. Fatty liver associated with insulin resistance may be mild or severe. Newer evidence suggests fatty liver may even lead to cirrhosis of the liver and, possibly, liver cancer. Arteriosclerosis: Arteriosclerosis (also known as atherosclerosis) is a process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries. Arteriosclerosis is responsible for: Other risk factors for arteriosclerosis include: High levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol Diabetes mellitus from any cause Family history of arteriosclerosis Skin Lesions: Skin lesions include increased skin tags and a condition called acanthosis nigerians (AN). Acanthosis nigricans is a darkening and thickening of the skin, especially in folds such as the neck, under the arms, and in the groin. This condition is directly related to the insulin resistance, though the exact mechanism is not clear. Acanthosis nigricans is a cosmetic condition strongly Continue reading >>
Insulin Resistance: Risk Factor For Heart Disease And Diabetes
MORE Insulin resistance is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the body's cells cannot properly intake insulin. Insulin, which is produced in the pancreas, is a hormone that helps the body use energy from blood glucose, or blood sugar from digested food, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Think of insulin as the key that unlocks the door to their cells. That door needs to be opened in order for glucose to exit the blood into the cell," said Kimber Stanhope, a nutrition research scientist at the University of California at Davis. When people are insulin resistant, their pancreas, which acts as the locksmith of sorts, is still making those "keys," but the locks — the receptors on cells that take in blood sugar — aren't working as well as they should, Stanhope said. That’s a problem because insulin doesn't just play a role in helping the body use blood sugar as fuel; it's critical for many other bodily processes as well. Being insulin resistant can put people on the path towards developing Type 2 diabetes, and is the single best predictor of who will develop diabetes 10 or 20 years down the line. Once someone is pre-diabetic or diabetic, the pancreas simply can't produce enough insulin to make the cells sufficiently take up glucose and blood sugar levels rise. Insulin resistance also raises the risk of other disorders, such as heart disease. More than 50 million Americans have metabolic disorders that include insulin resistance, according to the American Heart Association. The condition occurs in more than 50 percent of obese children, according to a 2006 study published in the journal Diabetes Care. Causes One of the primary causes of insulin resistance is excess body fat, Stanhope said. "Nearly everybody that is ov Continue reading >>
What Role Do Insulin, Leptin, And Ghrelin Play In Weight Loss? What Is Insulin Resistance Or Leptin Resistance?
INSULIN: Insulin is the hormone secreted by the pancreas. Its main function is to push the excess glucose in your blood into cells of organs like liver ,muscles, etc. The glucose which enters these cells are either used for energy production or stored in the form of glycogen. On the adipose tissue( fat cells of the body) insulin acts by inhibiting degradation of fat and increasing fat(triglyceride) production. The relation between obesity and insulin is, insulin resistance leads to obesity and diabetes but not the other way around.The reason is there is always only optimal production of insulin except in insulinoma (tumor of pancreatic endocrine cells), which is lethal due to lack of glucose entering the brain cells.And in insulin resistance there is no hormone to spare the fat and fat degradation increases in some cases. To decrease insulin resistance the most effective way is increased daily physical activity which will reduce both obesity and insulin resistance. LEPTIN: Leptin is a hormone secreted by adipose tissue(fat cells). It acts on the CNS(central nervous syatem-brain) and causes satiety (lowers the appetite). It is a common notion that increased fat in the body will produce increased leptin leading to increased satiety and in turn decreasing of body weight.But that is not the case here. In most obese people either the leptin levels will be low or there will be a resistance to leptin in the CNS which leads to decreased satiety and increased food intake and more obesity. The only way to overcome this is by increased physical activity like exercise and controlled diet. GHRELIN: Ghrelin is secreted by the stomach when its empty and stopped when stomach is stretched by ingesting food. Ghrelin also acts on the CNS and increases the appetite. CONCLUSION: For both le Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin Resistance? Does It Mean You're Going To Get Type 2 Diabetes?
If your doctor has told you that you have this condition, you're probably asking these questions. It means your body can't respond properly to the insulin it makes. Over time, this sends your blood sugar levels up. That can set you up for type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease, but it doesn't have to. Exercise and a good diet can help you stay healthy. You can't tell that you have insulin resistance by how you feel. You'll need to get a blood test that checks your blood sugar levels. Likewise, you won’t know if you have most of the other conditions that are part of insulin resistance syndrome (high blood pressure, low "good" cholesterol levels, and high triglycerides) without seeing your doctor. If you already have insulin resistance, you can take actions that will help your health. Exercise. Go for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity (like brisk walking) 5 or more days a week. If you're not active now, work up to that. Get to a healthy weight. If you're not sure what you should weigh or how to reach a weight loss goal, ask your doctor. You may also want to talk with a nutritionist and a certified personal trainer. Eat a healthy diet. Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish, legumes, and other lean protein. Some people with insulin resistance may also need to take metformin. Continue reading >>
Insulin Resistance Quiz
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 86 million Americans suffer from metabolic syndrome (often referred to as pre-diabetes). Pre-diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance that develops when the body has trouble using the insulin that it produces. The more severe your insulin resistance, the greater your chance of developing diabetes and heart disease. Our Insulin Resistance Calculator helps determine your extent of insulin resistance, and also provides clinically-based dietary recommendations that may help reduce your levels of insulin resistance. Continue reading >>
Diabetes: What Are The Best Ways To Reverse Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance is a condition that impairs the ability to efficiently remove and process glucose from the bloodstream. Glucose, or blood sugar, is a vital energy source required by all cells, organs and systems of the body for normal function. The inability to utilize glucose in the blood results in excess levels in the blood, effects metabolism, and significantly increasing the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. How Does Insulin Resistance Happen Much like leptin resistance, insulin resistance occurs when a needed substance is present in the body, but unable to be utilized by the cells of the body. Specifically, the muscles and cells of the body do not respond or recognize the presence of insulin, resulting in decreased amounts of glucose being delivered to the cells. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas and important for glucose regulation and energy production. The body reacts to this decrease in glucose in the cells by sending signals demanding more glucose for energy, As long as the pancreas can produce enough insulin, meeting the demand for increased amounts of glucose, the body appears to functions normally and glucose levels remain at healthy levels. Should the demand for glucose exceed the ability to produce insulin, blood glucose levels increase which increases the health risks associated with this condition. Causes of Insulin Resistance While researchers have yet to determine an exact cause of insulin resistance, they believe it is closely related to being overweight, having excess fat around the waist and physical inactivity. Genetics and heredity also appear to influence who develops insulin resistance. Insulin resistance risk increases with age; affecting 10% of people between the ages of 20 and 40, but nearly 40% of people over the age of Continue reading >>
Insulin Resistance: Dealing With The Diagnosis
When my daughter was a pre-teen, her routine blood glucose test came back a little high. Her pediatrician had her undergo a special test called a fasting blood glucose test, which was followed by a series of other tests. The results prompted her doctor to come back with a chilling diagnosis: insulin resistance. As a pediatric nurse, I was familiar with the topic of diabetes and insulin resistance, but this was a frightening diagnosis. My daughter was very upset, thinking she now had a terrible disease. And both my husband and daughter turned to me for ways to deal with this new diagnosis. What is insulin resistance? It's a condition in which the hormone, insulin, becomes less effective at managing sugar levels in the blood glucose after eating or drinking anything that contains a simple sugar. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and acts to open the doors of the cells, taking glucose out of the bloodstream and putting it into the cells for energy. When cells don't respond enough to insulin, blood glucose levels rise as a result. How serious is insulin resistance? The presence of insulin resistance typically precedes the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, previously known as adult onset diabetes. When an individual has diabetes, his or her pancreas does not make enough insulin to keep blood sugars level. This is a chronic disease which can result in a number of side effects and disabilities. How do I know if my child has insulin resistance? The signs and symptoms can vary with each person, but some are very noticeable. In my nursing career, I have taken care of children who seem to have a dark ring around their necks that looks like oily dirt. This is not dirt and can't be washed away. It also can occur under the arms or in the groin area. This ring is called acanthosis nigri Continue reading >>