Before last November, I had never heard the phrase “Insulin Resistance.” Once I was diagnosed, I found myself panicking when I learned it was considered pre-Diabetes. I thought to myself, “Pre-Diabetes?! How can that be? I work so hard to eat right, exercise, and think of myself as someone who at least ATTEMPTS to be healthy.”
Little did I know (due to a lack of information from a relate-able source) that while the diagnosis seemed terrifying, it truly is quite manageable. Here is a 101 on #InsulinResistance and how it relates to #Diabetes , #PCOS, and #WeightLoss…but coming from someone like YOU instead of a medical blog that leads to mis-diagnosis and fear:
Definition of Insulin Resistance (as told by Google):
Insulin resistance (IR) is a physiological condition in which cells fail to respond to the normal actions of the hormone insulin. The body produces insulin, but the cells in the body become resistant to insulin and are unable to use it as effectively, leading to hyperglycemia
Insulin resistance affects between 60 and 70 million Americans, many of whom are UNAWARE THEY HAVE IT.
Definition of Insulin Resistance (as told by me):
Time to breakup with most carbs, think of the bad carbs as poison, and fall deeper in love with cheese, fatty dressings, and vodka sodas. If I stay with carbs, side effects range from migraines, to mood swings, to no period. Which leads to my blog detailing #MyCarbBreakup
These symptoms are what I experienced. I will detail these more in “My Journey,” but here is a start:
- Migraines – I am talking unbearable headaches that lasted 48 hours and left me on the floor of the shower crying in pain.
- Mood swings – my poor husband.
- Sore joints – especially my ankles.
- Rapid heartbeat – this would come out of nowhere and terrify me! Sometimes the rapid heartbeat would last for hours at a time.
- Hair loss – initially I attributed this to the amount of peroxide and dye it took to make me a “California Blonde,” but this really was tied to IR.
- Difficulty losing weight, especially around the belly – Diets, exercise…didn’t matter. Losing weight was EXTREMELY difficult.
- Hot flashes – my body basically thought I was going through menopause. Super fun.
- Increased testosterone levels – being one of the girliest girls I know, this was terrifying.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – this was probably the scariest. No period for 4 months and receiving an Ultrasound showing that my ovaries were filled with cysts? Yeah, that all happened.
Other common symptoms:
- Some people who are insulin resistant have a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans. This condition is characterized by skin darkening and thickening, usually under the arms or in areas where there are skin folds.
- Increased hair growth on their body.
- Adult acne.
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
- Depression: Because carbohydrates are a natural “downer,” depressing the brain, it is not uncommon to see that women who are depressed also have Insulin Resistance.
Some of the more vague symptoms which probably describe 99.9% of the women I know, but I figure I might as well include them:
- Brain fog.
- Lack of energy.
- Constant hunger (I think drinking amplifies these at least by double).
- Difficulty focusing.
- Feel tired and sleepy after a meal.
What to do if you have these symptoms:
GO TO AN ENDOCRINOLOGIST. IMMEDIATELY. (At work I hate when people do what I call the unnecessary triple emphasis. They include bold, italics, AND underline to make a point unless it is a header. I mean…come on. One of the three is sufficient. With this in mind, you can tell how excited and serious I am about this note.)
I was hesitant and wrote several of these symptoms off as being a result of a busy woman, but by going to the doctor I am finding a way to not only survive, but thrive.
More to come about my 1st Endocrinologist appointment so you know what to expect.
What it means for day-to-day living:
Insulin Resistance puts you at a five times greater risk for type 2 diabetes and place you at a higher risk for heart disease. This blog will help navigate these risks to help you survive and thrive! REMEMBER- INSULIN RESISTANCE CAN BE CURED. (Same triple emphasis note after Endocrinologist visit call-out applies here. Sorry.)
To try to help organize this blog, I will be creating a “My Journey” category detailing how I personally am fighting Insulin Resistance.
Since I am new to this whole blogging thing and want to be sure to give credit where credit is due, here is a list of sources that helped inform this article. Definitely check them out for more info on #InsulinResistance
- Image: http://cathe.com/signs-and-symptoms-of-insulin-resistance-can-you-be-insulin-resistant-and-not-know-it