Feb 11, 2012 - 12:34 pm
Insulin resistance is a precursor to type II diabetes. It is a result of a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates. Essentially, the cells become resistant to the insulin that carries glucose into them. The cells are protecting themselves from too much glucose. In response to the elevated glucose in the blood - since the glucose can't get into the cells - the pancreas releases additional insulin. Insulin is a growth hormone and stimulates cancer growth.
The symptoms of insulin resistance will not send you running to the doctor, and you may have it for years without knowing. If, however, you are overweight or have belly fat, there's a good chance you have it. You can find out through a blood test called a glucose tolerance test which involves a fasting blood sample, and 4 subsequent blood samples after the patient drinks a sugary drink, over the next three hours.
The good news is that both insulin resistance and type II diabetes can be resolved through a low carbohydrate diet. But, I've learned there is more to it than that. I've been avoiding sugars and carbs for months now, but still have the belly fat. I consulted a nurse practitioner and a nutritionist to help me in my efforts.
From the nutritionist, I learned that avoiding sugar means limiting my daily intake to less than 20 grams. My morning half cup of berries just about meets 1/3 of that limit. From both health care professionals, I learned that efforts to resolve insulin resistance will be unsuccessful if your blood oxygen saturation falls at night. My nurse practitioner ordered a nocternal pulse oximmetry test, which was free. I wore a pulse oximmeter on my finger while I slept for one night. The results were surprising. My blood oxygen falls regularly throughout the night and is even low right when I lie down to go to sleep. Now I have a machine that extracts oxygen from the air in my bedroom and delivers it to me through a canula, which I wear at night. No oxygen bottles are involved. It's a bit uncomfortable sleeping with the canula, but I want to resolve the insulin resistance and the cancer risks related to it. Insurance covers all the costs for the machine except for $17/month, which I pay.