7 Silent Signs You Could Have Insulin Resistance
It is estimated that roughly 25 percent of Americans suffer from insulin resistance syndrome, or the presence of high levels of insulin in the body. Here are common symptoms of insulin resistance syndrome.
Symptom of insulin resistance: Abdominal obesity
Obesity, especially too much fat in the abdomen and around the organs is the main cause of insulin resistance, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Here’s why: “Abdominal fat, or fat around your waistline, has a more negative effect on your metabolism than fat that accumulates in other areas of the body,” says registered nurse Kellie Rodriguez, a certified diabetes educator and director of the Global Diabetes Program at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, TX. “Abdominal fat increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and heart disease. Therefore measuring your waistline is important–with a goal of less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men.”
Symptom of insulin resistance: Large pores and acne
Sebum, the oil that lubricates the skin, is overproduced in those who suffer from insulin resistance syndrome. According to research, including a study published in 2016 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, a diet rich in carbohydrates promotes this overproduction, causing acne. Eating more fresh vegetables and lean meats and consuming less sugar can help combat this and other insulin resistance symptoms. Here are some myths and truths you should know about large pores.
Symptom of insulin resistance: Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Many women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which women have high levels of male hormones, increasing the chance for irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, obesity, ovarian cysts, heart disease, and diabetes. The illness is linked to insulin resistance. Controlling insulin levels is essential for balancing these hormones. This can also lead to fertility issues if left unchecked. Pay attention to these symptoms of PCOS.
Symptom of insulin resistance: Hair loss in women
In addition to fat storage and regulating sugar levels, insulin helps regulates hair growth. Women who suffer from insulin resistance are prone to alopecia, or female pattern baldness, suggests research, including one study published in 2015 in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology. Women who lose more than the typical amount of hair per day, estimated at about 250 strands, should be checked for insulin resistance as this may be the root cause.
Symptom of insulin resistance: Swollen ankles
Swelling of the ankles or other parts of the body can be one of the many insulin resistance symptoms. Swelling tends to be indicative of insulin resistance, as insulin tells the kidneys when to hold on to sodium and water. When fluid is retained unnecessarily, swelling and bloating can result. Here are some other reasons you might be bloated—and when it could signal a health problem.
Symptom of insulin resistance: Elevated blood sugar
Elevated blood sugar can translate to excessive thirst, lethargy, frequent urination, and more serious insulin resistance symptoms, such as kidney damage, if left unchecked. People with insulin resistance need to monitor their blood sugar and maintain an insulin resistance diet in order to keep these symptoms at bay. These sneaky things can also raise your blood sugar.
Symptom of insulin resistance: Carbohydrate cravings
It may seem counterintuitive, but having insulin resistance means that while you have too much glucose in your blood, your body is unable to make use of that to convert to energy. That is why your body sends mixed signals to your brain and causes it to crave carbohydrates. So carb cravings are one of the most common insulin resistance symptoms.
The good news: Unlike other insulin-related conditions, insulin resistance syndrome is reversible by doing the following: In addition to getting plenty of physical activity and losing weight if you need to, Rodriguez suggests the following to help your body respond better to insulin. “Eat healthy, balanced meals; take medications, such as metformin if prescribed; and get plenty of sleep,” she says. You should also watch out for these diabetes symptoms you might be missing.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Insulin Resistance & Prediabetes.”
- Kellie Rodriguez, registered nurse, certified diabetes educator, and director of the Global Diabetes Program at Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas.
- Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, “Dietary Glycemic Factors, Insulin Resistance, and Adiponectin Levels in Acne Vulgaris.”
- Australasian Journal of Dermatology, “The Association of Androgenetic Alopecia and Insulin Resistance is Independent of Hyperandrogenemia: A Case‐Control Study”