Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 6 December 2016
Wouldn't it be important to know whether or not you are at risk of developing diabetes ten or even twenty years in advance?
Well with this blood test it is entirely possible to do just that.
One of the most common underlying causes of weight gain, fatigue, poor sleep, high blood pressure, and aching joints and muscles that I see in my clinic is insulin resistance. Ironically insulin resistance is also the precursor pathology aka cause of type 2 diabetes.
So if this is so important why have you never heard of it before?
Unfortunately our conventional medical practitioners don't discuss or test for insulin resistance because it is not covered by OHIP. The conventional system will only test your blood sugar. The problem with that is, once your blood sugar is abnormal it's like having a mechanic fix your car after the accident instead of fixing the breaks beforehand.
Here's how I test for insulin resistance in my office - it is called the reactive insulin test.
I have you eat a high carbohydrate meal, the standard meal being pancakes, maple syrup, and a small glass of orange juice. Then two hours later you have your insulin level in your blood measured at the lab.
In a normal patient the amount of insulin that gets secreted should be below 240. This means that your pancreas secretes a normal amount of insulin to get the sugar you have consumed into your cells. This sugar is either burned to produce energy or it is stored in your fat cells for later.
When an insulin reading is above 240 the pancreas is making more insulin than it should in order to get the same response - sugar into the cells. This only happens when someone has been eating too many carbohydrates and sugars over an extended period of time. The pancreas has secreted insulin so often that the cells start to ignore the signal. They start to become resistant to insulin's message.
If you have any of the symptoms that I mentioned previously (weight gain, fatigue, poor sleep, high blood pressure or joint and muscle pain) I highly suggest having this blood test done. You don't have to go down the road towards diabetes with a blind fold on.
You can make changes now. This is what preventative medicine should be about.
Now I would love to hear from you! Do you suspect that you have insulin resistance? What is one thing that you do currently to help prevent diabetes? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday.
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