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maggie2 04-11-2012 12:59 PM

Insulin Resistance
 
I'm wondering if anyone here has any information on insulin resistance.

I have had medical problems for the past 16 years and [b]finally[b] have been diagnosed with insulin resistance. I, like most people, assumed that insulin resistance is caused by being overweight.

Well, I have learned that this is not the case. Insulin resistance actually causes us to gain weight because we can't secrete the excess insulin in our bodies and it gets stored as fat.

Additionally, several recent studies of people of normal weight shows that many of them have insulin resistance. So obviously they didn't get IR because they were overweight.

I guess what this has done for me is to help me understand that IR is a medical problem, not an eating problem. What a relief, in a way.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has IR and if they have any information on the topic.

AnaBee 04-11-2012 11:11 PM

I have insulin resistance. I also have PCOS. The two often go hand in hand (I think they worked out that insulin resistance was the cause of PCOS about 10 years ago, before that they focused on the cysts aspect).

My endo thinks that I probably always had it (my reaction to carbs has always been quite weird) and then in my early 20s I gave up on dieting (I was always hungry) and just ate and I gained 50 pounds in about 3 months. It's a vicious circle, the weight gain part of it, the more weight you gain, the worst it gets but it's really hard to lose weight.

Not sure what else to add but I have to eat low carb to manage hunger and to have any hope of losing weight. So you're in the right place :)

Rana 04-12-2012 10:39 AM

I have insulin resistance too!

It was very hard for me to lose weight. It's been a slow process and the thing with IR, it's very trial and error.

If you're going to doctors, they may already have you on medication or have told you that your IR is "mild" enough to treat with diet and exercise.

Diet and exercise are critical for IR, because your pancreas is still working well enough (although not as perfect a healthy one) and by changing your diet you're helping it work more efficiently.

So, that means, finding out which foods increase your blood sugar. Usually, it's all the crappy carbs (as I call them) and then you'll have to find out if some of the "healthier" carbs do the same thing to you.

Exercise helps, because it regulates the blood sugar in your blood, which helps the pancreas when it doesn't put the right amount of insulin in your blood stream. In a perfect world, you would go for a walk right after eating to help that balance. Weight training is also very useful because as you develop muscle, you can store some of that excess blood sugar in the form of glycogen in your muscles, rather than as fat.

maggie2 04-12-2012 01:27 PM

AbaBee and Rana,

Thanks for the responses.

Yes, PCOS often goes hand in hand with IR. My one daughter has both. And you're right, it's been about 10 years now since doctors discovered that with PCOS, IR usually is the cause.

I have been reading scientific papers about IR for the past couple of weeks. I found the information on most of the major medical sites to be useless because it is not up-to-date and they are still saying that IR is caused by being overweight, not that being overweight can and often is caused by IR.

Additionally, they say there are no symptoms. What a crock! I have tons of symptoms. Do you gals? If so, what are your symptoms?

I have been exhausted for years and never knew why. Now I know! I discovered that if you have IR your cells don't open up to allow the glucose into them. No glucose in your cells no energy! So in other words, we don't have enough fuel to provide the energy we need to live well. Makes perfect ssense!

I also have fatty liver, high levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and weakened muscles, which is also because the cells in the muscles don't get enough fuel. Oh yes, and foggy brain! Can't think of any other symptoms right now because of darn 'foggy brain'!

I'd love to know what symptoms you have had and how you are dealing with them.

More later.

Rana 04-15-2012 12:47 PM

I think, for me, the biggest symptom is the craving for sugar/white bread/white rice/cookies/cakes, etc. (crappy carbs), and then the cycle of being hungry after eating them.

In fact, I finally went to the doctor to take care of this three or four years ago because I was eating lunch, then an hour later, I was hungry again, and my boyfriend would look at me and say, "I'm full. That was a big lunch. How can you possibly be hungry again?!" And he's a lot taller/bigger than I am!

I would whine I was still hungry and eat a slice of cake.

Then I would be starving for dinner.

When I finally cleaned up my eating, those crazy cravings were gone. I think with eating healthier and exercise, I did get my energy back, but I hadn't noticed it was gone. I think I can look back and say that I have more energy now.

mariposssa 04-15-2012 03:19 PM

I had plenty of symptoms...the brain fog, skin tags, dark skin (AN), extreme fatigue, PCOS symptoms, carb cravings, BAD cravings. This is probably weird but there is just this feeling I get when I know my insulin is off. It feels like blood rushing and light headedness. Hard to explain; but when my eating low carb and exercising is good I don't get it. But, if I get off plan more than my one cheat day its like I can feel my insulin start rising and I just don't feel right.

kaplods 04-15-2012 03:42 PM

I'm also insulin resistant. There are some good books that explain the issues very well. I can't remember any specific titles, I just went to my local library and read what I could find (looking for books published in the last 5 years or so).

I'm also diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (also called syndrome x) which is characterized by a number of health issues including blood sugar issues such as insulin resistance, type II diabetes or "borderline" or pre-diabetes (where blood sugar numbers are just under the cut-off point for diabetes).

My doctor said that the best way to treat my IR and pre-diabetes (I've had some blood sugar readings in the diabetic range, but only a few times) was to treat it as if it were full-blown diabetes. The diabetic diet or a low-carb diet was the best way to go.

I really only seem to lose weight on fairly low-carb diets, unless I cut calories to impractical levels (I'm also extremely hungry on high-carb diets, so just in terms of hunger control it also makes sense to eat low-carb).

dinomama 04-15-2012 07:25 PM

All of u described me to a T..especially Maggie2. Do u have a carb craving sometime in the afternoon where you would pull the wiskers off a kitten for a carb...chips, cookies, or a cold beer... whew, I do and they r getting worse. Never lost weight counting calories unless it was starvation.... I saw something on carb cycling...idk..sounds good..anyone tried it LATELY

mariposssa 04-15-2012 08:03 PM

I'm doing carb cycling. It is working well. Chris Powell trainer from Extreme Makeover diet edition has a carb cycling book out. I saw him on Dr Oz, but thought his plan has a lot of rules. I decided to choose rules that I could live with ;) and so far it is working!

dinomama 04-16-2012 09:05 AM

Mariposssa, I would love any info you can share..I saw the dr oz thing as well but did not go any frther with my research... One thing I did read a while back I think on 3fc said a 40 min walk 6 days a week helps reverse this ??? I just ordered some sneakers and am on my way to walking daily again

astrophe 04-16-2012 09:53 AM

Yep -- another PCOS/IR person.

I'm not sure what info you are seeking, but googling "insulin resistance" can help.

Before I knew what my dx was I felt all those things -- cravings, shaky, anxiety, cranky, brain fog... it all comes from mismanaged blood sugar.

Exercise can help burn extra insulin floating around in the system.

There's several video clips at youtube that animate/explain IR -- may be worth taking a peek.

A.

AnaBee 04-17-2012 07:12 PM

Rana and Mariposssa described my experiences to a T. I used to think I was developing an eating disorder because I was hungry all the time, I started eating secretly. Because yeah, when you eat a meal that would leave your sporty boyfriend in a food coma and you are still hungry an hour later, you definitely don't feel like a normal person. It did lead to bingeing for the sake of bingeing too, but now I know how to manage my IR that's reduced by like 95%.

My doctor prescribed metformin (the extended release version). It was good in that it stopped me being permanently hungry, but it hasn't really helped with weightloss and in some ways hinders it because when I eat low carb and take the 2000mg dose I feel crummy all the time. My GP has cut the dose to 1000mg and I feel much better so I'm going to speak to my specialist about this. I think now that I now that I'm happy doing low carb, the higher dose isn't necessary. But while he advocates lower carb, I don't think he's expecting most of his patients to be as low as I am.

I can totally relate to that feeling of knowing when things are out of wack that Mariposssa describes and I can trace that back all the way through my teens. As skinny little kid I could eat tonnes and tonnes of carbs (and wanted to and did) but it was like puberty made something snap and ended my ability to do so without gaining weight.

shareli 04-17-2012 08:25 PM

I hope you don't mind if I jump in.

I recently read [i]Wheat Belly[i] by William Davis, MD, a preventive cardiologist. In it he reveals what he's learned about our genetically modified, modern day wheat and what it does to us. One of the things he learned -- and forgive me because I don't know or remember the scientific terminology -- is the addictive quality of wheat and how it affects the same part of the brain that is affected by addictive illegal drugs and does it in the same way. So no wonder we're hungry for more of what triggers our addiction: wheat/bread/etc.

I went very low carb at the beginning of February to get my IR back under control. I have succeeded and also achieved a 66% drop in triglycerides and a 33% rise in HDL. My numbers are terrific, according to my doc, and my addiction is happily gone. My appetite is normal and I eat when I should, but all cravings are gone.

I've morphed from very low carb to glycemic load, going easy on high-sugar fruits and really starchy legumes. Weight loss has stalled for now, but my clothes keep getting looser. Eventually it will show up on the scale.

Here is a comment from Dr. Davis's blog: polycystic ovarian syndrome and ovarian cancer cannot be directly blamed on wheat consumption, but wheat does make the phenomenon, such as insulin resistance, surrounding polycystic ovaries worse.

neshi82 04-17-2012 08:38 PM

Is it normal to flux weight, I have been following my diet with the rare taco here an there finally started going back to the gym after losing 42 almost 45 lbs almost now I gained 6 lbs in this day. I am sorry I am new and have been so proud.

Rana 04-21-2012 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shareli (Post 4297931)
I hope you don't mind if I jump in.

I recently read [i]Wheat Belly[i] by William Davis, MD, a preventive cardiologist. In it he reveals what he's learned about our genetically modified, modern day wheat and what it does to us. One of the things he learned -- and forgive me because I don't know or remember the scientific terminology -- is the addictive quality of wheat and how it affects the same part of the brain that is affected by addictive illegal drugs and does it in the same way. So no wonder we're hungry for more of what triggers our addiction: wheat/bread/etc.

I went very low carb at the beginning of February to get my IR back under control. I have succeeded and also achieved a 66% drop in triglycerides and a 33% rise in HDL. My numbers are terrific, according to my doc, and my addiction is happily gone. My appetite is normal and I eat when I should, but all cravings are gone.

I've morphed from very low carb to glycemic load, going easy on high-sugar fruits and really starchy legumes. Weight loss has stalled for now, but my clothes keep getting looser. Eventually it will show up on the scale.

Here is a comment from Dr. Davis's blog: polycystic ovarian syndrome and ovarian cancer cannot be directly blamed on wheat consumption, but wheat does make the phenomenon, such as insulin resistance, surrounding polycystic ovaries worse.

Yep, I read his blog too and I do agree with his assessment.

I have been eliminating wheat from my diet (when I know it's there). When I travel, it's the worst, because I have less control over what I am eating (especially in business settings) but I have been more successful over time. I don't find that potatoes cause my IR to rise as much, but white rice is the WORST, after wheat-products.


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