UNDERSTANDING INSULIN RESISTANCE
We all know, or kind of know, what diabetes is. Well, maybe it’s fair to say we’ve all heard the word before. But what is insulin resistance? And what does it have to do with diabetes?
Perhaps it helps to know what diabetes is. Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar or glucose remains high in the bloodstream. The reasons why it’s high can be different but the result is the same. And when sugar has been high for too long in the bloodstream it leads to a number of medical problems like vision loss, kidney failure, heart disease and poor circulation leading to amputation of limbs.
Insulin resistance is the stage just before diabetes.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas and its most popular job is escorting glucose across the cell membrane of all of your organs so that your cells can break glucose down into energy.
Usually, this only takes a certain amount of insulin to do. When the cell has trouble sensing that insulin is around, however, more and more insulin is required to help get the same molecule of glucose through the cell membrane.
This is insulin resistance.
It is quite simply the requirement of higher and higher concentrations of insulin to get glucose through the cell membrane. Your blood labs may show that you have a normal blood sugar level and even a normal hemoglobin A1c, but your insulin concentration, which is reliably assessed over several hours, demonstrates abnormally high levels.
DISEASES CAUSED BY INSULIN RESISTANCE
Insulin's other job is hoarding fat. It's not as popular a job as lowering blood sugar, but it's very important to understand. That's because in the state of insulin resistance your abnormally high concentrations of insulin is now hoarding fat anywhere it can, including around your belly and into your liver causing a condition called fatty liver or hepatic steatosis.
Insulin resistance can also be attributed to a number of other medical conditions such as thyroid problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, fatigue, mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, PCOS, sleep disorders, and the list goes on and on. Eventually, the pancreas will not be able to keep up the high levels of insulin required to keep your blood sugar levels under control and diabetes will emerge. By the time this happens, you have already been insulin resistant for years and in most cases never knew it. Why this is important is because when you become diabetic it is too late to reverse the condition. Insulin resistance, however, is 100% reversible. The trick is catching it early. This is where we come in.
TESTING INSULIN RESISTANCE
We use the Kraft test to detect and monitor insulin resistance. The Kraft test will place your insulin resistance on a spectrum and tell us how close to diabetes you are.
There are several levels --level 1 to level 5. The 5th pattern of insulin resistance may show low insulin levels because by that time your pancreas cells have exhausted their ability to produce insulin and your insulin concentrations have started to drop. Your hemoglobin A1c will correlate to an elevated level, confirming the diagnosis of diabetes.
Don't wait to find out where you fall on the spectrum. Book your lab appointment with us now or request a self-test which you can conduct from your home.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This 4-hour Kraft test is not covered by your health plan. The cost of the test is $450.
Click here to schedule your appointment. You will be asked for payment to confirm the appointment. Call us if you have questions or would like more information: (877) 254-4496
HOW THE TEST WORKS
- We ask you to fast for 12 hours before your test. (Please check with your medical provider if you are taking medications that require you to take them with food)
- When you arrive, we will collect fasting blood samples
- Then, you'll be given sugar water to drink and about 15 minutes to drink it.
- 30 minutes after drinking the sugar water, we will draw another blood test and 4 more after that every hour either by sticking your finger or collecting it from the vein
- Before you complete your lab draw series, we will schedule your follow-up appointment with Dr. Sargeant to interpret your test results and to discuss an insulin resistance reversal plan.