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Not diabetic? That's not good enough.

As a naturopath, my focus is preventative, proactive medicine. Nowhere is this better highlighted than in diabetes type 2 or diabetes mellitus, a condition I often refer to as "the gateway to disorder & disease".

According to "Diabetes Canada", diabetes is diagnosed when [1]:

  • Fasting glucose is over 7.0mmol/L

  • A blood sugar of more than 11.1 on a 2 hour Glucose Tolerance Test

  • HbA1C over 6.5%


Diabetes is a condition when the body can no longer control blood sugar. By the time diabetes is diagnosed, a diseased state has already occurred. As your naturopath my focus is to prevent diabetes rather than wait to diagnose it. To do this, I prefer to assess for insulin resistance by measuring fasting insulin, fasting blood sugar and HOMA-IR score.


Insulin is the signal for cells to uptake sugar from the blood stream. Insulin resistance is when the cells have a difficult time hearing and responding to insulin requiring increasingly larger amounts of it to be released in order to control blood sugar. Diabetes is when the body can no longer effectively respond to insulin or control blood sugar.


Signs or symptoms of poor insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance can include [2]:


  • Sugar or carb cravings

  • Fatigue and brain fog after meals

  • Weight gain especially in the love handles

  • Frequent infection

  • Skin tags or darkening of the skin folds

  • Increased thirst, hunger and/or urination

  • Hormone imbalance (ex. PCOS in women, or low testosterone in men)

  • A high triglyceride to HDL ratio


Insulin resistance, in addition to poor blood sugar control, leads to increased inflammation, blood vessel damage, poor metabolism and increased fat storage. This leads to higher risk of [3]:

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Obesity

  • Metabolic syndrome

  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

  • High cholesterol

  • Heart disease and stroke

Many people assume that if their blood sugars are normal that everything is fine, however if you have a family history of diabetes, a personal history of gestational diabetes (developing diabetes while pregnant), or any of the symptoms listed above, it may be prudent to test for insulin resistance. It's simply not good enough to just not be diabetic. To learn more about your insulin sensitivity and risk for diabetes schedule an appointment.


In health & wellness,





 

References:

  1. Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee. Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada. Can J Diabetes. 2018;42(Suppl 1):S1-S325.

  2. Insulin Resistance & Prediabetes (no date) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/prediabetes-insulin-resistance#symptoms (Accessed: January 30, 2023).

  3. Freeman AM, Pennings N. Insulin Resistance. [Updated 2022 Jul 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507839/


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