Diabetes or pre-diabetes is a commonly known medical condition that affects our body’s ability to break down sugar, this is also known as insulin resistance. But, did you know that insulin resistance can develop over time and ultimately begin to wreak havoc within your body even if you aren’t considered “diabetic” or “pre-diabetic”?
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are medical conditions related to blood sugar instability but do differ slightly. Type 1 diabetes is considered to be an autoimmune condition (one where the body attacks its own tissues). In this case, the pancreas stops producing insulin and thus glucose is not able to be taken into the cell and blood sugar remains high.
With type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin but the cells do not respond properly to its signaling to take glucose into the cell. Blood sugar AND insulin both remain high in the blood. The body becomes resistant to the insulin being produced. This type of diabetes happens frequently with those who have a poor diet, consume high levels of sugar, and are overweight.
Obviously, this doesn’t happen overnight. When our bodies constantly take in high levels of sugars, they have to work overtime to help work to get the glucose from the blood into the cell for energy. The excess sugar in the blood is converted to adipose cells (fat).
When sugar remains high in the blood, damage can occur in the arteries and vessels. Cholesterol is then produced in order to “patch up” the damage being done to the walls. This is one reason why high cholesterol and blood sugar instability often go hand in hand. Aside from the dangers of high levels of sugar in the blood, there is also danger in high levels of insulin over the long term. Insulin triggers an inflammatory response in the body. Inflammation can contribute to a number of health concerns.
So, how do you know if this is happening in your body? First, it would be helpful have bloodwork done that shows your fasting glucose, hemoglobin a1C, and fasting insulin. These numbers can help us determine how these mechanisms are working and if insulin resistance is present. Once we know more, specific supplementation and foods can help to improve blood sugar and insulin response.
If you have diabetes, have been diagnosed as “pre-diabetic”, or show other signs of insulin resistance, set up an initial consultation with our Functional Medicine Doctor to learn more about how we can help improve your condition naturally. Call us today at (732) 359-8263 to set up your appointment!