If you have had a physical examination from your doctor which included blood labs, have you ever considered that the lab numbers might have deceived you into thinking that your health is good?
In fact, we can all be easily deceived by numbers when we do not understand just what they are telling us. Not only that, but if there is any information lacking from your physical reports, you might not be as healthy as you believe.
Body weight – overweight a bit.
Bodyfat percentage – reads slightly obese.
Blood and urine lab reports – in normal ranges.
A1C – could be lower, but only barely in the prediabetic range.
But, what about the levels of insulin in your blood?
Has your doctor ever checked those levels in particular?
Or, since all the other numbers were not too bad for your gender and age, have you and your doctor only assumed that there is nothing to worry about in regards to your insulin levels…
Don’t be Deceived!
Despite the numbers from your annual physical being in the normal to just barely being a bit too high, you might not want to just assume that you have nothing to worry about. This is especially true when diabetes runs in your family. Research done with type 2 diabetes has clearly shown that the damages caused by this disease begins not years, but often times, decades before an actual diagnosis of having type 2 diabetes.
The damage being done within our bodies consists of the development of devastating complications of type 2 diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, dementia, and blindness. Most of us would assume that our doctors are doing all that is possible to catch these conditions caused by type 2 diabetes, but the fact is, they may not be checking the levels of insulin in your blood.
When do Problems Begin?
Diabetes is diagnosed when fasting blood sugar levels reach 126 mg/dL and above. You are considered to be prediabetic when your blood sugar level is higher than the healthy range, yet not high enough to indicate diabetes.
Most doctors do test your blood sugar levels during routine physicals. The percentage of sugar in your blood is what is referred to as your A1C. Although your levels might appear to be decent enough, if you are showing other signs of diabetes such as; obesity and other changes to the body which reflect the possibility of heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, you need to get ahead of them before they blossom into full blown disease.
It doesn’t matter if you are diabetic or not – if you are a woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more (40 inches for men) this excess body fat and weight are enough to produce the same dangerous results for the body as from diabetes.
Deceived by the Numbers.
If you are like most people, if the numbers appear good and your doctor has not voiced any concerns to you, you would assume that your health is good. Another clue that is not as often looked at during a physical exam is the total amount of insulin floating around in your bloodstream. High amounts of insulin, even with a healthy A1C, is an indicator for the early stages of the diabetes continuum.
We usually only associate high blood sugar with a lack of insulin, or insulin that does not fully do it’s job. However, too much insulin in your blood is actually the best indicator of the stages leading to prediabetes, and then type 2 diabetes.
A level of insulin that is too high is telling you that you have become insulin resistant!
Insulin resistance is from overwhelming your body with carbohydrates to the point that your cells have become resistant to insulin. Insulin resistance creates the situation to where your insulin can no longer remove sugar from your blood and into your cells as it did earlier in life.
When you become insulin resistant, you are now quite prone to obesity, artery damaging inflammation, and other conditions related to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. (1)
If overweight, have your insulin levels checked.
It is easy to request that your insulin levels be checked when having a two hour glucose test. Your insulin levels should be checked before and after this test. Once the two hour blood glucose test has been completed, your level of insulin should be between 2 IU/dL to 5 IU/dL. Anything higher is a sign that you need to be getting serious about your intake of carbohydrates, especially simple carbs. Within two hours after the first reading of your insulin level, it should have returned to less than 30 IU/dL.
You have the power to improve your health!
Contrary to what you might believe, you do have the power and ability to lose weight, and to improve your health. However, it is going to take change. You must be willing to make a permanent lifestyle change to one that revolves around good nutrition and exercise. You cannot regain your health unless you are willing to change.
Don’t become that diabetic who thinks that the way to manage their blood sugar is to take medications every time their blood sugar becomes elevated. If you are diabetic, or prone to become diabetic, you must take charge of your health and begin working at lowering your risks for diabetes and the related illnesses that come with it.
The well respected Diabetes Prevention Program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that overweight people who have improved their diets and walked just 20 to 30 minutes per day lost modest amounts of weight, and were 58% less likely to develop diabetes.
Don’t be deceived by numbers, you know what you look like and how well you feel. Just because lab report numbers, and your weight is close to what it should be but a tad bit high, you can still be at risk of developing diabetes and/or the associated illnesses that come along with it.
Change your life today, you can do it!
Diabetes, Obesity and Life Choices – David Yochim