Our country is experiencing the greatest epidemic of obesity ever seen and the Standard American Diet (SAD indeed) is the main culprit. The grocery store isles are lined with refined and overly processed foods that are addictive and lack nutrients contributing to the obesity epidemic. A consequence of eating these types of foods is a condition known as insulin resistance syndrome, aka syndrome X, aka metabolic syndrome.  About 25 to 30 percent of all Americans have this syndrome, and that could make insulin resistance the most common cause of chronic disease, according to epidemiologist Rodolfo Valdez of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The digestive system breaks down the food into sugar (glucose). The blood carries the glucose to the body’s tissues, where the cells use it as fuel for energy. Glucose enters the cells with the help of insulin. In people with insulin resistance, cells don’t respond normally to insulin, and glucose can’t enter the cells as easily. Think of the cells as developing a thick crust on the outer membrane and as a result of this the glucose can’t get into the cells to help make energy for the body.  The pancreas reacts by pumping out more insulin in an attempt to get glucose get into the cells. This results in higher than normal levels of insulin in the blood and eventually ends up spilling into the urine. In time the pancreas wears out and this leads to diabetes, when the body is unable to make enough insulin to control the blood glucose to the normal range.

There are two possible outcomes of Insulin resistance: (1) The pancreas gets worn out and insulin production slows down to abnormally low levels resulting as Type II (adult onset) diabetes. (2) Those patients who don’t develop diabetes (because the pancreas continues to produce adequate amounts of insulin) instead end up with a condition called insulin resistance, which is manifested as:

High blood sugar levels
High levels of triglycerides, a type of fat circulating in the blood
Low levels of HDL, the good cholesterol in your blood
Too much belly fat
Symptoms of insulin resistance include: brain fog, agitation, jitteriness, moodiness and sleepiness as well as physical fatigue.

Self help protocols should include eating foods with a low glycemic load.  An excellent reference for low glycemic foods and an understanding of insulin resistance is a book titled “The New Glucose Revolution: The Authoritative Guide to the Glycemic Index – the Dietary Solution for Lifelong Health” by Jennie Brand-Miller

Ideally the total daily carbohydrate intake should not exceed 100 grams, and for some, that number should be even lower. Make smarter choices, i.e., forgo the white bagel at 140 carb calories and a high glycemic index per serving and instead have a slice of whole grain bread with 52 carb calories and low glycemic index.

Plan the day’s meals so that smarter choices can be made and keep a tally of carb intake at less then 100 grams per day. Get moving: exercise has been proven to be a very effective method of regulating diabetes and also at lowering triglycerides.  There are medical foods and other nutrients available that assist in clearing the crust off the cell membrane and when combined with a low glycemic diet, patients have been available to reduce or eliminate their medications, leading to a much better quality of prolonged life. It’s your health and your responsibility, so take action to avert a preventable and controllable disease.

This information is for educational purposes and is not intended for diagnosis or treatment.