Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas. This hormone allows your body's cells to use glucose, or sugar, for energy.
It's estimated that approximately 25% of people living in America suffer from a condition known as insulin resistance. People with this condition have cells that don't use insulin effectively.
Their cells have trouble absorbing glucose, which causes a build-up of sugar in their blood, putting them at heightened risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Here are five common - yet silent - symptoms of insulin resistance...
Five common symptoms of insulin resistance
#1: Your blood sugar levels are sky high
Once your pancreas are no longer able to produce enough insulin for your body to process glucose, your blood sugar
levels begin to elevate. When your blood sugar levels are through the roof, you may experience lethargy, constant thirst or excessive urination. Some people may even experience more severe symptoms, such as kidney damage. To keep your blood sugar in check and these symptoms at bay, you should monitor your blood sugar levels regularly.
#2: You’re always craving carbohydrates
When you have insulin resistance, your body can’t properly convert glucose to energy. As a result, your body sends mixed signals to your brain and tells it that you need carbohydrates for energy. And even after eating enough carbohydrates, you’ll keep craving more! Dealing with these pesky cravings can be tough, but it’s necessary to heal your body of insulin treatment options like monitoring and exercise.
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#3: Your hair is falling out
Interestingly enough, insulin helps you regulate hair growth. That’s right – it does way more than just regulate your blood sugar levels and help your body store fat
! Women with insulin resistance are likely to develop what’s known as alopecia, also known as female pattern baldness. If you lose about 250 strands of hair on average each day, you should get checked for insulin resistance. While this is one root cause of hair loss in women, it’s important to note that there are also other reasons why your hair may be falling out.
#4: Your skin is super oily
Are you always looking shiny and feeling oily because your skin is overproducing sebum; the oil that lubricates your skin? An overproduction of sebum is common in people with insulin resistance. Eating too many carbohydrate-rich foods can trigger this problem, which can cause your skin to break out or your pores to become enlarged. By eating more fresh produce and lean meats and cutting back on sugar, you can fight this symptom of insulin resistance.
#5: Your ankles are swollen
Insulin tells your kidney when they should hold on to water and sodium. When you have insulin resistance, your ankles or other parts of your body mays swell as a result of your kidneys retaining fluid unnecessarily. Some people also experience bloating in their stomach as a result of this symptom.
On the bright side, if you do have insulin resistance, your doctor can help you reverse the effects and live a healthier life!