Lots of adults can not lose weight no matter how hard they try. Unfortunately, a growing number of people, as nutritionists say, have insulin resistance. That is, their body can not properly use insulin to process the food eaten. Diabetes and obesity are linked so strongly that some health experts have even coined the term diabesity (diabet + obesity).
Why Can’s You Drop Weight?
When we eat, food is broken down into glucose (blood sugar) – the main source of energy in the body. When blood flows through the pancreas, the organ determines the level of glucose and releases insulin – the hormone produced to allow body cells to use glucose. The cells have insulin receptors that allow glucose to penetrate into them. Then the cell either uses glucose for energy immediately, or stores it as a future energy source. In some people, however, the system works improperly. Insulin cell receptors do not recognize insulin. This means that the cells do not receive glucose. Instead, glucose accumulates in the blood.
Pancreas marks the escalation in glucose level and produces more insulin in response. How does the body respond? It desperately saves energy reserves – the already existing fat. All the glucose, which cells could not absorb, is deposited as fat. You can not lose weight because the body works in the survival mode. The whole process is going slowly.
What causes it? Experts believe that for many people the problem is mainly the diet overloaded with simple carbohydrates – bread, pasta , pizza, cookies, chips, sweetened beverages, corn syrup and other fast digested sugars and starches. In other words, it is a typical modern diet. Constantly faced with an easily digestible source of energy, the pancreas keeps producing insulin to help the energy get into the cells, while the cells are full of it. Finally, they stop reacting to insulin at all.
Symptoms of Insulin Resistance
- Extra weight is concentrated in the area of the belly – more than 102 cm for men and 89 cm for women.
- Body mass index (BMI) shows overweight or obesity.
- A craving for carbohydrates (starving brain cells signal for more, more, and more!).
- Frequent fatigue, especially after eating.
- Obnubilation (because glucose is the preferred energy source for the brain, and brain cells starve without it).
- High levels of glucose, as measured by oral tolerance test or the fasting plasma glucose test (the latter is not normally offered in clinic).
- High blood pressure (135/85 or higher).
- Low levels of good HDL cholesterol (below 40 mg/dl for men or 50 mg/dl for women).
- High triglyceride levels (150 mg/dl or higher).
The combination of these symptoms is called metabolic syndrome or syndrome X.