I Have Insulin Resistance, Now What? (Part 3 of 3, Who Am I?)

Valerie Berkowitz, MS, RD, CDE, CDN
Valerie Berkowitz, MS, RD, CDE, CDN

If you haven’t read the first two parts of my story, you can find them here and here.

Hearing Dr. Fox talk, on the 2012 Low Carb Cruise, was just like a slap in the face, but I needed it.  Frustration with my own “Stubborn Fat” was gone – healing and optimal health were my new focal point. I had feelings of relief for following a low carb diet during my pregnancy, because it’s likely I would otherwise have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

For me it was the hormones in pregnancy that triggered a need to eat, but for you it may be something else.  Whether you are male or female, pregnant or not, if you have any of these symptoms, be your own super sleuth and support your health.

General Signs and Symptoms of Insulin Resistance

  1. Over 40
  2. Asian, Native, African-Americans and Latinos
  3. Weight gain, especially stubborn fat around your belly
  4. High triglycerides
  5. High blood sugar
  6. High blood pressure
  7. Low HDL
  8. High levels of cytokines
  9. Acanthosis nigricans (a skin disorder characterized by darker, thick, velvety patches in folds/creases of the skin, back of the neck, knuckles)
  10. Skin tags
  11. Fatty liver or high liver enzymes
  12. Fatigue or bloating especially after eating a meal with carbs
  13. Brain fog or the inability to focus
  14. BMI greater than 25
  15. Waist measurements for men 35″ and women 40″
  16. Increased hunger
  17. Depression
  18. History of gestational diabetes
  19. Pregnant
  20. PCOS
  21. Reproductive issues (infertility, irregular menstruation and ovulation)
  22. Increase in height (now why couldn’t this have been one of my symptoms? ) and coarsening of facial features

Looking for the signs and symptoms of insulin resistance is not the ONLY take home message here – there is a bigger issue. A major problem lies in the attitude and standards of practice for health care professionals.  How many others are not as fortunate as myself? How many of you do not feel right, or have less than perfect blood work?

It is devastating to think about not being healthy, but it is worse to NOT know, because you do not have the opportunity to make lifestyle changes that will turn the tide and get you better.

My shout out to the world

Just because you are not diagnosed with diabetes, or any medical condition, does not mean you are healthy. Any abnormality in any organ or hormone function, changes in lifestyle or eating habits, abnormal blood work or tests, headache, stomach ache, skin rash or any symptom that is not “normal”, is reason to stop and focus on yourself.  Identify what is ailing you and fix it!

Excessive weight gain, pregnant or not,  is an important tell-tale sign and is the result of overeating, or a malfunction of a body system, even if you are not overeating. Changing the mix, such as:

  • replacing carbs for fat without calorie focus
  • counting calories and carbs
  • increasing strength training
  • adding in slightly more low glycemic carbs and avoiding higher glycemic carbs
  • adding intermittent fasting
  • doing whatever works for your personal situation

The above will help you get to your weight goals and make you feel better. Following a pre-determined plan that worked for someone else, or what an “expert” has determined without any personal input, is a plan that very likely will not  work for you.

Weight gain is not just cosmetic, it is a tell-tale sign that something is not working right.

Take some time, which costs nothing, to get to know yourself and your body. The key to long-term weight loss and health is to feed yourself what your body needs. Carbohydrates are not essential to the body, but they have a place, in small amounts, in your nutrition plan. Sit down and make eating an enjoyable, non-stressful experience. Eat your favorite real and “clean” foods, and take control over your life. You will succeed.

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One comment

  1. Valerie,
    I really enjoyed this series of articles. I myself struggled with inexplicable weight gain during both of my pregnancies and like most people turned the blame inward instead of looking for another possible reason for the weight gain. As a side note I think that the following statistic above might be flip flopped, “Waist measurements for men 35″ and women 40″

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