From the Desk of Carolyn Dean MD ND
One in three Americans, including half of those age 60 and older, have a silent blood sugar problem known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance increases the risk for prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and a host of other serious health problems, including heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Insulin resistance occurs when cells in your muscles, body fat, and liver resist or ignore the signal that the hormone insulin is trying to send. Insulin’s job is to signal receptor sites on cell membranes to open up to allow the influx of glucose, the cell’s source of fuel. Cells that no longer respond to the advances of insulin and refuse the entry of glucose are called insulin-resistant. As a result, blood glucose levels rise and the body produces more and more insulin, to no avail. Glucose and insulin rampage through the body, causing tissue damage that results in overuse and wasting of magnesium, an increased risk of heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
How do you know if you are insulin resistant? Initially, insulin resistance presents no symptoms. However, there is a way to find out if you are insulin resistant, which can occur a decade before you develop prediabetes or diabetes. You can take a fasting blood insulin test! If it’s elevated then you follow the steps to reverse insulin resistance, which include saturation with magnesium; limiting sugar and simple carbs; and exercise.
Why don’t allopathic doctors find out your insulin levels on routine blood testing, since it can surely help to give you the heads up about developing diabetes and allow you to take preventive measures? It’s likely because doctors are really terrible at prevention. They have never been trained in preventive medicine; they are much more comfortable with their patients developing a disease and treating it with a drug than prevent it.
Fortunately you can order your own insulin test online at www.RequestATest.com.
Signs and Symptoms of Insulin Resistance
The symptoms of insulin resistance only start to appear once it leads to secondary effects such as higher blood sugar levels as you slip into prediabetes and diabetes. The symptoms may include:
- Lethargy (tiredness)
- Difficulty concentrating (brain fog)
Other signs that often appear in people with insulin resistance and mostly match magnesium deficiency symptoms, include:
- Weight gain around the middle (belly fat)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
Magnesium Deficiency – A Contributing Factor
One of the major reasons the cells don’t respond to insulin is the lack of magnesium. In a 2013 study in The Journal of Nutrition, researchers looked at over 52,000 people with no known history of diabetes to see how magnesium affected blood sugar. What they discovered was simple: a higher intake of magnesium resulted in lower fasting blood sugar and lower fasting insulin levels.
Studies also confirm that when insulin is released from the pancreas, magnesium in the cell normally responds and opens the cell to allow entry of glucose, but in the case of magnesium deficiency combined with insulin resistance, the normal mechanisms don’t work. However, the higher the levels of magnesium in the body, the greater the sensitivity of the cells to insulin and the higher the possibility of reversing the problem. When the body is magnesium deficient it may exhibit these qualities:
- Glucose levels become elevated.
- Glucose is stored as fat and leads to obesity.
- Elevated glucose leads to diabetes.
- Obesity puts a strain on the heart.
- Excess glucose becomes attached to certain proteins (the proteins become glycated), leading to kidney damage, neuropathy, blindness, and other diabetic complications.
- Insulin-resistant cells don’t allow magnesium into the cells.
- Further magnesium deficiency leads to hypertension.
- Magnesium deficiency leads to cholesterol buildup, and both these conditions are implicated in heart disease.
NOTE: Magnesium deficiency is a known sign of diabetes. It’s in medical textbooks but ignored by most doctors.
Magnesium is also required in the metabolic pathways, such as the Krebs cycle, where glucose participates in making ATP energy for the body. In fact, ATP is only activated when magnesium is present. Most researchers now say that ATP really should be designated as ATP-Mg.
NOTE: Be sure and take the best form of magnesium: a picometer-sized, stabilized ion of liquid magnesium.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future