Insulin is a hormone your pancreas that allows your body’s cells to use glucose, or sugar, for energy. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin.
People with insulin resistance have cells that have trouble absorbing glucose, which causes a build-up of sugar in their blood, putting them at heightened risk of conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. So, how do you know you’re insulin resistant? Here are five common symptoms:
1. High blood sugar levels
When your pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin for your body to process glucose, your blood sugar levels increase. This then makes you experience lethargy, excessive urination or constant thirst. You can even experience more severe symptoms like kidney damage. To keep your blood sugar in check and these symptoms at bay, you should monitor your blood sugar levels regularly.
2. Carbohydrate cravings
Insulin resistance causes your body not to properly convert glucose to energy. As a result, your body sends mixed signals to your brain telling it that you need carbohydrates for energy. However, even after eating carbohydrates, you crave more. To heal your body of insulin resistance, you have to deal with these pesky cravings by monitoring and exercising.
3. Hair loss
What’s interesting about insulin is how it helps you regulate hair growth. So, when you have insulin resistance, you’re more likely to develop alopecia, also called female pattern baldness. If you’re losing about 250 strands of hair on average each day, ensure you get checked for insulin resistance.
4. Very oily skin
If you always look shiny and feel oily, your skin is overproducing sebum; the oil that lubricates your skin. This is common in people with insulin resistance. Furthermore, when you eat too many carbohydrate-rich foods, they can also trigger this problem causing your pores to enlarge or your skin to break out. However, eating more lean meats and fresh produce and cutting back on sugar, can help fight this symptom of insulin resistance.
5. Swollen ankles
Your kidneys hold on to water and sodium with the help of insulin. However, when you have insulin resistance, your ankles can swell as a result of your kidneys unnecessarily retaining fluid. Water retention can also make you experience bloating.
Having insulin resistance is not the end of the world. Your doctor can help you reverse the effects and live a healthier life!