Insulin resistance is a force in your body that starts to chip away at your health years before any real diagnosis. Research shows that people who develop Type 2 Diabetes show signs of insulin resistance 14 years prior. That’s why paying attention to the signs of insulin resistance is important because you can potentially stop Type 2 Diabetes in its tracks before it progresses to a full-blown disease.
If you want to know the common signs of insulin resistance, you can find them here. In this blog post, however, I wanted to share with you the little-known signs of insulin resistance that should also signal to your body that something is off. Here are 5 lesser-known, but still important signs of insulin resistance:
- Dirty neck: Some people with insulin resistance might develop a skin condition known as “acanthosis nigricans”. It appears as dark, thick, streaks or patches often on the backs of the neck, groin, and armpits. Excess insulin will cause skin cells to reproduce faster. For people with more pigmented skin, their cells will now have more melanin, so an increase in melanin will produce these darker, velvety patches of skin. The presence of acanthosis nigricans could mean that you have too much insulin in your body, so it’s a strong predictor of future diabetes.
What you can do about it: Unfortunately, scrubbing the skin won’t help -and don’t use bleach or over-the-counter exfoliating treatments either. Instead, focus on eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity because this can help lower insulin levels and subsequently improve these skin manifestations.
- Skin Tags: Skin tags are in and of themselves harmless, but developing multiple tags in a relatively short amount of time may be a sign you have too much insulin in your body. Skin tags are those soft and fleshy protrusions typically around the neck, the armpits, around the groin, under the breast, on the eyelids or under the buttocks. Skin tags have some medical significance, as they occur more frequently in patients with insulin resistance.
What you can do about it: skin tags are usually surgically removed so there’s not much you can do in that sense. Be observant about skin tags on your body. While one or two skin tags are not unusual, a sudden outbreak of many could be indicative of a bigger health problem.
- Scalloped Tongue: a scalloped tongue looks like wavy or rippled marks along the sides of the tongue, and occurs as a result of swelling or inflammation. A Scalloped tongue can indicate underlying health conditions that include sleep apnea, vitamin deficiency, anxiety, low thyroid or hormone levels, and you guessed it-diabetes!
What you can do about it: Anti-inflammatory prescriptions might be prescribed, but you may also want to try heat compresses to soothe inflamed tissues, and cold compresses to reduce inflammation and pain. You also want to make sure you are drinking plenty of water, eating a balanced diet, and brushing and flossing regularly.
- Acne and enlarged pores- Having excess insulin in your blood can cause your oil glands to produce more oil, which can increase your risk of acne. There is also evidence that excess insulin levels increases levels of the androgen hormones which, in turn, cause increased sebum production. Sebum is the oil that lubricates the skin, so this excess is what leads to acne.
What you can do about it: According to several studies, A diet rich in carbohydrates may promote the overproduction of sebum. So instead, you might want to try eating less carbohydrates, more cooked vegetables, and lean meats which could help combat this and reduce your risk of insulin resistance on a whole.
- Swollen ankles: High glucose levels accumulated in your blood can damage the lining of smaller blood vessels. This damage can result in poor blood circulation. As a result, fluid gets trapped in certain parts of your body when your blood doesn’t circulate properly, thereby causing the swelling in not just your ankles, but your feet, legs and other body parts.
What you can do about it: A sedentary lifestyle can increase this swelling so make sure you get your daily movement in. For immediate relief you can also try placing your feet up while sitting or standing so that your feet are above your heart level. Compression socks will also maintain the right amount of pressure in your feet, and help improve blood circulation. The long term solution is eating a diet that helps balance blood sugar and prevents future problems.
You may think insulin resistance only refers to blood sugars, but the reality is that it can manifest all over your body. If you are noticing some of these signs, then it may be time to make an appointment to visit your doctor. And as always, I’m here for you too. I specialize in helping women break sugar addiction, balance hormones and reverse insulin resistance and take control of their health. If you are ready to get started, join my 40-Day Burn Belly Fat Challenge. www.mR40method.com
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