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Insulin Resistance?
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Insulin Resistance?

Hi everyone.  I’m 28, male, from Missouri.  I have a desk job but try to remain fairly active as I run around twice a week and I generally am at the gym 3x a week.  I was always pretty small growing up, but medications for depression made me begin to gain and lose weight in high school.  Finally, around 2003, at 168 or so, I decided to try to get things more under control – and I have.  I currently am about 140 pounds.  My dad is a type 2 diabetic, diagnosed after having a stroke at the age of 45.  He and my mom both have weight issues.

The reason I mention all of this is because starting about 2 or so years ago, I began getting very weak at different times of the day.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I believe I was actually addicted to caffeine because of this symptom and drank a lot of diet sodas that were high in caffeine.  I have since cut that down by about 75-80% but still occasionally have caffeine as I have not directly linked it to any of my problems quite yet.  

What began 2 years ago hasn’t subsided.  It seems to happen quite often, especially on work days (Mon-Fri).  I will eat, and I’ll be okay (assuming I’m not still hungry) and anywhere from 10 minutes to about 3 hours later, I get weak, foggy minded, can’t focus on anything, and tend to be a bit irritable.  This is fixed by eating.  I’ve learned what is good to eat, like nuts/almonds, for example as opposed to a candy bar.  I’m definitely not new at having this symptom, and while I’ve learned how to fix it – I’m still not sure why it’s happening.  I also have several other symptoms, which I’m not sure why they are happening.  

I’ve done a lot of research online and when I read about insulin resistance, it seems to pinpoint nearly everything I’m experiencing.  I’m not overweight, and I think that doctors tend to think you have to be overweight to have an issue (at least my current doctor does).  I’m paranoid about becoming overweight and have always monitored calories, macronutrients, etc.  When looking at the symptoms for insulin resistance, this is what I see:  

Fatigue – I definitely have this off and on, along with the energy level changes, but my sleep patterns haven’t always been normal either.  I am getting the same amount of sleep I have been for many years.

Brain fogginess and inability to focus – I mentioned this is most often the first symptom.

High blood sugar – I do not know for a fact I have high blood sugar, though a friend of mine recently purchased a monitor (she has PCOS) and I plan on borrowing it!!

Intestinal bloating – This has been going on for many years for me as well.  I first thought it was my imagination, but after more reading over the last several months, I know I’m not.

Sleepiness, especially after meals – I never knew why this was the case, but definitely.

Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight – Just as it says, despite my decent weight, I have a high fat amount in my abdominal area that I have done everything to try to rid myself of.

  Increased blood triglyceride levels – From what I’m hearing, my blood work often comes back normal in this.  For our insurance at work several months ago, we had to do a test and my “good cholesterol” was lower than it should be, but my bad cholesterol was also down.  

Increased blood pressure.  Due to my exercise (most likely) and possibly the antidepressant I take, my blood pressure seems to be okay.

Depression. I’ve had this and been treated for this for many years.

Acanthosis nigricans.  I had to search what this actually is, and I had no idea!  I have been wondering why all of a sudden so many brown marks have been appearing lately!  I am shocked that it could be related to this.

Increased hunger – Obviously.

So after seeing my primary care doctor, I feel like I’m no where.  My current doctor checked blood work and said if I was about 30 more pounds, I might need to worry.  He also said my triglycerides look okay and gave me a hemoglobin A1C test, which came out to be 4.8 (normal).  Afterwards, he sent me on my way.  I am worried about this, as every day seems like a struggle – when to eat, how much, etc!  I do not know how a doctor can ignore all of these symptoms, or am I just blowing this out of proportion?  
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Your 4.8% A1c result does not indicate diabetes. If you had insulin resistance it would be reflected in your A1c. If in doubt you always can ask for a C-Peptide test [used to monitor insulin production]. And, a GAD [glutamic acid decarboxylase] an early indicator of autoimmune disease. Also, get tested for celiac disease and food allergies might help narrow down your issues.

It appears your current doctor does not have the expertise to evaluate you further. You need to seek out an expert/s. Medical experts are found at teaching hospitals located on or near a major college university. St Louis University and University of Missouri comes to mind. This is where doctors learn to become doctors and go to be refreshed/updated on the latest medical practices.

One thing you can do for now is start a log of foods you eat/portion/time that cause fatigue/lack of energy. Good luck

Thank you for responding.  I actually have been logging foods, etc.  I'm trying to find some sort of pattern.  Normally the symptoms seem to occur during the same hours.  Would an endocrinologist possibly be a good way to go?  

I'm dumfounded that I can have this many symptoms... and yet it can be so hard to find out what is wrong.  Is this GAD a blood test?
" I actually have been logging foods, etc. I'm trying to find some sort of pattern."
You might find by simplifying your meals an easier way to pinpoint if a food source is causing your problems. This means eating the same foods for several days in a row before moving to the next food group.

"Normally the symptoms seem to occur during the same hours."
If after a meal, the suspicion points to a type food.

An Endo can examine your endocrine system for irregularities. Have your thyroid checked as some of your symptoms mimic an irregular thyroid. And, yes, a GAD test requires blood drawn.
You can help yourself. Follow these techniques everyday and let me know how you feel each week. Keep notes and you will see your progress. The extra oxygen getting into the body will hep very much. You will notice better sleep in days.

Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Kapalbhati pranayam -(Do it before eating) Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
Not for pregnant women. Seriously ill people do it gently.
Anulom Vilom pranayam –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.

Bhramri Pranayam -Close eyes. Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three fingers on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in through nose. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Duration : 5 to 21  times.
August 25 ,2011
I tried a few of those... got a bit dizzy.  lol.  

I'm waiting for the results of my blood work.
When you feel dizzy, stop and resume after one or two minutes. That way you gradually, build up your timing. Also you can start with anulom vilom first, which is more gentle.
Well, I finally received my blood test results.  Everything appeared normal except:  

BUN/Creatinine Ratio was high (25) and Urea Nitrogen (BUN) was 27.  Do you know what this might indicate?  I know it's possible it could just be dehydration.  
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