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Insulin Resistant

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and along with that comes Insulin Resistance.  Lately I have been really thirsty, my feet and fingers go numb, I have weird bruising and am always tired.  My fasting glucose was 118.  I crave sugar and after I eat sugar I usually get a migraine and my stomach feels like a huge balloon and I feel quite nauseous.  I am 22 years old, weigh 197lbs, am 5'6", I get a good amount of exercise but it is really hard to lose weight with PCOS.  I have to go for blood testing for my doctor this week and I am quite concerned that my Insulin Resistance has turned into Type 2 diabetes.  I know that none of you are doctors but does it sound like I may have diabetes?  Thank you!
6 Responses
Avatar universal
It is great that you have an appointment with your doctor this week. It does sound like some of your symptoms are similar to those related to higher than normal blood sugars; excessive thirst and tiredness, particularly.  If insulin resistance is the problem, it certainly would be possible for you to have relatively low fasting blood sugars that rise throughout the day as you eat anything especially sugars.  Insulin is needed to convert all food into energy to be used by your body.

I don't know much about Polycsytic Ovarian Syndrome, but I do know that my own hormonal cycle affects my blood sugars and that at certain times of the month, I require more insulin for the same amount of food.  It may be that your body may require some help in the form of oral medication to be able to use the insulin your body produces more effectively. I guess that might mean Type II Diabetes.  

But please do not get discouraged.  Your doctor will help you figure out a way to manage all of this.  Once your blood sugars are more level, you will probably feel better.  It is difficult for all of us to lose weight.  My best advice is to be kind to yourself and focus on trying to eat healthy and take care of yourself rather than on trying to lose weight.  You may also want to experiment with cutting out some of the refined sugars in your diet to see if that makes a difference.  Ultimately, you have to figure out what works for you as far as dieting and exercise goes.  Sometimes, when people try to totally deprive themselves, they end up giving up and undoing all their efforts. I'm big on moderation.  It may also help if you eat smaller meals more frequently, but again, you have to figure out what works for you.

Sometimes it helps to talk to others expperiencing the same issues.  JDRF or your doctor may be able to recommend a support group for PCOS or Diabetes if you do develop Type II.  

Good luck to you and I hope you feel better.
Avatar universal
I hope this doesn't sound like a commercial or flippant advice.

Look into the South Beach Diet.  NO, it's NOT just like Atkins!

SBD has been used in conjunction with standard medical treatment with good success for many women with PCOS.  It is a basically healthy diet, with an emphasis on fresh foods, discourages reliance on highly processed foods, and encourages consumption of complex carbohydrates like whole grains and fruits.  It won't just help with weight loss...it helps decrease insulin resistance in many cases, particularly if associated with PCOS.

It's NOT your typical "high protein low carb" diet.  For the first 2 weeks, it is true that many carbs are restricted, but after that you MUST reincorporate whole grains and fruit and learn to live and eat in a healthy, balanced way.  

I would highly suggest getting a hold of a copy of the book.  AND do see your doctor to find out if you are developing diabetes.  

Good luck to you.
Avatar universal
What is considered to be high blood sugar and low blood sugar?  And thank you for your responses.  I just went out and boughta blood meter kit @ CVS.
Avatar universal
Congratulations on the new meter. You are already on the right track! Regarding high and low blood sugars, your doctor will be able to give you very specific guidelines of when to test your blood sugars and what ranges you should be in.  Generally blood sugars are tested in the mornings for a fasting reading and two hours after meals.  In general, blood sugars in the range of 80 to 120 are considered to be within normal range.  Over 125 might be considered on the high end for a person not diagnosed with diabetes.  Anything under 80 might be edging toward a low blood sugar. The best thing to do since you have a new meter is to test periodically throughout the day about two hours after a meal and track the results.  Make note of any physical feelings or symptoms that you may  be experiencing particularly if your blood sugar is on the higher or lower end.  This information will be very useful to to your physician in helping you figure out what the best treatment is for you.  It sounds like you are already moving in a positive direction by getting a meter and taking charge of your health. Keep it up!
Avatar universal
Hello Synove,
Seems like you have a lot of symptoms consistent with diabetes, and I'm glad you're seeing your doctor very soon.  PCOS does certainly add to the challenge of losing weight, which you seem to understand would help reduce insulin resistance.

Have a look at the ADA websites referenced in my comment to Sanalseema; you might find some helpful tips there.  

If you can afford to, I'd suggest you get a blood test meter & some strips, so you can have a feel for your blood sugars when you get certain symptoms.  As an alternative, perhaps you already know someone who is diabetic and might have an extra meter for you to borrow.  (Be sure to use a clean, sterile "lancet" if you do borrow someone else's kit -- don't use one that someone else has used.)

A given symptom (sugar craving, hunger, nausea) can indicate opposite blood sugar conditions -- that is, both high AND low.  Treating a low is different from treating a high, of course, so it's important to know what a symptom means at a given point in time.

For example, if you crave sugar -- it could be that your blood sugar is low.  The right treatment would be to eat some sugar (not chocolate, which isn't fast-acting) or drink juice or sugary beverage.

On the other hand, craving sugar CAN indicate that your blood sugar is HIGH!  I know that sounds bizarre, but when our blood sugar is high, it means that all the sugars from our food is - essentially -- floating around in our bloodstream because it can't get into the cells (muscle, skin, organs, etc.) that need the fuel.  Why can't it get in?  Cuz there's not enough insulin on board to deliver it (cells "allow" sugar to enter only in the presence of insulin).  

Sooo, our cells are literally STARVING when our blood sugar is high.  Their starvation results in the craving for sugar, which we may eat ... and since that new sugar can't reach the cells either, our blood sugar simply goes higher.

Anyway, over time a person with diabetes learns to test when we feel "odd" or have cravings.  I was so surprised to discover years ago, that sometimes when I thought *for sure* I was low, in fact, I was simply dropping from a higher number to a less high number.  Without a blood test, I would've taken some juice to respond to that feeling.  With a blood test, I knew that the right treatment was to simply wait for that feeling to pass without eating/drinking sugary foods.  Other times, the symptom means I'm really low and DO need some sugar.

Diabetes management is complex ... and yet it's absolutely "do-able" when we begin to learn what symptoms mean, our patterns of numbers, and the variety of techniques we can use to achieve relatively stable numbers.

My point here is that armed with a blood test meter, you can begin to collect useful info for your own self-management AND you will have some useful info to share with your doctor.  If it turns out that you do have diabetes, be sure to find a specialist, since their knowledge of DM .. and its interaction with PCOS will normally be superior than a GP.  

Check back for more comments & suggestions -- and I hope you'll share your progress, too.
760248 tn?1234204412
I am just curious...I have both types of diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome.  Apparently there is some link between insulin resistance and sleep apnea, which I now have as well.  Do you happen to have any sleep problems?  Are you on metformin?
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