There has been a fair amount of discussion recently about articles such as this one that urge doctors to consider ruling out insulin resistance far more often than they usually do. Many docs have the habit of checking a few simple blood sugar measurements (maybe JUST fasting blood sugar) and waiting until it’s significantly abnormal before they really test for insulin resistance. What we often see is that by that point, the diagnosis is actually “type 2 diabetes” and the earlier stage of insulin resistance has been altogether skipped.
You might need to ask your doctor to treat you in one of the two following ways:
- Knowing that there is less overall damage from insulin resistance when it is diagnosed and managed early, you might ask for the NMR lipid panel or a 3 hour GTT, both of which will diagnose insulin resistance at its earliest stages.
- Knowing that you can still reverse even type 2 diabetes with diet and lifestyle, you’d really rather wait for the bad news until it’s definite. You would ask your doctor to “keep an eye” on your sugar without fully investigating it, even if it’s a little high.
If you are in the first category and your doctor says no, here are the conditions in which you should ask again or find another doctor, because you very likely have insulin resistance. If you have any one of them, I would recommend that you take a careful look at either one of the above lab tests.
- You’re a woman whose waist circumference is greater than half her height, even if you’re one of those women who has always had a large waist. The apple shape, rather acquired through diet or through genetics, puts you at increased risk.
- You’re a man with (sorry) “man boobs” or your waist hangs out significantly over your belt line.
- Either sex: you don’t over eat, but you can’t seem to lose weight. You probably don’t have a lot of energy.
- OR, you know you have significant stress and sleep issues that could be making your blood sugar issues worse.
- You have a significant family history of type 2 diabetes.
- You have high blood pressure and are overweight.
There are probably others, but just this list will send a flood of people to their doctors if they are in the camp that wants an earlier-rather-than-later diagnosis!