If you are experiencing weight gain, it is time to have your insulin levels measured.
Insulin is a peptide hormone made in the pancreas when levels of glucose are detected in the gut that are elevated. Glucose is a simple sugar and a primary source of energy for the body’s cells. Glucose enters the body in forms of monosaccharides (fruit sugar), disaccharides (milk sugar) or polysaccharides (starch). When in excess, the cells store as glycogen which is used in states of fasting or energy necessity.
The hormone insulin coordinates with glucagon to modulate glucose levels. Insulin acts via an anabolic pathway, while glucagon performs catabolic functions. Insulin binds to cell receptors, acting as a gatekeeper, shuttling glucose into cells to be processed into energy, or ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Or it induces glucose storage in the liver, muscles, and adipose tissue, which when in excess will cause weight gain.
Insulin can be added to a lab draw which is essential in understanding metabolic status. While the range on a standard lab test is about 2-24 mIU/ml, an optimal range is between 2-6. Because insulin is the fat storage hormone, as the level increases above 6, more fat storage will take place. As weight begins to increase, mainly around the waistline, insulin resistance ensues causing metabolic dysfunction. This increases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and dementia.
Within the cell are mitochondria (please listen to the short audio on mitochondria) and these ancient bacteria are responsible for glucose conversion into ATP. However, as insulin rises, the waist increases and toxic levels of glucose circulate in the bloodstream, the mitochondria are damaged. Less energy is produced in the cell due to this damage and a typical symptom reported by patients is low energy.
There is good news. Reducing the burden on the mitochondria due to excess carbohydrate intake and reducing stress levels (which do cause the breakdown of glucose storage from the liver and muscles) will over time decrease insulin levels (less fat storage). Monitoring insulin levels, A1c, and glucose are standard labs drawn within my practice. If you are gaining weight or have excess weight, it is time to get those levels measured. From there, a treatment plan, which may include medications, is prescribed and I will help get you on your way to an optimal weight and lifestyle plan.
" She’s crazy. Just when you think you’ve reached the bottom of her craziness,
there’s a crazy underground garage."
Many of us have had that brush with the type of boyfriend or husband that is like riding Full Throttle at Magic Mountain. Even you guys out there know what I’m talking about. I’m sure you’ve been dazzled in the elixir of the love-hate relationship just the same. These theme park-like relationships seem to be very common experiences in partnering. Even the fad diets and exercise programs offer this yo-yo style relationship with ourselves, yet 95% of the time, they fail to yield any lasting happiness.
In my health and sexuality practices, I’ve contemplated the dilemma of how the relationships with our bodies, genitalia, love relationships, exercise, food, etc. … resembles the love-hate dramas of relationships that exist. No offense guys, but I call these relationships “the bad-boyfriend syndrome.” While we know that half of marriages end in divorce, how many relationships have you encountered the wild ride of the love-hate game. Now here's some data about how we have a love-hate relationship with ourselves. Research suggests that 91% of women dislike their bodies. And currently, about 8 million people suffer from eating disorders, while the weight loss industry revenue tops $55 billion dollars annually.
It gets better. The cosmetic industry revenue is $58 billion annually and the fashion industry, sit down for this one, is 1.2 trillion dollars annually. Somehow we spend a lot of money attempting to “love” ourselves/bodies, yet most women are still very unsatisfied with them, seems like some internal aggression toward ourselves. This roller coaster of fabricating a sense of love toward ourselves with a new outfit, more Botox, another boyfriend/girlfriend, a new diet plan, a new pair of underwear to entice but don’t get to cozy down there because you don’t like the way it looks, smells, taste, is the cycle of this syndrome.
In John Mayer’s song, The Heart of Life, he sing’s “fear is a friend who is misunderstood.” As I coach clients about this dualistic framework on the love-hate dynamic at play, fear shows itself with a mighty presence. Fear reveals the secret to healing. It’s certainly a very edgy, scary, and less traveled involvement we have with this emotion, and, unfortunately, the data tells the story. Americans are billions and trillions of dollars away from their fears.
The thing with our fear though, is we can’t break up with it and leave it at another house. It’s a shadow that follows us so closely and intimately. The mega bucks spent on avoidance will never produce the most reliable love of our life called facing our fears. The capitalistic monkey at play in this story is not interested in our befriending this energy, in fact, it would become crippled if we did actually engage with it in a meaningful and loving way.
We each want that relationship with a partner that is loving, kind, compassionate, thoughtful, and delicious, but you know the story of this. We must first have it within to have it on the outside. There are transformative exercises and methods to transform these fearful emotions into a warm regard and love for ourselves. We can make friends with our fears. We can stop searching for something that a mega-wealthy industry distracts us from and begin to love ourselves anew. As Rumi says, "maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots."
For coaching on your fears, contact Sherri through her website.
I'm a current patient and I have set up my ChARM account.
Telemedicine. Contact by email or call 775-403-5757.
"Throughout my 40s, I sought help from different professionals for perimenopausal and relationship issues. In Sherri, I found a trusted guide to help me navigate the turbulent waters...."