Most people are familiar, at least to an extent, with diabetes, an illness that affects more than 30 million Americans. But, fewer people are aware of the condition known as insulin resistance, which precedes diabetes and affects between 60 and 70 million Americans.
While not everyone who is insulin resistant will develop diabetes, those who have it face a significantly greater risk. Insulin resistance has also been linked to a number of other serious illnesses, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and heart disease.
To help you take control of your health and determine whether or not you’re at risk of developing diabetes or another serious condition, listed below are five signs that you’re insulin resistant.
What is Insulin Resistance?
First things first, let’s clarify exactly what happens in the body when you become insulin resistant.
When your body is functioning properly, the pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream when blood glucose levels increase following a meal. Insulin helps the cells absorb glucose and stimulates the liver to store excess glucose (in the form of glycogen) to be used for energy later on.
In people who are insulin resistance, the cells do not respond appropriately to insulin and don’t absorb glucose as they should. This causes blood sugar levels to remain high and increases the risk of developing prediabetes, diabetes, or other diseases.
What Causes Insulin Resistance?
The following are some of the most well-known causes of insulin resistance:
- Being overweight or obese
- Consuming a high-calorie, high-carbohydrate diet
- Living a sedentary lifestyle
- Taking high doses of steroids for an extended period of time
- Being chronically stressed
Signs You’re Insulin Resistant
1. You Have a Large Waist Circumference
One of the most reliable ways to determine a risk of developing insulin resistance is to take a look at the circumference of your waist.
The specific measurement that indicates a risk of insulin resistance varies depending on gender and country of origin, but the following people are generally considered to be at risk:
- Women with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more
- Men with a waist circumference of 40 inches or more
- Southeast Asian, Japanese, or Chinese women with a waist circumference of 31.5 inches
- Southeast Asian, Japanese, or Chinese men with a waist circumference of 35.5 inches
2. You Have Signs of Metabolic Syndrome
If you have a large waist circumference combined with two or more of the following symptoms, it’s likely that you have metabolic syndrome — a collection of symptoms that indicate a risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Having metabolic syndrome is an indicator that you are also insulin resistant, or at risk of becoming insulin resistant.
Common signs of metabolic syndrome include:
- High levels of triglycerides in the blood (150 or higher)
- Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL)
- High blood pressure (130/85 mmHg or higher
- High blood sugar (100-125 mg/dl, which indicates prediabetes, or greater than 125 mg/dl, which indicates diabetes)
- High fasting blood sugar levels
3. You Have Dark Patches on Your Skin
Some people who are insulin resistant develop a condition known as acanthosis nigricans. This condition is characterized by patches of darkened skin that appear primarily on the back of the neck, armpits, groin, knees, knuckles, and elbows.
4. You Have Vision Problems
Many people who are diabetic also suffer from an eye defect known as diabetic retinopathy. This condition occurs when the blood vessels that supply blood to the retinas become damaged due to high levels of sugar in the blood.
People who are insulin resistant also often experience subtle — yet still significant — eye defects, including the following:
- Poor low contrast sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Short wavelength (blue light) color vision defects
5. You Crave Carbohydrates
When you have excess glucose in the blood, your body has a difficult time efficiently converting that glucose into energy. This causes your body to send mixed signals to the brain and create a craving for high-carbohydrate foods.
Despite the fact that you’re eating plenty of carbohydrates and have an excess amount of sugar in your blood, your body tricks your brain into thinking you need more.
Can You Reverse Insulin Resistance?
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of insulin resistance mentioned above, don’t give up hope. You’re not doomed to develop diabetes or heart disease.
Many people have successfully reduced the effects of insulin resistance and become more insulin sensitive with the help of the following interventions:
- Eating a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet
- Exercising regularly to reduce body fat and reduce stress
- Undergoing weight loss surgery
- Practicing intermittent fasting
- Consuming apple cider vinegar before meals to prevent blood sugar spikes
Insulin resistance is a serious condition that can increase your risk of developing a number of more serious diseases. At the same time, it’s important to remember that insulin resistance can often be reversed with the help of proper nutrition and exercise.
Be on the lookout for these common symptoms of insulin resistance, and, if you’re experiencing any of them, schedule an appointment with your doctor to get tested and come up with an individualized treatment plan.
Tips for Making Your First Mammogram a Bit Easier
As you near 40, your doctor will probably recommend your first mammogram. If you have a family history of breast cancer, the request may be even sooner. The diagnostic test for breast cancer is not one to fear; in fact, its job is to bring comfort. It allows for regular awareness of the body and any changes that occur, and, while it can’t cure or prevent breast cancer, it is a step in catching it early. Don’t stress over the test. Here are some tips to help make the day a bit easier.
Start on a Positive Note
Having a screening doesn’t mean you have cancer. Take some time to remind yourself that this set of medical digital imaging is simply a photo shoot. As you drive to the facility, listen to your favorite music. Once you get there, bring a book or listen to a podcast through your headphones. Arrange to text with your best friends. Keep your mind off of the day and the process. Focus on happy thoughts or things you love.
A Second Screening Doesn’t Mean a Problem
You might find that you’re asked to return for additional screening. It’s okay. Don’t panic. Breasts are different for each person. Sometimes a second look is needed simply to identify your norm and not an indication of a problem. If possible, use the same location for your screening. If you can’t, bring a copy of your former pictures with you. This is important because the technicians and doctors can compare the images from screening to screening. This goes back to the idea that tissue is different for each person.
Do Something for Yourself
When it’s all done, treat yourself to something that makes you feel good. Grab a cup of coffee, meet up with a friend, or stroll through your favorite stores.
Mammograms, while not the most comfortable of events, help screen for abnormalities that can become problems. Early detection is helpful in saving lives.
6 Ways To Combat Sensitive Teeth
Having sensitive teeth can make the experience of eating certain foods a painful one. If left untreated, it may interfere with your daily life activities and cause severe pain. In this blog, we explore the best ways of tackling tooth sensitivity, although we still recommend that if you are suffering from any kind of tooth pain, you consult our dental clinic in London Victoria.
How Do Know If You Have Sensitive Teeth?
If you experience a painful stinging or throbbing sensation around you teeth each time you consume sugary sweets, hot or cold drinks and foods, and, in extreme cases, even a cold wind against your teeth, you are likely to be suffering from sensitive teeth.
The root cause of tooth sensitivity is the wearing away of cementum over the root or the erosion of enamel (the protective outer layers over the tooth). As a consequence, the tooth’s dentin becomes exposed which puts the sensitive nerve endings running through its tiny tubes at risk of getting damaged.
How Can You Combat Sensitive Teeth?
If you identify with any of the symptoms above, you may be suffering from tooth sensitivity. In order to alleviate the problem, you need to take certain measures;
1. Change Your Toothpaste
As the problem of sensitive teeth has become more widespread, several brands of toothpaste have been launched specifically to address the problem and help those who are suffering.
It is the presence of potassium nitrate which makes these kinds of toothpastes different from regular ones. This active ingredient works to block the tiny tubules present in the dentin. Changing your toothpaste may not treat sensitivity all by itself, but most dentists agree that it is a good place to start.
Some dentists believe that the reason why some people benefit from toothpastes designed specifically for sensitive teeth and others don’t, is because they use it for a short time and then stop because they do not see results right away. However, its use must be continued to get the real benefits, alongside any other treatment recommended by a dentist.
2. Change Your Brushing Style
There are some brushing habits which can make you more prone to sensitive teeth:
- Not brushing teeth for at least two minutes
- Brushing teeth too vigorously
- Not using a soft toothbrush
Brushing your teeth too vigorously can lead to the wearing away of enamel which results in increased sensitivity of the teeth. If your gums have receded, your tooth root is exposed or you have lost bone, this means in all likelihood that you are scrubbing too hard and eroding the cementum which will inevitably worsen tooth sensitivity.
Cementum is more prone to becoming worn away than enamel and it is a big loss when it disappears as it protects a tooth’s root. Changing your brushing habits can be difficult if you are trying to change a routine that you have followed for a long time, but this one simple change can do wonders for your oral health.
It is recommended by dentists that we brush or floss our teeth at least twice a day to keep the problem of sensitivity at bay. This ensures that oral hygiene is maintained and also prevents loss of gums which is known to be a trigger for tooth sensitivity.
3. Avoid Sugary Drinks and Acidic Food
The enamel which protects your teeth faces an attack each time you consume acidic foods such as pickles and oranges, fruit juices, fizzy drinks and red wine. The consumption of these foodstuffs should be limited to maintain optimum oral health.
You should also instil the habit of brushing your teeth after eating these kind of foods, but it is important not to do so within 20 minutes of eating. Brushing your teeth any earlier than 20 minutes after eating can further damage the enamel. Loss of enamel is irreversible and for this reason it is advised that you must pay attention to what you eat even if you aren’t yet facing the issue of sensitive teeth.
4. Paint Job By A Dentist
If the use of desensitising toothpaste is not having the desired impact, you can speak with your dentist about painted-on barriers. Plastic resins or fluoride varnish are desensitizing agents which can be applied to sensitive areas of your teeth.
They do not need to be reapplied for at least a few months or a couple of years, depending on the type of material which has been used.
Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is whitening treatment. However, this type of sensitivity doesn’t last long and usually subsides within a few days of the treatment being over.
5. Stop Grinding Teeth
Some people have a tendency to grind their teeth when they are tense or whilst they are asleep and this habit can cause damage to the teeth. Besides giving you a toothache, teeth grinding can wear away at the enamel on your teeth, resulting in a sensitivity problem.
If you are grinding your teeth and you are not even aware of it, a pain in the jaw or headache can give you a clue as to your habit. You may also need to change your sleeping position or have a mouth guard fitted to put an end to this habit.
6. Undergoing Treatment For Receding Gums
Normally, your gum tissue covers the root of your teeth, but if your gums have receded excessively, due to hard brushing or gum disease, the cementum may get worn away as the root becomes exposed. Your dentist may be able to restore or rebuild your receding gums which may include a treatment that involves tissue grafts.
Before proceeding with treatment, it is important to pinpoint the exact reason behind the increased sensitivity in your teeth. This way you will be able to come up with the right solution.
For example, if the cause of your heightened tooth sensitivity is receding gums due to aggressive brushing of teeth, you may have to change the way you brush your teeth before going ahead with a line of treatment.
Any treatment that you receive for tooth sensitivity will be ineffective until you address the underlying reason behind it. Even aggressive measures such as restorative treatment will be of little use if you haven’t stopped scrubbing your teeth in a harsh manner or drinking fizzy, sugary drinks, so it’s important to get to the root cause before proceeding with treatment.
What Are the Common Causes of Facial Sweating and How To Get Rid of It
Hyperhidrosis, commonly known as excessive sweating affects many people worldwide. There are many types of hyperhidrosis, amongst which sweaty palms and facial sweating are the most common. Most often than not, facial sweating is accompanied by blushing as both acts are triggered by a malfunction in the body’s sympathetic nervous system.
Facial sweating many not necessarily have medical implications all the time but certainly cause a lot of discomfort and embarrassment. People suffering from this condition also have low self esteem and are not very confident. They also have a higher anxiety level.
Causes of Facial Sweating
Facial sweating can leave a person feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed. Many people suffer from this condition but the causes for it may vary. Listed below are few most common causes for facial sweating.
This means that elders in your family, most probably a mother or father could also be suffering from this condition and has now passed it on to their offspring. Humans have between two and four million sweat glands in their body. This amount and the location of these sweat glands are related to heredity.
2. Hormone Imbalance
An irregularity in the activities of the brain and nerves can also cause facial sweating. The body’s sympathetic nervous system is responsible for guarding the body and sends instructions to the brain to open and close sweat glands based on environment conditions.
Thus, when the body experiences unusual conditions, the nervous system send mixed signals to the brain which leads to excessive sweating in the face. Emotions such as stress, nervousness, depression and anxiety can cause similar instances as it causes alterations of nerve activity in the hypothalamus.
Weight issues can also lead to facial sweating. Overweight people tend to sweat more than slimmer ones because the body excretes excess minerals stored in the form on sweat. If the sweat glands are overactive in the face, it leads to facial sweating.
Treatments for Facial Sweating
1. Aloe Vera
Facial sweating can be treated with the help of aloe vera juice. Though it is milder than pure aloe vera, it is very effective in cooling the skin and brings down body temperature which causes reduction in sweating. Aloe vera juice is especially effective in regions with hotter weather and higher temperatures.
2. Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is an effective astringent that dries out the skin and keeps it from getting sweaty. However, people with sensitive skin type should be careful while using this product as it could have adverse effects of such skin type. Antiperspirant wipes are also a good way to keep facial sweating in check. These products work gently on the skin without causing skin irritation and are designed especially to be used on the face. However, all these solutions are temporary treatments for facial sweating.
There are certain other treatments which can help you to get rid of excessive facial sweating such as High strength antiperspirants, Botox injections, Iontophoresis machine, Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery. Facial skin is very delicate and sensitive and hence one needs to be extra careful about what treatment one chooses to deal with facial sweating. Medical treatments like surgery and Botox can cause serious damage to the face if not carried out in the right manner. It is best to opt for iontophoresis machine which are safer and can be used as frequently as desired.