Insulin resistance will increase your risk of getting diabetes. You might not even know you’re insulin resistant. It’s a condition that doesn’t have super obvious symptoms, that’s why it’s important to have a doctor check your blood glucose levels regularly.

Insulin resistance will increase your risk of being overweight, having a high level of triglycerides, and having an elevated blood pressure.

Insulin Resistance Signs

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It’s important to communicate with your doctor if you have prediabetes. They’re going to routinely check your blood sugar and HbA1c levels so they can tell whether or not you have diabetes.

Diabetes symptoms are extreme thirst, hunger even after you eat, frequent urination, tingling sensations in your hands and feet, feeling tired a lot, a lot of infections, and elevated blood sugar in your blood work.

Insulin resistance also manifests in acanthosis nigricans, or dark patches on your skin, often at the back of your neck, groin area, and your armpits.

A lot of experts think a buildup of insulin in your skin cells will cause acanthosis nigricans. Right now, there is no known cure for this. But if something else is causing the skin discoloration, treatment can help.

If you don’t have this much of an easy-to-spot symptom, your doctor will run lab tests to confirm.

The most accurate test is an euglycemic insulin clamp.

Catching Insulin Resistance

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A way to detect prediabetes or diabetes is through an A1C test. This will measure your blood sugar in a period of 2 to 3 months.

An A1C of below 5.7% is normal. Between 5.7 and 6.4% means you have prediabetes. And above 6.5% means you have diabetes.

Your doctor will confirm the test results with more tests, and diagnosing could vary between the 0.1 to 0.2 percentages.

Your Fasting Blood Glucose Test

You do this test after skipping meals and drinks for 8 hours. This will measure your fasting blood sugar level.

A secondary test is done to confirm the results. If both of the tests show that you have elevated blood glucose levels, your doctor will give you a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.

When your blood sugar levels are under 100 mg/dL, that’s normal. When it’s between 100 and 125, it means you have prediabetes, and when it’s above 126 mg/dL, it means you have diabetes.

It could be plus or minus 3 mg/dL.

Testing Your Glucose Tolerance

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Another way to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes is through a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. Your blood glucose level is going to be determined before your test starts. You’ll be given a premeasured sugary drink, and your blood glucose level is going to be checked after 2 hours.

Less than 140 mg/dL blood sugar level means you’re in the normal range, 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL means you’re prediabetic, and higher than 200 mg/dL means you have diabetes.

Getting Random Blood Draws

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If you’re having significant diabetes symptoms, sporadic blood sugar tests are important. But the ADA doesn’t recommend it for identifying diabetes.

When You Need To Be Tested

When you’re 40, it’s normal for you to check if you have diabetes. Especially if you’ve been living a fairly sedentary lifestyle, have low HDL, have a relative with diabetes, have high blood pressure, delivered a baby that’s more than 9 pounds, or have had a stroke.

Preventing Insulin Resistance

If you don’t want prediabetes, you need to get into the habit of walking at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. Have a nutrient-rich and balanced diet, if you’re overweight, you need to seriously lose your weight. Even a 7% reduction in body weight will lower your diabetes risk significantly. When you start to listen to your body and make healthier choices, you’re going to feel a lot better.

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