Could Holiday Weight Gain Be a Risk Factor for Diabetes?

The holiday season is a time for celebration with family and friends. But for many people, it is also a time of weight gain. Some people attribute the rising numbers on the scale to seasonal indulgence, or think that weight gain is unavoidable because of their family history.

But what if those extra inches actually aggravate a condition called ‘insulin resistance’ that puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes? And what if it were completely preventable?

How does insulin work?

Insulin is a hormone, made in the pancreas, that works in your body to regulate blood sugar and body fat storage. You are considered insulin resistant when your body needs more and more insulin to keep your blood sugar in the healthy range. When there are higher levels of insulin in your blood, your body, depending on what you are eating, may react by piling on the pounds, especially around your mid-section.

More than 1 out of 3 American adults have prediabetes. Of those, 90% are not aware.1

For some, the signs and symptoms of insulin resistance are not noticeable. However, for many others there are recognizable clues. View the list below for some common signs, symptoms, and conditions that could be related to insulin resistance.2,3,4 Talk to your clinician about how you are feeling and, if necessary, blood tests that can reveal more information about your risk.  The good news is that insulin resistance can be detected far ahead of developing type 2 diabetes. With the right testing information, you can identify the risk of future diabetes and then work with your clinician to develop a prevention plan that could help you avoid type 2 diabetes altogether.

  • Increased blood sugar levels
  • Weight gain
  • Changing lipid levels, especially triglycerides
  • High blood pressure
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Lethargy
  • Hunger
  • Skin conditions
  • Fatty Liver
  • Heart disease

Give yourself the gift of time with early diabetes testing

This holiday season, focus on your health and don’t ignore unusual weight gain, or any of the signs of insulin resistance. It’s easy to avoid medical conversations that seem inconvenient or unpleasant. But these conversations are worth it because it is possible to prevent the progression of type 2 diabetes and its devastating effects—with the right tools.

Traditional sugar evaluating tests, such as glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), are needed to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes, but are not able to detect earlier indicators of insulin resistance. Ask your clinician about more specialized testing to help uncover risk for diabetes in its early stages, when simple lifestyle adjustments can begin to fight the disease progression.

For more information about diabetes testing, connect with True Health’s experts: 1.877.443.5227.

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1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2017
2Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance. Published August 2009. Accessed November 10, 2017.
3Napolitano M, et al. The Scientific World Journal. 2015; dol:10.1155/2015/479354.
4Tritos NA, and Mantzoros CS. J Clin Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2008; 83(9):3025-3030.