Last week we discussed how shifting hormone levels can lead to fat storage. This week we continue the discussion on the link between hormones and weight gain.
Chances are that many of your patients have never heard of insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. And yet this cluster of conditions and symptoms has become synonymous in the medical literature with dramatically higher risks for diabetes and heart disease.
The CDC estimates that over 34% of Americans now meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome, which includes obesity, blood sugar dysregulation, insulin resistance, hypertension, elevated triglyceride levels, low HDL, and abdominal adiposity as the primary determining factors. The fact that development of these metabolic misfortunes generally occurs over time and in tandem with prolonged stressors often means that warning signs may not be apparent until morphed into full-blown disease.
Dr. Sanjay Kapur, an acknowledged expert on the subject of cardiometabolic disease, explains it best:
"Stress induced cortisol desensitizes tissues to the beneficial actions of many different hormones, including the sex hormones (estradiol, progesterone, testosterone), thyroid hormones, growth hormone, and insulin. Shutting down the muscle's response to insulin, which signals the uptake of glucose for energy, leads to unhealthy, elevated levels of blood glucose. When blood glucose levels increase and there is either not enough insulin being produced by the pancreas, or if the insulin is not working properly, also known as insulin resistance, then this can ultimately lead to metabolic syndrome, diabetes and/or heart disease."
Find out if the muscle "shutdown" is occurring in your patients
Early detection of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome is a key to preventing obesity-driven disease.
Up until now, medical providers have needed to order a variety of individual tests to help patients with a diagnosis of insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. Now, however, clinicians have the ease of ordering ZRT Laboratory's new Weight Management Profile - which provides clinicians with a comprehensive collection of tests designed to spotlight areas of imbalance for more effective treatment.
Incorporating saliva and dried blood spot samples, this profile evaluates key areas that include steroid (sex) hormones, adrenal stress, thyroid, and Vitamin D deficiencies. The profile also measures fasting Insulin and HemoglobinA1c for early detection of metabolic syndrome and Type2 diabetes. Optional add-on tests offer more thorough evaluation of thyroid and cardiometabolic markers such as Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, LDL, VDL, and hsCRP inflammatory markers as well.
Strive for early detection
Early detection translates into disease prevention, yet it's estimated that only one in 10 people with prediabetes is aware. And just a quarter of those know that they can reduce their long-term health risks through early screening, lifestyle, and dietary improvements.
If your overweight or obese patients are not asking to have their fasting insulin and HbA1c tested, now is the time to offer them the opportunity to improve their health outcomes.