The endocrine, or hormone-regulating, system is an intricately connected and dynamically balanced system. It is much like the art of rock balancing – if one rock is knocked off-centre the structure cannot maintain its balance. This is exactly the case when we delve into understanding type II diabetes and its precursor, insulin resistance.
Endocrine glands secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. Your endocrine system is made up of the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroids, thymus, adrenals, ovaries or testes, and pancreas. Other organs and tissues in the body that secrete hormones and are considered minor endocrine glands include the heart, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, skin, adipose (fat) tissue, and during pregnancy, the placenta.
When any one of the endocrine glands goes out of balance, the rest go out of balance also, trying to create a new, dynamic balance. Re-establishing the healthy balance is sometimes difficult, but it can often be done.
Blood sugar issues, culminating in diabetes, have become epidemic in the developed world. According to a study1 published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in September, 2016, the consumption of fructose – the sugar found naturally in very small amounts in fruits and vegetables, and added in high concentrations to consumables like soft drinks, candy, and many processed foods – triggers the liver to create a protein that instigates the formation of glucose. Glucose that is in excess of what the body needs immediately for fuel gets turned into fat.
Are you at risk for insulin resistance or type II diabetes?2 See how many of these risk factors you can check off:
- Is your BMI over 25? Don’t know for sure? Use this online BMI calculator.
- If you’re a male – is your waist over 40 inches? If you’re a female – is your waist over 36 inches?
- Are you over 40 years old?
- Are you of Latino, African American, Native American, or Asian American ancestry?
- Does anyone in your immediate family have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or arteriosclerosis?
- If you are a female, have you had gestational diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome?
- Have you ever had high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low HDL, or arteriosclerosis?
- Do you have acanthosis nigricans?
- Do you have skin tags?
- Do you have sleep apnea?
More ‘yes’ answers equals a higher risk.
Insulin resistance IS the precursor of type II diabetes. Insulin resistance (and type II diabetes) increase many health risks including abdominal obesity, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, fatty liver, PCOS, arteriosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and stroke. The amazing thing is that all of these imbalances can be positively impacted through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, and it’s not uncommon to see other endocrine imbalances improve when these health-promoting steps are taken.
Below is a brief introductory video. Below that is a recording of the webinar where we looked at iris and sclera signs that suggest an increased risk of blood sugar issues.