Symptoms of Insulin Resistance?

Why we all seem to carry it all around the waist...

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Symptoms of Insulin Resistance?

Postby Teresa » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:49 pm

Hi

I have been diagnosed with PCOS for just over a year and am waiting for an appointment at the fertility clinic at the moment. I have never been tested for IR though.

Just wondering:
-Does anyone know what the symptoms of IR are?
-Are the fertility clinic likely to test me for it?
-Should everyone with PCOS have an IR test?

Thanks
Teresa
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Postby Annoldie » Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:52 pm

Hi Teresa, sorry I can't help you with info about the tests the fertility clinic will do. If you have an IR test done at least you will know what you are dealing with - or not. There are lots of possible symptoms of IR but the main ones seem to be putting on weight around the middle, often rapidly and real difficulty in losing it. Carbohydrate hunger. It can eventually lead to diabetes if left untreated ( by diet, exercise and possibly medication ). Try googling it - you should find several sites giving you info. Ann
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Postby Teresa » Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:56 pm

Thanks Ann

I am not overweight but I do have carb cravings and feel dizzy and sick if I haven't eaten for a couple of hours. I will ask them to do a test when I eventually get to the fertility clinic. My doctor referred me about 4 weeks ago but I still haven't had an appointment letter or anything, getting impatient!

Teresa
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Postby Annoldie » Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:38 pm

How long you have to wait for an appointment seems to be very much a post code lottery, doesn't it? As I'm sure you know, you don't have to be overweight to have IR. I used to feel sick and dizzy in the mornings until I had something to eat - that stopped when I started to eat Low GI and take Metformin. SORRY I SEEM TO HAVE ACQUIRED CAPITAL LETTERS _ NOT SURE WHAT I HAVE DONE< ANYWAY MY GPS PRACTICE NURSE ORGANIZED A GTT FOR ME> DON@T LET THEM FOB YOU OFF WITH JUST A ROUTINE BLOOD SUGAR TEST _ YOU NEED A GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST> ANN
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Postby Teresa » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:22 pm

Thanks for the advice Ann. I will make sure I ask for a GTT.

Teresa
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Postby lrn1782 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:31 pm

Hi all,

Was just reading this topic and was wondering what a GTT will show ? Ive had a blood test this morning to test for diabetes...do i need a GTT? whats the difference?
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Postby Miffy » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:20 pm

I didn't have a GTT test done but had a fasting blood test and my endo picked it up from something to do with the relationship between my cholesterol levels - the other specialist hadn't picked it up though so I'm not sure if that's standard or if I just have a very good endo.

I wasn't too bad until a few months ago but now if I get my diet wrong and I'm guessing its my blood sugars that drop I go dizzy and shaky and I feel like I have butterflies in my stomach and I feel very very tired - then I can't eat easily and have to eat very slowly to get things back in line. All very weird. Oh and I put on a LOT of weight very quickly and the stuff that usually works at stopping it piling on just didn't work this time and the cravings were intense. When I was away this weekend I suddenly totally flopped energy wise and felt dizzy and sick and totally exhausted - I thought it was jet lag but by the time I got back to the hotel my eyesight felt all blurry and stuff. I realised I needed to up my sugars because I wasn't taking the Metformin while I was there and wasn't eating as well as I should be - I downed a bottle of apple juice quick and felt a whole lot better afterwards so I'm guessing that's what caused it. I'm still getting used to recognising the signs though - its only the last 6 months the symptoms have got so bad.

My consultant isn't sure what is causing all of it but those symptoms seem to be related to the Insulin Resistance because its been a hell of a lot better since I've been on metformin and although I ate healthily and low fat before I've discovered that a lot of it wasn't right from a GI point of view. So now I'm eating things that are probably less traditionally healthy than I did before but I feel a whole lot better on it.

From what I understand the difference between a GTT and a diabetes test is that a GTT shows how your body reacts to insulin whereas a diabetes test will only tell you if you are diabetic? Its possible to be producing the correct amount of insulin on a blood test and be insulin resistant because it just means your pancreas is working extra hard to keep your insulin at the correct level whereas a GTT will show how you are actually reacting to glucose and although you may be lower than a diabetes reading you may be higher than a "normal" reading which would then indicate Insulin Resistance. At least I think that's how it works!

Hope that helps
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Postby kimbo » Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:44 pm

Miffy, reading your post is like reading about myself!

I have suffered from this for a while and had diabetes / blood sugar tests about 7 years ago as this is something I've had trouble with for many years. there's a lot of diabetes in my family, so they thought maybe I had low blood sugars but nothing!
now obviously discovering I have PCOS it has all been linked...

the worst time for me was when I used to go out for few drinks - sometimes the next morning I have almost collapsed on the way to the kitchen to get something sugary! it's such a relief to know what's causing it as my family used to just think I had a bad hangover and I knew it was more than that!

anyway I have cut right down on the drinking now as it's obviously not very good for PCOS and I am trying for a baby, but I still suffer from feeling shaky and faint if I haven't got enough 'good energy' foods.
I've found the best way to combat this is to make sure I have a good breakfast of slow release carbs - porridge or shredded wheat, that will keep me full up and stop me feeling so awful by late morning! also eating regularly is good too - have a little snack at mid morning and afternoon to keep you going

another thing I've learnt is that I always had every intention of getting fit, but 15 mins into a work out I would come over all faint, so now before exercising, I have something slow releasing an hour or so before hand, and also something for a quick energy burst like a glass of squash -this gives you a sudden burst to get you going and burn off, but also the slow - release energy ensures you finish your workout and dont end up having to stop because you feel faint.

once I started including more slow release foods in my diet, I found I don't have these sudden dizzy spells nearly so much so don't need to keep a stash of choccy bars in the cupboard!
Im not saying it would work for everyone but it's worth looking at
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Postby celandine » Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:16 am

Hi girls,
i have brought one of those things that diabetics have to test their blood sugar.
it was £4 from asda. I am checking my own levels. I shall have a couple of weeks of test results to show my gp. It seems to be indicating glucose intolerance. But i knew if i just asked my GP it would be arguments about being refered. Though i am going to get refered to an endocreniologist as they test for things like that. I am just preparing to argue with the GP!
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Postby Miffy » Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:20 am

celandine - I was thinking about doing something similar so I could see how I reacted to certain foods and stuff and see if the metformin really is working

how often do you take your sugar level though? is it just after you've eaten or is there a set timetable?
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Postby celandine » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:35 am

Hi miffy,
it says on the box that if you do a finger prick test you can take it any time of the day. After exercise or eating or whatever.
But i leave it two hours after eating.
For me i have just been taking it when i have not felt right in myself. like when i feel my sugar level is low. Such as symptoms of feeling clammy and anxious and hungry.
Though i am obviously not diabetic, and because i am eating regular meals now and low or no sugar this is not often i feel bad.
So obviously if i was insulin resistant i am doing the right thing to control it anyway!
But i think it is always good to know what is going on with our bodies!
I think i shall do an overnight fast and then drink a bottle of lucozade and check it after 2 hours and this should give me a better result. As this is what they do if you get refered to the hospital for a glucose intolerance test.
miffy do you know what the normal blood sugars are meant to be?
my GP said it should be between 4 and 6. But some websites say between 4 and 7. mine are 6.5 if i have eaten something a bit sweet like a banana?
Which is why i think it would be higher if i had lucozade for instance.
I am glad yours is being dealt with :D Are you insulin resistant? what were your levels?
I should think test yours once a day two hours after a meal if you want to check the met is working. Do you feel it is, or are you getting symptoms still?
Hope you dont mind all the questions. And hope you are feeling better with the met :D
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Postby Miffy » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:28 pm

I have no idea what my sugar levels are or should be - they did do a normal blood test but I didn't have a GTT done. The consultant diagnosed me as insulin resistant based on the readings from my cholesterol test.

I've been a lot better on the metformin generally but its taking me a while to get used to what I can and can't eat. I've found that if I eat stuff that isn't necessarily low GI then I feel better on the met but then I do wake up in the night with the butterflies and shaky feeling.

And today I feel rough as hell - I'm shivering, shaky, I feel sick, I'm tired - the works. I'm getting stomach cramps as well so I think its something to do with having All Bran for breakfast and the metformin not liking it. My instinct is telling me to eat something like a bowl of rice crispies with sugar for some reason - very strange considering I've not eaten that in ages! Generally my instincts seem to be what I need at the time to fix it so I'm going to trust my body and go fix what it seems to think I need.

I can't do a test with lucosade though unfortunately - its got caffeine in and I'm allergic. I might get a test thing though just out of interest - I'd be interested to know what my sugar levels are like between meals or when I feel tired compared to when I've just eaten. Also I feel worse at certain times of the month and it would be interesting to know what the readings are on different points of my cycle - might give the consultant some clues as to what is going on.

Thanks x
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Postby celandine » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:01 pm

Hi miffy,
its clever they can check with the colestrol that you are IR.
All you can do really is very sensible low GI having small meals and often and exercise helps with the IR too. probably sometimes you do need something sugary if your blood levels get out of synch.
But like i said if you have the GI like you are doing and make sure that you only have about 2 and half hours between meals/snacks this should help.
All bran is low GI but it is packed with sugar and may be interfering with your levels do you think? I only know that as i looked on the packet when it tasted sucpiciously sweet :lol: isnt it flamin annoying they put sugar in everything!
I should think that at the moment you are alright not to test your sugar level as you obviously have a good consultant who is clued up and looking after you :D
Will you beable to ask him if you should do that? Have they refered you a dietician to help you manage the sugar levels with diet?
I think that would be a good idea so it does not go into full blown diabeties :( and you can control the condition and start getting better :D
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Postby Miffy » Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:31 pm

I'm going to ask about the dietician at the next appointment - we didn't really cover anything at the last one because the test results we got back were a total surprise and I think kind of blew everyone's way of thinking. I've seen a nutritionist privately before but a lot of what I was eating with that - butternut squash, rice cakes, etc - seem to be on the do not eat lists for the GI diet so now I'm even more confused than ever.

I think that until I see the consultant again in September I'm just going to keep to a regular healthy diet - jacket potatoes, butternut squash risotto, fishfingers and low fat oven chips and stuff like that if I fancy them. I'm a great believer that my body kind of knows what it needs and if that's what its telling me it needs there must be a reason. Plus after having tried to manage my symptoms nutritionally for the last 4 years my idea of an "unhealthy" meal probably isn't the same as everyone elses so I might give myself a bit of a break and see what happens.

I have ordered a glucose test machine from Boots because they are on sale at half price. I won't test it too much at this stage but I'm thinking if I did it say once a week between now and when I see the consultant it might be interesting to tell if anything is changing. My weight loss has come to a standstill since i upped my dosage on the metformin strangely so I'll be interested to see how the glucose levels compare to the blood tests before I got put on the tablets - at least if they are improving it will keep me motivated to stick with it even on the days I feel rough. Also if I have a meltdown like yesterday I can test to see if my theory is right - I'm thinking that the met is reducing my sugar response and if I'm eating stricly low GI then my sugar levels are dropping too much.

On the good side - I decided sod it and got a crunchie today because its been about 3 months since I last ate any chocolate. I couldn't eat it in one go! Half of it is still sitting in my fridge because it was just too sweet. I've had the same with ribena light which was my favourite drink for ages - its just too sweet and sickly now. I'm guessing the metformin is doing something.
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Postby Miffy » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:11 pm

my glucose monitor arrived today - I hadn't realised I need to get refills for the strips on prescription from my doctor though which is a pain. I ruined one strip by not realising what I was doing and hitting the wrong button twice :lol:

I then took a reading about 30 minutes or so after I'd eating a chocolate peanut bar thing - not ideal but I was out and it was literally the only thing I could buy to eat - and it was 5.9. From the websites I've found it should apparently be 6.1 or under so its safe but it does indicate its a bit on the high side. My fasting blood test I had done a few months ago was 4.5 but I didn't have a GTT done so I'm guessing thats just my insulin level.

I ate lunch a little while ago so I'm going to try taking it again now and then I'm going to do some exercise and see what it says after that as well.

And I rang my doctors and asked if its possible for me to have a chat with the diabetes nurse even though I'm not diabetic and get some ideas of when to carry out tests and any other advice I can get from her etc. Hopefully they'll agree to give me a prescription for the test strips - but not being diabetic its possible they may say no which would be a shame.


EDIT: Wow - just took a reading after having eaten and it shot up to 7.7. I have no idea if that's good or bad but its certainly different to the one 2 hours earlier!
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