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Insulin Resistance and FatigueFatigue is a condition that has long been associated with excess weight and obesity. Although once viewed as just another unfortunate factor in the weight gain equation, recent research has helped change attitudes by revealing the biochemical foundation of this debilitating condition. Fatigue and obesity are now known to be linked to a common abnormality - a condition known as Insulin Resistance.

In a healthy body of normal weight, insulin facilitates the transport of glucose into trillions of cells where it can then be utilized for energy. Insulin Resistance desensitizes the cells of your body to insulin and impairs this complex - and vital - process. As a result, glucose and insulin levels become unbalanced in your blood stream, which can lay the groundwork for Pre-Diabetes and other serious health risks.

How Does Insulin Resistance Happen?

Under certain conditions the chemistry of the body can become unbalanced, causing problems with metabolic processes and resulting in an array of serious health concerns.

Exhaustion and Insulin ResistanceHow does the body get so out of balance? Genetic predisposition certainly appears to be a culprit in the case of excess weight gain and associated fatigue; however, evidence indicates that lifestyle factors such as high fat and carbohydrate diets, physical inactivity and smoking are the triggers for widespread metabolic malfunction and possibly influence "mis-signaling" in the genetic pathway.

An article published by the Diabetes Center in Santa Barbara quotes Gerald Reaven, MD, professor of medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine, as saying that about "50 percent of a person's degree of Insulin Resistance can be attributed to genetics and 50 percent can be attributed to lifestyle factors. For example, obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking all increase the degree of Insulin Resistance." (1)

Energy-starved Cells

Insulin ResistanceInsulin Resistance starves the cells of glucose to such an extent that they are unable to produce enough energy for the body's needs. Cutting off the cells’ energy source causes a profound sense of fatigue and often stimulates an urge to ingest more carbohydrates. This continues the cycle and facilitates a cascade of problems such as Type 2 Diabetes, the cluster of increased risks for cardiovascular disease called Metabolic Syndrome, also known as Syndrome X and thyroid dysfunction.

Thyroid Dysfunction

As we have seen, when the body's chemistry is unbalanced there is a ripple-effect throughout the body's systems. Thyroid dysfunction, particularly hypothyroidism, is commonly associated with excess weight.

Research indicates that excess fat cells manufacture excess estrogen which can inhibit thyroid function, slowing the metabolism and increasing the sense of fatigue. Thyroid disorders can have a significant effect on blood glucose levels and, left untreated, can affect Diabetes control. Symptoms of hypothyroidism are common in people with Type 2 Diabetes who may experience fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold, dry skin and hair, heavy menstrual cycles, constipation and slowed thinking. (2)

Fighting Fatigue

Man exercising with dumbbells in pool and improving his energy levels. Exercise improves Insulin Resistance and increases energy levels. (3) Generally, within days of beginning a healthy exercise program and before any noticeable weight loss occurs, the body's resistance to insulin starts to diminish. (4) In fact, most experts agree that physical activity combined with a sound nutritional plan is the fastest, safest way to counteract this potentially deadly set of metabolic circumstances.

If you wish to return to optimum health, you should consider a system that combines nutraceuticals (vitamins, herbs and minerals that are disease-specific), a realistic exercise program, nutritional guidance, an awareness of food addiction and a support system that can help you change unhealthy lifestyle choices. The Insulite System for Excess Weight and Obesity promotes weight loss with formulations like InsulX, which is designed to reverse Insulin Resistance by increasing insulin sensitivity.

You may be interested in some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Excess Weight and Obesity and the Insulite Excess Weight and Obesity System.

(1, 4) The Ins and Outs of Insulin Resistance
- International Food Information Council. May/June 2000.

(2) Thyroid disease
- Canadian Diabetes Association. May 2006.

(3) Insulin Resistance Syndrome
- Goutham Roa, M.D, Am Fam Physician 2001;63:1159-63,1165-6.

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Obesity and Metabolic-Syndrome Articles
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Kelly D. Brownell and Derek Yach,
Foreign Policy,
Nov 1, 2005
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Rebecca Puhl and Kelly D. Brownell, Bias, Discrimination, and Obesity, Obesity Research 9:788-805 (2001)
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Obesity may be an independent risk factor for heart problems, MSNBC
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Diabetes Prevention Program study 2001, study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, et al.
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Article by Dr. Sheri Colberg, Phd, FACSM

"The United States is experiencing an epidemic of obesity. Thirty-four percent of adults are overweight and an additional 30% are obese. Thus, 2 of every 3 Americans have an unhealthy body weight. Obesity contributes to over 300,000 deaths per year, principally through its association with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and several cancers. Obesity currently is the second leading cause of preventable death and will soon surpass cigarette smoking, the leading cause. Health economists estimate that obesity costs our nation approximately $100 billion a year. And these figures say nothing about the personal suffering of those affected by obesity."
Testimony of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness, 9.15.2004 (.PDF)

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