Ep. 049 – Get Your Fasting Insulin Levels Checked

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Good morning and welcome to Episode 049 of the Train Your Brain Podcast with Dr. Michael Trayford. Every Monday we produce a 30-minute episode. Tuesday through Sunday we produce episodes with five-minute tips. Every episode of the Train Your Brain Podcast features a tip, so you can receive pointers 365 days a year that will help enhance the performance of your brain!

In Episode 049, Dr. Trayford’s brain training tip is another great way to measure the way our bodies are processing sugar. By having your fasting insulin levels checked you can effectively be screened for any number of conditions that would compromise your brain and body function.

If you have any concerns regarding the information and applications discussed in this podcast, please consult your physician and a doctor who is experienced in functional neurology. Michael Trayford DC, DACNB is available for consultation by calling (828) 708-5274. Thanks for listening.

This is a laboratory-testing tip. We’ve started incorporating these types of tips so people can understand the basics of what is behind it and why they should get it checked out. This tip follows in the same vein as earlier blood sugar-related tips.

Getting your Fasting Insulin Levels Checked. You’ve heard the term insulin before correct?

Jason: It helps regulate the blood sugar in the body is that right?
Absolutely. In particular it’s getting the sugar out of the blood stream and into the cells in your body so that your cells can do what they need to do. Insulin is a great marker to look at when someone has diabetes. Just like in diabetes when we look at Hemoglobin A1C.
Fasting means that you don’t eat for a certain amount of time and then you test your insulin levels.

Just a quick primer on insulin, it is basically a hormone that is produced and stored in the pancreas. The Pancreas is a fairly long, flat organ, located beside your stomach and below your liver. It’s primary function is to transport sugar or glucose to the cells of your body.

So basically it grabs onto sugar in the blood and brings it to the cells that need it. So if a person makes too little insulin, which is basically called insulin resistant. The cells can starve by not getting enough sugar and energy that they need to function.

So if someone is getting too much insulin, it might indicate that they have a tumor or some other problem in the pancreas. That alone, if you find out that your levels are too high, which happens that some people take a certain test that will cause that type of problem.

We want to be able to identify insulin resistance because it’s the biggest problem. When people make too little insulin it’s Type-2 Diabetes. If your pancreas doesn’t make any insulin at all or you’re born that way it’s type 1. With Type-2 Diabetes a person’s pancreas isn’t operating as effectively as it should and it starts producing less and less insulin.

We need to be able to determine how significant that condition is.

As we’ve discussed in earlier tips. Pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes can be caught and reversed. So if we’re looking at things like fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C and fasting insulin levels, we can see how effective this system is. We can tell if the cells in our body are getting what they need and also if it’s appropriate, it can pertain to rate of recovery if we’re doing certain programs through diet and exercise and so on, to help rehabilitate and restore these systems.

Unfortunately this is not something that is regularly checked. It needs to be checked routine in people that don’t have diabetes. We test it all the time in folks, if someone simply presents with fatigue is enough reason look at their fasting insulin levels.

Most insurance companies will cover this type of testing if you have fatigue. Because we can see it and it’s easy enough to do, we can look at it more and more. It can be one of the canaries in the coalmine so to speak. It tells us that something is going on before it becomes a much bigger problem.

Unfortunately, many people in their own lives and from a clinical perspective wait too long to get things looked at. It’s really a shame because when things are found early enough they can be addressed.

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