Over that last few articles we have begun to break down the key Fat Loss obstacles. Those pesky hormonal, inflammatory and external factors that are slowing your metabolism and preventing all of your hard work from manifesting in the body of your hopes and dreams!
The first hormone that we spoke about was insulin, arguably one of the key factors involved in blood sugar regulation and fat loss, especially for the low carb crowd! Today is the day that we will talk about how to test it!
THE Test you Need
There are many lab tests that our Medical Doctors will run to investigate the health of our blood sugar response. The most commons are fasting blood glucose and the HbA1c. These tests, although valuable to diagnose diabetes, do not tell you much about your fat loss potential!
Fasting blood glucose is exactly what it sounds like! It is a measurement of how much sugar is in your blood stream after you have not eaten for a 12hr period.
HbA1c is a marker of the average blood sugar level over the course of three months. This does NOT tell you, about your insulin resistance or how much insulin is required to manage your blood sugar.
Fasting insulin can be a valuable marker in people with frank insulin resistance but in people like myself, who are carb sensitive, this test may appear normal but insulin could still be at the route of your issues.
The New Paradigm of Testing for Fat Loss
As a Naturopathic Doctor I care far more about optimal function then waiting for disease onset. I want to prevent disease and help you to feel your best, today. In order to do this when it comes to fat loss I like to run not only a fasting blood glucose and a fasting insulin test, but instead a reactive test. We spend the majority of our waking hours eating, drinking or thinking about food! This constant interaction with food is what makes or breaks your fat loss goals and this test can help us to decipher that!
Enter the 2hr insulin and glucose test
This test measures how your insulin and your glucose levels respond to a carbohydrate load. Blood measurements are taken fasting, at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after consuming 75g of glucose. We can then take your individual test results and compare it to the research in order to measure the degree of insulin resistance you experience, and to customize your approach.
What is a Normal Insulin Response?
A ‘normal’ test for insulin and glucose includes a rise in insulin and glucose, that peaks at 30 minutes with glucose levels around 7mmol/L and insulin levels around 500pmol/L. After 30 minutes those levels should steadily fall to reach an insulin level no higher than 350 pmol/L after 2 hrs. Glucose levels at this time should be between 5 and 6mmol/L as well.
This is rarely the case! Estimates suggest that only 20% of the population is truly normoresponsive to a glucose load. This has been true of what I have seen in my clinical practice, and also when I first tested myself!
When any pattern exists that is outside of what I described above you are put on a scale of insulin sensitivity and signaling issues that can alter your fat loss potential.
Where to get this test?
In most provinces the 2hr Glucose challenge test is common place when diabetes, or gestational diabetes, is suspected. The same is not true of the 2hr INSULIN AND glucose test. These two things are not to be confused, as your blood glucose levels could be perfect for years, even in the face of insulin resistance! You can speak with your medical doctor about performing the insulin AND glucose challenge test although in my experience many are not aware that this test exists or how to interpret the results. The easiest way to get this test done may indeed be through your Naturopathic Doctor or functional Medicine practitioner. Although there are exceptions, this arm of the medical system tends to focus more on optimize health before disease, and as such our research has uncovered more testing such as the 2hr insulin and glucose test, that can help you to blast fat and feel better!
Are you running out to get this test done? If so, I can’t wait to hear all about it. This is one of the game changing tests in my office and I hope that it helps you release the lock that is on your fat cells!