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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Type 2 Diabetes - Measuring Insulin Resistance After Menopause



After menopause women have an increased risk for insulin resistance, the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes. As estrogen levels decrease, there is a tendency to develop fat deposits at the waist, the so-called "middle-age spread". Belly fat is dangerous because it releases hormones that can cause insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is also associated with breast cancer and heart and blood vessel disease; so diagnosing it early can help to prevent serious consequences.
Researchers at the Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Coimbatore, India, looked at skin temperature as a possible way to find insulin resistance in women after menopause. Their study, reported on in December 2012 in the Journal of Clinical Diagnostic Research, included 25 women who had been through menopause.

Fifteen of the women were diagnosed with insulin resistance according to their blood sugar and blood insulin levels. Their degree of insulin resistance and skin temperatures were compared with those of premenopausal women. Postmenopausal women had significantly cooler skin than premenopausal women, and the amount of insulin resistance seen correlated with coolness of their skin.
Measuring skin temperatures could some day be a painless, inexpensive way to discover insulin resistance in postmenopausal women. For the time being, blood sugar levels are part of the routine laboratory values used to diagnose Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, and should be discussed with your doctor.

If lack of estrogen is causing central obesity, hormone replacement therapy can be considered. The therapy is no longer recommended for permanent treatment because of the danger of heart disease, blood clots, strokes, and breast cancer, but it has been shown to be effective in the early years after menopause. Some studies have shown it to be helpful against:
  • belly fat,
  • heart attacks,
  • thinning of bones (osteoporosis),
  • depression, and
  • strokes
in the first ten years after the last menstrual period.
Estrogen, often balanced with progesterone, another female hormone, can be taken as a pill, skin patch, gel, cream, or spray. (Local preparations applied to the vagina are used only for vaginal discomfort). When it is taken in pill form, hormone replacement therapy goes from the stomach to the liver, causing the liver to make more fat and clotting factors. When the medication is delivered through the skin the liver is less strongly affected.
Another, and excellent, way of getting rid of belly fat is by aerobic exercise. Try going for a walk each day. Walk briskly enough to make your heart and breathing speed up. Walking can make your bones, muscles, brain, and heart stronger too, so go for it.
Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. It need not slowly and inevitably get worse. You can take control of the disease... take back your health and prevent many diabetic complications.
For nearly 25 years Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body.
The answer isn't in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.
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