EP145 The One About The Top Indicators Of Insulin Resistance

Transcript Of Today's Episode

Martin Junior: Hello, I'm Dr. Martin Junior.

Martin Senior: And I'm Dr. Martin Senior.

Martin Junior: This is The Doctor Is In podcast and this is episode 145. Today we want to talk about something that we talk about [00:00:30] a lot, and when I say a lot I mean pretty much every time we have a conversation about health, this comes up one way or another. But lately we've been getting so many questions on it that we figured we would just kind of do a real simple episode on some of the most common signs of high circulating insulin, which really a lot of different terms are used for that. Some people use the word insulin resistance. Some people will use the word hyperinsulinemia. We like [00:01:00] the word high circulating insulin because it kind of means both of those other two things. It's really a great term for it, but at the end of the day, a person has too much insulin.

If you've been with us for a while then you know that every system in your body is at risk when you have high circulating insulin. I mean it affects your brain, people call it type 3 diabetes, it affects [00:01:30] your brain, it puts you at risk for dementia and Alzheimer's, it affects your heart because you and I strongly believe that a lot of symptoms of heart disease are actually symptoms of high circulating insulin like high blood pressure. We'll talk about all those things. But at the end of the day when you have high circulating insulin for an extended period of time especially, your health is in serious trouble.

Martin Senior: Well somewhere pointed I think it was even today that sugar [00:02:00] is the new cigarette. We'll see because we talk about insulin, it is a major issue in our society today, it really has changed the way the Martin clinic, and if we look at our history I'm going to tell you one thing, your great grandfather and my grandfather never had to worry about diabetes or anything with high circulating insulin like we do today, right?

Martin Junior: No.

Martin Senior: We go back to 1911. That's [00:02:30] a long time, but I mean if you look at it, I mean ...

Martin Junior: Yeah, now it's ...

Martin Senior: It's an epidemic today.

Martin Junior: When you think about it, well first let's just really quickly talk about why insulin ends up getting to the point where you got a high circulating insulin all the time, you're making too much insulin. You alluded to it earlier, what happens, everything you eat gets broken down in glucose. It doesn't matter what you're eating. Some things get broken down very quickly and other things take a long time to get there. But at the end of the day that's what happens. Again, if you've been with us for a while, then [00:03:00] you know that glucose in your blood is very, very toxic.

Martin Senior: It's a no-no.

Martin Junior: It's a no-no. I mean if you have high blood sugar levels, that's dangerous. If you have low blood sugar levels, that's also very dangerous. So your body does whatever it can to tightly regulate your blood sugar levels. One of the things that your body does to help control your blood sugar levels, especially to bring it down is it secretes insulin. One of the primary jobs [00:03:30] of insulin, insulin has got a lot of jobs, but one of the things that insulin does is that insulin helps remove the blood glucose or the glucose from your blood stream. That's what it does. It takes that glucose and it ... Well, first of all you either burn off that ... You eat something, you either burn it off right away or ...

Martin Senior: It stores it.

Martin Junior: It starts to store it. Your body will convert it into glycogen, it'll store it in your muscles, store it in your liver, and once those are full, it will take it and it will store it in your fat cells. [00:04:00] When your fat cells are full, you'll just make more fat cells.

Martin Senior: It's unlimited.

Martin Junior: Yeah, it really is for the most part an unlimited thing that occurs. That's what happens. All that happens because your body is trying to protect itself from having messed up blood sugar levels because that's very dangerous and your body will do what it can to protect itself, which is why you can mess up your insulin levels [00:04:30] for a long time before it starts to affect your blood sugar levels, which is why we always say that blood sugar is a lagging indicator. By the time you start to have blood sugar problems, you've had an insulin problem for a long time, for a very long time.

We like to look at insulin as a better indicator for what's going on than glucose levels, because once glucose is a problem, you've got a problem, and it's been like that for a while and you better [00:05:00] start to correct that problem because research is even showing this, and this is fascinating. Even high normal blood sugar level, so they're not high enough yet to be pathological, but they're higher in the normal range can lead to dementia and brain shrinkage, which begs the question, why are they calling it normal levels? If it's normal, it shouldn't cause dementia and brain shrinkage. Actually what they should be doing is lowering what they consider high blood glucose [00:05:30] levels. But anyways, that's another discussion at another time.

What we want to do today on this episode is talk about really the top signs or indicators ...

Martin Senior: Yep, check the engine light.

Martin Junior: That's right, that you have insulin resistance. You just brought up a great point which is the check engine light. Now, you and I, I've said this before, I come from a long time of non skilled abilities at all. I mean [00:06:00] if we were forced to fix our own things, we'd be in trouble. I mean ...

Martin Senior: Martin and son.

Martin Junior: Oh yeah, it'd be a disaster. That would be an absolute disaster.

Martin Senior: Your mother always laughs at when my dad was ... my dad was around we decided once, I don't even know what got into us but we decided to fix a door handle at our place and by the time we were done it literally was upside down. [00:06:30] My wife says, "Whatever did you think for a minute," like your mother says, "I'm dangerous with a tool in my hand."

Martin Junior: Well, I remember twice mom with tears in her eyes and not the happy kind, and both of them involved a paint brush with you. I remember. I still actually remember this, you destroying a bathroom with a paint brush. You decided to paint it. I don't know what got into you. You went in there and you started painting it and [00:07:00] it looked like a grenade had gone off in there. I mean there were spilled dots everywhere.

Martin Senior: You remember that.

Martin Junior: I do, I remember. I remember it because mom's reaction when she saw it. Needless to say we're not very handy people. I mean we're just not that handy people. I could lift a lot of weight. I could pick things up. I'll carry it over for you. I worked construction. I was the only guy probably in the history of work construction for like I think three summers and was never allowed to carry a tool. I would just carry things over. The guy would say, "Can you go get [00:07:30] that," or, "Carry that pile of wood here," that's what I did, but they never allowed me to carry ...

Martin Senior: You never had a hammer.

Martin Junior: No, I didn't get a tool belt, just they wouldn't let me carry one. We look at our cars for example and there's this check engine light. The thing with the check engine light is it can mean a lot of different things. I found out the hard way that it could mean that somebody just didn't tighten the gas cap properly after you filled up. It could be as simple as that, too much air [00:08:00] getting in. Or it could be a crazy thermostat problem. Or it could be something very serious. It could be like your engine is going to go.

I think a lot of people kind of ignore the check engine light after a while because I mean it could mean anything. It could be nothing, car seems to work okay with a check engine light on, but it's basically the car's telling you there's something going on and of course you've got to plug a little computer into it and it spits out a code and then you check the code and it tells you, "Oh, it's ... your [00:08:30] thermostat's broken."

But what we're going to give you now are check engine lights. This is indicators that your body is giving you that can or most likely mean that you got insulin resistance. People say, "Well, if somebody's got insulin resistance or they got high circulating insulin, well the sign is obesity." But research has shown that's not true. It's less than 18% of an indicator, so which means that a majority of people that are insulin resistant [00:09:00] are not obese. They have insulin resistance. What that really tells you, the bottom line is what that tells us is that insulin resistance or high circulating insulin shows up a number of different ways in different people. Let's talk about that real quick.

A strong indicator for somebody if somebody is obese, they have high circulating insulin almost 100% of the time. That's a problem. But just because somebody is not obese [00:09:30] doesn't mean they're safe. What we want to do is we want to talk about those other indicators. What we did is we kind of divided these into what we call strong indicators and the other ones are kind of like just check engine lights, just kind of like minor things but they can indicate you got an insulin problem.

Now we have this graphic that we built that we put it up in our clinic, it's in all of our patient rooms, and it talks about this. People like it because they get to look at [00:10:00] this chart. But we'll go through some of these here. So let's talk about strong indicators. If you have these, then you most likely have high circulating insulin. Here's a first one that is so common that people rarely associate with high circulating insulin which is high blood pressure.

Martin Senior: Yeah, a major thing. Again, people, it's amazing what happens when you change your diet, you lower your insulin, the high circulating [00:10:30] insulin, it almost invariably the blood pressure comes back to normal ranges, right?

Martin Junior: Yeah, in fact ...

Martin Senior: Blood pressure is just a symptom.

Martin Junior: Oh yeah. For most people that have high blood pressure that's a strong indicator they've got high circulating insulin. Now, it's funny because it could be an indication and it usually also is an indication that they got high cortisol, they're stressed. However, cortisol, the primary purpose of cortisol is to raise blood sugar, so then you know the longer somebody has cortisol issues, [00:11:00] they also have insulin issues as well. High blood pressure really becomes an indication of high circulating insulin. But it doesn't mean they don't have high cortisol, doesn't mean some other things. But it definitely means that you got a high circulating insulin. That's the first one.

Another powerful, powerful indicator is high triglycerides. High triglycerides ...

Martin Senior: And that's so significant because again, we don't want to go into great detail here, but we often rail against statin drugs because statin drugs [00:11:30] at the end of the day affect cholesterol. We've all for ever have been saying that blaming cholesterol for heart disease is like blaming the police because they're at the crime scene. They're just not the bad guy. They're the firemen.

Martin Junior: It's interesting.

Martin Senior: The firemen at the fire.

Martin Junior: They just published the results of the Honolulu Heart Program and it was done in men aged 71 and 93 years old so they just published this, and this is what they found and this is consistent with other times and other heart [00:12:00] studies. Those with the lowest cholesterol had the highest death rates, and those with the highest cholesterol had the lowest death rates. I mean again over and over again that is been shown over and over again.

Martin Senior: But the key indicator in cardio is triglycerides, blood fats, the true blood fats I call them. Triglycerides are directly proportional to insulin, to your insulin resistance. You can affect your triglycerides and bring them down rapidly, rapidly [00:12:30] by going on a low carb diet. It's just as simple as that.

Martin Junior: We talked about this on a couple of episodes ago about the Framingham data that was done. And they found this, that if your triglycerides are below 100 and your HDL above 40, it basically doesn't matter what your LDL is cholesterol in terms of cardiovascular risk. Triglycerides way more important, no question. I would also say your HDL is more important as well which is "the good" cholesterol type of thing. Anyway, so if you've [00:13:00] got high triglycerides, you have high circulating insulin, you have high blood pressure, you have high circulating insulin.

Of course another one is if you have inflammation, no question.

Martin Senior: So insulin is an inflammation driver big time.

Martin Junior: The two hormones that drive a lot of inflammation are cortisol and insulin. Both of those have the potential to create a ton of inflammation and again, another study just coming out talking about the nice thing about human body is it's very resilient. [00:13:30] This study found that short-term inflammation doesn't affect the brain. But once it goes into that chronic state that's when it really starts to cause the damage. We can handle a little bit of inflammation here and there, but when it becomes a problem for extended periods of time.

Fatty liver, that's another massively strong indicator.

Martin Senior: Part of metabolic syndrome. Fatty liver doesn't come from fat because fat doesn't make you fat, nor does it affect your liver. What affects your liver is again the insulin storing [00:14:00] hormone stores your liver like a suitcase, I love your illustration of suitcase, and once that suitcase gets stuffed up, it'll start creating an enormous amount of fat cells around it to store that glycogen, so fatty liver. And you know what? They're showing now in five-year-olds, in five-year-olds that they're starting to get fatty liver and metabolic syndrome as early as five-year-olds.

Martin Junior: That's not surprising because one of the hardest things [00:14:30] on the liver is that liquid sugar and high fructose corn syrup, right?

Martin Senior: Oh yeah, directly to the liver.

Martin Junior: And kids are juices and pops and all this stuff.

Martin Senior: Gatorade and all that nonsense.

Martin Junior: But here's the thing. A few low carb meals in a row has already been shown to take fatty liver down. I mean it can be reversed rather quickly actually.

Here's another one that's very common as well and it's called acanthosis nigracans, which is the darkening of the skin. You see that under the arm pits, you see that [00:15:00] different areas in the body. When you see that darkening of the skin, that's a great indication that that person has insulin resistance. The same thing is when they get that humpback look, they start to deposit that fat right at the top of their back, right at the base of their neck as well. That's a great indication that that person has very high circulating insulin.

Here's another couple of common ones as well, sarcopenia, insulin ... Osteoporosis same thing, even hair loss is a very good indicator a lot of times if they got high circulating insulin. But here's [00:15:30] a couple here in men that we want to just bring up, erectile dysfunction.

Martin Senior: Huge.

Martin Junior: That's a high circulating insulin problem. That affects the blood vessels, it affects the endothelium and all that kind of stuff, but it's a major cause of that.

Martin Senior: Lowers your nitric oxide.

Martin Junior: Oh yes, it's just all the-

Martin Senior: The ability for your blood vessels to open up.

Martin Junior: Another one is prostate.

Martin Senior: Yeah, big time.

Martin Junior: Insulin is a growth hormone so when somebody has high circulating insulin ...

Martin Senior: You know what we talk about in the prostate all the time, that prostate [00:16:00] is a when men become women and their testosterone goes down, their estrogen goes up, and so does insulin. Insulin just drives that growth.

Martin Junior: We should do a podcast coming up on testosterone because just how many men now have such low testosterone issues that's affecting their health, heart health, brain health. I've been reading more and more studies on that and just the real epidemic that's affecting men. Men are tired at nighttime. Anyways, that's a good one to do in the future.

[00:16:30] Another one here gout high circulating insulin, gout. Kidney stones.

Martin Senior: Big time. See the kidneys get affected by high circulating insulin.

Martin Junior: Because that's what causes the release of water. It's incredible. Kidney stones. Psoriasis is another strong indicator, brain, so any kind of brain memory all those brain stuff as well. Then of course hormonal imbalances a lot of times are a good indicator that they got high circulating insulin.

Martin Senior: Yeah, and it's interesting that a lot of my patients, [00:17:00] women, they notice that if they eat bad, guess what, they get a lot of symptoms like hot flashes and they don't feel as good and mood swings and all these hormonal things that usually their progesterone is low. But there's your link. I mean a lot of that is bad eating too. When they clean up their diet, isn't it amazing, when you clean up your diet every day, every day, every day in the Martin Clinic, every day I give high five to patients because they come in. [00:17:30] I've only seen them once before and I sent them home with their diagnoses or whatever but especially with a plan.

I can't go home with patients obviously, but they come back and they go, "Doc, it's amazing, the symptoms that I had are much better, I'm eating better," and they bought into it. Of course that just, that charges my batteries every day in the office. But again it's amazing, when you look at all these symptoms, all [00:18:00] these sings that we're looking at, every one of them are reversible.

Martin Junior: Wow, and that's a nice thing-

Martin Senior: Every one of these things are reversible.

Martin Junior: That was just a list of the strong indicators. Now let's talk about these check engine lights, these mild indicators, and basically these, what we're going to list here, a lot of other things can be causing them, but taken together you have to rule out high circulating insulin. Let's talk about that. Obviously fatigue, fatigue is a big one. There's a lot of things that can cause fatigue [00:18:30] problems.

Martin Senior: But it's one thing we're looking for in the office.

Martin Junior: Yeah, and that's a majority of the people have insulin issues if they're fatigued, but that's one in itself, it doesn't just point to high insulin, but it definitely is one of those things where you've got to rule that out. Same thing with somebody starting to gain weight. That's an indication that that might be an issue. Same thing with sleeping, if they're starting to have some sleeping problems.

Martin Senior: Sleep apnea even.

Martin Junior: Yes. Well sleep apnea actually that's a good one is actually on the strong indicators. I just forgot to read it out. If you have sleep [00:19:00] apnea, you got high circulating insulin. That's it.

Martin Senior: 100%.

Martin Junior: Yeah, that's a guarantee. Here's a few other kind of milder indicators, digestive issues, a lot of digestive issues are indicators that you have high circulating insulin. Here's another one that surprises people. Vertigo. One of the causes ... I mean, if it's not your neck, or it's not the medication that somebody's taking, or it's not a dehydration problem, then it's a high circulating insulin problem. That's a big cause of vertigo. [00:19:30] But because there are other causes of vertigo that have to be ruled out as well but if somebody says, "Listen, I've gotten everything else checked and I got this vertigo," there is a good chance that they got high circulating insulin.

Martin Senior: And the other thing ...

Martin Junior: Well let's go there now. That's next in the list, tinnitus.

Martin Senior: Tinnitus, yeah.

Martin Junior: Some people have damage to the ear. It has nothing to do with high circulating insulin. But there a lot of people that have spontaneous tinnitus that have to do with high circulating insulin. Now on this note at this point it would be a mistake if we didn't [00:20:00] mention there a lot of people with tinnitus that get great results on Navitol. I just read an email from somebody the other day just saying, they're like, "I took it for energy but I noticed my tinnitus is a lot better. Is that possible?" It's like, "Yeah, we get that feedback ..."

Martin Senior: Yeah, big time.

Martin Junior: A lot of times from people. But here's another one as well that could indicate high circulating insulin which is joint pain. We did a podcast on joint pain and insulin, no question.

Martin Senior: No question, yeah.

Martin Junior: Along the lines of that here's [00:20:30] a couple other ones. There was a study done on, and this is interesting, carpal tunnel syndrome. I think it was like 40% of people carpal tunnel syndrome it's because of high circulating insulin. Just that's what it's causing it, which is why they get these surgeries done and nothing helps. Right?

Martin Senior: Yeah, they get better for a few weeks and then they got their starting again. Yeah, it's amazing. Well it's the inflammation. When you think of that connection and ...

Martin Junior: And even the health of the nerve and everything like that, right?

Martin Senior: Yeah, well you look at neuropathy, and how many diabetic have diabetic ...

Martin Junior: Yeah, [00:21:00] they have basically-

Martin Senior: Neuropathy and ...

Martin Junior: I call carpal tunnel syndrome in a sense of the legs, not that it's getting pinched in the same way, but they get a lot of the same symptoms. But yeah, no question. But even here's a couple other ones chronic tendonitis or Achilles tendon pain. Studies show there was a study done on hyper insulin, too much insulin and the effect that it has on the Achilles tendon or chronic tendonitis, makes sense because of the caramelization that can occur in the joints, the AGEs and all that [inaudible 00:21:31] glycation and [00:21:30] all that stuff that can happen in the joints. But needless to say, joint pain or tendon pain or carpal tunnel could be an indication that you got a high circulating insulin. That surprises a lot of people.

Here's a few more. Skin tags, a lot of skin tags indication you got high circulating insulin. Here's another one, cataracts in the eyes.

Martin Senior: Yeah, you get the eyes.

Martin Junior: Acne. Acne a lot of times is hormonal, but insulin is a hormone and insulin affects [crosstalk 00:21:58] ... Insulin affects estrogen, [00:22:00] it affects all those other hormones that can give you acne as well. Then a couple more here, leg cramps is another indication, overactive bladder another one. I mean, you can see all the effects that insulin can have on your body. We named symptoms from pretty much every part of your body, every part of your body, gout from the toe to the head it can affect everything in between.

Martin Senior: Skin.

Martin Junior: Yeah, and the largest organ obviously going to be affected by that. But you can see ... When we ask people do you have insulin resistance [00:22:30] or do you have high circulating insulin and they say, "I am not sure. How do I know," and then we kind of give them this list, they're like, "I have that, this and that as well in there." So yes, let's take care of that insulin, let's get it low, let's start to work on bringing that insulin down. Then like you said, it's amazing how much better they start to feel in that.

We ran out of time. We want to thank everybody for listening. If you have any questions at all, you can email us at info@martinclinic.com. You can go to our website [00:23:00] martinclinic.com. For most of the day we have live chat on there so you can go in there and ask us some questions. You can join us every Thursday morning you do a Facebook Live around 8:30 Eastern. You can go there ask you a ton of questions. We also have a private Facebook group as well that you can join and ask your questions in there. We answer them. We've got staff answer them. Again, there's a lot of ways that you can get a hold of us. We want to thank you for listening and have a great day.

Back to blog