Big Secret about Insulin and Diabetes Doctors Don’t Tell You
Doctors and the medical field are keeping a big secret from the public about insulin and diabetes. According to Suzy Cohen, RPH, who was a speaker at the Preventing and Reversing Diabetes World Summit 2014, it is more important for people to have their serum insulin levels measured than their blood sugar (glucose).
Cohen, who has been called “America’s Pharmacist” and who is the author of several books, including Diabetes without Drugs and Thyroid Healthy, spoke about the role of insulin in the development of type 2 diabetes and how and why doctors need to measure it.
In her presentation, Cohen explained that the “biggest secret from people” is that individuals can have diabetes long before their blood sugar levels enter the reference range for the disease. People are being told they do not have diabetes, yet they really do. How and why is this happening?
Cohen talked about how insulin is produced by the pancreas and helps move sugar into the body’s cells. When individuals have too much sugar, the pancreas works harder and harder to produce enough insulin to keep up with the demand.
This extra effort can go on for years, and eventually the pancreas wears out. That’s when a person’s blood sugar levels finally rise to within diabetes range, when the insulin levels are low.
One major problem is that during the years when the pancreas is pumping out lots of insulin, no one is measuring those levels. If serum insulin levels were being checked, doctors would see that diabetes was in process.
Yet when patients are told their blood glucose levels are in diabetic range, they think they just got the disease when in fact they have had it for years, says Cohen. During those years, the body was being damaged by inflammatory factors such as cytokines (proteins that regular inflammatory processes).
Cohen described this process as “a cascade of pain causing compounds.” To help avoid this entire disease scenario, she believes doctors should be checking both serum insulin and blood glucose levels and looking at the ratio.
Specifics of checking serum insulin and blood glucose levels
- Serum insulin levels of 5 to 10 microunits per mL is good, but the optimal level is less than 5
- Levels greater than 10 indicate a risk of diabetes
- Levels greater than 25 are a definite diagnosis of diabetes
- The ratio of blood sugar to serum insulin should be greater than 10. If it is less, then that indicates the presence of diabetes. For example: a blood sugar level of 85 (considered to be an indication of no diabetes) and an insulin level of 6 is a ratio of 14:1, which is in the risk zone
Cohen emphasizes that these figures are guidelines and that your doctor may do other tests. However, if your doctor is not checking your serum insulin levels, he or she should be.
Is it time for you to talk to your doctor about having your serum insulin levels checked? Before you do, you may want to check out more about this topic at Cohen's website and in her book or do some of your own research.
However, the argument that insulin levels can indicate the presence of diabetes long before blood sugar levels do seems to make sense. What do you think?
Reference: Preventing and Reversing Diabetes World Summit 2014/Suzy Cohen, RPH