I want to give you a little more info to go along with my last post about “nature’s Ozempic”… and talk about the missing piece of the metabolic puzzle that surprisingly given everything we know is not part of routine blood work… fasting insulin.
To recap: Berberine, an anti-microbial herbal supplement, is all the rage on TikTok right now because it’s helping people lose weight… the way it does this is by improving insulin sensitivity.
In this post, we’re going to dive into what insulin is, how insulin resistance is the problem and how improving insulin sensitivity is the key to reversing metabolic dysfunction.
Fasting Insulin: The Missing Piece
Insulin is what carries sugar from the blood into the cell where it can be turned into energy.
It’s the piece of the metabolic puzzle that connects blood sugar, metabolism, and weight… and yet oddly no one is checking it….
Which makes no sense because elevated fasting insulin is the FIRST indicator of metabolic trouble.
If this one simple lab marker was included in standard blood work, 37 million Americans wouldn’t have diabetes.
Because we’d be able to not just catch pre diabetes but pre pre pre diabetes.
There’s a whole spectrum of metabolic dysfunction.
And it takes years to progress to the point that insulin is low and blood glucose is high (diagnosable diabetes).
The dysfunction is there in the background (showing up in symptoms like weight gain, hypoglycemia (aka. Hangry), fatigue).
But no one is looking!
Instead everything’s “normal” until glucose creeps over 100.
Because that’s when it’s diagnosable as pre-diabetes.
Then at 126 or higher, it can be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
But the whole time on the way to that point you can spot the dysfunction in fasting insulin, triglycerides, GGT…
Meanwhile it takes an act of Congress to get a fasting insulin level. Unless you have a high BMI, usually insurance won’t cover it.
GGT, a liver enzyme, is a cheap test but not included in a standard metabolic panel either. Even though we know sub-clinically elevated GGT levels is the single quantitive factor most associated with type 2 diabetes.
Elevated fasting insulin is the first stage of metabolic dysfunction.
And when there’s more insulin, blood glucose looks “perfect” or even low (hypoglycemia / aka. Hangry) because there’s more insulin working it into the cells.
But the body can only maintain that for so long.
Eventually the cells can’t take anymore. They become resistant.
And insulin resistance develops. Blood sugar starts to rise (pre-diabetes)
The pancreas can’t keep up it’s been putting out so much insulin, it slows and eventually quits.
And blood glucose shoots up.
Bam, you’ve got diabetes.
It’s a whole process.
So you have to wonder… if we know this is how it develops over time, why are we not looking at the markers in between?
Why are fasting insulin and GGT not part of a standard metabolic panel?….
OK, so what are we to do with this in the meantime?
Be your own advocate. Request a Fasting Insulin Test
Request that your doctor add fasting insulin to your blood work (make sure insurance will cover it and if not ask if there’s a cash pay option. If not you can get the test on your own from a third party lab).
I can help with this too.
An optimal fasting insulin is 5 IU/dl. Anything above indicates some level of insulin resistance.
This is where we focus on restoring insulin sensitivity to effect metabolism and weight loss.
Insulin is a hormone (a messenger) and when it’s high it sends the signal to the body that it needs to store fat.
The key is getting insulin to come down and you do this by increasing insulin sensitivity so it’s being used more effectively.
We do this with a combination of diet, supplements, movement, and foundational approaches that reset the metabolic function.
The result? Insulin drops. Blood sugar regulates. And weight falls off.
It’s not a magic pill offering a quick fix, but this route promises something better: something that’s lasting, sustainable, and will make you healthier for the rest of your life because of it.
Want to find out more and see if this approach may be a good fit for you? Grab some time on my calendar for a chat and we’ll see if it’s a fit.
P.S. Beware of magic pills – whether they’re “natural” or not… it may not be sexy or worthy of TikTok sensation, but the truth is sustainable change can’t come from a bottle. Metabolism is complex and the process of resetting dysfunction must be complex too. But complex can be made simple. And change can happen quickly with support. Ready to get started? Let’s chat – grab some time on my calendar here and let’s see if it’s a good fit for you.