Visceral Fat and insulin resistance
Visceral fat is what wraps around internal organs of the abdominal cavity. It is not the fat under your skin or around muscle tissue that can be seen. It has important implications for your health and can be a significant issue in otherwise fit appearing people.
Increases in visceral fat are associated with increases with insulin resistance which then leads to systemic inflammation which then leads to diseases associated with ageing. This includes diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, dementia, and cancer to name a few.
The best way to determine if you have a large amount of visceral fat is through a dexa scan. You can go to dexascan.com to find locations across the country where you can get a DEXA scan if you pay out of pocket.
Past that, there are still clues. Increases in waist size increases are something to pay attention to regarding visceral fat. Another clue of insulin resistance is you notice you do not need to consume as many calories as you use to need to maintain your body weight.
What factors contribute to visceral fat and insulin resistance and how to reverse it. The obvious ones are eating a healthy diet, mostly whole foods, and I personally prefer high protein and low carb diets. Ideally vigorous exercise daily is important. But just walking 1-2 miles a day will do wonders for many people.
Then there is the key point of hormone optimization. It is important to note what many physicians consider ‘normal’ is not optimal. Thyroid, Testosterone, estradiol, and growth hormone all play pivotal roles in keeping visceral fat and insulin resistance low. If lifestyle changes do not seem sufficient to correct excess visceral fat and the preliminary stages of insulin resistance (do not wait until you have full blown diabetes to do something) then hormone optimization may be for you.
Despite several high-quality randomized controlled studies supporting the use of bio-identical hormone therapy for many issues, it is still considered off-label treatment. Consult with a hormone specialist such as us if this is something you would like to investigate.
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