The numbers don’t lie: breast cancer is occurring at epidemic rates. Consider these statistics:
* 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
* More than 1 in 4 cancers in women is breast cancer.
* 1,970 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2010.
* About 70-80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.
As I researched these sobering statistics, the urgency to get this message out to all women became overwhelming. After you read this article, PLEASE forward it to all the women in your life: moms, grandmothers, wives, daughters, sisters, aunts, friends … everyone.
EXCESS INSULIN may be the hormone to focus on when considering possible causes of breast cancer; especially for post-menopausal women.
According to research, the hormonal imbalance of a common blood sugar regulating hormone may be increasing the risk for developing breast cancer and this imbalance may also decrease the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment.
The majority of breast cancer cases occur in post menopausal women. According to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, excess insulin production places postmenopausal women at an increased risk for breast cancer.
Two major studies link excess insulin to breast cancer:
Obesity has long been recognized as a breast cancer risk factor. Researchers have also acknowledged the link between higher than normal levels of estrogen and breast cancer. As it turns out, overweight or obese women have higher estrogen levels than their normal weight counterparts and they also have a higher risk of breast cancer.
And the majority of overweight or obese women also produce excess amounts of another hormone; the fat gain hormone; insulin.
The Einstein study, whose findings were published in the January 7, 2009 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed the link between high insulin levels and the risk of breast cancer even in the face of controlled estrogen levels.
In the same way, the largest study of postmenopausal women by the National Institutes of Health, The Women’s Health Initiative, concluded that women with the highest insulin levels were 50% more likely to develop breast cancer compared with women with the lowest insulin levels.
Interestingly, obesity; in and of itself, might not be the culprit.
Obese women with high insulin levels were twice as likely to develop breast cancer. But, obese women with normal insulin levels had a much lower association with breast cancer.
High insulin levels appear to be the offending marker in women who are overweight or obese.
A simple screening insulin test for ALL postmenopausal women may save lives
Dr. Howard Strickler, senior author states: “It is also possible that screening non-diabetic postmenopausal women for high insulin levels could prove useful in identifying individuals at high risk for breast cancer.”
In 2010, Melinda Irwin of the Yale School of Public Health, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology: “Women treated for breast cancer who have elevated levels of circulating insulin face substantially higher mortality rates than their peers with lower levels.”
Postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes are at the greatest risk of breast cancer development and death. In 2010 the Journal of Clinical Oncology (Volume 28) acknowledged that patients with diabetes have a higher risk of developing several types of cancer, including liver, pancreatic, colorectal, gynecologic, and breast.
Overweight or obese women with high insulin levels who don’t yet have type 2 diabetes are also at high risk for breast cancer. Even lean women with high insulin levels are also susceptible to breast cancer than if their insulin levels are normal.
It seems to make sense to screen all postmenopausal women for insulin levels and if there is elevation, work to normalize insulin through effective diet, physical activity, and insulin lowering medications.
How do you know if you are one of the millions who over produces insulin?
Over 150 million people in the United States have metabolic syndrome, pre diabetes, or Type 2 diabetes. All of these 150 million people have insulin imbalance and half of these people are WOMEN!
So, over 75 million US women (and countless others around the world) have or will eventually have insulin issues.
Millions of women are currently increasing their chance of developing breast cancer (and other cancers) because they are not aware that their insulin level is abnormal or how to control it.
It’s time to empower women (and men) to help prevent breast and other insulin related cancers.
YOUR answers to these 11 questions can determine that you have insulin imbalance.
Have your fasting lab work checked, especially your glucose, hemoglobin A1C, triglycerides, Vitamin D.
If your fasting glucose is over 85mg/dl, hemoglobin A1C is over 5.6% , triglycerides are over 99, or Vitamin D is under 40, consider that you most likely HAVE an insulin problem.
If your fasting insulin level is over 8….you are over-producing insulin.
Are you gaining weight around the middle and having trouble losing weight?
Do you crave carbohydrate foods?
Are you frequently tired and feel wiped out?
Do you find yourself mildly depressed and anxious at the same time?
Are you having trouble with focus and concentration?
Do you have difficulty falling asleep or awaken in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep?
Do you get very, very hungry before you eat and feel tired afterward?
Are your eyes sensitive to light in the day and bright lights at night?
Do you have a history of diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, acid reflux.
All ten of the above are symptoms of insulin imbalance. Excess insulin is linked to an increased risk of many cancers. If you fit the profile and are lost as to what you can do to immediately decrease and normalize your insulin and keep yourself at a lower risk for cancer, read on.
What can YOU do right now to help decrease your insulin?
Lose weight. A weight loss of as little as 7% can help decrease your insulin levels. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, and you lose as little as 11 pounds, you could greatly decrease your insulin levels.
Focus on eating lean protein, vegetables, nuts, seeds, olives, avocado, olive oil, natural nut butters. Your plate should be 1/3 protein, 1/3 veggies, and 1/3 either starch or fruit. Have equal portions of protein and vegetables, and use whole grain starches or fresh fruit as side dishes.
Carbohydrate foods turn to blood sugar. When blood sugar rises, insulin is released. The lower your rise in blood sugar, the less your release of insulin. Begin to limit your intake of carbohydrate foods.
Very much decrease your intake of sugar, sweetened drinks, juice, candy, cookies, chips, fast food, and desserts as these foods are notoriously high in carbohydrate and carbohydrate triggers insulin release.
Don’t wait longer than 5 hours without a meal or snack. Waiting over 5 hours without eating causes a rise in blood sugar from the liver’s release of stored sugar (glycogen). This delaying of meals/snacks will cause insulin to rise.
Get busy and get moving! Use your muscles to burn blood sugar and decrease your insulin. Try a 30-minute walk every day. Better yet, take a ten minute walk about 1.5 hours after the start of each of your meals. This adds up to 30 minutes/day; walking after each meal will help decrease blood sugar, insulin release, and enable fat burn and weight loss.
Focus on drinking water and decaffeinated fluids. . Increase your intake of water and decaffeinated fluids to 64 ounces/day.
Find physical ways to reduce your stress. Stress causes blood sugar to rise and insulin to be released. Exercise is a good way to decrease stress and lower insulin. Reduce stress!
Consider asking your MD about the use of the insulin- lowering medication; Metformin. Metformin was initially developed as a first line medication for those with type 2 diabetes. Recently, it has been used to decrease insulin response in women with PCOS, or people with metabolic syndrome or pre diabetes. By suppressing the liver’s release of glycogen stores and decreasing insulin resistance, it appears to have great benefit in decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. As it decreases insulin levels, it follows that it might be an appropriate medication to use to decrease the risk of breast cancer in those who are over insulin producers.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This story most likely made you aware of a risk factor for breast cancer that you may have previously been unaware of. Excess insulin is part of many cancers, and breast cancer is one of these cancers. Insulin imbalance is easy to diagnose, it’s easy to treat, and it may just make the difference that contains the breast cancer epidemic.
Love Diane Kress’ work? Here are links to her books and support site!
The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook: http://www.amazon.com/The-Metabolism-Miracle-Cookbook-Delicious/dp/0738214256/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0DC5FY8CN1D1YH85YNM
The Metabolism Miracle Update: (Brand new!) http://www.amazon.com/Metabolism-Miracle-Update-Revisions-Diabetes-ebook/dp/B00N4IQUF4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411319947&sr=8-1&keywords=metabolism+miracle+update
The Interactive Support Group for Followers of The Metabolism Miracle and The Diabetes Miracle: www.Miracle-Ville.com