Posted in Weight loss

What is Acanthosis Nigricans and why is it important?

Acanthosis is darker or thicker lines in the neck with or without skin tags signifies a metabolic reason for weight gain called insulin resistance.

Acanthosis nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is a clear sign of insulin resistance in most people that are either overweight or obese, according to Dr. Prab R. Tumpati, MD, founder of W8MD medical weight loss centers of America.

Belly fat and insulin resistance

In fact, this thicker or darker area in the neck and or skin tags in the neck, axilla or other places is an early indication of this very common metabolic process called insulin resistance. If left unchecked, insulin resistance can lead to risk of prediabetes, or even diabetes.

Acanthosis nigricans of the neck

Acanthosis nigricans of the neck

I do not eat much, why am I gaining weight?

The reason might be that you are insulin resistant just as about 71% of all adults in the United States leading to their weight gain.

Acanthosis nigricans, insulin resistance and diabetes

Understanding the anabolic role of insulin resistance is the key to understanding the cause of your weight gain in the middle such as the tummy or in the upper part of the body according to Dr. Prab R. Tumpati, MD, founder of W8MD medical weight loss centers of America.

Can insulin resistance explain why you gain weight especially in the tummy or upper part of the body?

Yes. The traditional thinking used to that you gain weight, and get Acanthosis, and all other metabolic issues associated with it, the new science shows clearly that it could be the opposite. That is, you become insulin resistant first, and this in turn explains not only the weight gain but also the food cravings, especially starchy or salty foods with high glycemic index leading to a vicious cycle of weight gain leading to insulin resistance, and insulin resistance leading to overeating.

Acanthosis Nigricans

Pictures of Acanthosis Nigricans or signs of Insulin Resistance in African Americans – darker lines, patches, dark moles or areas in the neck.

Different stages of insulin resistance

Of the spectrum of insulin resistance, Acanthosis is an early sign and up to about 71% of all adults in USA might have some early signs of insulin resistance.

The middle stage of insulin resistance is prediabetes or metabolic syndrome and about one in three Americans are considered to have metabolic syndrome or prediabetes.

Some examples of necks of people showing signs of insulin resistance. Check to see if you are insulin resistant using this unique W8MD insulin resistance calculator!

  • Does your neck look like this?
  • Do you have darker moles on the neck or face?
  • Do you have excess belly fat?
  • Do you like or crave carbs?
  • Do you tend to get skin tags?

Pictures of insulin resistance or Acanthosis in Caucasians – skin tags, darker or thicker lines on the back or front of the neck.

acanthosis of the neck in whites skin tags
acanthosis of the neck in whites

The spectrum of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes

Imagine an iceberg where the bottom of the iceberg represents (71% of the population) early stages of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome(35% of the polulation) is the middle of the iceberg and type 2 diabetes is the tip of the iceberg affecting 11% of the population.

Ted Talk by Dr. Peter Attia of Johns Hopkins on how insulin resistance can lead to weight gain

The last stage of insulin resistance is type 2 diabetes that affects about 11% of all adult Americans.

No wonder, the incidence of type 2 diabetes has gone up about 500% in the last 50 or so years and is expected to do the same in the next 20-30 years if this epidemic of insulin resistance is not curbed, according to Dr. Prab R. Tumpati, MD – founder of W8MD medical weight loss centers and a leading expert on insulin resistance.

Without changing insulin resistance, losing weight is very difficult as insulin resistance is what causes the cravings, overeating and the unhealthy distribution of body fat.

Related articles on Insulin Resistance and Acanthosis Nigricans

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