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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

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 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.acanthosis of the neck in whites 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.
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The role of the failed food pyramid in causing obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes

Fast Facts On Obesity„„

rate-of-rise-of-obesity-in-usa Since the early 1960s, the prevalence of obesity among adults more than doubled, increasing from 13.4 to 35.7 percent in U.S. adults age 20 and older. Currently, 68.8% of all adults in the United States are either overweight or obese! The rate of rise of obesity, unfortunately, correlates with the misguided recommendations from the USDA in the form of the now withdrawn and failed food pyramid. Although the intention of the food pyramid was to promote healthy eating and weight loss, it in fact, did the opposite of what it intended to do by contributing to a new problem – insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome.  Before we look at how this happened, let’s take a look at the staggering Obesity Numbers. Alarming Statistics Of Obesity More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
    „„More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese„„
    More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity
    „„About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese„„
    More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.
    • More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obes
    More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese.„„
    More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity.„„Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese.„„
    The prevalence of obesity is similar for both men and women (about 36 percent)   „„
    About 8 percent of women are considered to have extreme obesity.
    Source: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010 2,3
What really caused this enormous rise of Obesity? While the Government might want to make you believe it is your fault you are overweight or obese, as a physician trained in Obesity Medicine, I will show you the contribution by the Government to this problem. Obviously, there are multiple reasons for Obesity but here are the most important in my opinion. In 1992, The USDA made a nice looking food Pyramid. old-and-failed-food-pyramid-from-usda In May 2011, the USDA released a graphic called “My Plate” to help people choose what foods to eat. This new guideline is meant to replace the old “Food Pyramid” that many people grew up with. Remember the triangle shape with the bread, cereal, and rice at the bottom and the fats and oils to be “used sparingly” at the top? This useless and misleading food pyramid, which has been confusing consumers for over 25 years, has advocated a philosophy of eating more grains and other less “fatty” foods. What the Food Pyramid failed to do was to differentiate simple versus complex sugars. It also placed undue importance on grain-based products. Grain-based “simple carbohydrates” such as breads, potatoes, rice, cereal and pasta, although often low in fat, also rate high on the glycemic index. That means that they break down quickly in the body, overwhelming the blood with sugars and potentially leading to a phenomenon called “insulin resistance.”  Affecting up to one in every three Americans, insulin resistance is very common and can lead to difficulty losing weight, pre-diabetes, or type II diabetes, heart disease and other long-term health problems associated with obesity. With the new “My Plate” guidelines and some other tips, more Americans may be able to avoid these unhealthy complications. Learn more on insulin resistance…