What is Acanthosis Nigricans and why is it important?
Posted by Prab R. Tumpati, MD, Medical Director
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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
- How insulin resistance leads to weight gain
- CDC study projects 40% of all Americans will develop diabetes
- One in three Americans are prediabetic
- Diabetes prevalence in United States
- Statistics on diabetes
- Secret of losing weight
About Prab R. Tumpati, MD, Medical DirectorDr. Prab R. Tumpati, MD is a practicing Obesity, sleep, aesthetic and internal medicine physician with offices in New York and Pennsylvania. As the founder and medical director of W8MD, Dr. Tumpati is very experienced and well versed in the science and the art of medicine having helped thousands of patients lose weight, sleep and look better!
Posted on December 21, 2013, in acanthosis, Causes of weight gain, metabolic syndrome, Weight gain, Weight Loss Articles and tagged belly fat, Insulin resistance, Prediabetes, Weight Loss Articles. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.