Acanthosis Nigricans: A Pre-Diabetic Condition

The talk, spread, and cautionary warnings of Type II Diabetes has spread like wildfire. In many cases, Type II Diabetes is worse in that its secondary effects cause much more physical damage than does the actual level of insulin resistance and/or insulin incompetence itself.

The root cause of the issue: IR (Insulin Resistance)

And, as in most instances, IR does not happen overnight. It is a lengthy, yet sustained process. The body does well to adjust, manage, and fight the effects of IR, and unless some kind of drastic lifestyle change occurs (efforts to DECREASE IR take place immediately), Type II Diabetes is an inevitable onset.

Perhaps the most overlooked, and unsuspecting symptoms is that of Acanthosis Nigricans … (what is that!?? you say…)

Acanthosis Nigricans is a rash that develops- traditionally under the arms (armpits), groin area, and the back of the neck. Looks something like this:

It’s undefined in its area, and has a soft, almost velvety type appearance. It will NOT dissipate with the use of creams, lotions, etc. And it is externally the hallmark sign of IR.

This hyperpigmentation develops as a result of excessive levels of circulating insulin in the blood- causing a discoloration in these certain areas of the body.

The good news is, with proper management of blood glucose (decreasing the intake of glucose – carbohydrates, essentially to 50g or less per day- but check with your DOC for best methods) it is (in most cases) reversible.

Having Acanthosis Nigricans is a sign that down the road a patient will be hit with full-onset Type II Diabetes. Fortunately, it reveals itself as one of the last warning signs that might allow just enough time fore such a lifestyle change to implement and actually work.

If you think you have Acanthosis Nigricans (GOOGLE more pictures to compare rashes) schedule an appointment with your Family Doc and get a referral to an Endocrinologist immediately. Don’t wait – avoid the effects of Type II that will cause neuropathy in the foot for life (one of the many debilitating symptoms).


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