Many times when I am talking to a practitioner about a patient with PCOS and/or weight issues, I commonly get the response – "His/her blood sugar is normal." However, when we are looking at the health of PCOS and weight-challenged patients, their insulin response is of primary importance, and not just their blood sugar.
When we are fasting, both blood sugar and insulin levels should be at a steady state. Blood sugar is generally between 70-90 mg/dL and insulin levels between 1-8 µIU/mL. When we eat a meal, blood sugar increases. In response, insulin is produced by the pancreatic beta cells to help shepherd glucose into all cells to be used as energy. Within 2 hours, insulin and glucose levels should have essentially returned to normal. Thus, our cells’ exposure to glucose and insulin is only for short blips of time within a 24 hour cycle. Excess glucose that is not used for energy is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle cells to be used for energy between meals, where it is rapidly available for sudden energy needs such as "fight or flight" situations; but once these stores are full, the body stores extra glucose as fat in adipose cells and we gain weight.