It turns out that it was due to a build-up of INSULIN in my blood. I was pre-diabetic! My body was showing insulin resistance on my skin! The thought of me having to poke myself with needles and all the crap the comes with having Diabetes scares the shit out of me. It just seems like such a horrible life-long cross to bear. I know that people have turned it around and quite frankly, I may be one of them!
Now, I have never had my blood sugar tested (that I know of) and this is horrible! Looking back, I think I've just been in complete denial because I didn't want to find out I was a diabetic... or any bad news, really. Ignorance is bliss, right?
It actually caused me a lot of grief. Everybody knows how sensitive teenage girls can be about their perceived imperfections. I would really hate wearing my hair in a pony tail (and I had to sometimes) because I hated the thought of anybody seeing my seemingly "dirty" neck. In fact, when I worked in food service and had to wear my hair back, I always wore a collared shirt to make sure that I would not have a problem with anybody seeing my dirt ring.
Tonight, I have my hair in a high ponytail, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
"Where is my dirt ring?" I thought.... I leaned in closer in the mirror, inspecting my neck. It's virtually gone! It was very gray/dark and now it's so light that I really can't see it at all. My mom told me a few weeks ago that she didn't see it, but I thought she was just being nice and I could kind of still see it.
Do I care what my neck looks like? Maybe a little bit, but more importantly, I am no longer on the way to becoming Diabetic!!! That is the biggest non-scale victory that I could ever hope for. If you are plagued by this "dirt ring," being on a very low-carb diet has proven to cure acanthosis nigricans for me! It really makes sense when you think of it on a solely biological level. I LOVE what this low carb diet (and by diet I mean what I eat on a daily basis; not fad-diet) is doing to apparently regulate my blood sugar.
I know this is a crazy question, but can I test my own blood sugar without going to the doctor? I really have a phobia of doctors (which I must get over), but really, where could I better spend my money now that I'm thinking about it? Yeah, I will find a good primary care physician that I'm comfortable with and get all my labs done.
This is what I found about it over at AOL Health:
"Experts suggest that AN may be a skin manifestation of insulin resistance, which is a condition characterized by impaired biological responses to insulin. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, regulates blood glucose levels by promoting the movement of glucose into cells for energy production or into the liver and fat cells for energy storage. (Glucose is a simple sugar that is the body's primary source of energy for cell metabolism.) Some clinicians suggest that insulin resistance causes a build-up of the hormone in the blood, and then it finds its way into skin cells. Insulin resistance may be associated with various disorders, including obesity and non-insulin-dependent (type II) diabetes mellitus. In individuals with type II diabetes mellitus, the pancreas produces insulin but the body becomes resistant to its effects, leading to insufficient absorption of glucose and abnormally increased glucose levels in the blood (hyperglycemia) and urine. As a result, there may be a gradual onset of certain symptoms, including excessive urination (polyuria) and increased thirst (polydipsia), and the development of particular complications without appropriate treatment."
Full article here.
I just want to take this sappy moment and thank all my blogging friends for essentially saving my life! No, I take that back. I'm saving my own life... with your support! So thanks for reading and being on this wild ride with me... ;)