Many know routine blood-work includes basics such as a check for anemia, and screening thyroid, cholesterol and blood sugar. The blood sugar check is really important to ensure you aren't on your way to diabetes and may help explain why you are gaining weight around the middle.
But what about your insulin?
Glucose (blood sugar) and insulin go together like a lock and key...in a swanky hotel. Picture a big hotel. You are the glucose, the hallways are your arteries and each room is a cell in your body.
Now imagine you want to get into your room - but how do you do it? Well, when you show up and check-in, the hotel clerk hands you a key card. You walk down the hallway to your room, swipe the key card, the box blinks 'green' and you walk in.
Essentially, that's how your body works too. You eat something that is sugar or breaks down to sugar and as a response, your body makes insulin to swipe the door handle and allow your sugar to enter the cell and be used as energy.
Now imagine you have a busted key card. You go up to your room and swipe and swipe and swipe, yet nothing happens. You think it must be a bum key or you are at the wrong room. Either way, you are standing in the hallway (your arteries) for a long time.
Because your body is so smart and uses sugar for energy, your brain does a quick scan of the body looking to see if it has enough energy for all of its cells. Seeing that there is a lot of sugar in the hallway but nothing in the hotel rooms (cells), your body does a couple of things. First, it makes you crave sugar and second, it produces MORE key cards (insulin) in hopes that one of them will open the door.
Now you have an over abundance of key cards (insulin). This isn't healthy so your body does a sweep and puts the insulin into your liver for processing and storage. Your liver then processes it into very unhealthy abdominal fat.
This very basic analogy is to demonstrate why it's important that your doctor run both your glucose (sugar) and insulin when you are concerned with weight loss, energy, acne, abnormal hair growth in places you don't want it, and more.