Chromium is one of the trace elements needed by your body in order to survive; it actually helps to make insulin work better. It has more than forty years of research behind it, much of it centered around its effect on insulin. If cells do not respond to insulin, the principal requirement of insulin resistance and the cause of most cases of type 2 diabetes, nutrients are unable to enter your cells. A trace element is different from a mineral in the amount that is required for your good health. With trace elements such as:
- chromium, cobalt, molybdenum
- iodine, vanadium and selenium
the amount needed each day is measured in micrograms.
With minerals such as:
- calcium, magnesium, boron, manganese, strontium
- phosphorus, zinc, copper and iron
your body needs these minerals in amounts measured in milligrams.
It is really important to understand how these dosages compare to each other. 1000 mcg is equal to 1 mg. Therefore, 10000 mcg is equal to 10 mg and 100,000 mcg is equal to 100 mg. The 1200 mg calcium that women need daily is many times greater than the 120 mcg chromium required. In fact, the amount of calcium required is 1000 times greater than the amount needed for chromium.
Because chromium is essential for health, once its levels are low deficiency symptoms are felt. The top two deficiency symptoms for chromium deficiency are:
- decreased glucose tolerance and
- impaired glucose metabolism
two symptoms that are directly related to diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, a chromium deficiency can make it really difficult for you to manage your blood sugar levels. You will find you follow all the rules for your diet, carefully watch your carbohydrate count and take your prescribed medication but your Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels will show you do not have the blood sugar control needed to reverse type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of chromium deficiency include:
- a weakened immune system
- increased susceptibility towards bladder infections
- bone loss in your spine
- inflammation in your joints
- elevated total cholesterol levels
- nerve degeneration making you more susceptible to neuropathy
As you can see, chromium deficiency is no picnic and is common, probably because high consumption of sugar and refined grains depletes chromium reserves. Also chromium concentration in the body’s tissues lessens with age. Unfortunately the symptoms can lead your medical practitioner to prescribe additional drugs for high cholesterol, NSAIDS, antibiotics or nerve pain medications such as neurontin.
A hair analysis will show a qualified health practitioner all the minerals and trace elements that are low in your body, including chromium. By using this method all your nutrient imbalances can be corrected without compromising your health. Alternatively, your medical practitioner could order a blood test to look at your chromium levels.