Insulin Resistance – Do you have it?

Do you have weight gain around the middle, tiredness, irritability, insomnia, poor mental function and inability to lose weight? If you answered yes, your lifestyle needs an overhaul as you are insulin resistant.
Insulin regulates blood sugar levels within the body. We associate insulin with diabetes – but there is a more insidious condition that happens when our blood sugar levels are “considered” normal, but our body quits responding normally to the insulin we produce – ie. Insulin resistance – which is a pre-diabetic condition affecting way too many of us.
Normally, insulin helps the body use blood sugar. When we consume too many foods that convert easily into sugar such as refined carbohydrates, our body has to make lots of insulin to utilize that sugar. Over time, our bodies quit responding to the insulin, we have to make more and more to get our cells to respond, and we end up with excess insulin in our blood.
Excess insulin is very dangerous to our health, particularly our cardiovascular health. Too much insulin increases salt and water retention leading to high blood pressure and weight gain. Insulin aggravates high blood pressure by making the arteries more susceptible to the effects of adrenaline (stress). High insulin levels affect neurotransmitters resulting in sleep disorders. Excess insulin is directly involved with cardiovascular health in that it creates atherosclerotic plaque. Insulin is the primary contributor to both high levels of triglycerides and low levels of good HDL cholesterol. Insulin also provokes the liver into producing more LDL cholesterol.
Even if we do not develop diabetes, insulin resistance is extremely harmful. When our bodies resist insulin, our blood sugar tends to be too high. High blood sugar damages our kidneys, eyes, nerves and skin. Note that your blood sugar may be within “normal” ranges – these need to be redefined for better health – I think fasting glucose over 90 is bad. Consider that all disease conditions will get worse in a high sugar / high insulin body.
If you have any of the symptoms discussed above, you will not get well until you address the underlying cause. There really are no pills that will get you well – it is all in diet and exercise
Again – no pills will get you well, but there are some supplements that will help balance the body so that diet and exercise changes are easier and work faster. Glucobalance is a great multivitamin that helps lower blood sugar and increase the body’s responsiveness to insulin. Other supplements that help lower blood sugar are fiber, cinnamon, gymnema, and juniper berries. Certain fats lower insulin resistance. These include omega 3 oils DHA and EPA, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Minerals that decrease insulin resistance are chromium, magnesium, potassium, vanadium and zinc. Other supplements that improve insulin metabolism include l-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, B vitamins biotin and inositol, and vitamins A, D and E. .
Regular exercise greatly benefits insulin metabolism. Both aerobic (walking) and isotonic (weight lifting) exercises will reduce insulin resistance.
Hopefully, after reading this, you will understand the connection between a diet high in refined carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease. If you are at risk, please take some action to bring your health into balance.

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About NaturalCowgirl

Margaret Durst has been involved with natural health for over 20 years. In her early 30s, she was faced with a medical diagnosis that recommended a lifetime of prescription drugs. In her heart, she knew that there must be an alternative way to healing and health and thus began her journey into natural health. Along the way, Margaret has trained with many different natural health practitioners and earned a degree in Naturopathy. She established her nutritional consulting practice and opened The Green House in 2003 to enable her mission of helping people navigate the natural health maze. People have praised Margaret for intuitive ability to help people address their health issues and goals with diet and lifestyle choices and successfully take responsibility for their health and wellbeing. This comes from Margaret’s deeply held beliefs in the body’s innate ability to heal and in the tools nature provides for health and healing.
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3 Responses to Insulin Resistance – Do you have it?

  1. Devon says:

    I’m 28, within my recommended weight range for my height, and try to eat healthy but the one place I seem to carry my weight is in my belly. Should I be concerned with that, even though I’m within the recommended weight range? I do find myself being tired during the day and a bit restless at night.

    Thanks-

    Devon

    • Weight around the middle is a sign of various things these days. At 28, I recommend having regular blood work so you know where your fasting glucose and your Hemoglobin A1c are. These are indicators of insulin resistance. Consider your lifestyle – do you exercise? Also read labels, and eliminate high fructose corn syrup from your diet.

  2. dean says:

    excellent and informative article.

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