Insulin Resistance And Pcos: What Is The Connection
Although there isnt an exact cause of PCOS, different studies have shown that obesity plays a significant role in this syndromes onset. Substantial weight gain can worsen the signs of PCOS, and provoke other severe health problems leading to diabetes and insulin resistance.Another common factor that may cause PCOS is insulin. When your cells become resistant to insulin due to obesity or other reasons, your blood sugar levels will rise, disrupting the bodys vital functions. Excess insulin may increase the production of androgen, a male hormone, causing difficulties with ovulation and worsening the PCOS-related symptoms.It is vital to start your insulin resistance treatment on time to prevent PCOS and its consequences. High insulin levels may affect your general health and the ability to perform your everyday activities. In the following section, youll learn more about natural remedies for insulin resistance and get a valuable piece of advice to help you overcome the difficulties caused by this syndrome.
Cut Out Vegetable Antinutrients
Vegetables arent here for human survival. They dont want to be eaten.
Turns out those innocent and healthy veggies are quite devious after all. To prevent predators from eating them, vegetables all have chemical weapons and booby traps set.
Theyre all like Kevin McAllister in Home Alone. Innocent looking, but destructive. Dont judge a book by its cover
One of those groups of anti nutrients are lectins. Theyre found primarily in grains, nuts, legumes and nightshades.
And they wreak absolute havoc on your body, especially in high doses. This study found that when lectins they reach the bloodstream, they can bind insulin receptors and thereby interfere with insulins action
Just one more reason to cut out vegetables and eat meat like were made to.
Avoid Stress Or Learn How To Get Some Relief From It
Cortisol levels that are persistently high, on the other hand, might cause blood sugar abnormalities, weight gain, and diabetes. Walking in nature, practicing yoga and meditation, or reading a good book are all good methods to relieve stress.
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Ways To Decrease Insulin Resistance Naturally
Youve been told you have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance affects at least 60% of the adult population and is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. So what can YOU do about it? Youve probably read on the internet that you need to cut out carbs or maybe even go keto gasp! But whats left to eat? Almost all foods contain carbs including bread, pasta, rice, starchy veggies, fruit, yogurt, and of course, sweets and most snack foods. The good news is that you dont have to cut out all carbs. And there are many other things you can do to decrease insulin resistance naturally Read on to get my 22 tips. This is part 3 of my series on Insulin Resistance.
What Can You Do About It
While it may not be possible to defeat insulin resistance entirely, there are ways to make the bodys cells more receptive to insulin.
- Getting active is probably the best way to combat insulin resistance. Exercise can dramatically reduce insulin resistance in both the short and long terms. In addition to making the body more sensitive to insulin and building muscle that can absorb blood glucose, physical activity opens up an alternate gateway for glucose to enter muscle cells without insulin acting as an intermediary, reducing the cells’ dependence on insulin for energy. While this doesn’t reduce insulin resistance itself, it can help people who are insulin resistant improve their blood sugar control.
- Weight loss can also cut down on insulin resistance. No single diet has been proved to be the most effective. Some evidence suggests, though, that eating foods that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates can worsen insulin resistance. Research has also shown that people who undergo weight-loss surgery are likely to become significantly more sensitive to insulin.
- No medications are specifically approved to treat insulin resistance. Yet diabetes medications like metformin and thiazolidinediones, or TZDs, are insulin sensitizers that lower blood sugar, at least in part, by reducing insulin resistance.
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Creating A Lifestyle That Supports Healthy Insulin Sensitivity
If you have any of the symptoms listed above or are curious about being tested for insulin resistance, please reach out to us at TCIM to schedule an appointment. Our Functional Medicine Physicians and Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioners would be happy to help you manage and reduce insulin resistance, and lower your risk of developing diabetes. We are here to talk through the diets, supplements, and lifestyle changes available and help you create and incorporate a plan that brings you to ideal health. It is our joy to assist you in creating sustainable lifestyle changes that will bring you real health.
Jonathan Vellinga, M.D.is an Internal Medicine practitioner with a broad interest in medicine. He graduated Summa cum laude from Weber State University in Clinical Laboratory Sciences and completed his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Upon graduation from medical school, he completed his Internal Medicine residency at the University of Michigan. Dr. Vellinga is board-certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine and a member of the Institute for Functional Medicine.
Tip For Reversal #: Prioritize A Good Nights Sleep
Sleep affects so many aspects of our health that its no surprise it has an impact on insulin resistance. Research shows that inadequate sleep is linked with elevated blood sugars, insulin levels, A1C, and insulin resistance. Also, in those with type 2 diabetes, poor sleep can contribute to worsened blood sugar control. To counteract these effects, aim for seven to eight hours of sleep daily.
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More Ways To Naturally Increase Insulin Sensitivity
You have opportunities all day to increase insulin sensitivity naturally, and side effects can include feeling better in so many ways.
- Get enough sleep. A single night of sleep deprivation reduces insulin sensitivity. Being chronically low on sleep, as so many adults are, can harm your health even if you are doing everything else right. You can use Lark to get a handle on your sleep patterns and work on sleeping better if you are not yet getting enough.
- Manage stress better. Some stress is good, and too much stress is unfortunately common. The effects are not just in your head being overly stressed alters your hormones and increases insulin resistance. Learning how to manage stress can help normalize your metabolism. Meditation, exercise, and deep breathing are some ways to manage stress. Lark can help you recognize when you are feeling stressed and remind you of ways to try to handle it through digital therapeutics.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is a fundamental component of any insulin-based condition. Too much glucose in your body often increases the demand for insulin. This causes the pancreas to overproduce insulin and thus promotes insensitivity to the hormone.
However, if you dont have as much glucose in your body, you wouldnt need too much insulin and resistance may not develop.
Sugar is one of the major sources of glucose. To reverse insulin resistance, reduce your consumption of table sugar and added sugar. The latter could be in sweet foods like cookies but it is also in many processed foods. Refined drinks, processed snacks, ketchup, yogurt, or baked beans all have hidden sugar.
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Eat Protein And Highly Nutritious Meat
What are you supposed to eat now that Ive attacked your sacred vegetables and carbohydrates?
The carnivore diet is the best way to reverse insulin resistance. Why? It maximizes nutrient density and cuts out all of the crap that causes insulin resistance in the first place.
To reverse insulin resistance and achieve optimal health, you need to center your diet around highly nutritious meat and animal products.
Animal products have the most nutrient density and in the context of a low carbohydrate diet, do not raise insulin.
Humans are carnivores. Were made to eat meat. Thats why our body responds so well to it. And why we develop chronic disease when we avoid it in favor of all the nutritional sludge weve invented in the last 10k years.
This allows you to maximize nutrient intake, while minimizing energy. Remember, insulin resistance is an energy overload problem. So you want to give your cells a chance to expend energy, rather than take it in.
This study showed that patients on a high protein diet 30% of their calories completely reversed type 2 diabetes . If this were a drug, doctors would be raving about it
But its the only thing more magical. And that is red meat.
Protein also improves satiation and will reduce hunger. And protein tends to be correlated with low insulin foods.
Another study below showed that a high fat diet will reverse ALL coronary heart disease risk factors including insulin vs a low fat diet.
What To Remember In Doing The Leptin Diet
There are five major rules for this diet:
The leptin diet also highlights the need for fresh and organic foods with 30% carbs, 30% healthy fat, and 40% protein. It also allows you to consume the following food options:
- Cottage cheese
Its also important to avoid the following foods that contribute to weight gain:
- Soy products
- Diet and regular soda
- Artificial sweeteners
Like other types of diets, the leptin diet has its own set of restrictions on your food choices. If you want to follow this meal plan, its best to consult with your doctor first.
Getting diagnosed with leptin resistance can be overcome with a long-term health plan. If you initially lose weight, it does not mean your brain will reverse leptin resistance.
If you keep to your leptin medication, diet, exercise, and resolve, you will successfully manage this health condition while maintaining a healthy weight.
What other tips to reverse leptin resistance can you share with us? Leave them in the comments section below!
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Understanding The Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index is an index that ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by high, medium, and low glucose levels. Understanding where foods fall on the GI scale can help you make smart eating and food purchasing decisions to help support insulin resistance.
Youll want to eat foods that generally fall low on the GI scale. Low GI foods include whole grains, sweet potatoes, and non-starchy veggies. If youre looking for sweet stuff, youll want to try low-GI, non-nutritive sweeteners, such as monk fruit and Stevia. A wise move: Download a GI app, such as Glycemic Index Load, for your phone to help you make healthy grocery-shopping decisions.
Insulin Sensitivity: What It Is And 4 Ways To Improve It Without Medication
Insulin is an essential hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels. It effectively helps convert sugar from your blood into your cells as stored glucose . When the bodys cells are insulin resistant, they are unable to use insulin efficiently. This in turn results in elevated blood sugar, above a healthy target range . If the pancreas detects elevated blood sugar, this triggers the production of more insulin to overcome the resistance and lower blood sugar back to an in range level.
Over time, the process of over producing insulin can deplete the pancreas of insulin-producing cells, which is common in people living with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, prolonged and unregulated high blood sugar can damage nerves and organs. Individuals are most at risk of insulin resistance if they already have prediabetes, or a family history of type 2 diabetes, as well as if you are overweight or obese. If you have insulin resistance, you have low insulin sensitivity. Conversely, if you are sensitive to insulin, you have low insulin resistance.
Looking to enhance your insulin sensitivity is a smart and healthy decision regardless of whether you are already living with diabetes, or not. Being insulin sensitive ensures that your body properly utilizes food and converts the correct amount of glucose for energy into the bloodstream in the most efficient way possible.
How do I improve insulin sensitivity ?
1. Eat the right foods
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Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Diluted apple cider vinegar has a history as a weight loss drink. And according to studies, it still helps you lose weight today .
Although it is not a panacea, apple cider vinegar helps to increase insulin sensitivity naturally. Because similar to dietary fiber, apple cider vinegar has protective effects on carbohydrate absorption.
For this reason, vinegar is added to sushi rice, potato chips, or French fries.
Likewise, adding apple cider vinegar to white rice reduces the relative blood sugar spike by almost 40 percent and thus helps with weight loss .
If you take apple vinegar shortly before a meal, its particularly useful .
Correspondingly, a study on apple vinegar for weight loss showed that two teaspoons of vinegar lower the resulting blood sugar and insulin levels by 34 percent.
Moreover, apple cider vinegar also helps to lower blood pressure .
But even more interesting, apple cider vinegar increases insulin sensitivity by helping to reduce critical visceral fat inside the liver .
More than two teaspoons of ACV arent a problem either since acetic acid increases satiety and lowers calorie intake throughout the day .
Therefore, consume at least one tablespoon or three teaspoons of apple vinegar a day to reap the health benefits.
But its entirely up to you whether you consume it as a shot, diluted with water, or as natural dressing.
And read the label!
Apple cider vinegar should be produced naturally and not exceed 1.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
Eat More Soluble Fiber
Fiber can be divided into two broad categories soluble and insoluble.
Insoluble fiber mostly acts as a bulking agent to help stool move through the bowels.
Meanwhile, soluble fiber is responsible for many of fibers associated benefits, like lowering cholesterol and reducing appetite (
For example, a study involving 264 women found that those who ate more soluble fiber had significantly lower levels of insulin resistance .
Soluble fiber also helps feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, which have been linked to increased insulin sensitivity (
Foods that are rich in soluble fiber include legumes, oatmeal, flaxseeds, vegetables like Brussels sprouts and fruits like oranges.
Eating soluble fiber has many health benefits and has been linked to increased insulin sensitivity. It also helps feed the friendly bacteria in your gut.
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Reverse Insulin Resistance In 4 Easy Steps
Insulin resistance is the condition of having chronically elevated levels of insulin. Its also called hyperinsulinemia, metabolic syndrome, or pre-diabetes and is a major player in many womens health conditions including PCOS, acne, fibroids, perimenopause, and heavy periods.
Insulin resistance also causes abdominal weight gain and is a risk factor for diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, dementia, and heart disease.
Do you have insulin resistance? Its time to find out.
The Connection Between Insulin Resistance And Leptin Resistance
Insulin resistance and leptin resistance are closely related. When insulin resistance leads to an elevated insulin level, your brain finds it difficult to estimate leptin levels, leading to leptin resistance.
When there are improvements in leptin sensitivity, you may experience lower insulin levels, faster metabolism, good control over appetite and cravings, and better energy levels.
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Substitute Saturated Fat With Unsaturated Fat
Unsaturated fats are good fats. They are found in oils, seeds, and nuts. Typical sources include avocado, walnuts, and flax seeds.
You need unsaturated fat because they help to control glucose levels in the body, according to science. When glucose is regulated, then there wont be a continual need for insulin.
Fill Your Kitchen With The Following Foods:
- Omega-3 fatty fish
- Sweet potatoes
- Water, tea, and other unsweetened beverages
When you eat matters as much as what you eat, Levi adds. Especially avoid any carbohydrates in the morning and early afternoon as these are the times of day when your cortisol is highest and can cause insulin to spike.
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Add A Pinch Of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a tasty spice thats packed with plant compounds.
Its also known for its ability to reduce blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity .
For example, one meta-analysis found consuming 1/23 teaspoons of cinnamon daily significantly reduced both short- and long-term blood sugar levels .
Studies suggest that cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity by helping receptors for glucose on muscle cells become more available and efficient at transporting sugar into the cells (
It also appears to delay the stomach from releasing food into the intestines, giving the body more time to absorb sugar into the bloodstream .
One study found that consuming apple cider vinegar increased insulin sensitivity by 34% during a high carb meal in people who were insulin resistant and by 19% in people with type 2 diabetes .
Vinegar could help increase insulin sensitivity by improving insulins effectiveness and delaying food release from the stomach to give insulin more time to act.
Get The Right Amount And Type Of Protein
Consuming adequate protein at meals can be beneficial for controlling your weight and insulin levels.
In a small study from 2015, premenopausal individuals living with obesity had lower insulin levels after consuming a high protein breakfast compared with a low protein breakfast. They also felt fuller and ate fewer calories at lunch .
However, protein stimulates insulin production so that your muscles can take up amino acids. Therefore, eating very high amounts over a prolonged period may lead to higher insulin levels in otherwise healthy individuals .
A larger study from 2018 sheds some light on these diverging results: When it comes to protein, dietary patterns are important.
For instance, researchers found that individuals who ate a majority of plant proteins were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, while individuals who ate a lot of protein in the form of red meat had a greater likelihood of living with or developing type 2 diabetes .
So while protein is important, eating a variety of protein that isnt overly processed and is nutrient-dense is even more important.
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