The Problem With Too Much Insulin
Low insulin levels are common for people with type I diabetes, whereas high insulin levels are a sign of insulin resistance, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance increases your risk of prediabetes which is a precursor of type 2 diabetes .
Too much insulin in your body promotes inflammation and weight gain. Chronic inflammation is the root cause of most disease and chronic pain symptoms that people in our modern society are suffering from. Insulin resistance has been linked to obesity, high levels of fat in the blood, and hypertension.
It can increase the risk of heart disease and cognitive decline. If you have insulin resistance, your pancreas tries to produce more insulin to create balance. But eventually, it becomes too much for your pancreas and it wears out. When your pancreas cannot make enough insulin anymore to achieve healthy blood glucose levels, your body develops high blood glucose levels, prediabetes, and without appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes, eventually, type 2 diabetes .
What Is Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance isnt a disease; its more a state of being in which insulin and glucose no longer maintain that working relationship I described above.
How does this happen? Well, lets go back to the part where I was talking about the overconsumption of foods that break down into glucose. When you frequently eat too much sugar or too many carbs for your;unique body to handle, your body in a sense becomes desensitized to it. Think Charlie Brown and the teacher he always used to drown out. Thats more or less whats happening here.
The cycle that creates insulin resistances aka The Dopamine Trap goes something like this:
Eat too Much Sugar/Carbs; leads to ;Chronically elevated levels of insulin; leads to ;Elevated levels of serotonin; leads to ;Elevated levels of dopamine;; leads to ;Sugar cravings + carb cravings + wild blood sugar highs and lows
You repeat this cycle over and over and over again.
But it doesnt end there. As you continually seek to fulfill those cravings and receive peaks of temporary pleasure, the amount of sugar and carbohydrate you need in order to fulfill those demands increases.
Your body will eventually reach its threshold for dealing with all of this rubbish, which is the point at which insulin resists working as its normally supposed to.;I know its called insulin resistance, but I almost wish it was called insulin confusion because thats really what it is.
As Dr. Sara Gottfried puts it in her book, The Hormone Reset Diet,
Tip For Reversal #9: Incorporate More Protein Into Your Diet
You might not be surprised to hear that eating more protein can help reverse insulin resistance.
A 2020 analysis of multiple studies found that a high-protein diet can lower insulin resistance levels in people with type 2 diabetes, as well as lowering triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels. Incorporating more protein with your meals can help keep your blood sugars stable, avoiding any blood sugar spikes that can contribute to insulin resistance. If youre looking for some inspiration for a healthy protein-rich meal, dont hesitate to try this chicken chimichurri or salmon en papillote with roasted fennel.
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Help With An Insulin Resistance Diet
Following an insulin resistance diet can be challenging, but Lark DPP can help. Larks personalized coaching can help you set and work towards goals in weight loss and healthy eating as you make small changes to establish long-term habits. Features include food logging, instant feedback, 24/7 unlimited accessibility, and tips for achieving your goals.
What Are The Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance And Prediabetes
Insulin resistance and prediabetes usually have no symptoms. Some people with prediabetes may have darkened skin in the armpit or on the back and sides of the neck, a condition called acanthosis nigricans. Many small skin growths called skin tags often appear in these same areas.
Even though blood glucose levels are not high enough to cause symptoms for most people, a few research studies have shown that some people with prediabetes may already have early changes in their eyes that can lead to retinopathy. This problem more often occurs in people with diabetes.
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What The Heck Is Insulin Resistance Anyway
When you eat food, your body turns it into energyand its favorite quick energy source is glucose, or sugar.
Then, your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin and sends that out to carry the glucose from your bloodstream and into your cells.
However, sometimes your cells become less receptive to insulin and stop absorbing the sugars.
This can happen for a number of reasons , but the end result is the same:
- your pancreas has to work overtime to produce more insulin,
- your cells become increasingly resistant to absorbing it,
- your body starts storing the excess glucose as fat in odd places,
- and you end up overweight, exhausted, and hopeless.
If you dont change your diet and lifestyle at this point, you will eventually develop prediabetes, and then type 2 diabetes.
But even before you reach prediabetes, insulin resistance increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, age-related diseases like dementia, and of course, weight gain and obesity.
In the spirit of silver linings, your stubborn fat that you just cant get rid of might actually save your healthif you can make the necessary changes now before things go too far south.
And if youve already developed type 2 diabetes, there is still hope! Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be reversed with proper diet and exercise.
So no matter what stage of insulin resistance youre at, it following the insulin resistance diet can make your body receptive to insulin again, and help you finally lose weight.
Can Insulin Resistance Be Reversed
In times where countless ads promise to lose weight fast, we often forget that weight gain didnt happen overnight.
With this in mind, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance as its driving force are developing step-by-step, pound-by-pound over years.
Therefore, that you cant reverse insulin resistance in a week should be common sense, but isnt.
While conventional caloric reduction suggest that time doesnt matter, insulin resistance is very time-dependent .
Moreover, there is evidence that reversing insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome can take just as long as their development took.
Therefore, French scientists observed different subjects from non-obese over recently obese to long-term obese.
And they found that insulin sensitivity decreases with duration of obesity and age. As a result, time is a significant factor for insulin resistance.
While non-obese subjects didnt show high levels of insulin, recently and long-term obese participants exhibited high insulin levels .
In other words, hyperinsulinemia comes first and the severity of insulin resistance develops over time. But everything starts with persistently high insulin level.
In other words, the fat are getting fatter more easily and losing weight harder.
So, if you ask yourself: Can I reverse insulin resistance?
The answer is yes. But it may take a severe amount of time as it did for your cells to exhibit insulin resistance.
Moreover, a dietary change might not yield immediate results. Why?
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Final Thoughts On Insulin Resistance
An increasing number of people are dealing with insulin resistance every day. Insulin is important for your cells to absorb and use glucose for energy. Insulin resistance happens if you body is unable to respond to and use insulin. Insulin resistance can lead to prediabetes, diabetes, inflammation, and many serious health problems.
The good news is that through appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes, you can reverse insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity naturally. By following the 10 ways to stabilize your blood sugar, including following an anti-inflammatory ketogenic diet, reducing stress, improving sleep, exercising regularly, practicing intermittent fasting, eliminating food sensitivities, optimizing your vitamin D levels, improving your gut health, using anti-inflammatory nutrients, and taking probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and multivitamins, you can effectively stabilize your blood sugar.
If you want to work with a functional health coach, I recommend;this article;with tips on how to find a great coach.; We do offer;long-distance;functional health coaching programs. For further support with your health goals, just reach out and our fantastic coaches are here to support your journey.
Fasting And Insulin Resistance
Fasting is an all-natural way to get rid of the excess sugar in our bodies.
And one of the most remarkable diabetes specialists, Dr. Elliot Joslin, already knew this in 1916.
The records of the effect of fasting against insulin resistance in modern times go back as far as 1969 .
Additionally, recent studies suggest that intermittent fasting is a safe treatment for insulin resistance and more effective in burning off visceral fat than a low-carb diet .
In short, fasting helps to reverse insulin resistance in the liver.
Exercise may support insulin sensitivity, but its limited to skeletal muscle, while intermittent fasting addresses the underlying issue, fatty liver.
To enable an effective burning of the hepatic fat in the liver by fasting, an LCHF or keto diet lays the foundation. Given that, these diet interventions prevent excessive production of insulin.
Moreover, prolonged and intermittent fasting for weight loss and cure of ailments has been a health tool for centuries. Religions incorporate fasting customs for a reason. But, sadly, we forgot about these traditions.
Fasting is the most effective strategy to consistently lower insulin levels.
This effect is vital for people suffering from hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance because it helps them to burn off excess glucose and finally tap into body fat for energy.
Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance
You can’t tell that you have insulin resistance by how you feel. You’ll need to get a blood test that checks your blood sugar levels.
Likewise, you wonât know if you have most of the other conditions that are part of insulin resistance syndrome without seeing your doctor.
Some signs of insulin resistance include:
- A waistline over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women
Optimize Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin you need for your overall health, including for stabilizing your blood sugar. While the sun is your best source of vitamin D, if you are living in a cooler area of the country with less sunlight or spending a lot of time indoors, unfortunately, you are not meeting your needs from the sun alone. While certain foods, such as fatty fish, beef liver, eggs, and mushrooms are rich in vitamin D, due to our depleted soils, they are also not enough to meet your daily requirements.
Supplementation with vitamin D is necessary and beneficial for most people, especially if you have insulin resistance.;Pairing vitamin D3 with vitamin K2 helps improve calcium absorption and inflammation control.; I recommend taking a vitamin D3 supplement with at least 3,000-5,000 IUs of vitamin D3 and at least 90 mcg of vitamin K2.
Typically taking 1,000 IU per 25 lbs. of body weight will help you get your levels into a healthy range.; You want to test your vitamin D levels at least 1-2 times each year and get your levels between 50-100 ng/ml.; It has been hypothesized that a therapeutic level for diseases like pancreatic cancer is going to be between 70-100 ng/ml.
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Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
The FPG test measures your fasting morning blood sugar levels after at least 8 hours of avoiding any food or drink. Doctors advise skipping breakfast before the mid-morning blood test is performed. .
- Normal FPG: Under 100 mg/dl is considered normal, though functional and holistic medicine doctors prefer to see this number under 90 mg/dl.
- Prediabetes: Between 100 and 126 mg/dl, is considered prediabetic.
- Diabetes: Over 126 mg/dl, diabetes is diagnosed.
Intermittent Fasting Reverses Insulin Resistance Naturally
Do you remember the body set weight? Hormones set the weight thermostat in your brain. And your body targets to adjust to it in the long run. Therefore, it suppresses the resting metabolic rate.
For this reason, people are regaining weight after the eat less, move more regime from The Biggest Loser to even bigger gainer. We better know this effect as yo-yo dieting.
Moreover, the metabolic adaption as the bodys response to chronic calorie restriction doesnt even recover after six years.
And thats what a study involving the participants of the T.V. show The Biggest Loser suggests.
Furthermore, those who lost the most weight during the competition showed a greater persistence of metabolic adaption .
Hence, this compensatory effect of a lower metabolic rate coupled with constant cravings due to small snacks seals the widely proven failure of conventional calorie reduction.
Accordingly, an empirical study from the U.K. showed that 99.5 percent of overweight women and men could not successfully lose weight through calorie restriction .
In contrast to calorie restriction, intermittent fasting changes the hormone balance positively.
Since it is hormones that control our body, intermittent fasting is the most effective natural remedy for insulin resistance.
Due to its fighting both primary and secondary causes of insulin resistance, fasting is that effective:
- High insulin levels
Hence, intermittent fasting can reverse insulin resistance naturally.
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How To Reverse Insulin Resistance
If you have insulin resistance, you want to become the oppositemore insulin sensitive .
Physical activity makes you more sensitive to insulin, one reason why its a cornerstone of diabetes management . Dont wait until youre diagnosed with diabetes to start moving more. The earlier you take action , the better off youll be.
Weight loss is important too, as is avoiding high blood sugar, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep .
These lifestyle changes really work. Talk with your health care provider about how to get started.
How Is Insulin Resistance Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, your personal and family medical history, evaluate your weight, and take your;blood pressure. Diagnosing insulin resistance requires a blood test. This might be done through a small finger prick or by having a small needle inserted into a;vein;to take a sample of blood. You will often be required to fast 8 hours before the test. The blood sample will be sent to a lab for testing. It will test your fasting blood sugar. Anything more than 100 mg/dL is an indication of insulin resistance. Your doctor also may have the lab check your;cholesterol;levels . People with insulin resistance often have high cholesterol.
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends blood glucose screening of all pregnant women for gestational diabetes after the 24th week of pregnancy. Also, the AAFP recommends blood glucose screening for adults age 40 to 70 years who are overweight or obese and may be at risk of heart disease.
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What Is Insulin Resistance And How Can You Reverse It
Insulin resistance is a term that describes what happens when your body “stops listening” to insulin, so you create more and more of it, and the ugly cycle continues, explains Dr. Cucuzzella, MD, author of the book;Low-Carb on Any Budget. Insulin resistanceand excess belly fatstarts because your blood, all five liters of it, can only tolerate a finite amount of sugar in it, specifically the equivalent of a teaspoon or110 milligrams per deciliter, says Dr. Cucuzzella, who is a Family Medicine professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine.
When you eat more sugar or simple carbs than;your body can use, your insulin response goes up, to signal to the body to store the extra as fat. “Insulin knocks on the door” to tell your body that blood glucose needs to be delivered to the cells,;first;to the liver, muscles, and other cells,;to be used for fuel, but then to your fat cells, where it can be store till later.”
Things go awry when you eat more sugar than you can use, he explains. The average American meal has about 60 to 75 grams of carbohydrates in it. On average Americans eat about;250 to 300; grams of carbs a day, which is about ten;times what your body can useunless you’re training like an Olympic athlete.
What Are Complications Of Insulin Resistance
Complications associated with insulin resistance are prediabetes and type 2 diabetes which is more common in overweight individuals who also have a family history of this condition;
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- certain cancers such as colon cancer.
Insulin-resistant people should consult their healthcare provider to make changes that will improve the bodys response to insulin so it doesn’t get worse over time. Some treatment options may include changing dietary habits by cutting back on carbohydrate intake, losing weight through dieting & exercise when indicated, and taking prescribed medication.
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The Role Of Insulin In The Body
Insulin is a very important hormone in your body. It is made by your pancreas. Insulin allows cells to absorb and use glucose. It also assists the glucose in your blood to enter your cells in your muscles, fat, and liver and to be used for energy.
Your body gets glucose from the food that you eat. In times of need, such as fasting or famine, the liver can also make glucose.
As you eat, your blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, levels increase. Your pancreas releases insulin into your blood to help lower your blood glucose levels and to keep the levels at a balanced, normal range .
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.
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