By Monica Montag, MA, HHP, CN
Insulin resistance is caused by the body’s decreased ability to use glucose. What happens is the membrane of our body’s cells actually becomes impermeable. This change occurs when cells that are continually flooded by blood sugar become unresponsive to insulin and cause insulin levels to rise. Over time, the pancreas senses that there is too much insulin and reduces production. If this continues, insulin production is reduced, leading to the familiar form of type II or insulin dependent diabetes.
What causes these high elevations of blood sugar? The obvious cause is eating refined carbs (which includes alcohol, high fructose corn syrup, white flour and white sugar products). But did you know that stress also raises blood sugar levels? It is a normal part of the stress response. Accordingly, the combination of poor diet and ongoing stress sets people up for Insulin Resistance and Type II Diabetes.
What are the symptoms? For years, often a decade or more, the condition develops in silence. Then we may notice feeling tired after eating, more belly fat, insomnia relieved by a snack, adult acne, and facial hair in women. Bloodwork comes back with elevated triglycerides, higher fasting blood sugar, and perhaps higher than normal blood pressure. These symptoms are a sure sign that the metabolic changes associated with insulin resistance are developing.
The ideal time to change your diet and add supplements that resensitize the cell walls to insulin and normalize blood sugar is obviously before symptoms occur. However, even if you are already struggling with Insulin Resistance, it is most definitely a condition that can be reversed through nutrition, stress reduction, and exercise.
The nutritional approach includes a low carb diet with lots of healthy fat, protein and targeted supplements. Stress reduction includes the use of stress hormone calming botanicals and behavior modification such as meditation, yoga, massage, and others. Specific forms of exercise not only alleviate stress hormones, but also use up excess blood sugar. The combination is a powerful antidote to becoming diabetic.
Even if you are already diabetic, you may also be insulin resistant as well. You would know this if you continued to need more insulin and blood sugars remain high or if you were putting on belly fat quickly and blood sugars ran high.
Let BeWell Associates and One on One Personal Trainers help you get healthy now!