Reverse Insulin Resistance In 4 Easy Steps
When it comes to metabolism and weight loss, it’s mostly about insulin. Insulin is also a major factor in many women’s health conditions such as PCOS, acne, progesterone deficiency, and heavy periods. Healthy insulin sensitivity is how you keep inflammation down. It’s how you reduce your long-term risk of diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, dementia, and heart disease. Do you have insulin resistance? It’s time to find out. What is insulin resistance? Under normal conditions, your hormone insulin rises briefly after eating. It stimulates your liver and muscles to take up sugar from your blood and convert it to energy. This causes your blood sugar to fall, and then your insulin to fall. When you are insulin sensitive, both your sugar and insulin are low on a fasting blood test. When you have insulin resistance, your blood sugar may be normal but your insulin will be high. Why? Because your liver and muscles are not responding properly to insulin, so your pancreas makes more. Too much insulin then generates inflammation and pushes calories into fat storage. Too much insulin also impairs ovulation and stimulates your ovaries to make testosterone, which is a major cause of PCOS. Insulin resistance is common and affects at least one in four adults. It is also called pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome. How to diagnose insulin resistance Blood test: The way to diagnose insulin resistance is to test insulin–not blood sugar. Ask your doctor to order “fasting insulin” or a “glucose tolerance test with insulin.” Look at your insulin reading (not just your blood sugar reading). Your fasting insulin should be less than 55 pmol/L (8 mIU/L ). One hour after the sugar challenge, your insulin should be less than 270 pmol/L (45 mIU/L). You can also use a blood test called HO Continue reading >>
What Causes Insulin Resistance, And Can You Reverse It?
You've probably heard of the terms "pre-diabetes" and "insulin resistance", but given no thought as to how they could relate to you. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas, and plays a major role in your metabolism. It assists cells in absorbing glucose into the body to use for energy. When the body becomes insulin resistant, it struggles to absorb glucose from the bloodstream and leads to high blood sugar. Left unchecked, you're at risk of prediabetes – the condition whereby blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes – which will often actually develop into Type 2 diabetes. Few people know they have any kind of insulin resistance and most go undiagnosed because it has no symptoms. The Journal of Diabetes Complications has estimated that 32.2 per cent of people have insulin resistance, while the journal Minerva Endocrinologica found that more than 70 per cent of overweight and obese women will be affected. Often people only find out about glucose absorption problems, however, when it's too late when a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis has been given. READ MORE: * When you're trying to lose weight, do you have to cut out all alcohol? * Which diet is best: Low-fat, low-calorie, or low-carbohydrate? * Stress as a killer: Is it all in the mind? Genetic factors are significant in insulin resistance, but lifestyle choices play a large part too. Elevated free fatty acids in the body stop it responding properly to insulin by disrupting the pathways needed, and this is caused by excess calorie consumption and the carrying of too much body fat. Scientifically, overeating, weight gain and obesity are strongly correlated to insulin resistance, particularly when belly fat is present. Having a waist measuring more than 100cm for men Continue reading >>
How Does Fat Affect Insulin Resistance And Diabetes?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 29 million people in America have diabetes and 86 million have prediabetes. Insulin resistance is recognized as a predictor of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. But what causes insulin resistance? In this NutritionFacts.org video, Dr. Michael Greger talks about how fat affects insulin resistance, and about how the most effective way to reduce insulin sensitivity is to reduce fat intake. We’ve also provided a summary of Dr. Greger’s main points below. Insulin Resistance of People on High-Fat Diets vs. High-Carb Diets In studies performed as early as the 1930s, scientists have noted a connection between diet and insulin intolerance. In one study, healthy young men were split into two groups. Half of the participants were put on a fat-rich diet, and the other half were put on a carb-rich diet. The high-fat group ate olive oil, butter, mayonnaise, and cream. The high-carb group ate pastries, sugar, candy, bread, baked potatoes, syrup, rice, and oatmeal. Within two days, tests showed that the glucose intolerance had skyrocketed in the group eating the high-fat diet. This group had twice the blood sugar levels than the high-carb group. The test results showed that the higher the fat content of the diet, the higher the blood sugar levels would be. What Is Insulin Resistance? It turns out that as the amount of fat in the diet goes up, so does one’s blood sugar spikes. Athletes frequently carb-load before a race because they’re trying to build up fuel in their muscles. We break down starch into glucose in our digestive tract; it circulates as blood glucose (blood sugar); and it is then used by our muscle cells as fuel. Blood sugar, though, is like a vampire. It needs an invitation to enter our cells. And that invit Continue reading >>
How To Help Your Body Reverse Diabetes
Diabetes rates are rising, in fact it is now considered an “epidemic” in the medical community. The American Diabetes Association reports that: 23.6 million Americans have diabetes 57 million Americans are pre-diabetic 1.6 new cases of diabetes are reported each year For those over age 60, almost 1 in 4 have diabetes Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death Diabetes increases heart attack risk and 68% of diabetes related death certificates report heart related problems 75% of adults with diabetes will develop high blood pressure Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and nervous system disorders Diabetes costs $174 billion annually Diabetes is a well-established problem and a multi-billion dollar industry. It is medically characterized by Fasting Blood Glucose higher than 126 mg/dL , which ranges between 100-125 mg/dL are considered pre-diabetic and ranges below 99 mg/dL are considered normal. Studies are finding that a fasting blood glucose below 83 mg/dL is actually a better benchmark, as risk of heart disease begins to increase at anything above that. IMPORTANT: There is a difference between Type 1 diabetes (an autoimmune condition) and Type 2 diabetes (lifestyle related). This article refers specifically to Type 2 diabetes. Some medical professionals use an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) to test for diabetes. If you’ve ever been pregnant and had to drink the sickeningly sweet sugar cocktail and then have blood drawn, you are familiar with this one. Basically, a patient is given 50-75 grams of glucose in concentrated solution and his blood sugar response is measured. I’m not a fan of this test because no one should be ingesting that much concentrated glucose, and the test is not a completely accurate measure. (Just a side note: if yo Continue reading >>
Does Carb Timing For Insulin Sensitivity Matter?
Since I’ve been looking at carbs in my last couple of articles I thought it would be a good opportunity to take a look at another topic heavily debated in the fitness world. That of insulin sensitivity and exactly how much stock should be placed on carb timing. Or even if these theoretical times exist. For many timing carbs when you are most insulin sensitive seems important because the more glucose you can dispose using less insulin will be better as it will reduce fat accumulation. If you spike insulin too fast you raise your blood sugar. Your body releases insulin to bring blood sugar down. Unfortunately you can only bring down so much blood sugar at one time so if you consume too much of it, your body may store some of it as fat. Perhaps better put would be your liver and muscles can only store so much glycogen, so excess will be stored as fat. This is why those of us who do a lot of resistance training not only can eat more carbs, but should. Your muscles need those glycogen stores to be effective. But if you are inactive, well then the chances of your muscles taking up that glycogen are pretty low, and it becomes that much easier to be stored as fat. But I find it unlikely anyone reading this article to be inactive… You see you have limited storage for carbohydrates in your body, but you have unlimited storage for fat. If you have a healthy metabolism it only takes a little bit of insulin to bring your blood sugar down. Long story short, good insulin sensitivity helps keeps you healthy and fit. Being more insulin sensitive is a good thing, there are many who believe it to be the opposite because of the way it sounds. Don’t let it fool you, the more insulin sensitive you are the better off you will be. Now regarding timing, specifically about time of day. The Continue reading >>
- Advice to walk after meals is more effective for lowering postprandial glycaemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus than advice that does not specify timing: a randomised crossover study
- American Diabetes Associations Twitter fiasco: Does it matter to patients?
- Timing of Delivery in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: Need for Person-Centered, Shared Decision-Making
How To Reverse Insulin Resistance: An Actionable Guide
If you’ve been in the space of alternative health and wellness for a while, then you’ve likely heard the term ‘insulin resistance’ floating around. But if not, I’m going to do that right now so your brain can stop screeching to a halt every time it reads that word. What Does Insulin Do? Insulin is a hormone. To put it quite simply, you can think of hormones as “body messengers” that communicate and respond to everything from hunger signals to reproduction, to emotions and a heck of a lot more. Because we are an intelligent and integrated feedback loop, some hormones have more than one, and/or, overlapping functions. Insulin is produced in the pancreas (which is part of the endocrine system). Its major responsibility (which is uber important) is to help regulate blood sugar. When you eat foods that contain any form of sugar, that sugar gets broken down into glucose. By the way, when I say that foods containing sugar I’m not just talking about sweet foods. I’m also talking about any carbohydrate (both simple and complex) containing foods. In this case, flavor is secondary to chemical make-up because that’s what ultimately determines how it’s going to be digested. Let me give some examples of foods that will get broken down into glucose: Desserts: ice cream, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, dried fruit… Sweet drinks: gatorade, creamers, soda, koolaid, juices… Simple carbs: bread, pasta, crackers, cereals… Complex carbs: quinoa, oats, brown & wild rice, corn, sprouted wheats, plantains, cassava, turnips, squashes… Fiber-rich: most fruits, most vegetables, peas, beans, legumes Those foods, the ones above and the others I didn’t have space to include, once simplified into glucose molecules (this is what we mean when we say blood sugar) are then esc Continue reading >>
How Do I Reverse Insulin Resistance?
A 5-element system The Insulite Diabetes Advanced Management System is a first-of-its-kind, multi-faceted approach that provides comprehensive support to reverse insulin resistance. How did I get here? Type 2 diabetes generally develops over a long period of time. While genetics play a role, our lifestyles are major factors. Our physical makeup has changed very little in the last million years when we ran and hiked many miles to find food that was mostly meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts. Our "fuel tank" is simply not designed to operate on bagels, pizza, and breads and our systems begin to malfunction when we don't take our bodies out for a "ride." We are genetically designed to need exercise. In essence, our environment and lifestyles have evolved too rapidly for our bodies to keep pace. We are still genetically "wired" to thrive on the entrenched habits of our ancestors. They consumed different, nutrient-rich food in a diet low in carbohydrates and sustained greater levels of movement and exercise. Over time, the above factors can create insulin resistance which desensitizes the cells of your body to insulin and impairs the complex - and vital - process whereby insulin converts glucose to energy through those cell walls. When your cells become insensitive to insulin, they’re unable to process glucose into energy. This results in too much insulin and glucose "free-floating" in your blood stream. Insulin resistance is a key factor in the reduction of the insulin sensitivity of your cells. As a result, glucose and insulin levels become unbalanced in your blood stream, which can lay the foundation for diabetes. Understanding what you really need Contrary to popular belief, willpower alone cannot alter the neural patterns that reinforce your unhealthy habits. Neither wil Continue reading >>
The Sweet Spot For Intermittent Fasting
The Sweet Spot for Intermittent Fasting Lower insulin means greater fat loss Intermittent fasting — the practice of going without food for some (undefined) period of time — has many health benefits. It can help prevent heart disease, speed fat loss, and slow or reverse aging. There are a number of physiological mechanisms involved. It reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, leads to increased numbers and quality of mitochondria, and increases autophagy, the cellular self-cleansing process. Many of the beneficial effects are entwined with lower levels of insulin. The function of insulin is to promote energy storage and the growth of the organism. When insulin is increased, fat is stored in fat cells, and other cells take up glucose from the blood. Most importantly, when insulin is increased, lipids can’t leave fat cells. Since fat loss is all about getting lipids out of fat cells to be burned, losing fat requires some attention to how diet, exercise, and fasting cause insulin to rise or fall. Take a look at the following graph, taken from a paper by Volek et al. It shows that even small increases in insulin, within the normal range, virtually abolish lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat. This is where intermittent fasting comes in, as one of its effects is to lower insulin levels and thus increase lipolysis. The question is, how long do you need to fast before insulin comes down? Eating causes insulin to rise, the amount of the rise being dependent on a number of factors, such as type and amount of food eaten and the insulin sensitivity of the person doing the eating. High amounts of carbohydrates and lower insulin sensitivity cause a greater rise in insulin. Insulin increases and stays higher for several hours after eating — that is, during the “fed” state. Continue reading >>
Commentary Insulin Resistance And Hypertension: New Insights
Insulin resistance is associated with hypertension. Nakamura et al. demonstrate in rodents and humans with insulin resistance that while the stimulatory effect of insulin on glucose uptake in adipocytes, mediated via insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1), was severely diminished, its effect on salt reabsorption in the kidney proximal tubule, mediated via IRS2, was preserved. Compensatory hyperinsulinemia in individuals with insulin resistance may enhance salt absorption in the proximal tubule, resulting in a state of salt overload and hypertension. Continue reading >>
How Can I Reverse Insulin Resistance?
Caught and treated early, insulin resistance is reversible in more than 90% of patients, and there is a clear improvement in well-being associated with this reversal. To get to the foundation of the problem, you must do a diagnostic work-up, to identify and deal with the layered factors which promote insulin resistance and diabetes. Factors to be assessed include: 1. Cortisol -- levels which are too high, (as might be the case in anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and psychotic disorders) cause insulin to be elevated, and increase appetite. Cortisol can be reduced easily enough by either supplements or medications, as well as psychotherapeutic methods (e.g., biofeedback, certain therapies, body work etc). 2. Female and male hormones -- low levels of testosterone result in lowered lean body mass (therefore lower metabolic rate), lower energy and vitality. High levels of estrogens (e.g. with potent birth control pills) can also cause weigh gain, albeit in a different pattern of distribution. 3. Stress -- many people over eat when tired, angry, frustrated, bored, lonely; Becoming mindful of your sense of hunger before eating, can, over time, reduce unconscious habitual stress eating. Identifying the situations which make you stressed and problem solving them when possible can help reduce stress eating. Keeping a daily log (what you ate, when you ate it, and situations in which you over-ate) will definitely raise consciousness. 4. Lifestyle -- getting adequate sleep (7-9 hours for most people), moderate exercise 4-5 times per week will reduce the tendency to eat highly processed foods in an out of control manner when you are tired. 5. Inflammation and toxins -- inflammation due to infection, or toxins in your environment can cause weight gain, as a hormone called Leptin can Continue reading >>
What Tests Should I Get For Insulin Resistance And Pcos?
Is Insulin Resistance Causing Your PCOS? Insulin resistance and PCOS commonly occur together. Have you got PCOS, but never been tested for insulin resistance? Or maybe you have been tested, but your doctor has told you that your blood sugar is normal? If so, you may have been left wondering what’s causing your PCOS. During my second year at university we did an experiment where were measured our blood glucose levels after eating different foods. We’d just been learning about how blood glucose could be lower in athletes due to higher muscle mass and increased insulin sensitivity. At the time, I was training for 20 hours a week. You can imagine my shock when I found that my results were close to the top end of the normal range. However, when I queried my doctor about this she assured me that it was still within the normal range. She told me that I needn’t be worried. I’m going to explain to you why this is incorrect and why even slight changes in blood glucose can be a sign of insulin resistance. Studies have shown that up to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. I’m always amazed at the number of women I talk to who have been diagnosed with PCOS, but not tested for insulin resistance. You were not born with PCOS. PCOS is a condition that develops due to your environment interacting with your genes. Your ‘environment’ includes what you eat, how much you exercise, stress levels, environmental toxins, etc. It’s therefore easy to see that there is always something in your environment causing your PCOS. If you can find out what this is then you can remove it, then reverse your PCOS symptoms. I’ve written about the main causes of PCOS and how insulin resistance is the main one. Now I want to further explore insulin resistance: – What is it? – Ho Continue reading >>
How To Reverse Insulin Resistance At Midlife
Insulin resistance has become a huge problem in our culture and it can lead to many of the chronic health problems we see today, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It is also linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid problems, muscle loss, fat gain, fatty liver, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and other cancers as well. And, insulin resistance has even been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, did you know that insulin resistance can also cause many of the symptoms most women attribute to menopause? It’s true. Insulin has a cascading effect on all of your hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. When insulin isn’t doing its job, it’s nearly impossible to reduce the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and night sweats. It also makes weight loss very difficult. Jason Fung, M.D. – who you can listen to on my radio show, Flourish – has done much research in the area of insulin control. His work shows that getting insulin in balance can be the key to getting your hormones and your health back in balance. What is Insulin and How Does It Work? Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Its main job is to manage how your body uses glucose for energy. When blood sugar levels rise after a meal, your pancreas releases insulin to help your body’s cells — especially cells in the liver and muscles — absorb glucose. Your liver converts stored glucose to glycogen for future use. When blood sugar levels are too low, your pancreas releases a hormone called glucagon. Glucagon forces the liver to convert glycogen back to glucose, which causes your blood sugar to rise. You always have low levels of insulin circulating in your body. When insulin is out of balance, the result is abnormal blood sugar Continue reading >>
A Visual Guide To Insulin Resistance
What Is It? Insulin is a hormone that acts like a key. It unlocks your cells to let in glucose (a kind of sugar) from your blood to make energy. Sometimes, this lock-and-key process doesn't work. Then glucose builds up in your blood, even when you make more insulin. Scientists have some ideas, but they aren't sure why your cells stop responding. Some issues with your blood system can also increase the likelihood of getting insulin resistance, including low HDL "good" cholesterol, high levels of a kind of fat called triglycerides in your blood, heart disease, a previous stroke, and blood vessel disease in your neck or legs. People with an African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American, or a Pacific Islander heritage are more likely to become resistant to insulin. If your parent, brother, or sister has type 2 diabetes, your risk is higher. If your mother had diabetes while she was pregnant with you (gestational diabetes), your risk also goes up. The test for insulin resistance is complicated and uncomfortable, so instead, your doctor will probably test you for prediabetes (blood sugar that's higher than it should be). A lab can check the level of glucose in your blood after you haven't eaten for a while, or find an "average" blood sugar level for the past few months. Numbers that are higher than normal suggest you're insulin resistant. It's hard on your pancreas to keep cranking out extra insulin to try to get glucose into your body's cells. Eventually, the cells that make insulin can burn out, leading to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. If you catch insulin resistance early and make changes to your lifestyle, you may stop that from happening. Cut back on sweets, refined grains, and animal fats, and have lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Th Continue reading >>
Targeting Ceramide Synthesis To Reverse Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is a key feature of type 2 diabetes, and the strong association between fat oversupply and defective insulin action in target tissues, especially skeletal muscle and liver, has motivated the search for intracellular lipid mediators that can interfere with insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis. Two of the best-studied candidates are diacylglycerol (DAG) and ceramide (1–3), to the extent that the tissue levels of these intermediate species are now routinely measured in models of insulin resistance and in human studies. Correlative evidence for their roles has accumulated over the last 10–15 years, but unfortunately, there are now several conflicting reports concerning the relative importance of these molecules (4–7). To resolve this situation, it is necessary to go beyond descriptive studies in order to address causation and elucidate the mechanisms involved. In the case of ceramide, the inhibitor myriocin is proving to be a useful tool. This fungal metabolite is a potent and specific blocker of serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT), the first enzyme in the pathway of de novo ceramide synthesis (8). By reducing the condensation of serine with palmitoyl-CoA to form 3-ketosphinganine (Fig. 1), the inhibitor is able to decrease ceramide synthesis without elevating intermediates such as sphinganine, which are upstream of ceramide formation and also have biological effects (9). Myriocin treatment of rats infused with different lipid cocktails for 6 h to induce insulin resistance in an acute fashion demonstrated that a reduction in ceramide accumulation in skeletal muscle could prevent defects in glucose disposal (10). Longer-term administration of the inhibitor was also able to improve glucose tolerance in genetically obese Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) Continue reading >>
10 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Metabolic Syndrome
Although it sounds mysterious, Syndrome X is very common. It's better known as metabolic syndrome, which is a term for a group of risk factors that can raise your chance of developing heart disease and other health problems like diabetes. In general, excess weight and lack of activity can lead to metabolic syndrome, but there are five specific factors that can put you at risk for it. You need to have at least three factors present in order to be officially diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. The five factors are: Having a large waistline (a more than 35-inch circumference for women and more than 40 for men) Low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol High triglyceride levels High levels of blood sugar High blood pressure The good news is that with changes to diet and exercise, you can prevent, control, or even reverse metabolic syndrome. If you don’t, you could develop significant health risks related to the diabetes, heart disease, and stroke as part of the condition. Your risk for metabolic syndrome increases with age, so it’s important to start adjusting your health habits early on. Here are 10 things you should know about metabolic syndrome. 1. Metabolic Syndrome Is Closely Linked to Your Family History Ask your family members about their medical histories. Your family’s medical history is yours, too. If one of your close relatives has diabetes or heart disease, you could be a candidate for metabolic syndrome. According to the National Institutes of Health, a complete family health record includes information from three generations of relatives, including children, brothers and sisters, parents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents, and cousins. It may sound like a daunting task to collect this info, but questioning your family can evoke some heartfelt Continue reading >>