Why Insulin Insensitivity Keeps You Craving Sweets And Feeling Hungry
I’ve been studying the human body for years and never cease to be amazed at how magnificently designed it is by our Creator. But every now and then I’ve got to step back and scratch my head for a second as I question how some things work the way they do. One such irony is why do people who have elevated blood sugar levels, still crave more and more sugar? You’d think there would be some built in primal mechanism that would make these individuals want to avoid what they already have too much of. No such luck. In today’s post I want to dig into the issue of insulin insensitivity and why it keeps you craving you craving the very foods you should be avoiding. More importantly we’ll look at what you can do about it! More after the jump… First off let’s make sure we’re on the same page with what I’m referring to as insulin insensitivity. Often times you’ll hear this referred to as “insulin resistance.” Technically speaking, insulin resistance is the more advanced degree of insulin insensitivity. This is where the cell receptors pretty much shut down to insulin. Left unchecked and without corrective measures, the next stop is type II diabetes. Just know there are obviously stages of insulin insensitivity, it’s not a switch that gets flipped on or off. So what causes insulin insensitivity in the first place? The most common culprit is a generally poor diet high in processed and refined foods loaded with simple sugars. Consume too many sugars from starches and processed foods and the body becomes flooded with blood glucose. However insulin insensitivity can also occur from the over-consumption of bad fats, exposure to estrogenic chemicals, deficiencies with essential fats (especially omega-3′s), and when the liver is overwhelmed by toxins like excessi Continue reading >>
Insulin Resistance And Hunger In Childhood Obesity: A Patient And Physicians Perspective
Insulin Resistance and Hunger in Childhood Obesity: A Patient and Physicians Perspective 1,2,3,4,5 Harold Bayes ,6 and Nicole Smith 7 1Medical Weight Loss of NY, New York, USA 2BOUNCE Pediatric Obesity program, Fayetteville, NY USA 3Obesity Medicine Association, Denver, CO USA 5One Stone Technology, Fayetteville, NY USA 1Medical Weight Loss of NY, New York, USA 2BOUNCE Pediatric Obesity program, Fayetteville, NY USA 3Obesity Medicine Association, Denver, CO USA 5One Stone Technology, Fayetteville, NY USA 6Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center, Louisville, KY USA This article is co-authored by the mother of a child with obesity and insulin resistance, who gives her perspective. It is also co-authored by the treating Obesity Medicine clinician and an investigator in obesity clinical research (both certified in Obesity Medicine), who give their perspectives. The discussion focuses upon the potential clinical use of metformin in managing young patients with obesity and insulin resistance. The article integrates what is scientifically known about the mechanisms of actions of metformin and how these mechanisms are reflected in the clinical response of young patients. Keywords: Adiposopathy, Obesity, Metformin Gregorys weight has been a concern for us since he was about 4years old. He was hungry all of the time. It did not matter what he ate, it was never fulfilling for him. Every year he would go to the doctor for his physical, and we would talk about my concerns with his weight. The doctor would send him for blood work to check his thyroid, etc., and everything would always come back fine. Gregory is a tall child and his height has always been off the charts. The weight gain has always been chalked up to him being tall. Repeatedly, we would hear, He is ju Continue reading >>
12 Signs Of Insulin Resistance
Most people think about diabetics when they see the word insulin, but problems with insulin can occur in a number of different conditions, in people with normal blood sugar. You have probably heard of insulin resistance; it is a significant health problem because it’s associated with an increased risk of obesity, heart attacks, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cancer and other serious conditions. People with insulin resistance usually have excessively high levels of this hormone, because it doesn’t work properly. We are seeing an increasing number of patients who have been diagnosed with insulin resistance by their own doctor, yet they don’t fully understand what this term means. How would you know if your insulin level is too high? There is a blood test that can measure your fasting insulin, but it isn’t always reliable and many doctors are not willing to order this test. This is a shame because elevated insulin is bad for your health and shortens your lifespan. Insulin has many important roles in your body. People with too much insulin in their bloodstream are said to have insulin resistance, syndrome X, metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes. They are all interchangeable terms. Due to modern diets and lifestyles, nearly everybody produces more insulin in their pancreas than they should. This is a problem because if blood insulin levels have been high for years, the cells of your body start to ignore it. The insulin becomes less and less effective at its important job in your body (getting glucose inside your cells so you can burn it for energy). Knowing whether or not you have too high insulin is important because it can allow you to make some changes and avoid some serious health problems in the future. Luckily there are several tell tale signs or clues that your bo Continue reading >>
Understanding Insulin Resistance - Am I Hungry?
By Megrette Fletcher M.Ed, R.D, CDE, Co-author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes While the cause is not fully understood, Type2 diabetes results from a series of problems. The first problem isinsulin resistance. Just as it sounds, the fat, muscle and liver cells resist the effects of insulin. Insulins job is to open up the cells, like a key opens a door, and let glucose enter. Insulin resistance is almost as if someone changed the locks and didnt tell the body. The pancreas, the organ that makes insulin, initially compensates for insulin resistance by producing more insulin making more keys which results in high insulin levels orhyperinsulinemia. These high insulin levels promote fat storage and inhibit fat burning, which causes weight gain, making the insulin resistance worse. Eventually, the pancreas burns out and stops making enough insulin (keys) to keep up with demand. When this happens, blood glucose levels rise, which can create feelings of low energy and fatigue, prompting a person to be less active and thus driving the cycle of insulin resistance toward a diagnosis of diabetes. Many people dont realize that insulin resistance may be present for five to ten years before they are diagnosed with diabetes. When blood sugars are above normal, but not quite at a level to be diagnosed as diabetes, you have prediabetes. Prediabetes occurs when the blood glucose levels are between 101-126 mg/dL before eating or 141-199 mg/dL within two hours of eating. If you have been diagnosed by your health care provider as having prediabetes, this means your pancreas has started to lose its ability to make insulin. If there are no changes in your activity or eating, the pancreas will continue to lose the ability to make insulin. When the pancreas looses about 50 Continue reading >>
Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance
Symptoms of Insulin Resistance Dr. Cederquist describes the symptoms that go along with Insulin Resistance. Insulin Resistance is a state of metabolism that makes it very easy to gain weight, and very difficult to lose it. See Next Video: What is Insulin Resistance? Symptoms of Insulin Resistance You don't have to have lab work done to determine whether or not you have insulin resistance. There are some key indiators that you have insulin resistance, because it causes specific symptoms. - Craving sugars and/or starches - Lack of hunger in the morning - If you miss a meal, you feel week and shaky - Food doesn't really interest you, until you actually begin eating and then you gobble it down - 2-4pm hunger, where you experience a "feeding time" If you feel hungrier on mornings that you actually eat breakfast, and you feel less hungry if you just skip breakfast, then you are likely experiencing some insulin resistance. If you have a traditional breakfast of toast and cereal or fruit, or pancakes for example, and you feel ravenously hungry in a few hours, then you likely have a metabolism that needs some tweaking. The type of hunger that arises with insulin resistance is not a normal hunger. It is a case of "I will eat anything that won't eat me first!". The wrong type of foods during the day can acutally act as an appetite stimulant, instead of working to curb your hunger. Diet pills or weight loss medicaiton can be unsafe for many people, and I find that naturally curbing appetite with normal foods to be very effective in controlling hunger. Standard View ➤ Gluten Free View ➤ Diabetic View ➤ Menopause View ➤ Continue reading >>
Hungry All The Time? Here’s Why (and How To Fix It)
If you have struggled with your weight for a long time or constantly cycled on and off crash diets, there is a very good chance that you have messed up the satiety signals within your body. That means that your body might not effectively get the messages from your hormones that you’re full. The result? Endless snacking and munching. A feeling of being hungry all the time. A higher than normal volume of food required to make you feel full and sastisfied. Chronic hunger. That kinda stuff. Fortunately, you can get those signals back in check with some straight forward changes to the types of foods you eat. Let’s look at the hormones in charge of hunger and satiety and how we tend to mess them up with our Standard American Diet (SAD). Leptin is at the top of the hormonal hierarchy when it comes to fat loss and body composition. Here’s the thing about leptin: it’s JOB is to keep you from storing too much fat. Unfortunately, when it’s signaling ability gets screwed up, it can make it very difficult for you to release and burn fat. Leptin is released by our fat cells. Consider it the “hall monitor” of fat accumulation. It is always assessing how much stored fat you have and signaling the body to trigger feelings of satiety when there’s enough, and turning down satiety when there’s not. When you start accumulating excess body fat in your adipose tissue, your fat cells release leptin to signal the brain that plenty of fuel is available. This signal then kicks off a cascade of events to decrease your hunger and increase your metabolism (via stimulating your thyroid and adrenals). On the flip side, when there aren’t an excess of fat cells secreting leptin, the low leptin levels communicate to the brain that there isn’t enough energy stored and so your appetit Continue reading >>
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"hunger Hormones" Are A Thing, And Yes, You Can Control Them
Pinterest Kelly LeVeque is a celebrity nutritionist, wellness expert, and health coach based in Los Angeles, California. Before starting her consulting business, Be Well by Kelly, she worked in the medical field for Fortune 500 companies, eventually moving into personalized medicine, offering tumor gene mapping and molecular subtyping to oncologists. Kelly’s client list includes Jessica Alba, Chelsea Handler, Kate Walsh, and Emmy Rossum. Guided by a practical and always optimistic approach, Kelly helps clients improve their health, achieve their goals, and develop sustainable habits to live a healthy and balanced life. We're thrilled to have her as a contributor for THE/THIRTY! This month, she schools us on "hunger hormones" and how to deal with them. Hunger is caused by a complicated chemistry of numerous hormones that have the ability to override our “willpower” and drive us to eat. Below is a condensed, high-level summary of a very complicated interplay of how the body strives to keep itself fed and balanced, whether it is given food or not. Normally, these hormones work harmoniously, balance each other, and maintain blood sugar balance, so we never feel too hungry and eat more than is necessary for proper functioning. Understanding how to eat complex meals to manage your hunger hormones instead of fighting to not eat is the premise of my book, Body Love, and the way my clients learn to eat. They learn to become aware of their hunger, stress, and reward hormones, and diligently shut them down with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Instead of snacking, they naturally ditch the diet mentality and easily fast four to six hours between meals in a balanced blood-sugar state. Eating the right mixture of clean, nutrient-dense protein, fat, fiber, and greens helps you eat Continue reading >>
Do Insulin Levels Often Cause Hunger?
No, insulin probably isn’t the cause of constant hunger, according to Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Dr. G gives 11 points of evidence in support of his conclusion. Read them for yourself. Here are a few: multiple brain-based mechanisms (including non-insulin hormones and neurotransmitters) probably have more influence on hunger than do the pure effect of insulin weight loss reduces insulin levels, yet it gets harder to lose excess weight the more you lose at least one clinical study (in 1996) in young healthy people found that foods with higher insulin responses were linked to greater satiety, not greater hunger billions of people around the world eat high-carb diets yet remain thin An oft-cited explanation for the success of low-carbohydrate diets involves insulin, specifically the lower insulin levels and reduced insulin resistance seen in low-carb dieters. They often report less trouble with hunger than other dieters. Here’s the theory. When we eat carbohydrates, the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream to keep blood sugar levels from rising too high as we digest the carbohydrates. Insulin drives the bloodstream sugar (glucose) into cells to be used as energy or stored as fat or glycogen. High doses of refined sugars and starches over-stimulate the production of insulin, so blood sugar falls too much, over-shootinging the mark, leading to hypoglycemia, an undeniably strong appetite stimulant. So you go back for more carbohydrate to relieve the hunger induced by low blood sugar. That leads to overeating and weight gain. Read Dr. Guyenet’s post for reasons why he thinks this explanation of constant or recurring bothersome hunger is wrong or too simplistic. I tend to agree with him on this. The insulin-hypoglycemia-hunger theory may indeed be at play in a few fol Continue reading >>
How To Curb Hunger On The Insulin Resistance Diet
Information How to Curb Hunger on the Insulin Resistance Diet How to Curb Hunger on the Insulin Resistance Diet One of the major drawbacks of having insulin resistance is the feeling that youre so hungry, and if you dont eat, youre going to die. Before I was diagnosed, the worst symptom I had was eating large meals then approximately one hour later, I was so hungry that my stomach would hurt if I didnt eat immediately. So I did, and the cycle repeated an hour later. I felt so out of control that coupled with the crazy weight gain, I sought specialist care. Unknowingly at the time, I was craving carbs, and the more carbs I ate, the more I was hungry to eat more. Pasta, noodles, rice, lentils, potatoes, kidney beans, you name it, I craved it. The following tips are not medical advice but little adjustments I have made that have helped me curb the crazy hunger and get my body back on track. 1. Eat breakfast within one hour of waking up For a woman whos been skinny all her life and hardly had an appetite, I started waking up starving. At times, hunger would wake me up and I had to eat a larger breakfast than normal. Once I started the diet and began regulating the craving, I made sure that I had breakfast within an hour of waking up. Any longer, and the hunger pangs continued throughout the day. The only problem was that my body clock was set to 6.30 am which meant an early breakfast and subsequently an earlier lunch. But it worked and 18 months later, I still do it. 2. Space the main meals 4 to 5 hours apart Any longer, and the hunger pangs took over. This was a tough one to implement at times because my job involves me eating away from home a lot at night. 3. Dont miss snack time especially in the afternoon By having a little snack at a regular time each day, I was able Continue reading >>
“do Carbs Make You Hungry?” By James Barnum
(Click here to jump to a summary of this article.) We hear from a lot of people who believe that when blood insulin levels go up in response to a carbohydrate-dense meal, you wind up hungrier than you were before you ate. The idea is then, that eating carbohydrates can make you hungry, which will promote overeating, which leads to weight gain. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Insulin does not cause hunger. Ghrelin, “the hunger hormone,” is produced during periods of low blood sugar, when growth hormone levels are elevated and insulin levels are at their lowest (4). The hormone leptin inhibits the action of ghrelin and tells your brain that you’re full, and glucose metabolism is the primary determinant of leptin secretion in humans (3). Furthermore, a recent study by Wellhoener et al., has shown that the administration of insulin after feeding curbs appetite. However, it did not have any effect on satiety during fasting when blood sugar was low (2). These data support the idea that insulin can help control hunger. In short, carbohydrate metabolism makes you feel happy and full (5). While insulin may play a small role in keeping you from overeating, its job is to open up a channel to transport nutrients into cells. The video below by Dr. Bryan Walsh explains what insulin is, and how it works, better than anything else on the internet, so you should definitely give it a watch: [youtube=So Why the Confusion? A major problem with this whole scenario is that it only works like that when your body is functioning properly and you’re making the right lifestyle decisions. Leptin resistance will confound issues with hunger and make it difficult to lose body fat. Even when you eat an abundance of carbs, your brain won’t get the signal that you don’t need to ea Continue reading >>
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 >>
Signs Of Insulin Resistance
What is insulin resistance? Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas. It allows your cells to use glucose (sugar) for energy. People with insulin resistance have cells throughout their bodies that don’t use insulin effectively. This means the cells have trouble absorbing glucose, which causes a buildup of sugar in their blood. If your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes, you have a condition called prediabetes caused by insulin resistance. It’s not entirely clear why some people develop insulin resistance and others don’t. A sedentary lifestyle and being overweight increases the chance of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. The effects of insulin resistance Insulin resistance typically doesn’t trigger any noticeable symptoms. You could be insulin resistant for years without knowing, especially if your blood glucose levels aren’t checked. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that nearly 70 percent of individuals with insulin resistance and prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes if significant lifestyle changes aren’t made. Some people with insulin resistance may develop a skin condition known as acanthosis nigricans. This condition creates dark patches often on the back of the neck, groin, and armpits. Some experts believe it may be caused by a buildup of insulin within skin cells. There’s no cure for acanthosis nigricans, but if caused by a specific condition, treatment may allow for some of your natural skin color to return. Insulin resistance increases the risk of being overweight, having high triglycerides, and having elevated blood pressure. Since insulin resistance increases your risk for progressing to diabetes, you may not notice right away if you develop Continue reading >>
Appetite Control: Understanding Your Hunger Hormones
Imagine you are out to dinner with a friend and the bread arrives at your table. You are not very hungry, but you think, “l’ll just have one little piece.” A few minutes later, you realize you have eaten three slices before your meal even arrives. What’s going on here? Even though you are not physically hungry, your body gave you the signal to eat. That’s the work of three hormones in your body that control hunger — insulin, ghrelin and leptin. They are important because the way these balance can impact your weight and health. Insulin Insulin is made in the pancreas and allows cells to take sugar or glucose from the blood stream to use as energy. Approximately one-third of the population inherits a resistance to respond properly to insulin, which prompts the pancreas to secrete more insulin if you eat a meal high in refined or “simple” carbohydrates such as white pasta or white bread. When the insulin does not respond normally — allowing sugars to enter the cells of the body — you can experience insulin resistant hunger. Rather than being physically hungry, you might experience it as a “gnawing” desire to eat. If you consume meals high in refined carbohydrates on a regular basis, that are not balanced with respect to protein and good fat, you may continually crave carbohydrates. “Just One...” Think back to the restaurant example with the bread, or perhaps a recent party where you have helped yourself to a few chips, only to find that you ate a good portion of the bowl. Again, even though you were not physically hungry, your body gave you the signal to eat. In these situations, you know what you are “supposed” to be eating, but your body continues to give you the signal to eat more carbohydrates. Running on Empty The more refined carbohydr Continue reading >>
Am I Insulin Resistant?
Who cares? You’d care because being insulin resistance combined with a moderate to high carbohydrate diet makes you “hyperinsulinemic” – you have high insulin all the time. This means you are now metabolically dysregulated meaning your body: turns fat burning off promotes fat storage dials down your physical activity (feel lethargic and lazy) disrupts the hunger control mechanisms in the brain has all the physiological factors in play (reactive oxygen species, inflammation, IGF-1 etc) which eventually result in the range of metabolic diseases which will kill most of us with a reduced quality of life for a decade before we die – diabetes, cancer, heart disease and dementia. Understanding how your own body reacts to different types of food, stress, and other environmental factors is absolutely key to long term health, especially weight control. That’s why we care about insulin resistance and maybe you should too…..read on What is insulin? Insulin is a protein produced by the pancreas. It helps in the regulation of nutrients and energy around the body. It is best known for helping move glucose (carbs) into cells so it can be used for energy. That’s a pretty crucial function; without insulin you will die. Type 1 diabetes is a failure of the pancreas to produce insulin, so Type 1 diabetics can inject synthetic insulin. But insulin is way more interesting than just that. It is part of a complex hormonal and neural system that affects all parts of our body. That system controls energy storage and energy use. That system controls: Fat burning – elevated insulin turns off fat burning Fat storage – elevated insulin promotes nutrients (both carbs and fat) to be stored away in fat cells Physical activity – elevated insulin dials down (your brain suppresses you Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes (also called type 2 diabetes mellitus) develop gradually—so gradually, in fact, that it’s possible to miss them or to not connect them as related symptoms. Some people are actually surprised when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes because they’ve gone to the doctor for something else (eg, fatigue or increased urination). The symptoms develop gradually because, if you have the insulin resistant form of type 2, it takes time for the effects of insulin resistance to show up. Your body doesn’t become insulin resistant (unable to use insulin properly) overnight, as you can learn about in the article on causes of type 2 diabetes. If you’re not insulin resistant—and instead your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process glucose well—the symptoms also develop gradually. Your body will be able to “make do” with lower insulin levels for awhile, but eventually, you will start to notice the following symptoms. Here are some of the common symptoms of type 2 diabetes: Fatigue: Your body isn’t getting the energy it needs from the food you’re eating, so you may feel very tired. Extreme thirst: No matter how much you drink, it feels like you’re still dehydrated. Your tissues (such as your muscles) are, in fact, dehydrated when there’s too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. Your body pulls fluid from the tissues to try to dilute the blood and counteract the high glucose, so your tissues will be dehydrated and send the message that you need to drink more. This is also associated with increased urination. Frequent urination: This is related to drinking so much more in an attempt to satisfy your thirst. Since you’re drinking more, you’ll have to urinate more. Additionally, the body will try to get rid of the excess g Continue reading >>