What Is Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is a condition linked to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance means your body is unable to respond to the amount of the;hormone;insulin it is producing. Insulin is made by your;pancreas, one of your bodys organs. It helps protect your body from getting too much sugar . Glucose gives you energy. However, too much sugar is harmful to your health.
Carbs And Fat Together Make You As Fat As Possible
And because sugar and fat are burned reciprocally, if you combine them it makes you as fat as possible. All the fat just goes straight to storage.
Nutritional scientists have discovered this and actually use this methodology to fatten up rats. Researchers created an obesogenic rat chow made up of 14% protein, 45% fat and 40% carbohydrates.
Well, thanks to the USDA, our basic dietary recommendations are basically the same obesogenic rat chow.
The fat and sugar accumulate in your bloodstream, causing more futile insulin secretion. When your insulin levels are chronically elevated, this is called hyperinsulinemia.
Unsubstantiated evidence led experts to substitute saturated fats for poisonous carbohydrates. Now hundreds of millions of people around the globe are insulin resistant today.
Every time you eat carbohydrates especially refined, high glycemic carbs your body goes to war with itself. And you lose.
Ancel Keys Junk science has destroyed your health.
To Improve Insulin Sensitivity Get More:
- Quality fats and protein help promote balanced blood sugar levels by slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream.
- Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve fasting insulin levels in many studies . Intermittent fasting can be done in many ways suited to your lifestyle, and doesnt require strict adherence to see benefits. Begin with an overnight fast , and then slowly delay breakfast in the morning until hunger naturally ensues.
- Strength training. Lean muscle mass improves your bodys ability to use blood sugar for energy and maintain insulin sensitivity. Maintaining adequate muscle is especially important for older people, as muscle will naturally decline as we age, decreasing our insulin sensitivity along with it. Mediating this decline in muscle mass is key to managing the metabolic side effects of getting older.
Also Check: When Is The Best Time To Test Your Blood Sugar
Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
There is a lot of finger pointing in diabetic circles and the fingers get pointed a lot at insulin resistance. ;It is widely accepted that insulin resistance is the problem here, and in a way it is, but only by proxy.
Insulin resistance is indeed an illness, but its a symptom really, as it must be, since something must be behind it. ;Were well aware of what is behind it, although whatever that may be, thats the actual condition.
The same is true with high blood sugar, its not a condition, something causes this, and whatever causes this is the condition, and the hyperglycemia is the symptom.
Functional medicine looks to what is behind things, where conventional medicine, we could actually call it dysfunctional medicine, is satisfied with just treating overt symptoms, like they are happy just trying to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes.
So we know high blood sugar isnt diabetes, although we treat it as if it was, but what about insulin resistance? ;Jason Fung, in an excellent article on the subject, likens calling insulin resistance the problem to saying that bleeding is the cause of a gunshot wound. ;This is a perfect analogy actually.
When were speaking of insulin resistance, we usually mean peripheral insulin resistance, insulin resistance in muscle and fat cells, as opposed to insulin resistance in the pancreas and liver, where this is a much bigger issue and is indeed detrimental to our health.
Chronically Elevated Insulin Concentrations Impair Body Functions
Insulin, IGF-1, and hybrid insulin/IGF-1 receptors share signaling via PI3K and AKT. The subsequent activation of the protein kinase mTORC1 is a major pathway for supporting somatic growth, protein synthesis, and fertility, while impeding autophagy and lifespan. Suppression of mTOR signaling by treatment with rapamycin prolongs life in model organisms and mice . In humans, hyperinsulinemia in type 2 diabetes is associated with increased mTORC1 activity which may have a negative impact on beta cell survival, healthspan, and longevity . In the Leiden Longevity Study, follow-up of nonagenarians for 10years showed a strong association of low insulin and glucose levels with healthy aging .
Since both IGF-1 and insulin employ PI3K and AKT for signal transduction, it is difficult to disentangle the contribution of insulin versus IGF-1 to the modulation of longevity. In animal models, selective downregulation of circulating insulin levels improved the lifespan of mice, and in elderly persons of the Leiden Longevity Study, only insulin and glucose, but not IGF-1, consistently met all four pre-defined criteria of healthy aging . Therefore, it may be concluded that low circulating insulin concentrations are not only a marker of longevity but are causally involved in promoting healthspan or lifespan extension.
Read Also: Is Dragon Fruit Good For Diabetes
To Improve Insulin Sensitivity Get Less:
- Industrialized seed oils such as canola, vegetable, and corn oils. These are inflammatory oils and should be avoided if possible. The inflammation triggered as a result of these oils can reduce your cells ability to respond to the message insulin sends.
- Refined carbohydrates. Breads, pasta, cereal, cookies, and other processed carbohydrates spike blood sugar the most, and create more work for your pancreas. They generally provide little to no nutrition and can contribute to chronically high insulin levels.
- Sugar. Sugar has many forms. Added sugars like candy and desserts are more obvious, but sugar can lurk in drinks, condiments, and many foods that quickly add up throughout the day. Some of the worst culprits are foods we think of as healthy like granola or fruit juice.
What Medications Treat Insulin Resistance
Metformin is a medication used for treating type 2 diabetes. It exerts two actions to help control blood glucose levels. Metformin prevents the liver from releasing glucose into the blood, and it also increases the sensitivity of muscle and fat cells to insulin, allowing them to remove more glucose from the blood. By these actions, metformin lowers blood insulin levels because lower blood sugar levels tell the pancreas to put out less insulin.
Metformin is a reasonably safe medication when used in the proper population. Though occasionally associated with gastrointestinal side effects, metformin is usually well tolerated. While no FDA-approved drugsexist to prevent type 2 diabetes or to treat pre-type 2 diabetes , the American Diabetes Association has recommended that metformin be the only drug considered for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Rice Can Diabetics Eat
Insulin Resistance Causes And Symptoms
One in three Americansincluding half of those age 60 and older1 have a silent blood sugar problem known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance increases the risk for prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and a host of other serious health problems, including heart attacks, strokes2;and cancer.3
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, body fat and liver start resisting or ignoring the signal that the hormone insulin is trying to send outwhich is to grab glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells. Glucose, also known as blood sugar, is the bodys main source of fuel. We get glucose from grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and drinks that bring break down into carbohydrates.
How Insulin Resistance Develops
While genetics, aging and ethnicity play roles in developing insulin sensitivity, the driving forces behind insulin resistance include excess body weight, too much belly fat, a lack of exercise, smoking, and even skimping on sleep.4
Signs and Symptoms of Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is usually triggered by a combination of factors linked to weight, age, genetics, being sedentary and smoking.
– You have additional signs of metabolic syndrome. According to the National Institutes of Health,7;in addition to a large waist, if you have three or more of the following, you likely have metabolic syndrome, which creates insulin resistance.
Health Conditions Related to Insulin Resistance
Ways To Naturally Reduce Insulin Resistance
*Editors Note: The content of this piece reflects the strategies that have worked for;the author in her Type 1 diabetes management. Beyond Type 1 recognizes that this is advice based on experience rather than peer-reviewed science + that everyone is different when it comes to Type 1.;
For Type 1 diabetics, we face what seems like millions of decisions a day that will have some kind of effect on our blood glucose levels. I know that when my BGs are stable or when my carb counting is on point, I feel like Ive won the T1D lotto. Ive spent the past four years since my diagnosis in 2012, experimenting with different methods to stabilizing my numbers without relying primarily on insulin. My motivation for aggressively seeking out new tips and tricks is simply as a means to avoid the way I feel after my numbers have been on a rollercoaster.
You May Like: What Does It Feel Like To Have High Blood Sugar
What Are The Causes Of Insulin Resistance
Perhaps one of the most frustrating things of all is that researchers dont entirely know what causes insulin resistance. While we have been able to identify specific things that put you at increased risk, the actual mechanism by which insulin resistance manifests has remained elusive. That being said, the most significant contributors are:
- Excess weight, particularly in the abdomen: Having an increased amount of fat in the abdomen and around the organs is a risk factor for insulin resistance. Even if your body mass index , which is a ratio of your weight to your height, is in the normal range, men who have a waist size > 40 inches and women who have a waist size > 35 inches are more likely to have insulin resistance. Asian individuals are more likely to develop T2DM, so the at-risk waist size cutoffs are even lower: > 35.5 inches in men and > 31.5 inches in women . Researchers believe these fat cells release inflammatory markers known as adipocytokines or adipokines, which may play a role in the development of insulin resistance.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Not getting enough physical activity each day is linked to insulin resistance.
There are also non-obesity related causes of insulin resistance . These include:
What Is Blood Sugar
Blood sugar is also known as glucose. Its the main type of sugar in your blood that provides energy to the trillions of cells throughout your body. Your eating choices significantly influence the amount of glucose in your blood.
Dietary sugar exists in many forms, some worse than others for your health:
- Fructose: a simple sugar used in sweeteners and processed foods
- Glucose: the bodys preferred source of energy at healthy levels
- Galactose: a simple sugar found in milk, yogurt, and other dairy products
Even though glucose energizes cells, too much of a good thing is always dangerous. High blood glucose doesnt give you extra energy or help your body function at optimal levels. Instead, high blood glucose wreaks havoc on your health.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Get Type 1 Diabetes
Insulin Resistance Treatment And Prevention
You can take steps to reverse insulin resistance and prevent type 2 diabetes:
- Exercise. Go for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity 5 or more days a week. If you’re not active now, work up to that.
- Get to a healthy weight. If you’re not sure what you should weigh or how to reach a weight loss goal, ask your doctor. You may also want to talk with a nutritionist and a certified personal trainer.
- Eat a healthy diet. Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish, legumes, and other lean protein.
- Take medications. Your doctor may prescribe a medication called metformin to help keep your blood sugar in check.
What Is Prediabetes Also Known As Borderline Diabetes
Prediabetes is a condition that describes a person who has a number of abnormal glucose blood tests suggesting they have borderline diabetes. It may also be called impaired glucose tolerance or metabolic syndrome. People with prediabetes are very likely to progress to developing type 2 diabetes in the coming few years. More importantly, people with prediabetes are the most likely to recover and return back to normal by making a few important changes.
Also Check: What Should A Newborn’s Blood Sugar Level Be
Who Is At Risk Of Insulin Resistance
Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes is a journey. There are some people who are more likely to develop diabetes compared to others. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop diabetes, so to prevent type 2 diabetes you either want to stay a healthy weight or else you want to lose weight. The longer you are overweight the more likely you are to develop insulin resistance and the longer you have insulin resistance the more likely you are to develop pancreatic dysfunction, leading to type 2 diabetes.
Aside from weight, there are several factors that can increase your risk of developing insulin resistance. They are referred to as being either modifiable risk factors or non-modifiable risk factors.
Wondering If Insulin Resistance Can Kill A Person
Can you actually die, directly, from insulin resistance?
This is a fair question, because insulin resistance is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes is a leading killer of people in the U.S.
Insulin resistance raises the risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and other potentially lethal conditions.
Nevertheless, can insulin resistance, of which 60 million Americans have , outright kill a person?
Nobody will ever die as a direct result of having insulin resistance, says Dr. David Edelson, MD, board certified in internal and bariatric medicine, one of the top obesity experts in the U.S., and founder and medical director for thin-site.com and HealthBridge.
However, think of it like a stick of dynamite with a very long fuse, he continues.
Treat it properly with good lifestyle habits and the fuse will never be lit. Adopt poor lifestyles like a diet high in starches, sugars and bad fats, lack of exercise and poor sleep patterns, and you light the fuse.
Lets talk about good lifestyle habits. Often, people think they have healthy lifestyle habits, when in fact, they dont.
Im a former certified personal trainer and have known many;people who believe they get adequate exercise, when in actuality, just the opposite is true.
Vacuuming and hoisting out the garbage on Sunday evening shouldnt count as your exercise for Sunday, especially since these tasks involve non-neutral spinal alignment a bad thing.
Don’t Miss: How Long Can You Live With Type 2 Diabetes
How Does Insulin Resistance Become Diabetes
In a person with prediabetes, the pancreas works increasingly hard to release enough insulin to overcome the bodys resistance and keep blood sugar levels down.
Over time, the pancreas ability to release insulin begins to decrease, which leads to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance remains a major feature of type 2 diabetes.
Causes Of Insulin Resistance
High Carbohydrate Diets
Any time your cell is exposed to insulin it is going to become more insulin resistant. That is inevitable, we cannot stop that, but the rate we can control. An inevitable sign of aging is an increase in insulin resistance. That rate is variable, if you can slow down that rate you can become a centenarian, and a healthy one. You can slow the rate of aging. Not just even the rate of disease, but the actual rate of aging itself can be modulated by insulin. We should be living to be 130, 140 years old routinely.
We talk about simple and complex carbohydrates, that is totally irrelevant, it means absolutely nothing. Carbohydrates are fiber or non-fiber. If you have a carbohydrate that is not a fiber it is going to be turned into a sugar, whether it be glucose or not. It may be fructose and wont necessarily raise your blood glucose, but fructose is worse for you than glucose.
Everyone knows that oxygen causes damage, but unfortunately, the press has not been as kind to publicize glycation. Glycation is the same as oxidation except substitute the word glucose. When you glycate something you combine it with glucose. Glucose combines with anything else really, its a very sticky molecule. Just take sugar on your fingers. Its very sticky. It sticks specifically to proteins. So the glycation of proteins is extremely important. If it sticks around a while it produces what are called advanced glycated end products: AGEs.
Don’t Miss: Does One Of The Jonas Brothers Have Diabetes
Can Insulin Resistance Be Changed
Well the answer is if you lose weight and you shrink your fat cell and you continue to shrink the fat cell then eventually what will happen is the lock will go back to normal and the insulin will be able to fit nicely.And so when people talk about reversing diabetes they are really talking about sustained weight reduction that leads to improvement of the shape of the lock. Now it may be that the pancreatic function by the time a person decides that they really want to deal with their diabetes is so diminished that they are not going to be able to produce enough insulin even with a well working lock. But nonetheless if you can reduce insulin resistance there really is quite a profound improvement in glucose levels that a person can expect and the earlier that you deal with insulin resistance the better.If you found this video helpful then please subscribe to the channel so that I can keep you up to date as all the new videos come online.
Working With Your Doctor
As noted previously, most doctors dont routinely test for insulin resistance. This may be appropriate when testing wont change the recommendations for lifestyle modifications and/or treatment. However, testing can be very helpful when the results would clearly inform ones choice of dietary modification or medical therapy.
If your waist-to-height ratio is larger than 0.50, you may want to talk with your doctor about ordering follow up tests to confirm that insulin resistance is present, and that you are at risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems.
You will likely have to ask for these tests. Dont be afraid to be proactive and educate your doctor about these tests if you request them, as they may be worth the effort. However, be aware that not all health systems provide coverage for insulin levels and you may have to pay the full cost yourself.
We recommend three tests, all of which can be done fasting: insulin, triglycerides, and glucose.
Also Check: How To Get Blood Sugar Down In A Hurry