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What is insulin resistance?

Posted by: admin at 2:48 pm on November 1st, 2016

I am hearing a lot about so many being insulin resistant. Can you please explain exactly what that is, what are symptoms and how does one fix it?

Insulin resistance is a resistance to the hormone insulin, resulting in increasing blood sugar, according to Mayo Clinic. 

The National Institutes of Health state that when blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin and glucose then travel in the blood to the cells throughout the body. Insulin helps muscle, fat, and liver cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, lowering blood glucose levels. 

With someone that has insulin resistance, the muscle, fat and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter the cells. 

According to medical author, Melissa C. Stoppler, M.D.,  there are several signs and symptoms of insulin resistance including excess weight around the waist, elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and obesity. 

Sebum, the oil that lubricates the skin, is overproduced in those suffering from insulin resistance. 

Many women who are diagnosed with insulin resistance suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome and are prone to hair loss. Many suffer with swollen ankles and have severe carbohydrate cravings. 

According to Andrew Weil, M.D., insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes. 

There are several herbs, spices and foods that can be your first line of defense against insulin resistance. Turmeric, according to a 2009 study, can be 100 percent effective at activating glucose uptake as well as ginger and cinnamon. 

Foods that are low in carbohydrates will benefit anyone trying to manage their blood sugar levels. Vegetables, nuts, seeds and nut and seed butters offer healthy fats and fiber and are low in carbohydrates. 

Lean meats, poultry and fish are exceptional, however, select those varieties that are free of hormones and additives.

Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, especially those that are considered complex carbohydrates such as pinto, lima and black beans. 

Complex carbohydrates raise your blood sugar levels much more slowly than simple carbohydrates such as cake, candy and refined sugar products. 

And last, but perhaps the most important recommendation from the National Institutes of Health, exercise. The more muscle a body has, the more glucose it can burn to control blood glucose levels.

Thought for the week: There are seven days in a week and someday is not one of them.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at docphylis@gmail.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.