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Do you want to know how to reverse insulin resistance? It’s not as difficult as you think. I will explain what this condition is and how you can deal with it properly in this article.
In this article:
- What Is Insulin?
- How Hypoglycemia Triggers Insulin Resistance
- What Are the Risk Factors of Insulin Resistance?
- What Are the Symptoms of Insulin Resistance?
- Diabetes and Other Health Problems
- How to Reverse Insulin Resistance
How to Reverse Insulin Resistance: What You Must Know
What Is Insulin?
Let’s start by discussing what insulin is. Your pancreas is located in the left lower quadrant right by your rib cage and makes a hormone called insulin. Insulin responds to anything that has sugar or turns into sugar like bread.
Insulin removes sugar from your blood. Normally, in your blood, you need about 100 milligrams of sugar per desolator. Anything higher or lower than 100 is bad. When it goes higher than 100, you get diabetes. When it goes lower than 100, you get hypoglycemia.
How Hypoglycemia Triggers Insulin Resistance
Hypoglycemia is when you are skipping meals and eating way too much sugar, triggering high insulin in your blood sugar to drop. Over a period of time, your body doesn’t like this, and it turns off the receptor and ignores the insulin response – we call this a blocked receptor, and this is insulin resistance. It forces insulin to increase and make more to create the same effect. Without insulin, your blood sugar stays high and wears out the pancreas.
What Are the Risk Factors of Insulin Resistance?
The causes of this condition are not fully understood, but several risk factors can lead to developing insulin resistance.
- Being overweight or obesity
- Following a high-sugar, high-carb, high-calorie diet
- Having zero to minimal physical activity
- Taking high doses of steroids over a long period
- Having chronic stress
What Are the Symptoms of Insulin Resistance?
At the beginning of insulin resistance, the condition does not have any symptoms. The signs start to occur when it leads to secondary effects, like a very high sugar level. Once this happens, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weight gain, especially around the abdominal area
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
Diabetes and Other Health Problems
Diabetes is a situation where you have high sugar and it won’t come down to 100. Then, there is insulin resistance where your body produces more insulin that can lead to the increase of blood sugar, which later on develops into Type II diabetes. This happens because you have been eating too much sugar. Your body protects you, and several things happen as a consequence like you feel hungry because insulin also serves other purposes.
Insulin lowers the blood sugar level and helps you absorb the nutrients in your cells like fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins. Without insulin, you can’t get the nutrients in your cells, and you’re going to be hungry all the time because you eat but you don’t absorb any nutrition. So, you end up starving and craving carbohydrates. If you are craving carbs or sweets, it is impossible to burn fat.
That’s why, over time, diabetes patients have other health problems – they may go blind, have destructive nerves in the feet and the hands, and it goes downhill healthwise. This condition prevents the storage of sugar in the liver and muscles, which we live off while we sleep.
If you are not storing sugar, you end up storing fat, and you get bigger and bigger. In between meals, because you can’t store sugar, you’re going to have too many highs and lows. It’s this storage of sugar that maintains a nice level of blood sugar. In your entire body, you only need 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of sugar - not directly from sugar but from the foods you eat. Your body can even convert protein and fat into sugar.
An 8-oz typical can of soda or orange juice has about 39 teaspoons of sugar. That puts tremendous stress on the pancreas. The pancreas has two parts – a hormone, and the other is an enzyme part called the exocrine gland.
Exocrine Glands Definition: Glands that create and release substances on an epithelial surface through a duct.
If you continue eating foods high in sugar, you’re going to have all sorts of digestion problems such as:
- Inflammation of the pancreas
- Pain in your back
- Inability to digest protein
- Bowel problems
The body is trying to protect itself from too much insulin by blocking receptors and creating resistance when the sugar is going to go high. It is going to protect the cell from too much insulin and not the blood. That’s why the blood starts filling up with sugar.
Triglycerides are blood fats. Because the cell can’t absorb nutrition, protein, or fat, it’s going to dump these in the blood as blood fats and cholesterol. In Type I diabetes, the pancreas is asleep. It’s the worst that can happen because then, you need to have insulin injections.
RELATED: The Best Test For Insulin Resistance
How to Reverse Insulin Resistance
You can lower insulin by doing these things:
1. Consume No Sugar in Your Insulin Resistance Diet
To reverse insulin resistance restrict yourself from eating sugary foods. If you are craving sugar, you should consume zero sugars. You can have substitutes like stevia, a natural sweetener without sugar.
2. Increase Potassium Intake
Increase potassium in your diet because it helps lower insulin and helps you store sugar. You want to get potassium from eating plant-based diet foods such as cruciferous vegetables, about 7 to 10 cups per day, or you can have a kale shake. Eating vegetables helps lower cravings.
3. Get More Vitamin B1
Increase vitamin B1 not from a pill but from nutritional yeast that greatly assists in lowering insulin. When you consume a bunch of sugar, you’re dumping B1 and other nutrients out of your body in your urine. This vitamin plays a crucial role in metabolizing blood glucose and is important for your heart, muscle, and nerve function.
4. Eat Protein
Consume protein during breakfast because it is a nutrient with minimal effects on your blood sugar levels. It can also help you feel fuller for a longer period, lowering the number of times you eat and the number of calories you consume. If you don’t eat protein, your blood sugar level will be off by the end of the day.
5. Perform More Workouts
Regular exercise is always good for increasing insulin sensitivity and improving overall well-being. Physical activity aids sugar in moving into the muscle cells for storage, allowing a proper flow of energy in the body so you can lose weight. If you are a beginner, you can start with light exercises, such as a 30-minute walk, and then increase it later on. This allows your body to adjust to the phases of your physical activity.
6. Lower Stress Levels
How to reverse insulin resistance also includes lowering stress. Stress primarily affects your ability to stimulate blood glucose as it promotes the fight-or-flight mode that regulates cortisol, a stress hormone. When you experience chronic stress, the stress hormones go high, making your body more insulin resistant. To avoid stress, you need to stay away from people or situations that annoy or give you stress. You can also enroll in yoga classes to keep your mind and body calm and relaxed.
With the information about how to reverse insulin resistance and what the condition is about, you’ll be guided on what to expect with your blood glucose levels. Keeping healthy blood sugar and insulin levels start with changing to a healthy lifestyle, from eating the right foods and avoiding the bad ones to staying physically active.
What other ways of how to reverse insulin resistance do you know? Tell us in the comments section below!
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Learn more about insulin and see more Health and Wellness advice from Dr. Berg Video Blog.
Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.