You may hear people who have diabetes talk about insulin. Or you may even hear the term “Insulin Resistance” Do you know what Insulin does? Why does it matter?
Insulin is a hormone that is naturally secreted by the pancreas to help regulate blood sugar levels. It also regulates fat and protein metabolism. Everything we eat will cause our blood sugar to rise. How much depends on what foods we eat. If I eat a bag of M&Ms, it will raise more than if I have a piece of cheese. When we eat foods higher in carbs, the amount of blood sugar in the blood increases. The pancreas in turn, releases insulin into the blood. The insulin’s job is to grab the sugar in the blood. It either puts it to use in our cells or stores it. When that happens, it requires our pancreas to make more and more and more insulin. If we are still overloading on sugar, eventually, the pancreas can’t keep up and our cells don’t respond to it anyway.
Why is that bad?
Higher amounts of sugar in our blood can have a lot of bad effects. When insulin increases it promotes fat storage and also increases inflammation. It can can also help fuel the growth of cancer cells. Your cells become more and more resistant to the insulin, but the pancreas is creating more and more. This is called being Insulin Resistant. When this happens, it becomes harder and harder for the pancreas to keep up and cells in the pancreas can be damaged. When this happens, your insulin production slows down. But, you also have cells that aren’t responding to it anyway. What happens to the sugar levels in your blood? They go up! Way up! The extra sugar is now being stored in your body as fat.
Now you have the potential for pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, PCOS, Acanthosis Nigricans (this is a skin condition that presents as dark patches forming on the groin, armpits and the back of the neck. Increased risk of vascular disease can also be due to high levels of insulin in the blood. Up to 90% of people living with pre-diabetes don’t even know they have it. That’s a scary thought!
What Increases Your Chances of Having Insulin Resistance?
Extra weight around your belly
High blood pressure
How to Decrease Your Chances of Insulin Resistance
A change of lifestyle is something no one wants to hear. I didn’t! Cutting all processed foods, watching your carb intake, quit smoking, and probably the most overlooked one; getting enough sleep; are all things that can be improved upon to get your body back to working efficiently again. Start by making small changes to your daily routine to improve your health. Then gradually add in exercise. Nest thing you know, you will be soon on your way to a healthier you!
Insulin resistance is the starting factor of many many health issues. We will be discussing some of those this week.
If you’d like more information on any of the programs I offer, please send an email to schedule a phone consultation!