The Scary Truth – Are You Insulin Resistant?
This condition is so pervasive it is estimated that 25% of people in the USA suffer from insulin resistance and South Africans are not far behind. Sadly, many people are completely unaware that they have insulin resistance until it develops into type 2 diabetes bringing with it severe health problems and increased risk of heart disease, cancer, kidney damage and even Alzheimer’s.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin, produced by the pancreas, is a hormone that is responsible for enabling glucose from food to be burned for energy. Its function is crucial for the health and function of the body’s cells and how energy is used.
When the body is functioning normally the metabolic system works in perfect harmony, producing the right amount of insulin when needed. Unfortunately, the balance can be tipped by our modern lifestyles of stress, lack of exercise and high carbohydrate foods, bringing with it an overproduction of insulin in order to cope. Chronic surges of insulin over an extended period exhaust the body’s cells and they longer respond properly, making them resist insulin entry. As a result, even higher levels of insulin are needed to have the proper effect and the pancreas continues to produce more and more insulin. This condition raises blood sugar levels and eventually leads to type 2 diabetes.
Signs of Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance often goes unnoticed for years, especially in the early phases so what are some of the warning signs of elevated insulin levels?
- Weight Gain
Obesity and, especially excess fat around the waist, is a common sign of insulin resistance. Indulging in consistently high-carbohydrate, low nutrient foods as well as sugary treats means the body has to secrete more insulin to lower blood sugar levels.
- Hunger and Cravings
It may seem strange but insulin resistance means that even though there is too much glucose in the blood, the body is unable to convert it into energy. The body then wants more and nothing satisfies like sugar or carbohydrate rich foods to give that kick.
- Elevated Blood Sugar
When the glucose in your blood is no longer being properly processed, the body’s blood sugar level rises bringing with it excessive thirst, fatigue and a frequent need to urinate.
- Acne and Large Pores
There is increasing evidence that shows that insulin, together with other growth hormones can increase skin sensitivity, potentially leading to problem skin.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Research has also revealed that many women who suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have high levels of insulin which can cause the ovaries to produce more androgen hormones such as testosterone resulting in fertility problems.
- Hair Loss
Because insulin helps to regulate hair growth, insulin resistance can cause female pattern baldness or patches, especially in the front and sides of the head.
- Swollen Ankles
High levels of insulin result in the kidneys holding onto sodium and water making the ankles and other areas such as the abdomen swell or bloat.
- High Blood Pressure
Another side effect of high insulin levels is an imbalance in sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium which causes arterial constriction, raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart disease.
The Good News
- Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to begin to reverse the effects of insulin resistance.
- Physical exercise plays a vital role because the body burns glycogen (a form of glucose in your muscles) during exercise, improving insulin sensitivity.
- Simply changing your diet to one with only healthy carbohydrates, cutting out sugar and consuming the right proteins and vegetables will help you lose that tummy fat and can begin to restore insulin balance. Download our eating program here. (http://mnilifestyle.co.za/download-your-free-meal-plan/).
- Breakthrough supplements such as AntaGolin contain natural ingredients that have been shown to combat insulin resistance.
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