Are You Insulin Resistant or Pre Diabetic?
Finding out you are insulin resistant or pre diabetic doesn't mean much unless you understand what that implies, and how it effects your health.
Insulin resistance is an issue with hormone signaling in your body, and the bottom line is that if the condition is ignored, it can develop into pre diabetes, metabolic syndrome or worse, type 2 diabetes.
You can find out whether you have insulin resistance or prediabetes by checking out the symptoms on my pre diabetes symptoms list. If you have more than 3 or 4 of those symptoms, it might be time to make some dietary changes.
What Causes Insulin Resistance?
The insulin resistant condition is rooted in the metabolic effects of a high carb diet in combination with a lack of exercise. Weight gain is a symptom of insulin resistance, rather than a cause.
Carbohydrates are foods which contain either some form of sugar or starch, or both. For instance, orange juice is full of fructose, a type of sugar, and white potatoes contain large amounts of starch. Both types of carbohydrate are broken down in the body into glucose, a simple sugar, which your cells can use for energy to do all the things that cells do.
To control the flow of glucose in your body, your pancreas releases a powerful hormone called insulin.
Insulin acts to quickly remove the glucose from the bloodstream into your cells where it can be burned or stored. But there's a catch.
To get the glucose into the cells, the cell's glucose "storage tanks" have to be empty. This is logical when you think about it. Imagine what would happen if you tried to fill up your car's gas tank if it were already full.
And just like running a car burns up gasoline, when a person exercises, the glucose which is already in the glucose tanks get used.
Now there is room for insulin to push the glucose made from the last meal into the muscle cell for fuel. If a person exercises frequently, lots of carbohydrates can be eaten without impacting blood glucose levels very much.
The carbs instead act as a quick source of fuel. This is why professional athletes, who may exercise for 6 hours a day, are coached to eat a lot of carbohydrates.
For us regular folk who might sit at a desk 8 hours a day, any extra glucose which hasn't been utilized gets shunted off to the liver and be transformed and stored as body fat.
As you can now understand, when a regular person consumes a daily diet high in carbohydrates while avoiding exercise, excess glucose is created, and it still has no place to go. In response, the body releases more and more insulin to get the liver to metabolize the glucose into more fat for storage.
Eventually, the liver, muscles and fat tissue are so stuffed, they can't take any more. They put up a big stop sign to insulin, and the glucose is left in the blood stream with no place to go. The person's baseline blood sugars go up, their blood sugars stay high even when no food is eaten, and eventually the person is diagnosed as insulin resistant.
Some doctors diagnose the patient has having metabolic syndrome. Either way, the risk of developing pre diabetes or Type 2 diabetes now increases dramatically.
Reversing Insulin Resistance
If you've been diagnosed as insulin resistant or as having metabolic syndrome, you can do something about it.
Visit my Resources page, and start by choosing and reading a book on low carb diets. Use what you learn to decrease the amount of carbohydrates that you eat. In addition, add a weekly or daily exercise program to your life. Even a simple exercise like walking several times a week can help reduce insulin resistance. For quicker results, look into high intensity interval training.
These changes really do work if you stick with them. I and several people I know have used a ketogenic diet plan to completely reverse not only insulin resistance and prediabetes, but the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes as well.
I'm not saying you can reverse severe metabolic issues overnight. You have to have patience. Remember that it took years to develop metabolic health issues, and it may take years to reverse the damage. However, every change you make will help you feel better, and starting today is great step toward better health.
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