Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in Gut health, Nutrition | 0 comments

DeannaOsborn_FB6If you lack energy, wonder often if you’re “coming down with something,” and fight fatigue every day, you may be struggling with insulin resistance.  Insulin resistance occurs when cells fail to respond to the hormone insulin. This happens when the body has been forced to produce a large amount of insulin in response to continuous, on-going high glycemic load, which is caused by eating too much sugar and refined carbs and the system eventually wears down and then out!  Insulin resistance (IR) rides along for years wearing down energy and productivity levels.  IR has increased dramatically in the past 10 years, rising along with the rates of metabolic syndrome in the U.S.

Metabolic syndrome can be signaled by fogginess and inability to focus; high blood sugar; intestinal bloating (most intestinal gas is produced from carbohydrates that humans do not digest and absorb well), sleepiness especially after meals, weight gain, fat storage, and difficulty losing weight (excess weight is from high fat storage).  The fat of insulin resistance is generally stored in and around abdominal organs in both males and females and it is likely that hormones produced in that fat are a precipitating cause of insulin resistance, increased blood triglyceride levels, and increased blood pressure. Three out of four Americans today are either overweight or obese, and a staggering thirty percent of U.S. children are also overweight or obese.

Due to the deranged metabolism resulting from insulin resistance, psychological effects, including depression, are not uncommon.  Making this all more difficult: levels of hunger – literally feeding the problem – rise.  Though it is complicated by a number of malfunctioning systems, this common condition, Metabolic Syndrome, can in many cases be reversed through diet, nutrient supplementation, and exercise.

The role of insulin is to regulate the delivery of glucose into the cells for storage allowing the glucose to provide energy to the cell or be stored for later utilization by the body.  Cells that are resistant to insulin can’t take in glucose, fatty acids or amino acids. This causes glucose, fatty acids and amino acids to leak out of the cell, further elevating the circulating levels within the blood stream.

According to an article in The New England Journal of Medicine, it is estimated 91 percent of diabetes could be prevented if people followed a low glycemic diet (low carbs and sugars) and got 30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily. (N Eng J Med 2001;(11):790-797). Again, the solution is literally at the end of our forks in most cases!

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