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Insulin Resistance. What is it? What Can I Do to Prevent or Reverse It?

Back a few short years ago if you asked most people what they knew about insulin the answer was usually something along the lines of  "what diabetic needs to inject". Most people did not know much about this incredibly important master hormone that affects just about every function in your body.  The past few years insulin resistance has gained a lot of attention, mostly driven at the direct link of optimum insulin levels and its benefit on weight loss. Everyone, not just those with diabetes, should be aware of what insulin does, how foods and activity affect insulin, how stress affects insulin levels, and what their fasting insulin level is. The next several weeks I will go into detail about insulin resistance, causes, symptoms, side effects, and what to do about it.  Knowing your fasting insulin level will require a blood draw by your healthcare team. Next time you see your healthcare provider ask to have this checked.  

 If you do not already know what insulin resistance is, here is a quick simplified explanation of a very complex topic. Insulin Resistance 101:  Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and almost every organ in your body, does not respond well to insulin making it difficult to uptake and utilize glucose from your blood. Your body needs to be able to effectively use glucose for fuel.  As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin to help glucose enter your cells which leads to higher insulin resistance creating a vicious cycle. The higher your insulin level gets the harder it is to lose weight, energy levels plummet, and your body systems slowly start to fail.

 Several studies confirm that over half, possibly up to 88% of American adults have insulin resistance. This is an alarming number knowing that  insulin resistance is a precursor of type II diabetes and several other chronic conditions including heart disease, kidney disease, dementia, liver disease, autoimmune conditions, PCOS, infertility and numerous others.

Learning how to reverse insulin resistance and balance your glucose levels is crucial. Not only will this help with prevention of multiple chronic diseases and mortality, but this simple understanding of how to manage glucose levels is truly the key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.  Insulin resistance is such a large topic to cover I will break this down into several key point blogs coming soon. Each blog will be focused on a specific health condition so you can learn more on conditions that interest and relate to you. Weekly articles related to insulin resistance will include information on diet and lifestyle changes to help you achieve insulin sensitivity.  Simple changes you can incorporate into your life to make a huge impact.  So check back weekly!  Invest In Yourself!

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to replace treatment from your professional health care team. Use this information at your own risk and judgement. If you suspect you have a medical condition you should seek professional healthcare help. This information is to help guide you to achieve better health. 

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