Recent studies have shown dramatic increases in the percentage of Americans suffering from some form of Insulin Resistance. This may, or may not, mean anything to you right now. However, I believe it is something that all of us need to become aware of. It is a growing epidemic that can be controlled with a few dietary and behavioral modifications.
What is it?
According to “Cracking the Metabolic Code”, the definition of Insulin Resistance is “an inability of insulin to facilitate glucose uptake from the blood into cells. In laymen’s terms, it means that your body is not effective at absorbing insulin after it is released into the bloodstream. When you eat carbohydrates (sugars) it increases your blood sugar which stimulates the release of insulin into your blood stream in order to help regulate your blood sugar. If you are Insulin Resistant then your body is unable to use the carbohydrates as energy and stores it around the belly as fat (visceral fat). Visceral fat is known to be a main culprit in many diseases such as Cancer, Type II Diabetes, Obesity, Depression and Heart Disease. Excessive visceral fat also stimulates the release of over 100 different chemicals that negatively affect your metabolism.
Do I have it?
Here are some common symptoms of Insulin Resistance:
2. Brain fogginess and inability to focus
3. High blood sugar.
4. Intestinal bloating—most intestinal gas is produced from indigestible carbohydrates in the diet.
5. Sleepiness, especially after meals.
6. Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight—for most people, excess weight is from high fat storage; the fat in IR is generally stored in and around abdominal organs in both males and females. It is currently suspected that hormone production in that fat are a precipitating cause of insulin resistance.
7. Increased blood triglyceride levels. (Ideally your triglyceride to HDL ratio would be 1:1)
8. Increased blood pressure. Many people with hypertension are either diabetic or pre-diabetic and have elevated insulin levels due to insulin resistance. One of insulin’s effects is to control arterial wall tension throughout the body.
10. Lower Body Temperature
11. Have a Fasting Glucose higher than 90 mg/dL
How do I fight it?
1. Exercise- High Intensity has been shown to be the most effective form of training in allowing the body to become more insulin sensitive (effect can last for up to 16 hours)
2. Sleep- Getting between 7-9 hours of sleep will allow your body to recover
3. Diet- It is suggested that implementing a high protein, low carbohydrate diet will help negate the effects of Insulin Resistance. BE SURE to get at least 9 – 13 servings of vegetables and 2 – 3 fruits daily.
4. Supplementation- Supplements are vital for counteracting Insulin Resistance. Here is the list of supplements Dr. Jim LaValle recommends for IR:
a. Multi-Vitamins- High Quality grade (Life Time AM/PM)
b. Fish Oil
c. Lean Source
d. Alpha Lipoic Acid
e. Vitamin D
1. LaValle, J. (2004). Cracking the Metabolic Code. Stacy Lundin Yale: Basic Health Publications.
2. Wikipedia Internet Source, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_resistance