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Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance

What is Insulin Resistance

We hear so much about insulin resistance these days, especially in light of the diabetes epidemic in North America. 

So what is insulin resistance and what can we do to prevent ourselves from following so many down the slippery slope to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease?

In order to understand insulin resistance, let’s first take a look at what insulin is. Insulin is actually a type of hormone which is mainly produced by the pancreas.

Its role is to help blood sugar (glucose transported by the blood) enter the cells of the body.

Glucose is necessary for energy and can either be used immediately by the body or stored in the liver or muscle cells in the form of glycogen for later use.

Insulin resistance, then, is when the cells no longer respond to the insulin in the bloodstream, so that glucose is not able to get inside the cells.

As a result, the appetite control centers of the brain keep sending out urgent messages to EAT!

This is why those with insulin resistance are constantly hungry and lack energy. 

Unfortunately, eating a quick energy snack (typically foods high in sugars and starches) only exacerbates this problem by causing the blood sugar to spike.

It results in more insulin being produced to deal with the increase in blood sugar and thus causing the resultant sugar “crash”.

It has been found that more than 60% of North Americans are insulin resistant. Insulin resistance is a condition that has yet to be fully understood.

However, it has been observed that excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle can greatly aggravate the condition.

So, if insulin resistance causes weight gain and yet is further aggravated by weight gain, which then leads to more weight gain.

One can begin to see what a desperate problem this is and why so many in North America are struggling with obesity. 

For those who have struggled with this condition, to ever be healthy and slim again may seem like a hopeless cause. However, all is not lost.

New research offers hope! It has been found that when blood sugar is under control, the brain no longer sends messages to constantly eat.

Dr. Michael Lyon and Dr. Michael Murray have written a book called “Hunger-Free Forever” which outlines various natural approaches to managing blood sugar, weight, and appetite. In addition, 

Dr. Vladimir Vuksan and his team at the University of Toronto have found a unique combination of dietary fibers that can help to control insulin resistance by controlling blood sugar and, thereby, the appetite.

Over time, this helps to bring about weight loss.

Other powerful natural substances that help to control blood sugar are:

Chromium: 

It has been found that chromium picolinate may help to decrease insulin and improve the metabolism of blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Cinnamon: 

Studies have found that using cinnamon on a regular basis helps to decrease blood sugar levels over time. It seems to help the cells make better use of the insulin in the bloodstream.

Milk Thistle: 

The antioxidants in Silymarin marianum help to control blood sugar. Silymarin is also known to protect the liver from toxins and helps the liver to digest the sugars in the blood. A better functioning liver and this liver processed glucose also helps to decrease blood sugar levels.

Mulberry Leaves: 

Mulberry contains adenine, pectin, and choline as well as high levels of vitamin A and B. These nutrients support in blood sugar regulation.

Salacia oblonga: 

This is a herb from India and Sri Lanka that seems to cause a sharp drop in blood sugar by binding to enzymes in the intestine that break down carbohydrates into sugars.

Apple Cider Vinegar: 

It seems that 2 tablespoons before a meal can help to control blood sugar levels.

Zinc: 

A deficiency of this mineral may lead to an increase in blood sugar levels as zinc is known to play a part in the production and storage of insulin in the body. 

Food sources of zinc include oysters, pecans, almonds, lamb, and chicken.

Apart from controlling blood sugar levels, another important part of any healthy lifestyle is exercise.

While many suffering from insulin resistance may feel they lack the energy to start an exercise program, the importance of engaging in regular, healthy activity cannot be overestimated.

There’s nothing like a brisk 30 to 60-minute walk outside to help bring down glucose levels in the blood.

The other benefits are improved circulation, increased oxygen in the bloodstream, and increased mental focus.

In conclusion, changing our habits is not always an easy thing to do.

However, making small changes on a regular basis in the right direction can pay large dividends in the long run.

 I wish you good health!

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