Resist Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance (often abbreviated as IR) is a widely-prevalent health condition and precursor to disorders like type-2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus).

The biochemistry of IR is incredibly complex, to be sure. Notwithstanding, it’s plausible that many people who suffer this disorder get it from eating too many carbohydrates.

Here are the key points of this theory.

In patients with normal, healthy metabolisms, when sugars and carbohydrates are digested, the beta cells in the pancreas secrete insulin to keep blood sugar levels neither too high, nor too low.

In insulin resistant patients, however, the post-prandial (after meal) insulin released by the pancreas fails to adequately do its job; thus more insulin is required bring blood sugars down to a healthy level.

Carbs are implicated in the process as follows:

  1. When we eat carbs (be they candies full of high fructose corn syrup or fiber-rich whole grains), our bodies convert the food energy into blood sugar.
  2. This glucose-spiking drives us to produce surges of insulin.
  3. When we “carbo-load” enough times over enough years, we flood our systems with so much insulin that our cells become desensitized to the hormone.

IR coexists with a wide variety of health conditions, such as:

  • morbid obesity
  • metabolic syndrome (Syndrome X)
  • stress
  • type-2 diabetes
  • hypertension
  • problematic cholesterol levels
  • overweight/obesity

Given the potential seriousness of the condition, it’s important to weigh your risk factors.

Older individuals and people who have high cholesterol or a family history of diabetes or heart disease may be more likely to develop IR. Similarly, if you're overweight or obese on the Body Mass Index (BMI) scale, you might be at more risk.

How to resist insulin resistance?

Medications abound to treat symptoms. Some meds retard the body's ability to absorb sugars quickly from the intestines, for instance, thus limiting spikes in insulin levels. Other authorities believe that diet and exercise can be of prophylactic use.

Given that dietary carbohydrates drive insulin production far more than dietary proteins or fats do, IR patients may want to ask their doctors about low carb diets.

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