Insulin Resistance In-Detail: Signs, Causes, and the Best Insulin Resistance Natural Treatment Options
Affecting over 32.2% of the US population, insulin resistance increases the risk of developing diabetes. You may have it for years without knowing it since it often causes no noticeable symptoms.
Therefore, it is essential to check your sugar blood levels regularly and consult a certified practitioner about potentially efficient treatments. Untreated insulin resistance can result in diabetes type 2, so it’s vital to implement lifestyle changes as soon as possible. Healthy weight management, physical activity, stress reduction, and a diet rich in nutrients can help you overcome the effects of insulin resistance and live a healthy life without obstacles.
The best insulin resistance treatment includes natural methods and approaches based on alternative medicine, including diet and supplements. In this article, you’ll learn more about how to treat insulin resistance and reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2.
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Insulin Overview: The Vital Connection Between Insulin and Insulin Resistance
To help you fully understand insulin resistance, its causes, and symptoms, we’ll explain the role of insulin in our body. Insulin is one of the most important hormones in our body since it controls the most vital bodily processes. Any problem or imbalance in this hormone may lead to severe health conditions, including diabetes.
Insulin is secreted by your pancreas, and it has a vital role in regulating nutrients circulating in your bloodstream. Even though it’s prevalent in blood sugar management, insulin also affects fat and protein metabolism.
Whenever your body senses an increased blood sugar level, the cells in your pancreas release insulin to your blood. As insulin travels around your bloodstream and tells your cells to pick up sugar from your blood, blood sugar levels will gradually decrease.
But what happens when the cells stop responding to insulin properly? It means that you have insulin resistance.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance occurs when the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver stop responding to insulin quickly enough, without being able to use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, the pancreas starts producing more insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance is more common in people with obesity, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, and a sedentary lifestyle accompanied by a diet high in processed sugars and refined carbs.
What are Insulin Resistance Symptoms?
You cannot know for sure that you have insulin resistance without running the necessary blood tests. The symptoms of insulin resistance aren’t as prominent as you might expect, but the following signs may indicate its presence:
- A waistline over 40 inches in men and 35 in women
- Blood pressure readings that go over 130/80
- Fasting glucose levels higher than 100 mg/dL
- Fasting triglyceride levels higher than 150 mg/dL
- HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels under 40 mg/dL in men and 50 mg/dL in women
- Skin tags
- Acanthosis nigricans – patches of dark, velvety skin, often on the neck, armpits, and groin.
What Causes Insulin Resistance?
Many factors can trigger insulin resistance, and one of them can be increased fat levels in your blood. The main cause of elevated levels of fat is usually a diet high in calories, trans fats, and processed foods, which frequently lead to obesity, overeating, and sudden weight gain.
Excess body weight may impact the increase in visceral fats – dangerous belly fats that accumulate around your organs. These fats are responsible for releasing many free fatty acids to your blood, including inflammatory hormones that provoke insulin resistance syndrome.
Signs of insulin resistance often result from unhealthy lifestyle habits, reflecting in:
- Excess fructose intake: Frequent intake of fructose originating from added sugars may impact the onset of insulin resistance.
- Inflammation: Increased stress levels and existing inflammations in your organism are strongly associated with the cells’ inability to respond to insulin.
- Physical inactivity: The lack of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle may cause insulin resistance.
- Gut microbiota: Researches have shown that a disruption in a bacterial environment in your gut can cause inflammation that triggers insulin resistance and other health-related problems.
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How is Insulin Resistance Diagnosed?
A healthcare practitioner will use several methods to determine whether you are insulin resistant or not. The most accurate indicators are blood tests, which can show high fasting insulin levels, high triglycerides, and low levels of so-called good cholesterol, also known as HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with insulin resistance, you’ll work together with a licensed practitioner to find the most efficient insulin resistance treatment to reduce your risk of developing diabetes or another severe health condition.
What are Insulin Resistance Symptoms in Females?
Women with any hormone imbalance, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more prone to developing insulin resistance since their bodies cannot respond to insulin as quickly as they should.
Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of insulin resistance if they are over 40, overweight, have high blood pressure, are mostly inactive, and have high cholesterol. Over time, they may feel cravings for sweets and salty foods, fatigue, frequent urination, increased hunger or thirst, tingling sensation in hands and feet, or similar signs that prove they’re resistant to insulin.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Quick Overview
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that occurs in women during their reproductive age. It is characterized by prolonged menstrual periods and the growth of small follicles of fluid on the ovaries.
If untreated, PCOS may provoke severe complications, such as infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and various chronic cardiovascular diseases.
Insulin Resistance and PCOS: What Is the Connection?
Although there isn’t an exact cause of PCOS, different studies have shown that obesity plays a significant role in this syndrome’s onset. Substantial weight gain can worsen the signs of PCOS, and provoke other severe health problems leading to diabetes and insulin resistance.
Another common factor that may cause PCOS is insulin. When your cells become resistant to insulin due to obesity or other reasons, your blood sugar levels will rise, disrupting the body’s vital functions. Excess insulin may increase the production of androgen, a male hormone, causing difficulties with ovulation and worsening the PCOS-related symptoms.
It is vital to start your insulin resistance treatment on time to prevent PCOS and its consequences. High insulin levels may affect your general health and the ability to perform your everyday activities. In the following section, you’ll learn more about natural remedies for insulin resistance and get a valuable piece of advice to help you overcome the difficulties caused by this syndrome.
Insulin Resistance Natural Treatment Options: Diet, Lifestyle Changes, and Herbal Medicine
Nature has provided the most efficient insulin resistance treatment solutions that consist of drug-free therapies, and 100% safe methods focusing on strengthening one’s general health and improving the immune system.
Lousy lifestyle habits are what affects insulin the most, which is why insulin sensitivity improvement lies in their change. Diet, sleep, physical activity, and stress management are the spheres you should improve in order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and prevent the onset of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Number One Treatment for Insulin Resistance
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been recognized as one of the best anti-diabetic treatments. TCM and its therapies, including acupuncture and Chinese herbs, have potent anti-inflammatory effects that help maintain normal insulin levels and reduce stress while encouraging you to start implementing healthier lifestyle habits.
TCM therapies are 100% drug-free, and based on natural approaches that come with no severe side-effects. Natural cure for insulin resistance follows the holistic concept that encompasses various therapies focused on achieving optimal well-being. Therefore, it involves a nutrient-rich diet, stress management, exercise, and other techniques that inspire you to live healthily and happily.
Insulin Resistance Herbs
Recent studies have shown that Chinese herbs have a strong anti-diabetic effect, improving the most common signs of insulin imbalance and regulating blood sugar levels. Adding specific herbs and spices to your food can reduce blood glucose, for example:
- Fenugreek seeds: These seeds are high in fiber, which helps make insulin more effective. You can eat them whole or baked into bread to decrease insulin levels and regulate blood sugar.
- Turmeric: Thanks to its active component called curcumin, turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps you regulate glucose levels by decreasing free fatty acids and sugar in the blood.
- Ginger: This spice is excellent for those with insulin resistance since its active components make the sugar receptors on muscle cells more available.
- Garlic: We might not be aware of the benefits of this everyday ingredient, which significantly reduces blood sugar levels.
- Cinnamon: Apart from being incredibly delicious, cinnamon has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help treat insulin imbalance.
- Green tea: Green tea is excellent for those with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes since it helps maintain healthy insulin levels.
A list of herbs for insulin resistance is long but bear in mind that not all the formulas may be adequate for your condition. Consult a certified Chinese herbalist before you start with the therapy to reduce the risk of side effects and boost the overall healing effect.
Insulin Resistance Supplements
Natural supplements for insulin resistance can help maintain optimal glucose levels and boost general health. The following supplements for insulin resistance have proven their efficiency in enhancing insulin sensitivity:
- Chromium: Regular chromium intake may improve the insulin receptors’ ability to lower blood sugar levels.
- Magnesium: This mineral works closely with insulin receptors to store blood glucose. Taking magnesium supplements can enhance insulin sensitivity, so it’s recommended to include it in your diet.
- Berberine: Regular use of berberine can decrease sugar levels and help you maintain its optimal levels.
- Resveratrol: It is found in the skin of grapes and other berries, and it is believed to increase insulin sensitivity.
Talk to your practitioner prior to taking any supplement since some types can interfere with the medications you’re currently taking.
Insulin Resistance Diet
A diet for insulin resistance should be high in fiber and protein, and low in carbohydrates, trans fats, and processed sugars. It is vital to enrich your diet with vitamins and minerals, especially if you have PCOS or any other hormonal disorder associated with obesity or uncontrolled eating.
An adequate insulin resistance diet plan should consist of the following ingredients and foods:
- Soluble fiber: Soluble fiber helps feed the friendly bacteria found in your gut, improving insulin sensitivity. You can find it in legumes, oatmeal, flaxseeds, Brussel sprouts, and oranges.
- Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibers that have potent health-boosting and antioxidant effects. Still, limit your fruit intake per day since some of them can be high in sugar. Eat two pieces or less per serving, for example.
- Apple cider vinegar: This liquid can help increase insulin sensitivity in people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. You can put it in salads, or sauces.
- Low-carb foods: It is essential to reduce your carb intake and stick with keto-friendly foods and ingredients. However, it doesn’t mean you should completely exclude them from your diet – eat brown rice, potato, quinoa, homemade oatmeal, etc., but avoid processed carbs such as chips, pretzels, soda, etc.
- Foods free of trans fats: Artificial trans fats may worsen insulin resistance symptoms, so you should exclude them from your diet. They’re commonly found in processed foods and fried fast food.
- Sugar-free foods: Added sugars disrupt normal insulin levels, and they are found in cakes, candies, sweetened beverages, cookies, pastries, etc. Replace white sugar with natural sugars or sweeteners, including agave syrup, maple syrup, honey, stevia, etc.
Insulin Resistance and Lifestyle Modifications
Current lifestyle habits may be the main culprit for your condition, so it is vital to change them on time. For instance:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight is the most common factor that causes insulin resistance, so it’s vital to lose a few pounds in order to prevent it. Diet and regular exercise can help you with the process.
- Reduce stress: Do yoga, meditation, or anything else that relaxes your mind and makes you feel happy. Too much stress affects insulin, eventually leading to diabetes or other severe health conditions.
- Improve physical activity: Being physically active improves your overall health, reducing the risk of insulin resistance. Jogging, running, hiking, working out at the gym, or any other type of exercise will help you become healthier.
- Sleep better: Poor sleep habits increase the risk of infections, inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular conditions. On the other hand, a good night’s sleep can prevent the onset of insulin resistance and boost your immune system.