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Do I Have Insulin Resistance?

Updated: Feb 14

Insulin resistance is a topic that is discussed all the time amongst women struggling with PCOS, weight loss struggles and many hormonal imbalance symptoms. Let’s talk about it and what you can do to help manage symptoms!


“Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood. As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin to help glucose enter your cells.” (1)


High risk for insulin resistance:

  • overweight or obesity

  • age 45 or older

  • a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes

  • African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander American ethnicity

  • physical inactivity

  • health conditions such as high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels

  • a history of gestational diabetes

  • a history of heart disease or stroke

  • polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS.

 

Insulin resistance can lead to higher testosterone levels, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, and can also factor into developing heart disease.

 

Blood sugar balance is key not just in those who have PCOS but everyone. It is the foundation for long term health. Balanced blood sugar means balanced sex hormones and adrenal hormones as well as energy, mood, weight regulation and so many more.

 

Following a blood sugar balanced diet and lifestyle is considered low risk while supplementation is something you should ask your healthcare provider about first before

taking certain supplements for blood sugar.


 

What are some ways to help balance insulin resistance?

 

Healthy Eating Habits:


- Choose complex carbohydrates: Opt for whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits with a lower glycemic index to help stabilize blood sugar levels.


- Balanced meals: Include a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats in each meal to slow down the absorption of sugar.


Regular Physical Activity:


- Exercise regularly: Both aerobic exercise and strength training can improve insulin sensitivity. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with strength training exercises.


Choose Healthy Fats:


- Prioritize unsaturated fats: Include sources of healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil while limiting saturated and trans fats.


Hydration:


- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water throughout the day can help regulate blood sugar levels.


Adequate Sleep:


- Prioritize sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, as inadequate sleep can contribute to insulin resistance. Quality sleep is important as well!


Stress Management:


- Practice stress-reducing activities: Engage in activities like yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or hobbies to manage stress, as chronic stress can impact insulin sensitivity.


Fiber-Rich Diet:


- Include fiber in your diet: Foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, can help regulate blood sugar levels. Fiber slows the digestion of carbohydrates into the blood stream. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar spikes.


Limit Processed Foods:


- Reduce processed and sugary foods: Minimize the intake of processed foods, sugary beverages, and snacks, as they can contribute to insulin resistance. [2]


It’s important to always consult a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian before making any huge changes. That way they can discuss with you which options are best for your unique situation.





 







Sources:[1] [2]

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