Insulin resistance is the epidemic you may never have heard of. This statement by Dr. Benjamin Bikman couldn't be truer.
Despite being a critical component of our metabolism, insulin resistance is often overlooked, leading to chronic diseases and disorders that can be life-threatening. In this blog article, we'll dive deep into insulin resistance, what it is, how it impacts our health, and what we can do to prevent it.
Insulin Resistance - The Basics
Insulin resistance is a condition that arises when cells in the body stop responding to insulin as efficiently as they used to. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates our blood sugar levels. When we eat, our blood sugar levels rise, and insulin is released to help shuttle glucose from the bloodstream into our cells, where it is used for energy. However, when insulin resistance occurs, the cells become less responsive to insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels, which can cause damage to various organs in the body.
How Insulin Resistance Impacts Our Health
Insulin resistance is a significant contributor to several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even some forms of cancer. In addition, insulin resistance can also increase the risk of infectious diseases. Studies have shown that people with insulin resistance are more likely to experience severe symptoms if they contract a viral infection, such as COVID-19.
Insulin resistance can also cause a variety of other health issues, including infertility, erectile dysfunction, fatty liver disease, hypertension, and osteoarthritis. The reason why insulin resistance leads to so many different health problems is that insulin plays a crucial role in our metabolism. It regulates the use of nutrients and energy throughout the body, so when insulin resistance occurs, it disrupts this process, leading to a variety of issues.
Preventing Insulin Resistance
The good news is that insulin resistance is preventable. One of the primary causes of insulin resistance is a diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugars, and processed foods. These foods can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to a surge in insulin production. Over time, this can cause the cells to become less responsive to insulin, leading to insulin resistance.
To prevent insulin resistance, it's essential to eat a balanced diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This type of diet is low in refined carbohydrates and sugars, reducing the need for insulin production. In addition, regular exercise can also help prevent insulin resistance by increasing insulin sensitivity, allowing the cells to respond more efficiently to insulin.
Insulin resistance is a significant health issue that is often overlooked. However, by understanding what it is, how it impacts our health, and what we can do to prevent it, we can take steps to improve our overall health and wellbeing. By eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and reducing our intake of refined carbohydrates and sugars, we can reduce our risk of developing insulin resistance and the chronic diseases that come with it.