Have you ever tried to lose weight, only to find that there isn’t a single diet or exercise plan that helps?
Every time you stand on the scale, you feel like crying because the number hasn’t shifted in weeks.
You’re frustrated, overweight in all the wrong places and fresh out of ideas.
You’re not alone. I was stuck in this situation a few years ago.
It took a mix of self-diagnosis and trips to the the doctor to work out that I had Insulin Resistance. Mine was probably brought on by my existing PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), and has stuck around for years, like an uninvited guest who gatecrashes your birthday party and won’t leave.
However, I’m beginning to successfully deal with it and want to teach you how to do the same.
Let’s start by covering some facts about Insulin Resistance you need to know.
1. What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin Resistance is linked to inflammation of the body and occurs when the body doesn’t use the insulin it produces properly.
Due to this inability to use insulin effectively, glucose builds up in the blood, instead of being used by your body’s cells.
2. Cytokines Cause Insulin Resistance
When you’re overweight, especially if you’re pre-diabetic or have Type 2 Diabetes, the body’s immune system releases Cytokines (cell signaling molecules). These Cytokines are thought to interrupt the action of insulin in your body.
As a result, your body becomes less sensitive to the insulin that you produce, causing Insulin Resistance.
3. Insulin Resistance Has Several Symptoms
Insulin Resistance can be hard to spot, without seeing a Doctor, but there are a few symptoms you should look for:
Strange weight gain, especially around your middle, accompanied by an inability to lose weight
Difficulty with thinking and concentrating (A.K.A Brain Fog)
If your Insulin Resistance eventually develops into Prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes (like mine did), then additional symptoms can include:
Higher Blood Glucose readings
Diabetic symptoms, like frequent urination (Polyuria), thirst (Polydipsia), genital itching and nausea
4. Complications of Insulin Resistance
Unfortunately, Insulin Resistance doesn’t just cause the complications of prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.
It can also lead to a range of other complications, including:
Heart disease (as a result of damage to the heart and blood vessels from high blood sugar and insulin levels)
Death (due to related complications caused by Insulin Resistance)
5. Insulin Resistance Affects Many People
Now that you know more about Insulin Resistance, you may still be thinking you don’t stand a chance of developing it.
I thought the same way too, but I was wrong. Insulin Resistance is actually quite common.
If you’re pre – diabetic or Type 2 Diabetic, there’s a good chance you already have it, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDKK).
In the UK alone, 3.9 million people are diabetic, with 90% of these people (3.5 million) suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.
Even if just 35% of these Type 2 Diabetics had Insulin Resistance, that’s a total of 1.225 million.
And this doesn’t include the millions of people who don’t know that they are diabetic yet.
How to Treat Insulin Resistance
Now that you’re armed with extra facts about Insulin Resistance, you can start treating it. Depending on your own preferences, there are a few ways you can start to reverse its effects.
1. Take Medication
If you head to your nearest Doctor, they are likely to prescribe insulin-sensitising medication like Metformin (Glucophage) to help you on your journey to weightloss.
Drugs like Metformin can be effective, but do also have side effects like nausea, vomiting and a metallic taste in your mouth.
Whether you want to take medication to treat your Insulin Resistance will depend on what you’re comfortable with.
2. Try Fasting
Fasting is something people often have mixed feelings about. Despite many people’s aversion to it, fasting can be used to effectively treat Insulin Resistance.
I recently read a book called The Obesity Code, by Dr. Jason Fung. This, combined with his website Intensive Dietary Management, taught me so much about how Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes work, and how fasting can be used to combat the effect of Insulin Resistance on weight loss. He has plenty of legitimate medical knowledge and research to back up his advice, which makes for interesting reading.
3. Change Your Lifestyle
Whether you try fasting, or not, it’s important to change your lifestyle. Try eating a low – carb diet and exercise regularly too.
I’ve found, after lots of trial and error, that a diet low in carbohydrate, combined with fasting and going to the gym has consistently lowered my blood glucose readings and helped me lose weight, despite Insulin Resistance.
Insulin Resistance can be a pain to deal with but the facts and information in this post will help you to fight it.
I’m well on my way towards better health thanks to the information I’ve been able to find and implement, so I know that you’ll be able to do the same.
Today’s guest poster is Hayley Jeffery. She is a freelance writer for hire. As a Type 2 Diabetic and fully qualified Health and Social Care Worker, she is passionate about helping others to improve their health and to get the most out of life. You can connect with her on Twitter.