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Breaking Free from Insulin Resistance: Practical Steps for a Healthier You

Written by Dr. Salim Olabi | Medically reviewed by Editorial Team
Last updated on: August 05, 2023

What is Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a syndrome that occurs when the action of this hormone is reduced, causing an accumulation of glucose in the blood, which can lead to diabetes and also cardiovascular diseases. Insulin is a hormone whose main function is to transport sugar into cells, where it is used as a source of energy. People with insulin resistance may have more difficulty losing weight and controlling blood sugar levels. However, some lifestyle changes can help improve this situation.

Causes of Insulin Resistance:

Studies show that the main cause of insulin resistance is excess weight and the accumulation of visceral fat so losing weight can help treat insulin resistance.

Therefore, people who fit the profiles below are more likely to have insulin resistance:

  • Obese and overweight people
  • Excess abdominal fat
  • Trouble losing weight.
  • People who do not practice physical activity.
  • Women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Symptoms of insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body's cells become less responsive to the hormone insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. It is often a precursor to type 2 diabetes and can also be associated with other health issues. Here are some common symptoms of insulin resistance:

  1. High blood sugar levels
  2. Increased hunger
  3. Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  4. Fatigue
  5. Frequent urination
  6. Increased thirst
  7. Darkened skin patches
  8. High blood pressure
  9. High triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol

Tips to improve insulin resistance condition:

Here are some tips to improve Insulin Resistance condition:

  • Adopt a diet low in refined carbohydrates and with moderate consumption of saturated fats, choose lean protein options. This can help treat the effects of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
  • Eat fiber. Whole foods are better because they have a lower glycemic index, that is, they don't make sugar levels go up much and they also have more fiber, which guarantees a feeling of satiety and also helps the functioning of the digestive system.
  • Replace processed and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and rice, with whole grains.
  • Avoid desserts, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages that contain a lot of refined sugar. Sugary drinks in general, even fruit juices in access raise blood sugar levels and contribute to insulin resistance.
  • Carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and dairy products should be prioritized over those that contain high levels of fat, sugar or sodium.
  • Supplements such as chromium, lipoic acid, taurine, inositol, omega 3, zinc, magnesium, biotin, coenzyme Q10 and taurine may help.
  • Exercise daily. Regular physical exercise can also help regulate insulin levels, as it helps to improve blood glucose levels. This is because during physical activity, muscles absorb glucose from the bloodstream without the need for insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar metabolism. In this way, regular exercise helps prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in some people. Regular physical activity also contributes to weight loss, fat reduction and maintenance of a healthy weight. In addition, by losing between 5 to 10% of the total body weight, a person can already show improvements in insulin sensitivity.
  • Look for a professional. If you think you may have insulin resistance, have trouble losing weight, or have any other discomfort, see your doctor or a dietician / nutritionist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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