Insulin Resistance and Sensitivity

Insulin Resistance and Sensitivity

We hear a lot about insulin resitance and insulin sensitivity in the media these days, but few really understand what insulin is and what these terms mean.

So, we’ll try and explain a little bit here.

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas primarily after you eat carbs. Carbs are absorbed into our bloodstream and elevate our blood sugar levels – this is what the pancreas detects and releases insulin to help the body process this glucose.

When we are healthy, the insulin binds with cell receptors, activating other receptors to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream, moving it into cells to be used for energy.

Insulin Resistance and Sensitivity

These are not absolute terms and are more a continuum of physical state. We are able to change the way our cells respond to insulin to become more sensitive.

Resistance occurs when your cells are less affected by insulin and the receptors don’t bind properly. Basically, it is as though there are locks on the doors to your cells, not allowing insulin to enter. When this occurs, your pancreas will secrete more and more insulin due to the continued detection of glucose in the bloodstream. The pancreas will think that more “keys” are needed to open the door to the cells.

High levels of insulin and glucose remain in your body, with neither going anywhere they are meant to. This can result in low energy levels as your cells are not receiving the fuel they need, and will also have other negative and adverse affects on other bodily processes.

Some of these negative effects include fat gain, higher cortisol levels, increased triglyceride levels, leading to atherosclerosis and heart disease, the production of free radicals leading to chronic inflammation and disease.

Simple Tips to improve insulin sensitivity

  • Eat a high protein, low carb diet;
  • Manage the glycemic response through the intake of fibrous, low-glycemic foods;
  • Limit fructose in your diet;
  • Engage in strength and interval training programs;
  • Be physical on a daily basis & generally more active;
  • Ensure your basic nutrients are adequately supported by your diet & supplementation (Our top 5 are:- Multivitamin, Fishoil, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin D).

Please comment should you have any queries