high sugar foods, insulin resistance
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Dr. Laura Pipher

Beyond Blood sugar crashes: Hidden signs of insulin resistance

Feeling like you hit a wall in the afternoon? Do sugary treats suddenly become irresistible? These could be signs of a condition called insulin resistance, and it goes far beyond just blood sugar spikes and crashes.

What is insulin?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps your body use glucose (sugar) from food for energy. When you have insulin resistance, your cells become less responsive to insulin, leading to a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream. While fatigue and sugar cravings are common symptoms, insulin resistance can manifest in a variety of ways you might not expect.

Hidding signs of insulin resistance

  1. Unexplained Weight Gain: Even with a seemingly healthy diet, insulin resistance can make it harder for your body to burn fat for energy, leading to weight gain.

  2. Chronic Fatigue: When your cells aren’t able to access glucose for energy, you can experience persistent tiredness and difficulty concentrating.

  3. Skin Issues: Acanthosis nigricans, characterized by dark, velvety patches on the skin, can be a sign of insulin resistance, particularly in areas like the back of the neck, armpits, or groin.

  4. Hormonal Imbalances: Insulin resistance can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones, leading to symptoms like irregular periods, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and even fertility problems.

  5. Slow Wound Healing: Insulin plays a role in cell growth and repair. When your cells are resistant to insulin, it can impair wound healing.

  6. Increased Hunger & Sugar Cravings: When your body struggles to use glucose for energy, it can send signals for more sugar, leading to cravings for sugary foods.

Don't Ignore the signs

If you’re experiencing several of these symptoms, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional. Early detection and management of insulin resistance can help prevent complications like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Taking charge of your health

Taking Charge of Your Health:

The good news is, there are steps you can take to improve insulin sensitivity and prevent future complications:

  1. Diet: Focus on a whole-foods, balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats.

  2. Exercise: Regular physical activity improves insulin sensitivity and helps your body manage blood sugar levels.

  3. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can worsen insulin resistance. Explore stress management techniques like yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.

  4. Weight Management: Even modest weight loss can significantly improve insulin sensitivity.

  5. Sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Poor sleep can disrupt hormones and worsen insulin resistance.

By making lifestyle changes and working with your healthcare provider, you can address insulin resistance, improve your overall health, and feel your best.

Don’t forget to share this information with anyone who might find it helpful!

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