woman eating a healthy meal to reduce insulin resistance
Dr. Laura Pipher

Dr. Laura Pipher

Unlocking Energy: Combating Insulin Resistance Naturally

As a naturopathic doctor  focused in women’s health, I’ve seen firsthand the toll that insulin resistance can take on energy levels and overall well-being. But the good news is, there are natural ways to combat this condition and unlock the door to sustained energy.

Understanding Insulin Resistance:

Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, acts like a key that allows sugar (glucose) to enter your cells and provide them with fuel. However, when your cells become resistant to insulin, the key doesn’t fit the lock anymore. This leads to a buildup of sugar in the bloodstream, which can cause fatigue, weight gain, and contribute to the development of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes. Even before diabetes occurs, symptoms such as fatigue become more prominent. 

Causes and Consequences:

Several factors can contribute to insulin resistance, including:

  • Diet: Excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats can overwhelm your body’s ability to manage blood sugar [1].
  • Inactivity: Regular physical activity improves insulin sensitivity, while a sedentary lifestyle can worsen it [2].
  • Chronic inflammation: Chronic inflammation from underlying conditions or unhealthy habits can impair insulin signaling [3].
  • Gut health: An imbalanced gut microbiome can negatively impact insulin sensitivity [4].

Natural Solutions:

Combating insulin resistance naturally involves a multi-pronged approach:

1. Dietary Modifications:

  • Focus on whole, unprocessed foods: Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources. These foods are rich in fiber and nutrients that slow down sugar absorption and promote healthy blood sugar levels [5].
  • Limit refined carbohydrates and added sugars: These foods cause rapid spikes in blood sugar and contribute to insulin resistance [6].
  • Choose healthy fats: Include healthy fats like those found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil in your diet. These fats promote satiety and support healthy insulin function [7].

2. Exercise Regularly:

Engaging in regular physical activity, even just brisk walking for 30 minutes most days of the week, improves insulin sensitivity and helps manage blood sugar levels [8].

3. Support Gut Health:

A healthy gut microbiome plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar metabolism. Consider incorporating fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi into your diet, or taking probiotic supplements after consulting with your doctor [9].

4. Explore Herbal Remedies (Consult with a qualified healthcare professional):

Certain herbs like berberine and fenugreek have shown promise in preliminary studies to improve insulin sensitivity [10, 11]. However, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using any herbal remedies due to potential interactions with medications and individual health concerns.


These tips are intended for general information purposes only and do not substitute for professional medical advice. It’s crucial to consult with your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet, exercise routine, or starting any supplements.

By taking a proactive approach that combines dietary modifications, regular exercise, and supporting gut health, you can unlock your body’s natural ability to manage blood sugar and experience sustained energy levels.


  1. Malik, V., et al. (2010). Sugar-sweetened beverages, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23966427/
  2. Warburton, D. E., et al. (2016). Health benefits of physical activity: The evidence. https://www.cmaj.ca/content/174/6/801
  3. Gregor, M. F., & Hotamisligil, G. S. (2011). Inflammatory mechanisms in type 2 diabetes. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22252015/
  4. Cani, P. D., et al. (2008). Gut microbiota modulation in health and disease: Harvard perspectives. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9549250/
  5. Jenkins, D. J. A., et al. (2017). Glycemic index: Potential benefits and limitations in diabetes management. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7352659/
  6. Malik, V., et al. (2010). Sugar-sweetened beverages, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23966427/

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