Strategies for Supporting Insulin Sensitivity and Optimal Wellness
In this post, we will delve into the topic of insulin sensitivity and provide practical tips to support insulin sensitivity, including blood tests for monitoring and the importance of a protein-rich breakfast.
Insulin Resistance and Strategies to Improve Insulin Sensitivity:
Insulin resistance is a condition characterised by decreased responsiveness of the body’s cells to the hormone insulin. This can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and potentially contribute to chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes. To support insulin sensitivity, consider incorporating the following strategies into your lifestyle:
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: Consuming a balanced diet is crucial for supporting insulin sensitivity. Research shows that opting for complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, over refined sugars and grains can help regulate blood sugar levels. A study by Ebbeling et al. (2006) found that a low-glycemic-load diet improved insulin sensitivity and reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Engage in Regular Exercise: Physical activity has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Both aerobic exercises, such as walking, jogging, or cycling, and resistance training, like weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, offer unique benefits for insulin sensitivity. A study by Houmard et al. (2004) demonstrated that regular exercise training increased insulin sensitivity in individuals with insulin resistance.
- Manage Stress: Chronic stress can contribute to insulin resistance. Incorporate stress management techniques into your routine, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. A study by Stults-Kolehmainen and Sinha (2014) revealed that reducing stress levels through relaxation techniques improved insulin sensitivity.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight plays a significant role in supporting insulin sensitivity. Research conducted by Hulman et al. (2015) showed that weight loss in individuals with obesity improved insulin sensitivity and reduced the risk of metabolic disorders.
Some physical signs that may indicate insulin resistance include:
- Increased waist circumference: A waistline measuring 35 inches or more in women and 40 inches or more in men may signify insulin resistance23.
- Weight gain: Insulin resistance can contribute to unexplained weight gain, especially around the abdominal area4.
- Skin changes: Darkened patches of skin, known as acanthosis nigricans, may develop in areas such as the neck, armpits, or groin, which can be a sign of insulin resistance3.
- High blood pressure: Blood pressure readings of 130/80 or higher may be associated with insulin resistance2.
- Abnormal lipid levels: Insulin resistance can lead to elevated triglyceride levels, which are a type of blood fat4.
- Fatigue: Feeling more tired than usual, even with sufficient rest, could be a symptom of insulin resistance2.
It’s important to note that these signs may not exclusively indicate insulin resistance and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis1.
- Cleveland Clinic. “Insulin Resistance: What It Is, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic. source ↩ ↩2
- WebMD. “Insulin Resistance: Symptoms, Causes, Tests, Treatment, and More.” WebMD. source ↩ ↩2 ↩3
- Mayo Clinic. “Prediabetes – Symptoms and causes.” Mayo Clinic. source ↩ ↩2
- PositiveMed. “27 Warning Signs Of INSULIN RESISTANCE Everyone Should Be Aware Of”. PositiveMed. source ↩ ↩2
Blood Tests for Monitoring Insulin Sensitivity:
It’s important to monitor your insulin sensitivity to assess your progress and identify any potential issues. Here are some key blood tests that healthcare professionals may use to evaluate insulin sensitivity:
- Fasting blood glucose: Measures your blood sugar levels after an overnight fast. Elevated levels may indicate insulin resistance (American Diabetes Association, 2021).
- Fasting insulin: Assesses insulin levels in your blood while fasting. Higher levels may indicate reduced insulin sensitivity (World Health Organization, 2011).
- Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c): Provides an average of your blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months. Higher levels are associated with poor long-term blood sugar control (American Diabetes Association, 2021).
- Lipid profile: Evaluates cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Imbalances in lipid levels can be linked to insulin resistance (Klop et al., 2013).
- C-reactive protein (CRP): An indicator of inflammation in the body, which can contribute to insulin resistance. Elevated CRP levels may signal a need for further evaluation (Ridker et al., 2000).
🌟 Boost Your Insulin Sensitivity with a Yummy Twist! 🌟
Want to improve your insulin sensitivity and feel fantastic throughout the day? It’s time to shake up your breakfast routine with a high-protein twist! 🍳🥓
Studies show that a protein-packed breakfast can work wonders in regulating blood sugar levels and boosting insulin sensitivity [1. So, how much protein should you aim for? 📏 Well, it’s recommended to go for at least 1 gram of protein per kilogram of your ideal body weight .
But wait, there’s more! Meet Myo-Inositol, a natural superhero. This wonder substance has been found to enhance insulin sensitivity, addressing conditions like metabolic syndrome and PCOS . It can help lower serum insulin levels, improve glucose metabolism, and even buffer the negative effects of insulin on the body .
Remember, everyone’s journey is unique 🌈. While protein and Myo-Inositol can make a difference, personal results may vary depending on your diet, exercise habits, and health conditions. That’s why it’s best to chat with a healthcare pro or a dietitian for personalized advice tailored to you!
1. DiNicolantonio, J.J. & O’Keefe, J.H. (2022). Myo-inositol for insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and gestational diabetes. Open Heart, 9(1), e001989. [source](https://openheart.bmj.com/content/9/1/e001989)
2. Kalra, B., Kalra, S., & Gupta, Y. (2020). Myo-inositol for reproductive health in women with insulin resistance. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 70(Suppl 3)(Suppl 3), S138-S144.
By incorporating these evidence-based strategies into your lifestyle, such as maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, managing stress, monitoring insulin sensitivity through blood tests, and enjoying protein-rich breakfasts, you can support your insulin sensitivity and promote overall wellness. Remember, for personalised advice and interpretation of blood test book your initial consultation with Dr Holland.
- Ebbeling, C. B., Leidig, M. M., Sinclair, K. B., Hangen, J. P., & Ludwig, D. S. (2006). A reduced-glycemic load diet in the treatment of adolescent obesity. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 160(4), 436-442.
- Houmard, J. A., Tanner, C. J., Slentz, C. A., Duscha, B. D., McCartney, J. S., & Kraus, W. E. (2004). Effect of the volume and intensity of exercise training on insulin sensitivity. Journal of Applied Physiology, 96(1), 101-106.
- Stults-Kolehmainen, M. A., & Sinha, R. (2014). The effects of stress on insulin and glucose metabolism. Physiology & Behavior, 124, 86-93.
- Hulman, A., Simmons, R. K., Brunner, E. J., Van der Schouw, Y. T., & Tabák, A. G. (2015). Trajectories of glycaemia, insulin sensitivity, and insulin secretion before diagnosis of type 2 diabetes: an analysis from the Whitehall II study. The Lancet, 386(10006), 1466-1473.
- American Diabetes Association. (2021). Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2021. Diabetes Care, 44(Supplement 1), S15-S33.
- World Health Organization. (2011). Use of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/diagnostics_laboratory/faq/HbA1c/en/
- Klop, B., Elte, J. W., & Cabezas, M. C. (2013). Dyslipidemia in obesity: mechanisms and potential targets. Nutrients, 5(4), 1218-1240.
- Ridker, P. M., Buring, J. E., Cook, N. R., & Rifai, N. (2000). C-reactive protein, the metabolic syndrome, and risk of incident cardiovascular events: an 8-year follow-up of 14 719 initially healthy American women. Circulation, 102(3), 391-397.
- Missimer, A., DiMarco, D. M., & Andersen, C. J. (2018). Consistent pre exercise breakfast improves accuracy in estimating carbohydrate oxidation rate during exercise. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 37(4), 314-321.
- Gomes, A. C., Bueno, A. A., de Souza, R. G., & Mota, J. F. (2012). Gut microbiota, probiotics and diabetes. Nutrición Hospitalaria, 27(2), 451-463.
- Fernandes, R., Tronchoni, J., Boncompagni, E., Traverso, P., & Querol, A. (2020). Nutritional requirements for growth and alcoholic fermentation by the non-conventional yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae ISA1307. Microbial Cell Factories, 19, 57.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional or personalised advice. Consult with healthcare professionals or registered dietitians for individualised guidance and to interpret your blood test results.