The Root of Obesity and Diabetes: Understanding Insulin Resistance


Have you heard of insulin resistance?

When you look for information regarding Obesity and Type 2 diabetes, you’re most likely to hear the term insulin resistance. In order to overcome obesity and prevent Type 2 diabetes, you must know what insulin resistance exactly is. Even if you lose massive weight through strict caloric restriction or any kind of medical procedure, there is a possibility to gain back the weight if insulin resistance hasn’t been reversed which progress through a long period of time.

Let’s compare obesity to weeds in the garden. If you just simply cut the weeds in order to make the garden look nice, it’ll sure and look nice for a bit. However, weeds will grow back soon. This is why you should eradicate weeds rather than just cutting them off. Now let’s think of this as our body. We can, of course, lose weight with an extreme caloric restriction or a medical procedure, but is this really the genuine solution to obesity?

What will happen once you stop this extreme diet or medicine intake? You’ll, of course, gain back the way you have lost, sometimes even more!

There may be some of you who would think like this. Can I just take the diet pills for the rest of my life and maintain my weight been. Well, if you have previously taken diet pills that suppress your appetite, you may already know this fact. You need to continue to take a higher dose in order to have the same effect.

This applies the same to the weeds which were mentioned previously. In the beginning, a small amount of herbicide will kill the weeds but if this continues, weeds that are resistant to the herbicide will grow and eventually a stronger or larger amount of herbicide will be needed.

Therefore, you should make sure to eradicate the main root cause in order to prevent from same things from happening again and again.

In this case, insulin resistance must be reversed in order to eradicate the root cause of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Shall we now look at what insulin resistance is? When you eat food with carbohydrates, your digestive system breaks down the carbohydrates and changes them into glucose. The glucose goes into your bloodstream to be used for energy. However, glucose cannot be used for energy if it doesn’t enter the cells. Therefore, insulin acts as a key to open the door of the cells for glucose to enter.

As what was just explained, glucose should enter into the cells to be used for energy with the help of insulin. But when you have insulin resistance, the gates of the cells does not open easily as they resist insulin. Since the glucose cannot enter into the cells and remain in the blood, the blood sugar level remains high and therefore stimulates more insulin release. But if more insulin is released, this eventually worsens the insulin resistance and trap you in a vicious circle.

Let’s take antibiotics as an example. When antibiotics are first used, they can be powerful at fighting infections. However, if you continuously overuse them, you will end up needing more and more antibiotics, or maybe they will not work at all.

Likewise, you would need much more insulin in order to do its job as the insulin sensitivity deteriorates over the period of time. In a study with 15 healthy participants, 4 days of continuously having high insulin levels caused a 20 to 40 per cent decrease in insulin sensitivity. This means that more insulin has to be released in order to process the blood sugar.

Let me give you an easy example. Let’s say that you go into a bathtub to take a bath. You will first feel the water too hot to even get in but how would you feel after a while? You would soon get used to a temperature and might even think that it’s not hot enough for you and you might turn on more hot water.

Likewise, glucose would have gone into the cells with the help of small amount of insulin when you were young and healthy. But just like your body getting used to the water temperature in the bathtub, your body may need more insulin release as your cell doesn’t react sensitively to insulin anymore.

What would happen next? Excessive amount of insulin will lower the insulin sensitivity more and you would need even more insulin to push the glucose into yourself. Then what can you do to reverse the insulin resistance and improve your insulin sensitivity? Just like many other illnesses, here isn’t any one particular method to this but you can surely improve your insulin sensitivity by changing your diet and lifestyle.

What can you do to reverse the insulin resistance?

Number 1: Avoid refined carbohydrates especially sweet food and drinks.

Refined carbohydrates like bread and pasta not only spike your blood sugar level but also leads to excessive insulin release. You should avoid food that stimulates excessive insulin release in order to avoid insulin resistance. Nowadays, most people have a sedentary lifestyle and therefore, too much carbohydrates will end up being triglycerides in your body and this may cause fatty liver.

One thing you must remember is the fructose and sweet food and drinks. About half of sugar and corn syrup is composed of glucose and the other half is fructose. Unlike glucose, which can be used as energy, fructose usually cannot be used as energy and is directly processed in the liver to make triglycerides. So, if you are drinking a cup of sweet beverage along with your high carbohydrate meal, you can assume that the beverage will become your fat. A more serious problem is that excessive triglycerides cause fatty liver and fatty liver can cause insulin resistance.

Number 2: Avoid eating too frequently.

Not only what you eat is important but also when you eat is important. If you eat three meals a day and have snacks in between, insulin will be continuously released and this can deteriorate the insulin sensitivity which can be backed by the previously mentioned study.

Number 3: Exercise regularly.

There was a study which shows improvements of insulin sensitivity in non-insulin-dependent diabetic after one single bout of exercise. Exercising is not just recommended for weight loss by burning calories. It helps to control blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity and this is why exercising is recommended to Type 2 diabetics.

Number 4: Get more sleep.

According to one study with healthy men and women, just a single night of having only four hours of sleep-induced insulin resistance. Continuous sleep deprivation can raise blood sugar by keeping the chronic release of stress hormone and this can also affect the insulin release.

Therefore, more than seven hours of sleep per day is necessary for your health. There are many other natural ways to improve your insulin sensitivity such as stress management.

A healthy diet and lifestyle are the keys to improve insulin sensitivity and to avoid having illnesses. What is the best way to bear excellent fruit? Would you leave the tree without any care and just spray pesticides or would you give great care by watering and fertilizing the tree? You know the answer, then.

What should you do to your own precious body? Should you eat whatever you want and do whatever you wish and end up developing health problems and rely on medication for the rest of your life? Your current health status is due to your past lifestyle but the choices you make today can make your future.


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