Insulin resistance. What is it?

Insulin resistance

Causes, symptoms, treatment, and diet for glycemic disorders

Insulin resistance is a condition in which cells have a reduced sensitivity to insulin. 

Insulin is a hormone responsible, among others, for regulating blood glucose levels. 

The consequence of insulin resistance is abnormal shift in blood and intracellular sugar level, impaired metabolism, and increased insulin production, which causes hyperinsulinism. 

What are the consequences of this?

Increased tendency to gain weight

Increased risk of fatty liver

Disrupted cholesterol management

Abnormal work of the ovaries

The causes of insulin resistance include:

Abdominal obesity

Excessive consumption of kcal

Consuming products with a high glycemic index


Unhealthy lifestyle including poor stress and sleep management

Initially, insulin resistance does not give any symptoms, however, as the disease develops, symptoms such as appear:

Excessive sleepiness with carbohydrate meals

Weight gain without changing your diet

Depressed mood

Mental fog

Constant fatigue

Problems with memory, concentration, irritability,

Hunger attacks 2-3 hours after a meal

Difficulty shedding unnecessary kilograms

Sounds familiar to any of these symptoms? It is worth considering diagnostics.

Fasting insulin and sugar level – this is the basic test that should be considered. The norms are quite ambiguous, it is believed that the insulin level should be below 10, while the sugar level should be in the range of 70-99mg%.

Glucose-insulin curve – the so-called OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test) test is mainly used in the diagnosis of diabetes, but it is also very important in the diagnosis of insulin resistance and other metabolic disorders, e.g. hypoglycaemia.

What else is worth exploring?

Lipidogram, morphology, liver tests (ASPAT, ALAT, GGTP), CRP, homocysteine, vitamin D3 or TSH, FT3, FT4. When you find you have insulin resistance, what next?

Take special care of your diet, what does this mean?

Fat reduction – this is the first step in reducing insulin resistance.

Sugar detox – remove at least in the first phase (3-4 weeks) all kinds of sweets, sweet snacks, fruit juices, but also all kinds of ready-made foods and sugar-containing products as an addition.

If you eat bread, be sure to pay attention to the ingredients, there must be no caramel, sugar, emulsifiers, artificial thickeners, etc.

Avoid highly processed products, rice wafers, crispbread etc.

Include healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds) in your diet.

Avoid frying, replace it with stewing, boiling or steaming.

Include anti-inflammatory products in your diet – green cocktails, blueberries, raspberries, a large amount of vegetables.

Consume vegetables cooked to semi-soft consistency, this way they have a lower glycemic index – avoid puree though.

Avoid white bread, pasta, as well as dumplings, noodles, rice, they have a very high glycemic index.

Insulin resistance is not only a problem with excessive sugar consumption, but also inflammation, be sure to take care of its reduction.

Take care of your lifestyle, the right amount and quality of sleep, remember to rest and relax.

Physical activity – spend as much time as possible outside the home, long walks in the park or in the forest will be a good solution.

Coach Lucy, PhD

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Disclaimer: prior to making any changes to your diet discuss it with your dietitian or physician.

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