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Why is insulin so important? Insulin is the hormone which is secreted by the pancreas, which regulates the blood glucose level at every single point in time. In a typical scenario, whenever, we eat a meal comprising of macronutrients carbohydrate, protein and fat, the body breakdown the carbohydrate portion instantly to provide energy. The blood glucose level gets spiked up—insulin releases which help the body cells to take up the glucose. And the remaining part is transported to the liver which is stored as glycogen. The insulin also helps to keep the protein and fat stored in the liver. By this way, insulin helps to maintain the blood glucose level in the bloodstream.
Insulin resistance is a state in the body, when the body cells do not respond to the hormone insulin, as a result of which the cells are unable to utilise the glucose in the bloodstream. So, the blood glucose level as well as the blood insulin level rises. Nowadays, insulin resistance cases are on the rise. Many patients can even remain undiagnosed. Such condition can lead to a host of problems like weight gain, obesity, high cholesterol, belly fat, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome and breast cancer.
Common symptoms are :
1. Hunger after eating: As the body cells are unable to take up the glucose in the blood due to unresponsiveness to insulin, the body cells remain starved despite a high level of glucose in the bloodstream. So, the person feels hungry even after having a hearty meal. Your sugar cravings are more. You tend to be craving for more carbohydrate-rich foods.
2. Frequent urination: Because the insulin is not regulating the blood sugar properly, the kidneys have to make more urine to eliminate the excess blood sugar. You have the urge to urinate more frequently.
3.Thirsty always: When you are flushing urine more frequently, you are going to be thirsty more.
4. Abdominal fat: There usually is a deposition of fat around the abdomen, waistline.
5.Swollen ankles: Insulin causes the kidneys to retain salt and water as a result of which you may notice swollen ankles.
6.Dark patches: Due to high insulin level in the bloodstream, you may see dark patches in the neck, armpit and groin.
8.Irregular menstrual cycle: Insulin resistance state influences other hormones in the body. In the case of women, there is an imbalance in the sex hormones and result in PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). A vicious cycle sets in.
A blood test can diagnose insulin resistance state, namely, the blood glucose level (the fasting and postprandial), glucose tolerance test and Glycosylated haemoglobin test.
Some natural ways to lower the blood insulin level:
1.Losing weight: We need to make efforts to lose weight by adopting an active lifestyle and a low carbohydrate diet. It will help the body to slowly breakdown the reserved fat to utilise for energy sources. We should have more high fibre vegetables (non-starchy veggies), nuts, seeds, avocados, healthy fats like omega-three fatty acids, saturated fats like coconut oil, olive oil, eggs and butter.
2. Fasting: Fasting for at least 12 -16 hours will lower the blood insulin level and the blood glucose level. It will stimulate the breakdown of the fat reserve for the energy sources.
3.Intervals: Eating in intervals with a gap of 4-6 hours in between and altogether avoiding snacking.
4. Exercises mainly, high intensity or weight training helps to increase the sensitivity of muscles towards insulin. It also stimulates the use of glucose without the help of insulin.
5. Stress reduction: Stress increases the blood cortisol level, which in turns cause a high insulin level. So reducing stress by practising mindfulness, try walking in nature, yoga and meditation. Reducing stress by letting go of anger, hatred, fear, frustration or any trapped emotions.
6. Sleep: Sleep deprivation causes excess blood glucose level, which in turn increases a high insulin level. This elevated insulin level influences the other hormonal cycles.
Some low carb vegetables and fruits that can keep the blood sugar and insulin level low:
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale
Fruits like watermelon, oranges, berries like strawberries, raspberries,
Thanks for reading.
Blessings and much love for all 💐