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Are you insulin resistant?

A colleague asked me the other day about insulin resistance.  Because it’s an increasingly prevalent health risk, I thought you’d like to know a little more about it.  Here’s a wee bit of information just to get you oriented to the topic.  At the bottom I’ve listed links to a wealth of additional information about this condition including information about carbohydrate cravings, glycemic load, and lifestyle changes that help turn this condition around. 

The unfortunate truth is that anyone can become insulin resistant — even if they are thin. We are all at risk in our society where we have access to a lot of refined carbohydrates (white bread, sugar, bagels, pasta, potatoes, Coke/Pepsi, processed foods with added fructose, etc.). In fact, most of us are likely to be somewhat sensitive to insulin. It is just a matter of degree. The more processed and refined food that we eat, the more insulin we require to metabolize it. The more insulin in our blood, the less responsive our cells become. As we age, this continual exposure wears out our tolerance for refined carbohydrates and reduces our sensitivity to insulin.

If you suffer from high cholesterol, high triglycerides, or hypertension, you should get checked for insulin resistance, regardless of your weight or age. If you have high blood pressure, it is likely that you are also suffering from insulin resistance. High blood pressure medication will not cure insulin resistance.

The good news is that insulin and glucose levels are very easily influenced by changes in lifestyle, exercise, and diet. If you are diagnosed with insulin resistance, there is a lot you can do to reverse its course.

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