What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, which leads to higher levels of glucose in the blood. Over time, this can lead to type 2 diabetes and other serious health conditions.

Unfortunately, many people aren't aware they have insulin resistance because their yearly blood work doesn't usually screen for it. Additionally, it isn't standard protocol to test your A1C unless your doctor suspects you have diabetes.

Apart from testing A1c, there are also many warning signs and symptoms of insulin resistance which is easy to reverse when detected early.

The warning flags of insulin resistance can be mild to severe. Some of the most common symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, increased hunger and cravings, tingling in hands and feet and weight gain (especially around the midsection).

Other symptoms may include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, frequent urination, and skin tags. Many people with insulin resistance may also experience irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, and difficulty losing weight despite a healthy diet and exercise routine. These symptoms may be subtle at first, but can worsen over time if not addressed.

Dealing With Insulin Resistance

When it comes to dealing with insulin resistance, the conventional medical mindset is more of a "wait and see" approach.

Typically, when your doctor suspects you have insulin resistance or may be close to the prediabetic range, they will flag your blood sugar on your labs. They may say things like "let's watch it" or "try to eat better and exercise more", which can be maddening for patients who are trying desperately to get their energy back, lose weight, or had no idea their elevated blood sugar levels were an issue in the first place.

If their patient is already in the diabetic range, they will prescribe medications that are designed to lower blood sugar levels. While this may be effective and even life-saving in the short term, it does not address the underlying causes of why they have insulin resistance. 

As a result, people who struggle with insulin resistance tend to feel stuck because they are not seeing the desired results from making positive lifestyle changes, like improving their diet and working out harder.

While conventional medicine may only suggest prescription medicines, there is a better way to treat and reverse insulin resistance conditions by addressing all the root causes. This can include gut dysbiosis, food intolerances and other hormonal imbalances beyond insulin.

Having insulin resistance doesn’t have to mean you can’t lead a vibrant, rich life. 

It can be reversed when you work with the right guide by your side so that you can look and feel your absolute best. But it is key to  get the right kind of care, as soon as possible.

The Functional Medicine Approach to Insulin Resistance

You may have heard that insulin resistance can be caused by poor diet, namely a diet that is high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods.

Lack of movement can contribute as well, but there are many little known causes to have on your radar as well.

This includes unmanaged chronic stress and high cortisol levels, exposure to environmental toxins (such as pesticides and pollutants), shifts in hormone balance including low levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone that greatly impact insulin and aspects of your genetics.

I use a variety of functional medicine tests and tools to help identify the root causes of insulin resistance. Some of the tests I may use include blood testing, including fasting glucose levels, fasting insulin levels, A1c, and other markers of blood sugar dysregulation.

I may also test for hormone levels such as cortisol, thyroid hormones, and reproductive hormones which can all impact insulin sensitivity.

At Dr. Barbara NP by Anthea Health, I specialize in the most advanced natural methods to support you through your healing journey and to help restore resiliency and immune function.  

Following advanced lab tests and a detailed discussion of your symptoms and history, I can map out an effective treatment plan that I will execute together with plenty of support and guidance.

If you have been searching for a functional medicine approach to resolving insulin resistance and are looking for answers, book a free discovery call!

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Looking to restore hormone balance & vibrant health, but aren't sure about your options? Book a free discovery call to get the clarity & confidence you need!

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