Symptoms & How We Become Insulin Resistant (I.R.)
A 3-part Look at Your Body’s Relationship with Sugar
Your coworker just brought in a catered meal from the local Mexican restaurant. Everyone rallies in the lunch room and partakes of the delicious dishes– beans, rice, corn chips, tortillas, meat and salsa galore. You eat until you’re satisfied and return to your work. Hmmm, a small sweet would be nice to top it off, so you journey to the front desk and steal a wrapped candy. Within an hour or so you’re feeling a little heavy and yet hungry again somehow, as well as a bit drowsy. What’s going on? Didn’t you just have a filling meal?
Put concisely: Eat food. Make Insulin. Get Energy. Repeat.
We also pointed our focus to how common of a problem Insulin Resistance (I.R.) is today’s society.
I.R. completely throws off the healthy blood sugar cycle and can cause both short term and long term problems.
Symptoms and Signs
- Symptoms related to I.R. ~ tiredness, returned hunger shortly after eating, feeling lethargic after eating, sugar cravings.
- Major conditions related to I.R. ~ diabetes, high triglycerides, abdominal fat, weight loss resistance, high blood pressure, cancer, and infertility.
How & Why does I.R. Develop?
Insulin Sensitive is the way it should be; Insulin Resistant is the opposite.
In a healthy cycle, when you eat carbohydrates, the carbs turn into glucose in the blood. When your glucose levels rise, it prompts the pancreas to release insulin. If you don’t overeat starches and eat adequate levels of protein and healthy fats at meals, your glucose and insulin levels stay at moderate levels and you have energy and good blood sugar regulation.
Think of Insulin as a handsome date picking up Glucose and escorting her to dinner. As soon as they arrive to the restaurant (the cell), Insulin knocks on the door (the cell’s Insulin Receptors), the door opens and Glucose easily enters the restaurant. All goes smoothly and they stay awhile, fully satisfied until the next date.
Insulin always meets Glucose in the blood stream, directs it to the cell wall and prompts the opening of the cell’s insulin receptors. When Glucose enters the cell, the cell is energized and the feeling of satisfaction and renewed energy occurs.
But when we consume more carbohydrates and insulin-spiking foods than we should,
our blood sugar becomes unstable, creating constant dips in energy and blood sugar. This will lead leading to more and more cravings for sugar-laden foods and launch a vicious cycle (more to come in Part 2 about sugar addiction).
But what happens with insulin resistance?
Over time, if we indulge in more starches and eat larger meals, the demand for insulin is even greater. In the case of I.R., as glucose levels rise,
the pancreas releases MORE insulin , which then causes the insulin receptors on the cells to become so saturated with insulin that they close off to insulin and very little glucose is able to get into the cells to make energy.
As glucose builds up in our bodies, it has to go somewhere, so the body now stores it as fat – especially around the abdomen. Glucose levels are quickly low again, which prompts more hunger and cravings. With I.R., your brain is slow to register that energy is being produced. You will still feel hungry and crave sugar to give you some quick energy. When you respond to those cravings, a vicious cycle begins to repeat itself.