Who Does Insulin Resistance Affect
Insulin resistance can affect anyone you dont have to have diabetes and it can be temporary or chronic. The two main factors that seem to contribute to insulin resistance are excess body fat, especially around your belly, and a lack of physical activity.
People who have prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes usually have some level of insulin resistance. People with Type 1 diabetes can also experience insulin resistance.
When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
How Common Is Insulin Resistance
Since there arent any common tests to check for insulin resistance and there arent any symptoms until it turns into prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, the best way to measure the prevalence of insulin resistance is through the number of prediabetes cases. More than 84 million adults in the United States have prediabetes. Thats about 1 out of every 3 adults.
Also Check: Can Early Diabetes Be Reversed
Why Does Blood Sugar Rise Exactly
A number of things contribute to rises in blood sugar on a daily basis. Food is chief among those things.
“Simple carbohydrates, like sugary drinks or candy, will be digested and absorbed quickly, which will raise blood sugar more than a mixed meal with protein, high fiber carbohydrates, and fat,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of NutritionStarringYOU.com and author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook.
Protein, fat, and fiber together will slow digestion and thus create a more blunted rise in blood sugar, with less drastic spikes, or even a steady elevation.
“For example, a bagel with jelly that’s nearly all carbohydrates should increase blood sugar more than an egg with whole-grain toast and berries, even if the calories are the same,” Harris-Pincus explains.
“It’s also important to know that all carbohydrates are not created equal, so certain foods like beans and oats, which contain soluble fiber, can help control blood sugar, and strawberries and wild blueberries have been shown to help with insulin resistance as well,” Harris-Pincus says.
Still, all bodies differ, so keep in mind this is just a general rule of thumb. It’s a good idea to monitor your blood sugar after meals for several weeks to gain a better understanding of how your blood sugar responds to foods.
“Every person has a unique body and will react differently, so it takes trial and error to learn how you respond,” she adds.
How Do You Treat Hypoglycemia
Treatment for hypoglycemia involves both the immediate steps needed to raise your blood sugar level in addition with the later treatment or medication dose adjustment to prevent recurrence.
To immediately raise your blood sugar level, Dr. Shah advocates the rule of 15eating 15 grams of carbohydrates and then checking your blood sugar level 15 minutes later. Fast-acting carbohydrates include:
- 4 glucose tablets
- 4 ounces of fruit juices
Keep repeating these steps every 15 minutes until your blood sugar reaches above 70 mg/dL, he explains. Once your level has stabilized, its important to then eat a snack or even a full meal to maintain that balance, Dr. Shah adds.
If your symptoms are more severe and/or a person is unable to swallow, you may need an injection of glucagon, he says.
To prevent episodes of hypoglycemia in the future, Dr. Shah says that treatment may involve the changing of prescribed regimens and dosages or adjusting your meal plans.
You May Like: Is 156 Blood Sugar High
How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
Be Mindful Of Your Beverages
The drinks we consume have a big impact on blood sugar. Thats because drinks are easily digested, resulting in a quick shot of glucose. One study found that people who drink at least one sweet drink a day have a 26 percent higher chance of developing diabetes!
Choosing an alternative isnt always straightforward, however. Be careful with artificially sweetened drinks, as studies have linked some artificial sweeteners with an increased risk of diabetes.
Fruit juices should also be limited because of its high natural sugar content the glycemic index for fruit juice is very high, because it lacks the fiber found in fruit.
Instead, blend up whole fruit so that you get the fibre content, and be sure to add a source of protein and fat like nut butter or avocado.
Water is always a good beverage choice for managing blood sugar, since its important to stay hydrated so you can eliminate excess glucose through urination. Plus, when your body is aware of extra glucose, it pulls water from the rest of your body, increasing your risk of dehydration.
Don’t Miss: Walmart 70 30 Insulin Pen
Go For Whole Fruit Over Juice
A glass of orange juice is not the same as eating a whole orange. “People generally drink more juice and therefore consume more calories and sugar than they would by just eating fruit,” says Wylie-Rosett. Plus, you get more fiber from the whole fruit. For instance, there’s about 4 grams in a large orange, compared to less than 1 gram in 8 ounces of juice. A small amount of juice is OK, but it shouldn’t be your go-to beverage, she says. When you do drink it, make sure you’re serving it up in an actual juice glass rather than a large cup.
Blood Sugar Balance Basics
You probably already know that what you eat directly affects your blood sugar. Its a pretty simple formula: The more sugar you eat, whether it is in the form of carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, sugar, or fruit, the more likely your blood sugar is to be elevated. When you eat a food high in carbohydrates, especially without much fiber or fat, that food is quickly converted into glucose in your bloodstream, triggering the release of insulin to take the sugar out of your blood and send it to where you can use it, like in your muscles, or in short-term storage in your liver. But you only need so much glucose and if you eat a lot of sugar-rich and carb-rich foods all the time, your insulin may have trouble keeping up and your blood sugar may stay too high for too long. This puts you on the path to diabetes and other metabolic health problems.
Recommended Reading: Healthy Diet For Type 2 Diabetes
This Program Is For You If You Ask Yourself 2 Or More Of The Following Top Ten Questions:
What Are Some Tips To Prevent Nighttime Blood Sugar Level Dips
Don’t Miss: Ways To Manage Type 2 Diabetes
How Are Gut Health And Blood Sugar Affecting One Another
It all starts in the gut. Our gut’s balance of bacteria is connected to the health of just about every function in our bodyour brain, skin, digestion, mood, brainpower, immune system, bone strength, all of it. Did you know that gut health is also linked to blood sugar too? Thats right, even blood sugar is connected to the microbiome.
We talked with registered dietician Shanti Wolfe, RD about the connection between the health of our gut microbiome and healthy blood levels. He gave all of us rowdy folks some great insight on how we can take care of our gut bacteria and blood sugar. Check out what the blood sugar buzz is all about.
Start All Meals With A Glass Of Water
Drinking a glass of water up to 30 minutes before a meal will naturally aid portion control.
Filling up on water will make you feel less hungry. Being well hydrated also helps you distinguish between hunger and thirst.
One study in middle-aged and older adults observed that drinking 17 ounces of water before each meal resulted in a 44% greater decline in weight over 12 weeks, most likely due to reduced food intake .
Similarly, when overweight and obese older adults drank 17 ounces of water 30 minutes before a meal, they consumed 13% fewer calories without trying to make any changes .
In another study in young normal-weight men, drinking a similar amount of water immediately before a meal resulted in greater feelings of fullness and reduced food intake .
Therefore, having a glass of water before each meal can help prevent overeating and aid portion control.
For example, people ate 129% more candies when served from a large container than a small one .
In another study, participants consumed over 180 fewer grams of snacks per week when given 100-gram snack packs than when given snacks in standard-sized packages .
Rather than eating snacks from the original packaging, empty them into a small bowl to prevent eating more than you need.
Summary Eating food from larger packages or containers encourages increased intake. Try re-portioning snacks into individual portions and serving family meals from plates to prevent overeating.
You May Like: What Is High Blood Sugar Levels
Are You Affecting Your Blood Sugar Balance
There are a variety of ways you may be impacting your blood sugar balance without even knowing it.
Lets take a look at the most common ways people affect their blood sugar balance.
- Too Much or Too Little Food In One Meal Lets say you skip breakfast and have a big lunch. Do you think thats healthy? Not necessarily. Skipping breakfast means your blood sugar was too low throughout the morning . It also means that for lunch, you overpacked your system with calories and sugar. This sudden change in the blood sugar is not healthy. The healthy option is to have multiple, well-balanced meals throughout the day, instead of packing your calories and sugar into one or two meals a day.
- Stress Not many people know that stress can affect your blood sugar balance. Stress causes your body to go into fight-or-flight mode which increases stress hormones in the body that drive glucose stored in the body to suddenly become available in the blood for use in the case of an emergency. This causes an imbalance in sugar levels.
- Not Exercising Not exercising affects your blood sugar balance because it prevents you from using the extra glucose that youre intaking during the day. Exercising helps your body pump blood and oxygen to every corner of your body and causes you to use up the sugar you consume. This lowers your blood sugar and decreases your risk of developing diabetes.
What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels
Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:
- skipping meals and snacks
- not eating enough food during a meal or snack
- exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food
- getting too much insulin
- not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise
Also, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:
- taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
- injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
- injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport .
All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.
You May Like: Is 162 Blood Sugar High
What Foods Cause A Spike In Blood Sugar
Now that we know the connection between the health of our gut and the sugar in our blood, lets talk about what foods to watch out for that could inhibit proper balance.
Processed, simple sugars and foods with added sugars can cause a quick spike in blood sugar when eaten alone, without any other fat, protein, or fiber. These bad-guy foods can come in the form of honey, gummy candies, beverages sweetened with sugar, and other high carbohydrate foods void of fiber like rice and bread.
A big influencer of the spike these types of food can cause comes from their fiber to sugar ratio. Harvard researchers recommend a 10:1 ratio of carbohydrates to fiber on foods, so for every 10 grams of carbohydrates a food has, it should have at least 1 gram of fiber.
Shanti Wolfe also tells us that quantity dictates the spike in blood sugar, so a sensible amount of these foods shouldnt create a huge spike in blood sugar.
S To Balance Your Blood Sugar Naturally
Do you need a chocolate bar, biscuit or coffee to get you past 3pm in the day?
Do you get jittery when you dont eat?
Are you struggling to lose weight?
Do you have high fasting blood glucose levels or are pre-diabetic?
Do you have an under or overactive thyroid?
Do you have ongoing stress in your life?
If yes, then read on!
You blood sugar balance is one of THE most important aspects of keeping your body and mind healthy.
Every cell in your body requires energy, which is provided in the form of glucose that you obtain from food. Certain cells, such as brain cells require a constant supply of energy, but this doesnt mean you need to eat all day. Fortunately, your body is hardwired to regulate and control a steady balance of glucose in your blood. How well your body does this, very much depends on the type of food you eat and the frequency of your meals.
Don’t Miss: Nursing Teaching Plan For Diabetes Type 1
How Is Insulin Resistance Treated
Since not all factors that contribute to insulin resistance can be treated, such as genetic factors and age, lifestyle modifications are the primary treatment for insulin resistance. Lifestyle modifications include:
- Eating a healthy diet: Your healthcare provider or nutritionist may recommend avoiding eating excessive amounts of carbohydrates and eating less unhealthy fat, sugar, red meats and processed starches. Instead, theyll likely recommend eating a diet of whole foods that includes more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and lean poultry.
- Physical activity: Getting regular amounts of moderate-intensity physical activity helps increase glucose energy usage and improve muscle insulin sensitivity. A single session of moderate-intensity exercise can increase glucose uptake by at least 40%.
- Losing excess weight: Your healthcare provider may recommend trying to lose excess weight to try treating insulin resistance. One study revealed that losing 7% of your excess weight can reduce the onset of Type 2 diabetes by 58%.
Over time, these lifestyle modifications can:
- Increase insulin sensitivity .
- Lower your blood glucose levels.
- Raise HDL cholesterol levels.
You may work with other healthcare providers, such as a nutritionist and endocrinologist, in addition to your regular doctor to come up with an individualized treatment plan that works best for you.
What Are The Complications Of Insulin Resistance
The majority of the complications that can result from insulin resistance are related to the development of vascular complications due to elevated blood sugar levels and elevated insulin levels .
Not everyone who has insulin resistance will have complications. If youve been diagnosed with insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome, its important to see your healthcare provider regularly and follow your treatment plan to try to prevent these complications.
Read Also: Can You Treat Type 2 Diabetes With Insulin