Weight gain in spite of eating less is a sign of IR.
The digested food, in the form of nutrients, enters the blood and the insulin (master hormone that affects all organs including uterus) facilitates their entry into the cells. IR occurs when more than normal quantity of insulin is required to make the cells accept the nutrients.
Reasons for Excess Insulin Production:
Although the food contains several nutrients, energy comes mainly from carbohydrates, fat and to a lesser extent; from the protein. Out of these, the brain, unless forced to, uses only carbohydrates in the form of glucose, also called sugar. So whenever sugar levels drop, the brain sends hunger signals.
The maximum sugar that our entire bloodstream can hold at any time is about 5 grams i.e. one teaspoonful which translates to 80 to 100 on the ‘fasting blood sugar test’. Insulin regulates the sugar within this range through its action on:
- Muscle cells
- Fat cells
- Liver cells
The action of Insulin on these cells is different after a meal, which is called the ‘fed state’, and in between the meals, which is called ‘fasting state’.
Brief details of insulin action during these two states is given below:
- Muscle cells: Makes them accept the sugar and other nutrients
- Fat cells: Prevents them from releasing fat into the blood and also makes them take up any sugar that is leftover after meeting the needs of the muscle cells.
- Makes the liver accept the sugar and at the same time prevents it from producing new sugar.
- Makes them accept the sugar and other nutrients
- Makes the fat cells release fat into the blood
- Makes liver pump glucose into the blood
When the normal level of insulin is sufficient to regulate the blood sugar, the above functions go on without a hitch, but if excess insulin is required to regulate the sugar, these functions get affected adversely and the body slips into an Insulin Resistance Mode. IR is caused by three entirely different conditions, which are discussed below:
IR Caused by Excess Calories:
Eating excess calories over a long period cause the cells to store unused energy in the form fat.
Normal insulin levels cannot make the fat-laden cells accept the glucose and this makes the body produce excess insulin and consequently IR. The IR caused by excess eating can be reduced with weight training and sensible eating consisting of balanced nutrition that is suits the individual’s body constitution, whole foods (as close as possible to nature) etc. Fortunately this is not very common in India due to the bulky nature of Indian foods.
IR Caused by Fast Digesting Food:
Fast digesting food, even as a part of a low calorie diet, floods the blood with more sugar than it can cope, thus needing excess insulin and consequently IR occurs. This is more common in families which use fermented carbohydrates like idly, bread of all varieties, processed carbohydrates like Quick Oats, Corn flakes etc. and refined carbohydrates like white rice, white atta etc. Eating less, in this case, may even aggravate it by driving the person towards intermittent eating, which itself is a cause of IR. So nutrition has to be designed to take care of IR as well sugar cravings caused by insulin spikes.
IR Caused by Intermittent Eating:
This may happen because of reasons cited above, or because of stress or other psychological reasons. Whatever the reason, insulin is high throughout day, which at best prevents usage of stored fat and at worst, makes the person look for food throughout the day.Reduction of IR in this case requires expert guidance.
IR Reducing Diet Can Make Medicines Used for the Following More Effective:
- Blood pressure
- Blood thinners
- High LDL
- Type 2 Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes
- High Uric acid or gout
The Following Non-Clinical Conditions Can Also Benefit From the IR Reducing Diet:
- High triglycerides
- Low HDL
- Bulging belly
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Afternoon fatigue
Our Service Offerings:
- We help reduce and control your insulin resistance in your body