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Before we can understand insulin sensitivity, we must first understand insulin resistance.
What exactly is insulin resistance?
When insulin-receptor cell receptors stop reacting to insulin, even when it is available in optimal quantities in the blood, it results in elevated blood glucose levels due to the body’s inability to take up glucose for energy with the help of insulin. Insulin resistance is a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin and are unable to absorb glucose from the blood.
What causes a person to become insulin resistant?
Insulin resistance can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:
- A high-calorie diet or a high-carbohydrate diet
- Obesity or being overweight
- Living a sedentary lifestyle
- A diabetes family history
What are the symptoms of insulin resistance?
- Obesity in the abdominal region or a large waist size
- Liver that is high in fat
- High blood glucose levels
- A strong and continual desire for foods high in sugar or carbs
- Having hormonal problems such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Acne and hirsutism in women due to excessive insulin levels cause acne and hirsutism.
- Women’s hair loss
- Acanthosis nigricans, also known as darker areas on the neck and skin
- Blood pressure that is too high
- Tags on the skin
- Fluid retention in the body
Now that we’ve defined insulin resistance, let’s look at insulin sensitivity.
Insulin sensitivity refers to how sensitive the body is to insulin and how quickly and effectively it responds to it.
Insulin sensitivity is affected by a variety of circumstances, and each individual has varying levels of insulin sensitivity.
The more insulin sensitive you are, the less insulin you will need to regulate your blood glucose levels.
Let us examine the elements that regulate, the methods for increasing insulin sensitivity, and why insulin sensitivity is advantageous to our bodies.
What factors influence insulin sensitivity?
According to research, leading an active lifestyle and eating a well-balanced diet are closely related to improved insulin sensitivity. On the contrary, a sedentary lifestyle and a high-calorie diet raise the chances of developing insulin resistance and lowering insulin sensitivity.
Is having high insulin sensitivity advantageous?
High insulin sensitivity facilitates weight management: Those with high insulin sensitivity find it easy to lose or gain weight, but those with poor insulin sensitivity find it difficult to lose weight.
Sugar cravings are less intense as a result of improved glucose management and utilisation within the body.
High insulin sensitivity also lowers the chance of developing several diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, and hormonal disorders such as thyroid and PCOD.
Improved memory: Research has revealed that increased insulin sensitivity aids in the maintenance of good brain function and mental agility.
Improved skin health: Because insulin resistance causes various skin illnesses such as neck and armpit darkening, acne and greasy skin, and hirsutism (unwanted hair growth), insulin sensitivity not only improves skin health but also reverses ageing.
Is it possible to regulate and improve our insulin sensitivity?
We can increase our insulin sensitivity by
- An active lifestyle: Physical activity on a regular basis is a key role in enhancing insulin sensitivity.
- A balanced diet: A balanced diet helps to keep blood glucose levels in check, allowing for improved nutritional absorption.
- Better sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining low stress levels, which are essential for avoiding lifestyle diseases.
- Losing weight is believed to lessen the likelihood of developing insulin resistance by up to 50%, hence aiding in the increase of insulin sensitivity.
Last but not least:
Insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity are linked closely. As a result, keeping a healthy and active lifestyle is critical for increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing insulin resistance. Consult a diabetes specialist to better understand and enhance your insulin sensitivity and reduce your chance of developing diabetes and other lifestyle diseases as a result of impaired insulin sensitivity.
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