Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes and also has been associated with the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Insulin resistance may be genetic however is largely contributed to lifestyle factors. Eating a diet high in refined sugars, processed foods, etc all contribute to the bodies development of insulin resistance.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. These cells scatter around the pancreas in small groupings known as islets of Langerhans. Insulin is then produced and released into the bloodstream, throughout the body. The insulin is then used to metabolize carbohydrates within the body, lipids, and proteins. Insulin also can play a role in the bodies production of energy as well as growth and repair within the body.
Once the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, high levels are needed in order to create the same action within the body causing the pancreas to overcompensate by generating more insulin. Eventually, the pancreas can no longer produce sufficient amounts of insulin and then the blood sugar rises creating risk factors for the body to develop diabetes as well as heart disease. Insulin resistance is considered a metabolic disorder because it affects the way the body metabolizes nutrients within the body, thus affecting the body’s overall ability to produce energy, detox, etc.
Excess weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and triglycerides are often symptoms seen along with insulin resistance, known as metabolic syndrome.
As a holistic doctor in family practice, we do not focus on the symptoms, but rather work with the individual step by step to restore the bodies ability to heal itself through creating lifestyle choices and behaviors to allow the body to heal itself. Working with someone on their diet, and the food to which they are eating is critical and the baseline to any health and wellness plan. Just working with someone on their food can easily bring up many suppressed, stored, avoided, and unhealthy relationships associated with foods and eating. Healing is more than just a physical job and someone looking to truly heal must be willing to address all aspects of their health for long lasting benefit and change. After uncovering those aspects, and exploring the hidden behaviors that are preventing healthy eating we then can look at what nutrients are lacking and needing support in order to support metabolic processes. B complexes, in addition to lipoic acid, often help support the body in digesting and assimilating both carbohydrates as well as proteins. Lipid oxidation can occur as a product of toxicity, but also carnitine deficiency. Many vegetarians, in fact, suffer from carnitine deficiencies which can affect the mitochondria of the cell. Once a person is further able to digest and assimilate the food they are eating combined with eating healthy foods, they are on their way to building greater health for years to come.
Currently, we offer a metabolic health class that teaches a person digestion, assimilation from the “top down”. If interested in learning more about your metabolism and how to heal it feel free to come to a class, or schedule an initial visit to discuss in person. Being a functional medicine provider, I am able to examine lab work on a deep level beyond highs and lows to uncover root causes of imbalances in health rather than fighting disease processes. I truly enjoy this work as it creates long-lasting impact for people by transforming their health.