Yoga as a form of exercise to help reduce insulin resistance.
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Is Insulin Resistance Reversible? What a Diabetes Expert Has to Say About It

According to a 2021 study published in Appetite, one unanticipated effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increased awareness of healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Although this is certainly a good discovery, one important facet of our health that is still being overlooked is metabolic wellness. Primarily, insulin resistance—a tacit disturbance impacting millions of individuals globally. According to a 2020 review in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity, insulin resistance is the result of your cells’ inability to respond to insulin, which raises blood sugar levels and may cause a number of health problems, including as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. 

In the United States, every second adult (aged 18 to 44) has insulin resistance, according to StatPearls. Thankfully, there is good news: there is a chance to recover from this metabolic disease. By making the right lifestyle changes, you can permanently enhance your metabolic health and general well-being while also reversing insulin resistance. To find out more, continue reading.

What Insulin Resistance Reversal Entails

Your body must regain its capacity to react to the hormone insulin, which controls blood sugar, in order to reverse insulin resistance. This alteration lowers your risk of high blood sugar by increasing your cells’ sensitivity to insulin signals, which helps them use glucose (blood sugar) more efficiently for energy.

According to registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, author of the 2-Day Diabetes Diet, “reversing insulin resistance basically means that you are improving the body’s response to insulin, allowing cells to take up glucose from the blood for energy more effectively.” “This can be achieved through a variety of lifestyle modifications, such as consistent exercise, dietary adjustments, better sleep, and decreased stress.”

4 Ways to Help Reduce Insulin Resistance

1. Keep a Well-Balanced Diet

High-fiber, high-protein, nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, lean meats, and an abundance of vibrant fruits and vegetables are all part of a diet that is metabolically friendly. A 2021 study published in the Iranian Journal of Public Health suggests that eating low-glycemic meals that can assist control blood sugar levels and maintaining a balance between macronutrients (protein, lipids, and carbohydrates) can improve your body’s insulin function.

According to Palinski-Wade, “simple sugars that are produced when carbohydrates break down can raise insulin and blood glucose levels.” “You can improve your post-meal glucose levels and, over time, improve insulin resistance by balancing your plate with carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber.”

2. Control Your Stress

Managing stress can be helpful because it can be a contributing factor to insulin resistance. Palinski-Wade claims that belly breathing is an easy and effective technique that may be used anywhere, at any time of day.

According to a review from 2022 that was published in Cureus, long-term stress can raise cortisol levels, which can result in insulin resistance. Stress-reduction techniques like yoga, deep breathing, and mindfulness can help you better control your stress levels and enhance your body’s insulin response.

3. Make Sleep Your Top Priority

A 2022 review published in Cureus found that sleep deprivation can upset your hormone balance and raise your risk of developing insulin resistance. According to a 2021 article published in Nursing Clinics of North America, getting enough sleep can enhance metabolic processes, which in turn can promote insulin sensitivity and boost general health.

According to Palinski-Wade, “sleeping for seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night is important for reversing insulin resistance because not getting enough sleep can reduce insulin sensitivity.” “Adhere to a regular sleep-wake schedule, eliminate distractions and electronics from the bedroom, and avoid caffeine at least eight to ten hours before bedtime in order to improve sleep.”

4. Exercise Every Day

Studies, including one published in Comprehensive Physiology in 2021, suggest that regular exercise can increase muscles’ ability to absorb blood sugar, which will increase their sensitivity to insulin. Your cells’ reaction to insulin is referred to as insulin sensitivity. Regular exercise, such as strength training, yoga, or brisk walking, can greatly improve your metabolic health.

“Add 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. Regular physical activity, including aerobic exercise and strength training, can improve insulin sensitivity and help the body use glucose more effectively. Exercise promotes glucose uptake by the muscles, which can reduce insulin resistance,” says Palinski-Wade.

Frequently Requested Questions

1. Is it possible to permanently reverse insulin resistance?

Yes, making good lifestyle adjustments will allow you to permanently reverse insulin resistance. For long-term metabolic health and lasting improvements in insulin sensitivity, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases advises using a comprehensive approach that include regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress management, and enough sleep.

2. How can insulin resistance be treated most quickly?

Although there isn’t a magic bullet or one-size-fits-all treatment, addressing insulin resistance holistically is the quickest route to success. Quick gains in insulin sensitivity are facilitated by consistent exercise, eating a diet high in nutrients, practicing efficient stress management, and placing a high priority on getting enough sleep.

What is the duration required to reverse insulin resistance?

Each person has a different timetable for curing insulin resistance. Some people may see improvements in as little as a few weeks or months with continuous lifestyle adjustments. Recall that the key to curing insulin resistance is to continuously uphold good behaviors.

When will it be too late to treat insulin resistance?

The time to treat insulin resistance is never too late. Healthy lifestyle modifications can enhance your metabolic health regardless of your age or the duration of your insulin resistance.

In summary

You don’t have to live with insulin resistance if you’re one of the millions of people who do. Developing a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and managing stress are essential for increasing insulin sensitivity and metabolic health. To find out how your food and lifestyle choices can enhance your general health and reduce your insulin resistance, consult a trained dietitian or your healthcare provider.

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