Below are the nutraceuticals we find most beneficial for insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome as well as adrenal support; Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any additional questions or support!
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body's cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels. In normal conditions, insulin helps glucose (sugar) in the blood enter cells, where it is used as energy or stored for later use. However, in insulin resistance, the cells become less responsive to insulin's actions, leading to increased levels of glucose in the blood.
The pathophysiology of insulin resistance is complex and involves multiple mechanisms. One major factor is the accumulation of lipids (fats) in the cells, particularly in muscle and liver cells. This leads to a state of "lipotoxicity," which impairs insulin signaling pathways and reduces glucose uptake.
Another key contributor to insulin resistance is chronic inflammation. Inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-alpha and IL-6, interfere with insulin signaling and contribute to insulin resistance. Obesity is also associated with increased inflammation and is a major risk factor for insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance can also be caused by genetic factors, including mutations in genes involved in insulin signaling pathways. Additionally, aging is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity, as well as other metabolic changes that contribute to insulin resistance.
Over time, insulin resistance can lead to further complications, including impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. These conditions are often accompanied by additional metabolic abnormalities, such as dyslipidemia (abnormal blood lipid levels) and hypertension (high blood pressure).
As insulin resistance progresses, the pancreas may compensate by producing more insulin to try to lower blood glucose levels. However, over time, the pancreas may become exhausted and unable to keep up with the demand for insulin, leading to type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance is also associated with other metabolic abnormalities, including high levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol, a condition known as dyslipidemia. These abnormalities increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes.
In addition to obesity, other factors that contribute to insulin resistance include a sedentary lifestyle, a diet high in processed foods and sugar, and certain medications, such as glucocorticoids. Insulin resistance is also associated with other health conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and sleep apnea.
Treatment for insulin resistance typically involves lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, along with medications such as GLP-1 RA (i.e. semaglutide, tirzepatide, etc.), which helps improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of complications associated with insulin resistance. Managing insulin resistance is important for reducing the risk of complications associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Insulin resistance can affect the balance of several hormones in the body, which can contribute to a range of health issues. One way that insulin resistance affects hormones is by disrupting the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is a complex system that regulates the body's stress response.
In insulin resistance, the body produces more cortisol, a stress hormone that can lead to a range of negative effects, including weight gain, increased appetite, and decreased insulin sensitivity. High cortisol levels can also contribute to the development of conditions such as depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
Insulin resistance can also affect the balance of sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. In women, insulin resistance can lead to a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is characterized by high levels of androgens (male hormones) and irregular menstrual cycles. PCOS can also contribute to infertility, acne, and excess hair growth.
In men, insulin resistance can lead to lower testosterone levels, which can contribute to decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and reduced muscle mass. Insulin resistance can also affect the balance of other hormones, such as leptin and ghrelin, which regulate appetite and satiety.
Overall, insulin resistance can have a profound effect on hormone balance, which can contribute to a range of health issues. By improving insulin sensitivity through lifestyle changes or medication, it may be possible to restore hormone balance and improve overall health.