Reverse Insulin Resistance from Type II Diabetes
Understanding Insulin Resistance And The Effects It Has on Your Body vs Reduce Inflammation in Your Body vs Change Your Diet ... and 2 more

Edited by Donna, Eng, Dougie, Doug Collins and 1 other

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Method 1: Understanding Insulin Resistance And The Effects It Has on Your Body

An understanding of insulin resistance and how it leads to the more serious conditions of Prediabetes and Type II Diabetes can be very motivating to individuals who need inspiration to reverse the condition by adopting diet and lifestyle changes. An awareness of the damaging effects this unpredictable and often disabling ailment has on your endocrine, cardiovascular and nervous systems is part of learning how to manage and even reverse its progress.

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An obese man with insulin resistance and a BMI of 35. Photo by FatM1ke.

If you have a metabolic disorder due to insulin resistance you are not alone. Type II Diabetes, which is preceded by the diagnosis of a metabolic disorder called Insulin Resistance or Prediabetes is now one of the most prevalent medical conditions in the world. According to a study called the Diabetes Statistics Report 2014, 29.1 million Americans, which translates to 9.1 percent of the U.S. population, were diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in 2013.

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Insulin resistance is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood that can be reversed through the use of certain medications, supplements and lifestyle changes. However, making and maintaining these measures requires vigilance, discipline and often calorie deprivation.

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What Kind of Blood Sugar Reversal Can I Expect?

If you are willing to do what it takes to reverse your blood sugar it is possible to an A1C (hemoglobin) test from 6.5 or above (diabetes) to 5.6 (just above normal.)

A study by The Diabetes Prevention Program found that people who had Prediabetes were able to reduce their risk of developing Diabetes within three years by 71% if they were over age 60 and by 58% if they were younger.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Although this article was written by a Type II Diabetic who reversed her A1C blood sugar from 15 to 5.8 in a period of five months by practicing the directives in this article it is absolutely crucial that you run any intentions to change your lifestyle by your M.D, N.D., dietitian and/or personal trainer. There are also many factors that can affect high blood sugar reversal including your age, whether or not you are in menopause and whether or not your condition is hereditary.

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What is Insulin Resistance?

Understanding metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance begins with a comprehension of how insulin plays a role in glucose control and how glucose is converted to energy by the body.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that determines how the body uses food as energy after the digestive system breaks it down into sugars and starches. When your body is working properly, insulin helps distribute glucose to cells to be converted to energy. Energy that is not used immediately is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. A functional metabolism keeps blood levels stoked with fuel from glycogen for your muscles, brain and organs to use in a steady way.

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The action on the pancreas as it produces insulin to lower blood sugar. Image by Bobby O'Leary

A dysfunctional metabolism is insulin resistant. As you develop insulin resistance, the pancreas still continues to produce insulin but the fat, blood and liver cells in the body refuse to absorb it, thus causing glucose levels to build up in the bloodstream. This causes your pancreas to constantly work overtime to try and lower your blood sugar and over time the organ produces less and less insulin until it wears out. This causes the condition of high blood sugar that eventually leads to Pre-Diabetes and Type II Diabetes.

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Prediabetes is defined as the condition where your average blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.

Type II Diabetes is the condition where blood sugar levels are chronically high and must be controlled with medication or insulin injections or with vitamins, herbs, spices, more exercise, changes in diet and other measures.

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Who Is Most At Risk For Insulin Resistance?

Smoking cigarettes causes insulin resistance and diabetes. Photo by Oxfordian Kisseth.

People who have the following disorders are more at risk for developing insulin resistance that develops into obesity, Prediabetes and Type II Diabetes:

  • a genetic disposition toward Type II diabetes that is inherited
  • an underactive thyroid that slows metabolism because it is not producing enough thyroid
  • a high body mass index (BMI)
  • addiction that has damaged the liver
  • alcoholism that has damaged the liver
  • smokers
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • inflammatory conditions in the body such as chronic untreated dental problems
  • Polycystic Ovary disease
  • menopausal hormonal shifts that affect the pituitary and thyroid
  • a history of gestational diabetes (a condition that happens when a woman is pregnant) occurring again later in life
  • an endocrine disorder such as Cushing's Disease

What Are The Symptoms of Insulin Resistance?

Edema of the leg due to Type II Diabetes. Photo by Wang Kai-fe.

Symptoms of insulin resistance include:

  • An expanding belly with a waist measurement of 35 inches or more for women or 40 inches or more for men
  • Unexplained weight gain and inability to lose that weight
  • Bloating
  • Coughing caused by eliminated fluid building up in the lungs
  • Dark patches or rings of darker skin around their neck or on the knees, armpits, elbows or armpits.
  • Fatigue to the point of not being able to exercise
  • Dizziness
  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Sweating profusely after eating
  • Feeling dazed or foggy or spaced, especially after eating
  • Feeling faint or actually blacking out especially if you go without food for too long
  • Pale colored and/or oily stools
  • Soreness in the upper abdomen or lower back
  • Swings in blood sugar, from hyperglycemic to hypoglycemic
  • Sweat or urine that smells like sugar (the result of your body to disposing of glucose build up in your blood stream that cannot be processed by your pancreas)
  • Blurry vision and eye floaters as the result of excess glucose building up at the back of the eyeballs distorting the shape of the eyeball
  • Skin tags, which are tiny and often itchy protrusions of flesh that occur on the face and neck also often under the arms or breasts
  • Swelling of the ankles and wrists
  • Numbness or tingling of toes as the result of diabetic neuropathy
  • Slow healing infections or wounds that don't heal

Skin tags are a symptom of insulin resistance and Type II Diabetes. Photo by Jmarchn

Why Reverse Insulin Resistance?

The reason it is so important to reverse your insulin resistance is because it can full-blown Type II Diabetes. Type II Diabetes has many co-morbid conditions and complications including but not limited to:

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  • Amputations: according to the h[ttp://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/ National Diabetes Statistics Report 2014] 60% of all amputations can be attributed to diagnosed diabetes
  • Blindness due to diabetic condition called diabetic retinopathy that causes small blood vessels in the retina to be damaged
  • Blurry vision: a build up of fluid behind the eyeballs due to blood sugar issues
  • Fatty liver: an inability to metabolize sugars creates fatty deposits in the liver of people with pre-diabetics causing flu-like symptoms, obesity, joint pain and gout
  • Heart Attack: peopled with insulin resistance are 1.8 times more likely to have a heart attack due to diabetes
  • High cholesterol: cardiovascular problems and the inability to properly metabolize and store cholesterol leads to a fatty liver and eventually liver failure
  • Hypoglycemia: a state of high blood sugar with symptoms of dizziness that often leads to the diagnosis of Prediabetes
  • Hypertension: an early symptom of Type II Diabetes is high blood pressure that occurs because the body fails to eliminate salt properly through overworked kidneys
  • Kidney disease: diabetes is listed in the National Diabetes Statistics Report 2014 as being the primary cause of kidney failure in 44% of new cases; the kidneys must overtake the job of the pancreas to try and eliminate excess sugar from the body and eventually fail
  • Obesity: 90% of people who have a metabolic disorder leading to diabetes were previously overweight or obese, and often the condition leads to morbid obesity where the person cannot lose weight except through a surgical intervention
  • Pancreatic failure: pancreatic cancer or complete pancreatic failure are more likely in diabetics who experience a slow degeneration of the organ as it fails to react to or produce insulin
  • Stroke: diabetics are twice as likely to have a stroke as a person without it due to the narrowing of the blood vessel walls because of cholesterol and fatty plaque build-up

The stages of non-alcoholic liver damage due to insulin resistance.

Preventing and reversing insulin resistance can also spare you from having to be dependent on expensive medications that may have unpleasant side-effects for the rest of your life. A metabolic disorder that proceeds to Type II Diabetes may create the need for daily pin pricks to test your blood sugar levels and injections of insulin to manage high blood sugar levels.

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How Are Insulin Resistance, PreDiabetes and Diabetes Diagnosed?

The most accurate way of diagnosing insulin resistance, diabetes and prediabetes are:

  • The A1C test that reflects average blood glucose over the past three months. Normal blood sugar is 5, Prediabetes is 5.7-6.4 and Diabetes is 6.5 or above.
  • The" fasting plasma glucose test" (FPG) that measures blood glucose in people who have not eaten for at least 8 hours Normal blood sugar is 99 or below, Prediabetes is 100 to 125 and Diabetes is 125 or above.
  • The oral glucose intolerance test (OGTT) which measures blood glucose levels after people have not eaten for at least 8 hours and 2 hours after they drink a sweet liquid provided by a testing laboratory. Normal levels are 139 or below, Prediabetes is 140 to 199 and diabetes is 200 or above.

The same tests can also be used to determine the effectiveness of any lifestyle changes you have made to reverse your insulin resistance.

Method 2: Reduce Inflammation in Your Body

The fastest route to lowering your blood sugar is to lose weight, but if you have chronic inflammation in your body then this may be impossible. Many people cannot keep weight off until they have addressed addiction issues or health issues. That is because insulin resistance rapidly advances when your body is in a state of chronic inflammation and prevents weight loss. Furthermore, people who are ill might be on medications that also help pack on the pounds.

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Quit All Addictions

Whenever you are addicted to a substance, your body is put into a state of chronic inflammation. This is even true of painkillers, which can throw your body into a state where the inflammation that is doubled after the painkiller is taken because neurotransmitters are no longer signaling pain, as a side effect of withdrawal or as a rebound effect that is the result of treating symptoms rather than the cause of the disease.

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Avoid junk food and fast food as part of your efforts to reverse insulin resistance.

To help lower your blood sugar:

  1. 1
    Quit smoking which increases blood sugar levels; the www.diabetes.ca Canadian Diabetes Associations states that smoking 20 cigarettes a day doubles your risk of developing Type II Diabetes
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  2. 2
    Quit all alcohols it immediately converts to a sugar in your bloodstream easily overwhelming a liver that may already be compromised by growing insulin resistance
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  3. 3
    Quit all recreational drugs as they overwhelm the liver, kidneys, lungs and pituitary gland thus making it difficult for an already compromised endocrine system to lower its blood sugar on its own
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  4. 4
    Avoid eating junk food and comfort foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar and cause wild blood sugar swings; if you are binge eating seek psychotherapy or counseling to determine why you are "sell-medicating" with food
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  5. 5
    Detach from drama and trauma in your life which is known to raise cortisol levels and affect the function of the pancreas, adrenal glands and pituitary all of which are needed to keep your blood sugars level
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Alcoholism is a cause of metabolic syndrome and Type II Diabetes. Photo courtesy of www.alcoholic.com

Address Dental Problems

Dental problems are one of the main contributors to chronic inflammation in the body and when left untreated can cause cardiovascular problems, neurological symptoms and infections that overwhelm the immune system and liver and make it hard to lose weight.

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Furthermore, people with dental issues tend to eat softer, fattier foods and a lot of dairy products because they cannot chew properly and this in turn contributes to insulin resistance.

Getting needed dental work done can help reverse the inflammation that can cause insulin resistance. Photo by Allessio Assistante Dentaire.

Address Medical Issues to Vanquish the Causes of Chronic Inflammation

A body that is constantly managing inflammation is overloaded with histamines, toxins and excess lymph that sabotages weight loss, blocks lymph nodes and raises blood sugar.

Conditions that insulin resistance and cause weight loss are --

  • Allergies - get naturopathic or medical treatment for your allergies or remove yourself from the places or things that are causing the problem as allergic reactions are inflammatory reactions that cause rises in blood sugar
  • Depression: no longer perceived as just a psychological disorder, depression can cause inflammation and soreness in muscles and joints
  • Diseases of the joints: arthritis and rheumatism can cause inflammation as well as prevent you from moving around and exercising which can also
  • Thyroid: supplementation with desiccated thyroid or man-made thyroid is sometimes recommended to help a hypoactive thyroid produce enough hormone to kick-start a slow metabolism
  • Lymphatic: disorders caused diseases such as cancer and HIV can sabotage weight gain as the lymph pathways in the body must be clear before you can lose weight
  • Menopause: bio-identical hormone treatment can help boost thyroid and impaired pituitary that may be causing insulin resistance
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Allergies cause a constant state of inflammation that increases insulin resistance over time. Photo by M. McFarland.

There are numerous ways of addressing the above disorders through allopathic or naturopathic treatment. Every individual case of insulin resistance is different and you must consult with your MD or ND to find ways to resolve these health issues without resorting to measures that have the side effect of weight gain.

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Eliminate Medications That Cause Weight Gain (If Your M.D. Approves)

Where feasible, and with your doctor's approval consider going off of these medications that are known to have the side-effects of weight gain, which in turn causes weight gain leading to diabetic conditions. All of the medications below degrade the function of the liver and the kidneys, which in turn can lead to insulin resistance and Type II diabetes.

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  • Depakote: is a treatment for bipolar disorder, seizures and migraines that affects metabolism, especially in women
  • Elavil: is a tricyclic antidepressant that affects the function of neuro-transmitters and causes weight gain
  • Lithium: is a salt used to treat bipolar disorder that causes water retention, kidney dysfunction and liver problem
  • Paxil (paroxetine): is a treatment for anxiety that, unlike some other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors increases your appetite and causes bloating and weight gain
  • Prednisone: is an oral corticosteroid prescribed for asthma, arthritis and anti-inflammatory bowel disease that can cause weight gain
  • Prozac: is a treatment for depression that initially causes weight loss but then rebound weight gain after six months of use
  • Pseudoephedrine: found in Allegra, Zyrtec and many cough syrups blocks histamines which disrupts the function of an enzyme in the brain that controls appetite causing insulin resistance
  • Tenormin: is a drug that treats high blood pressure but also expands the waistline, slows metabolism and causes fatigue.
  • Thorazine: is an antipsychotic drug that increases appetite and is sedating, making you more relaxed and wanting to eat more

Are you on a medication that causes weight gain and insulin resistance? Photo by ParentingPatch on WikiCommons.

NOTE Many of these medications are meant for psychiatric conditions and it is very important that you consult with your doctor before ceasing to take them.

The above is by no means a comprehensive list but it consists of some of the worst culprits when it comes to medication induced weight gain

Avoid Eating Foods and Beverages That Cause Inflammation

There are certain foods to avoid that can provoke an inflammation response in your body and thus encourage insulin resistance.

Bacon is a forbidden food full of saturated fat that must be given up if you are insulin resistant. Photo by cyclonebill.

Begin reversing insulin resistance by:

  1. 1
    Avoiding all alcoholic beverages as all of them contain bacteria that irritates the intestinal lining, which in turn causes inflammation as well as sugars that raise blood sugar levels
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  2. 2
    Stop eating all refined grains, such as those found in white bread and pastas, which break down quickly into sugars that immediately cause tissue and blood vessel inflammation and raise blood sugar levels
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  3. 3
    Avoiding foods with gluten, found in flour and dairy products, that can cause a chronic inflammation of the gut
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  4. 4
    Stop consuming the trans fats found in hydrogenated oils that damage the lining of blood vessels and that are often found in breads, baked goods and junk foods
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  5. 5
    Stop eating all unsaturated fats are the bad fats' found in French fries, cheese burgers, bacon and milk; these fats trigger an immune response that can damage tissues
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  6. 6
    Stop eating all sugar, which produces a traumatic immune response in the form of neurological messengers called cytokines that causes inflammation to blood vessels and tissues
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This is not a conclusive list of all foods that can cause inflammation in the body but if you suspect you are experiencing inflammation as the result of eating any food than stop eating it immediately as this will facilitate your weight loss and lower your blood sugar numbers.

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Hydrotherapy to Treat Inflammation

Hydrotherapy means "to heal with water" and inflammation anywhere in the body can be treated by taking alternating baths or showers with hot and then cold water. This works because it stimulates the thyroid and also reduces swelling in joints and muscles.

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The addition of Epsom salts or Sea Salts to a bath can also help reduce inflammation in the body as can swimming in salt water in a pool or in the sea or an ocean.

Bathing in the sea or Dead Sea salts can help lower inflammation and glucose levels. Photo by orge Lascar.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage Clears Obstructions to Weight Loss

If the inflammation is caused by an inability to eliminate lymph from the body then consider getting a manual lymphatic drainage massages which carries waste products out of tissues and towards the heart to encourage trapped lymph to be carried out of the body. The process involves making rhythmic circular movements on certain pressure points of the body to encourage a clearing of the blocks that might be causing chronic inflammation.

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Manual lymphatic massage as well as regular forms of massage can help reverse inlammation in the body and reverse insulin resistance.

Far Infrared Saunas Reduce Inflammation

Far infrared therapy uses invisible waves of energy that penetrate deeply into the physical body to help heal the body and reduce pain. The best way to facilitate this healing experience is to sit in an infrared sauna unit. Infrared sauna sessions are offered at many gyms, spas and holistic treatment centers.

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Infrared Sauna treatment can help reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels. Photo by Serinde.

Aside from reducing inflammation all over the body, relaxing in an infrared body can also:

  • Detox your body through sweating
  • Relax muscles holding on to fluid and inflammation
  • Provide pain relieve and lower cortisol levels that can raise blood sugar
  • Increase blood flow and circulation, which helps your blood clarify itself and bring healing nutrients to sore joints and muscles
  • Raise your core temperature to promote weight los

Method 3: Change Your Diet

It is weight loss that will reduce your BMI and blood sugar and bring it down to a more acceptable level. In fact some people can experience a near normalization of their blood sugar levels simply by losing ten pounds. Lose more than that and you may very well reverse your condition of insulin resistance entirely.

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Here is a look at the many ways you can lose weight and reverse inflammation to lose weight by making changes to your diet.

Quit Eating Sugar

The most effective thing that you can do to reverse your blood sugar is to stop eating sugar. Here are some guidelines for limiting your sugar intake to avoid provoking episodes of high blood sugar.

Photo by Editor At Large.
  1. 1
    When reading food labels try to only eat foods that are as low in sugar as possible.
    Ideally less than 5% of your total calories consumed a day should be from sugar. This means that a rule of thumb you should choose foods with less than 8 grams of sugar on a regular basis and if it can't be helped then you can go as high as 14 grams but only occasionally
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  2. 2
    According to the Mayo Clinic Foods with less than 20 calories a serving or less than 5 grams of carbohydrate a serving tend to have little or no sugar in them.
    This is true of a lot of meat and vegetables. Limit your intake of very sweet fruits such as pineapples and cherries as they can be quite high in sugar.
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  3. 3
    It is best to stay away from foods that have 0 grams of sugar if they contain any type of artificial sweetener (such as aspartame) as they are known to cause cancer and confuse your body into storing fat, which in turn worsens insulin sensitivity almost as bad as sugar.
    Read more about this in more detail below in the Avoid Sugar Substitutes That Cause Insulin Resistance section.
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  4. 4
    Realize that products that contain sugar alcohols such as Xylitol, Sorbitol and Mannitol can be high in calories that convert immediately into glucose in your blood stream and raise blood sugar even though chemically, these sweet substances are not actually sugar
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Dried fruits such as these dried apricots can be a hidden source of sugar. Photo by Andrew Butko.

Do your best to 'avoid these sources of hidden sugar:

  • Dried Fruit
  • Canned fruit pickled in a very sweet syrup
  • Cough syrup 'sweetened with sugar; to be safe buy the brand for diabetics
  • Emergen-C Vitamin Packs as they are 1/3 sugar

'*Fruit juices made from concentrates

  • Instant oatmeal, which can contain 18 grams of sugar per packet
  • Flavored yogurt, especially low-fat yogurt, can contain almost 50 grams of sugar per container
  • Salad Dressings are a common source of hidden sugar, especially if they are labeled no-fat or low-fat
  • Vitamin Water can contain as much as 48 grams of sugar per bottle and this is not apparent on the label
  • Non-dry white and red wines can have as much as 6 grams of sugar per ounce; choose very dry wines if you must have wine with dinner

Fruit flavored smoothies like this strawberry one look healthy but are actually a hidden source of sugar. Photo by Dirk Schneider.

Avoid Sugar Substitutes That Cause Insulin Resistance

Research has stated for years that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharine cause weight gain because these man-made sweeteners actually provoke insulin insensitivity and worsens a predisposition toward developing Type 2 diabetes. A research study called The San Antonio Heart Study done in the eighties found that aspartame causes weight gain.

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Several other studies, including one done on diet soda consumption and school children called The Growing Up Today Study concluded that diet soda drinkers have a significantly higher BMI.

Artificial sweeter use has been linked directly as a cause of diabetes but also other inflammatory conditions that can lead to metabolic problems including fibromyalgia, lymphoma, Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain tumors and epilepsy.

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Artificial sweeteners are marketed under many names. Read your labels so you can avoid:

  • Acesulfame Potassium marketed under the brand name Sunett and found in low calorie pudding deserts and syrups
  • Aspartame marketed under the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal
  • Cyclamate marketed under the names Sweet-N-Low and Sugar Twin
  • Neotame which is found in juice, instant ice tea and low carb foods such as low carb cookies and breads
  • Saccharin, often mixed with other sweeteners (even sugar) and found in many products
  • Sucralose, marketed as Splenda

Avoid cyclamate-based sweeteners that are banned in the United States and other countries but not Canada. Photo by Raysonho.

Healthy Sugar Substitutes

There are two categories of sugar substitutes on the market that you can try:

  1. 1
    Stevia leaf extract used to be known for its metallic back taste but now it has been refined into a sweetener called Rebiana that is marketed under the brand names PureVia and Truvia
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  2. 2
    Sugar alcohols are better to use than artificial sweeteners and they contain 2.6 calories per gram and should be consumed in moderation; they are marketed under the names Sorbitol, Xylitol and Mannitol.
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Truvia is a safe sugar substitute made from stevia.jpg

Avoid Starches and "Bad Carbs"

Starchy, refined foods that are high in carbohydrates are the worst foods for people with insulin resistance because once they are eaten they are turned immediately into sugars that can overwhelm your body's ability to handle glucose.

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Avoid starchy foods to reverse insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels.jpg

Your goal is to stay away from simple carbs like sugar, flour, cereal, pasta and potatoes and eat complex carbohydrates such as nuts vegetables and whole grains. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and slow down the breaking down of starches into sugar. The foods that you choose should have no more than 15 grams of carb per serving.

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Choose Healthy Fats

Although a food that is low in fat is best, you can choose a food that is high in fat and calories if it contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can help lower your cholesterol and protect your cardiovascular system.

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To keep your diet low in fat:

  1. 1
    Eat lean cuts of meat
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  2. 2
    Do not fry foods in oil in butter, instead broil, grill, roast, bake or grill them
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  3. 3
    Cook with coconut oil or low-fat cooking spray
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  4. 4
    Eat foods that contain healthy fats such as avocado, coconuts and almonds to keep your skin and hair shiny and your body functioning properly
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Coconut oil is a healthier choice for those with insulin resistance.

Eat High Fiber Foods

Eating foods that are high fiber is crucial to preventing heart disease because fiber helps slow down the digestion of carbs and slows the entry of carbs into the blood stream.

Broccolini is a good example of a high-fiber carb that is good for those with insulin resistant to eat. Photo by Agriffin.

Good sources of fiber for diabetics are:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Whole-grain breads, cereals ad crackers
  • Brown, red, pink, wild or black rice (avoid white rice totally as it is a simple starch that is as bad for diabetics as sugar!)

Be sure to read labels because the more fiber that there is in a product, the better able you will be to digest that product.

Stay Away From Salt

Salt is not great for diabetics because it is hard on the kidneys, raises blood pressure and causes water retention and bloat. It is a good idea for you to limit avoid hidden sources of excess salt in products such as:

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  • Instant mixes for noodles, gravy soup or potatoes
  • Canned meats
  • Canned soups, gravies and vegetables
  • Cured and processed luncheon meats
  • Condiments of all kinds including ketchup, mustard and salad dressing
  • Cured fried meat such as sausage and bacon
  • Olives
  • Salty snack foods of all kinds
  • Soy sauces

Diets That Are Healthy For Diabetics

If you are not sure of your ability to plan your own meals, stay sugar-free or your ability to count sugar grams, carbs or calories then you may find it helpful to go on any of these diets all of which are helpful for eliminating sugar, salt fats and carbs and increasing fiber, protein and nutrient density.

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  1. 1
    The Paleo Diet is one of the best diets for reversing insulin resistance and consists of meat, seafood, fresh organic produce, eggs, nuts and seeds and healthy grains.
    No cereal, dairy, potatoes, legumes, processed foods or salt is allowed.
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  2. 2
    The Mediterranean Diet is based on the Southern European style of eating and has an emphasis on fish and poultry, small amounts of red meet, four eggs a week, some dairy as well as greens, nuts, seeds and olive oil; some may want to cut down on the egg and dairy consumption to cut down on cholesterol.
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  3. 3
    The Atkins diet was designed to lower insulin levels by reducing carbohydrates and increasing protein intake substantially to put the body in a state of ketosis that eliminates fat and helps you lose weight, however it is not recommended for diabetics with kidney problems
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  4. 4
    The South Beach Diet is similar to the Atkins diet but focuses on lowering insulin levels through the consumption of unrefined slow carbohydrates and allows a little more of the good fats than the Atkins diet to help lower cholesterol and improve nerve pain but it still can be hard on the kidneys
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The Paleo Food Pyramid. Image by Kenny of 573 Fitness.

Stay away from:

  • The Zone Diet which is too high in carbohydrates and fats or a diabetic and also is hard on the kidneys
  • Vegetarian or vegan diets which are usually high sodium, contain no protein and that are almost entirely carbohydrates and do not have enough protein to sustain a healthy metabolism
  • Raw Food Diet is mainly vegan and often high in sugar because of all of the fruit consumed
  • Low Calorie diets because a lack of calories can throw both of your metabolism and blood sugar out of whack and even cause you to gain weight as a compensation for the food that your body thinks it is missing eating

Method 4: Get More Rest and Exercise

Getting plenty of exercise and rest go hand-in-hand when it comes to lowering your blood sugar and helping your body self-regulate its metabolism and energy levels. In fact one of the best remedies for insomnia is exercise and diabetics and people with metabolic disorders need extra rest to stay healthy.

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How illness and stress causes insulin resistance. Photo courtesy of Slideplayer.com

Activities That Help Reverse Insulin Resistance

Most people with metabolic issues feel fatigued, foggy and sleepy and don't feel much like hitting the gym for a workout. However, you can find inspiration in the idea that regular exercise can help keep your heart healthy, lower bad cholesterol and increase your energy levels.

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Your goal should be to get at least thirty minutes of aerobic exercise daily and 30 minutes of anaerobic exercise which can consist of calisthenics or weight lifting at least three times a week. If you can manage more exercise than this, you will feel even better and lose more weight.

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Ideal exercises for diabetics include:

  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Tai Chi
  • Swimming
  • Circuit training
  • Aquafit
  • Yoga

Varying your routine by playing tennis, basketball, baseball or other sports can also help you burn off the weight.

Bicycling is an aerobic activity that is effective for lowering blood sugar and reversing insulin resistance. Phot by Moebiusuibeom.

The benefits of exercise include:

  • Losing weight
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Build lean muscle that burns more calories
  • Improve your mood
  • Help manage stress that raises cortisol levels and bloods sugar
  • Helps you sleep longer and with less disturbance at night

Before exercising make sure you are well hydrated and have a bottle of water with you and if you are going on a long walk or planning to exercise over an hour bees sure to have a small snack with you like an apple or crackers with cashew butter to help stave off a low blood sugar episode.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are diabetic and embarking on any exercise regimen as everyone is different and may be, because of other conditions, more suited to some exercises than others.

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Get Plenty Of Rest

When you don't get enough sleep your body seems to require more insulin to maintain normal glucose levels in the blood. Sleeplessness also causes fatigue which can wreak havoc with your parasympathetic nervous system. This in turn causes your body to produce too much blood glucose and a craving for calories.

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Getting plenty of rest and sleep is crucial to reversing insulin resistance. Photo by Aweisenfes.

Natural ways to get more rest include:

  1. 1
    An hour of exercise in the morning (not at night, which may be to stimulating)
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  2. 2
    Eating a piece of fruit with an ounce of protein such as an apple slice with a nut butter or an apple slice with cheese before retiring can keep blood sugars level and help you sleep
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  3. 3
    Shutting off all electronic devices including your television and phone and keep your laptop out of the bed
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  4. 4
    Using black out curtains so that sunlight or street light that enters can't wake you up and disturb your sleep rhythm
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  5. 5
    Drink a cup of chamomile tea (if you are not allergic to ragweed)
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Method 5: Take Special Supplements for Diabetics Every Day

Essential Vitamins

These vitamins are crucial for lowering your blood sugar and keeping the damaging progression of insulin resistance at bay:

  1. 1
    Take 1000 mcg of Biotin daily to metabolize fat and proteins as well prevent hair loss due to metabolic disorders
    Biotin helps the body with fat, carbohydrate and protien metabolism.
    Photo courtesey of natural-health-news.com.
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  2. 2
    Take Vitamin B6+B12 with Folic acid twice a day to convert carbs, proteins and fats to energy
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  3. 3
    Take Vitamin D in amounts of up to 10,000 IU a day help cleanse, detoxify and support damaged liver tissues as well as promote a feeling of well-being
    Vitamin D can help reverse insulin resistance.
    Photo courtesy of oakvillenes.org.
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  4. 4
    Take 1000 to 10,000 mg of Vitamin C a day helps protect every organ in the body from the damage caused by progressive insulin resistance
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Herb, Spices and Other Helpful Supplements =

  1. 1
    Take 100 mcg Alpha-Lipoic Acid before every meal to help promote glucose metabolism
    Alpha Lipoic Acid helps promote blood glucose metabolism.
    Image courtesy of diyhealth.com
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  2. 2
    Take 5HTP otherwise known as 5-Hydroxytryptophan as directed on the label helps combat food cravings, weight gain, insomnia and promotes sleep
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  3. 3
    Take Carni-Sorb 500 mg (Acetyl-L-Carnitene) to help regulate blood glucose metabolism; take 500 mcg a day
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  4. 4
    Take 6 grams of cinnamon to a day helps lower your blood glucose levels of people with Type II diabetes; that is equal to half a teaspoon a day
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  5. 5
    Take one or tow Garcinia cambogia capsules before a meal to help block your body's ability to absorb fat
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  6. 6
    Take parsley, taken in pill form or as a fresh pressed juice, to control bloating and water retention the bloating and water retention often associated with insulin resistance and Type II diabetes
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  7. 7
    Take three capsules of PGX before every meal; this is a very effective carb blocker that slows the release of carbs into the bloodstream and prevents conditions of high blood sugar
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  8. 8
    Take Tri-Chromium 500 mcg three times a day to lower blood sugar
    PGX Daily is an effective carb blocker that helps slow the speed with which sugar travels through the bloodstream.
    Photo courtesy of whisperedinspirations.com
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  9. 9
    Take a half teaspoon or more of turmeric a day in capsule form or sprinkled on food, it helps with insulin resistance, diabetic nerve pain and helps combat heart disease and detoxify the liver;
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  10. 10
    Take 1 capsule of Lion's Mane mushrooms a day to help clear the brain fog associated with diabetes
    Lion's Mane mushroom supplements can help reduce the brain fog and headaches associated with insulin resistance and diabetes.
    Photo from fungi.com
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  11. 11
    Take 1 capsule of Cordyceps mushrooms once a day to assist with the efficient conversion of food to energy and heal damaged nerves and tingling in the finger
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  12. 12
    Drink at least one cup of green tea a day to help metabolize fats and clear the mental fog associated with diabetes as well as cleanse the liver and kidneys, lower insulin resistance and glucose levels in the blood
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Green tea helps beat back insulin resistance. Photo by Douglas P. Perkins.

Hormonal Replacement Therapy

If your metabolic disorder is provoked by the onset of perimenopause or menopause you may want to consider taking bioidentical hormone therapy to control your lipid and glucose levels. Hormones typically prescribed for this include:

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  1. 1
    Progesterone, which helps regulate weight and promote better sleep
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  2. 2
    Thyroid or desiccated thyroid, which gives the body a boost for metabolizing fats and proteins
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  3. 3
    DHEA which helps the body produce lean muscle which burns more calories than fat
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    Advertisement

A study of postmenopausal woman conducted at the University of Buffalo published in Diabetes Care showed that postmenopausal women who had taken HRT had less fat in their blood, lower cholesterol, low glucose levels and blood that was less reactive to insulin.

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Oral progesterone medication. Photo NM Pillbox.

When Medication Becomes Necessary

If you are not able to reverse your blood sugar naturally do not consider yourself a failure as insulin resistance s a virulent progressive disease that affects many systems in the body that almost always eventually leads to Diabetes Type II over time. The most you can do is manage it in the meantime..

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The first line of defense against rising blood sugar is a prescription for Metformin. It is recommended for people younger than age 60 with a A1C above 6, a relative with diabetes, low HDL cholesterol and a Body Mass index of at least 35.

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The second line of defense is insulin injections but often the use of Metformin in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise can stave it off for at least a decade.

Metformin tablets. Photo by Ash.

Tips and Tricks

A slanted grill for cooking meats and vegetables such as this George Foreman Grill can help you eat less fat calories as the fat drains away. Photo courtesy of harveynorman.ie.

  • Sometimes the A1C test does not reveal insulin or diabetes, but if you have the symptoms it is a good idea to request the oral glucose intolerance test (OGIT) that almost always reveals it if it is present
  • If you are eating to deal with your feelings or feel that you are addicted to food then consider joining a Food Addicts Anonymous Group in your city; this is a twelve step program that can help you determine why you continue to eat compulsively even if it is bad for you
  • The artificial sweetener Cyclamate is especially toxic and banned in several countries including the United States, but it is still available in Canada and the United Kingdom
  • Agave syrup was marketed for years as an alternative sugar for diabetics but the truth is that it contains more calories than sugars and is much sweeter.
  • Watch out for fat-free products which may contain added sugar or calories in order to make up for the lack "mouth feel" or taste of the product �" a good example is fat-free yogurt which is often quite high in sugar �" often over 40 grams!
  • A George Foreman grill is a handy kitchen counter top appliance that cooks your meat on a sloped grooved surface so the fat in the meat runs into a tray and is not served on your plate
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
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Categories : Physical Health

Recent edits by: Doug Collins, Dougie, Eng

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