Five Simple Tips For Overcoming Insulin Resistance

June 5, 2024

Anyone struggling to control their blood sugar levels should know they are not alone. Having occasional issues is completely normal. It usually happens when something we eat briefly results in high blood sugar. This quickly plummets. The resulting blood sugar “crash” often leaves people feeling dizzy, irritated, and uncomfortable. 

The real problem is when this becomes a regular occurrence. Persistent inability to maintain normal blood sugar levels can be a symptom of insulin resistance. This condition is an early warning sign. If insulin resistance is allowed to progress it can lead to diabetes. The good news is this can take over ten years – time that can be spent taking control of blood sugar through lifestyle changes. Discover five strategies to combat insulin resistance, paired with insights on an exclusive anti-aging program that leads the way to live better, longer.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Usually when someone eats, their body easily turns food into fuel. It does this by breaking down the food they consumed and converting it into a natural sugar called “glucose.” This is the human body’s number one source of energy. However, it would be utterly ineffective without a crucial hormone: insulin.

During digestion, glucose enters the bloodstream. The pancreas is signaled and begins producing insulin. Insulin is like a key. It unlocks liver, fat, and muscle cells which allow the glucose traveling through the bloodstream to enter. Those liver, fat, and muscle cells either immediately use the glucose for energy or they store it for later. 

It’s a normal part of digestion for blood sugar levels to rise after eating. The pancreas then releases insulin to lower blood sugar. Insulin resistance is when blood sugar levels remain elevated after the hormone is released. Instead of letting the “insulin key” unlock their cells, the liver, fat, or muscle in our bodies are unable to efficiently utilize the glucose. Instead it remains in the bloodstream. This results in higher than normal blood sugar levels

In response, the pancreas pumps out more insulin. Unfortunately, with insulin resistance over time the pancreas has to release ever higher amounts of the hormone just to get the same result. This can be dangerous. That’s because eventually the pancreas can’t keep up with demand. When the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to lower blood sugar, then those levels keep rising until they enter the diabetic range. 

A simple test called A1C can help determine if someone is insulin resistant or even diabetic. This blood sugar test; doesn’t require fasting and reveals average levels over the past two or three months. The blood sugar test works by looking at hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. The test reveals the percentage that has blood sugar attached to it. If two separate tests show more than 6.5% of hemoglobin have blood sugar attached,  it indicates diabetes. Pre-diabetes is between 5.7% and 6.4%, while normal blood sugar levels are below 5.7%.

Getting the A1C test is easy. Instead of visiting a clinic or a lab, Kyla offers an at-home testing option. Not only are blood sugar levels checked but thyroid, hormone, and cholesterol levels are checked as well. While some companies charge hundreds of dollars for similar tests, the Kyla Primary Care Panel costs just $99.00. This cost may even be covered by insurance. 

Getting an A1C test is very important since blood sugar levels are often an early warning sign. Analyzing a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers estimated that some 40% of U.S. adults aged 18 to 44 have insulin resistance. Many will be diagnosed with diabetes in the next ten to fifteen years. Although there are many reasons, one of the most common causes of insulin resistance is metabolic syndrome

The Risks of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is an unhealthy combination of conditions. By themselves, these conditions can shorten life spans and increase disease risk. In combination, they exponentially increase the changes that someone will get not just diabetes but also heart disease, strokes, or even cancer at some point in their life. 

Doctors consider someone to have metabolic syndrome if they have three out of five conditions. Men who have a waist span over 40 inches (35 for women) triglyceride levels that are 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or greater, HDL cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dL in men and less than 50 mg/dL in women, high blood pressure and/or elevated blood sugar levels

The good news is that there are ways to overcome insulin resistance and defeat metabolic syndrome. None of them are easy but study after study has consistently proven them to be effective. 

  1. Change the Diet 

What we eat has a profound effect on blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Cutting back on the simple carbohydrates found in sweets like cookies, pies, and cakes can really help. So will reducing sugar-laden drinks like sodas and some juices. 

There really isn’t an “insulin resistance diet.” Studies suggest that returning to consistently normal blood sugar levels can be accomplished by adding complex, low-glycemic-index carbohydrates to meals. These are foods that slowly raise blood sugar levels – reducing the risk of a crash.  Suggested foods include apples, Greek yogurt, lentils, strawberries, and bananas. Despite their sweetness blueberries and  mangos are also considered low-glycemic foods. 

Additionally, insulin resistance can be improved by eating foods high in fiber like popcorn, bran, and whole grains, including whole grain cereals (so long as they are low in sugar). If there is an “insulin resistance diet“ it would be ones like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the Mediterranean Diet. These are ways of eating that are plant-focused,  emphasizing vegetables and fruits along with modest portions of lean meats like chicken and poultry. These diets have been consistently shown in studies to reverse or alleviate metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.

  1. Exercise Can Improve Blood Sugar Levels

No one should start out trying to run a marathon. Start by walking a few blocks. Garden. Join a dance class. It doesn’t really matter what the physical activity is, so long as it happens regularly and is moderately intense. Studies suggest it can accelerate the body’s ability to reduce glucose levels in the bloodstream. Instead of lingering, glucose is converted into energy. Muscle cells in particular make use of glucose – especially if a healthy, insulin resistance diet has been deployed. According to one study, “ A single session of moderate-intensity exercise can increase glucose uptake by at least 40%.”

The key is consistency. That’s why experts recommend starting slow. It can help to have a friend join or even hire a fitness trainer. It’s also a good idea to get a preliminary health check, like the one offered by Kyla Clinics. Along with at-home testing, the company helps clients gain insights into their health through AI analytics and advanced testing. People dealing with insulin resistance can discover how their lifestyle affects their body through the tracking of vital health indicators like their primary care and hormone levels. This data can be conveniently monitored on the Kyla app which helps users visualize their progress through graphs for better insights.

  1. Changing Some Habits Can Really Help

Moderate alcohol intake has not been linked to insulin resistance but excessive drinking can lead to metabolic syndrome – both because of the excess calories and sugar, along with the effect it has on organs. Tobacco, however, has been linked to insulin resistance. It’s believed to be the result of hormone activation, with nicotine seen as a possible culprit. Although research is ongoing, this could suggest that even tobacco-free vaping may result in insulin resistance. Marijuana use by obese individuals has been linked to insulin resistance while those who are not obese did not have the same issues. However, while cessation of smoking tobacco or nicotine has been shown to improve the condition, insulin resistance persisted in former marijuana users even years after they stopped smoking. 

Ironically, many people who hope to reach the heights of athletic achievement ingest harmful substances. Anabolic steroids have been shown to increase insulin resistance and can also negatively affect glucose levels.

  1. Get Blood Sugar Levels Tested Regularly

The frightening thing is that there really aren’t any consistently reliable insulin resistance symptoms. Although regular blood sugar crashes or having frequent issues with blood sugar levels may indicate a problem, it’s not a clear sign. Instead of looking for insulin resistance symptoms, the best idea is to get a simple, at-home blood test like the one from Kyla. There’s even a quiz available for anyone uncertain about which test to take. After selecting the test, a blood test kit will arrive in less than a week. A simple needle-prick, a few drops of blood, and then return the sample to Kyla’s lab. Soon after, a doctor-reviewed report will not only reveal any signs of insulin resistance but it will also offer guidance including personalized advice for improving not just glucose levels but one’s overall health.  

  1. Accept What Cannot Be Changed 

Perhaps unusual advice for overcoming a medical condition but when it comes to insulin resistance, the sad truth is some people are more likely to develop it. For one thing, even people who are not overweight or have any of the other conditions associated with metabolic syndrome can develop insulin resistance if they have a family history of diabetes. People who come from an Asian, Hispanic, or Black background are more likely to develop insulin resistance than someone from a White background. Also more likely are people indigenous to Alaska or the islands of the Pacific. 

Insulin resistance is more common among those over the age of 45. It’s also more likely for those with hormonal disorders like Cushing’s syndrome or taking certain prescribed medications including steroids, some blood pressure medicines, and HIV treatments. People with sleep apnea are also more likely to get the condition. 

That’s why taking control is so important. Besides regular testing like the at-home blood sugar test offered by Kyla Clinics, the company also helps patients achieve long-lasting changes with its proprietary anti-aging treatments. These treatments include AI-driven, personalized recommendations from trusted healthcare professionals. 

The Kyla app also helps people keep track of their lifestyle changes, which means it  can help them defeat insulin resistance. This is accomplished through a set of daily action items and goals along with a detailed trend chart for monitoring progress. Users of the app can also keep track of their daily nutrition, physical activity, personalized recommendations, and medication reminders. Whether overcoming metabolic syndrome or just hoping to extend one’s healthy lifespan, it’s easier with a trusted partner like Kyla Clinics. 


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