This is a tricky question to answer that how long does it take to reverse insulin resistance, because it depends on a number of factors which I will try to answer later on in the article but first of all it would be pertinent to start with the background of this problem to better understand the real issue.
Insulin Resistance is neither a sign nor it is a disease but in fact it is a state which is a warning for the body to rectify its bad routine. It is worth mentioning here that it can only be reversed if a person is willing to change his or her life style. If reversal phase is adopted according to its requirements it can be reversed hundred percent.
So sooner it will be started better chances are there to complete this phase and complete health can be achieved. Normally a person starts to get the benefits after couple of weeks of life style changes but more sustained benefits can be seen after 3 months of this process.
How Long Does It Take To Reverse Insulin Resistance?
Mostly after third week to one month. If a person gets into the state of ketosis using intermittent fasting and keto diet a quick and sustained healthy reversal can be achieved.
Before going in depth of the topic that How Long to Reverse Insulin Resistance, I think it will be pertinent to explain some key facts about insulin resistance. If you are already aware of these, you can scan through the headings and go straight to the topic anyway.
So, even when you are sitting idle, your body is performing a series of complex mechanisms necessary for its proper functioning. One such complex mechanism involves naturally producing hormone, called insulin, essential for balancing sugar levels in the blood.
Sometimes a person’s body malfunctions and doesn’t respond to insulin properly, making it difficult to keep the blood sugar level inside the healthy levels, creating a situation called insulin resistance.
The reasons behind insulin resistance could be plentiful ranging from genetics, excessive use of processed food, unhealthy life style and a lot more which can eventually end up in various life threatening diseases like type 2 diabetes. To keep a check over such concerns, we’ll be discussing them in detail today.
Function of Insulin and Glucagon
Pancreas which is located in the upper left region of abdomen is known as the biggest hormone producing organ of the body. Beta cells of the pancreas are responsible for producing the hormone insulin.
The beta cells are dispersed over the pancreas in the form of a small bunch, called islets of Langerhans. Whenever a person eats something or the body’s blood sugar level is high, the pancreas releases the insulin into the body through the bloodstream. Because Insulin is an anabolic hormone it performs two most important functions in the body.
Cellular Respiration Process : Conversion of Glucose into Energy
Most human body cells contain insulin receptors, but how do they work, and how does a cell take in sugar for energy? Whenever a person eats food, high on carbohydrates, the insulin is released from the pancreas into the bloodstream.
The insulin reaches the cell and insulin receptors responding, creates an opening for the cell to take in sugar and break it down for energy. Insulin and insulin receptors work in harmony to complete the process of storing blood carbs into cells and balancing blood sugar levels.
Glycogenesis: Helps to Store Glycogen
Not every time your body needs energy in the form of glucose. Most of the time when your body isn’t needing energy right away, the insulin stores the extra blood sugar into muscle cells, fat cells, and liver for later use.
The energy which is stored in these cells is reserved in the form of glycogen which is a multi-branched polysaccharide of glucose.
Insulin Resistance Mechanism
After having sound knowledge of insulin and its functioning, it becomes easier to understand INSULIN RESISTANCE. Insulin resistance is a state in which the insulin receptors refuse to accept the insulin, causing the pancreas to release more insulin.
When the pancreas reaches the limit of producing insulin, the cells, instead of welcoming the insulin, resist it, leading to high blood sugar levels and can eventually result in Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. This resistance could be in response to the body’s insulin or externally used insulin.
Insulin Resistance Causes
There are number of reasons which can be the cause of Insulin Resistance in majority of cases. We will discuss a few major factors involved in causing the state of insulin resistance.
Poly Cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
The problem is found in pregnant women and is caused by the excessive release of insulin. Due to such uncontrolled launch of insulin, the cells become insulin resistant causing high blood sugar levels and making the body unable to break down sugar.
High Steroid Intake
Steroids are used for treating different body problems, but if taken for long they can harm patients’ bodies by increasing blood glucose levels. The increased body glucose is a factor for insulin resistance. Diabetic patients must consult a doctor before taking steroids to avoid insulin resistance.
High Sugar Diet
Diets which are high in sugar and carbs are more likely and a big cause for insulin resistance. Such diets increase the body’s glucose level, causing difficulty in the breakdown or storage of sugar molecules.
Cortisol, a natural steroid is released from a person’s body when he remains under a constant state of stress. It causes a high blood sugar level and insulin resistance having the same effect as other steroids does.
Having good exercise daily have a positive effect on insulin resistance and helps cure it while on the other hand sedentary attitude makes blood glucose level high, ultimately increasing the chances of insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is not only bound to these causes, apart from these, smoking, old age, and being obese also harm insulin flow. Apart from these factors, having a family history of insulin resistance or diabetes or belonging to Black, Asian, and/or Hispanic ethnic groups are some immutable for such a problem.
SYMPTOMS OF INSULIN RESISTANCE
Originally, when your cells aren’t accepting insulin, the pancreas excretes more insulin to coup up with the rising blood glucose levels. Till this point, the body seems to be normal and doesn’t show any symptoms of insulin resistance.
When time passes, cells resistance increases and the pancreas couldn’t keep up with continuously releasing the bulk amount of insulin, then blood sugar level increases and the body starts to show symptoms. Starting with a high blood glucose level, an affected person starts to experience extreme thirst and hunger, recurrent urination, fatigue, and sometimes also tingling sensations in the hand or feet.
Complications of INSULIN RESISTANCE
Once the pancreas fails to excrete enough insulin, the rising blood glucose level of the body leads to many other rough conditions.
Prediabetes is a condition when your blood sugar level is higher than normal but it can’t be diagnosed as diabetes. Most of the time, prediabetes grows into type 2 diabetes. The problem is caused by insulin resistance and luckily can be controlled by a few changes in a person’s lifestyle.
Often also called insulin resistance syndrome, this chronic disease is a merger of other conditions like;
⦁ Increased blood sugar level
⦁ Elevated cholesterol
⦁ Excess fat around the waist
⦁ High blood pressure
Any of these conditions can also happen individually when a person is suffering from insulin resistance. Metabolic syndrome is one of the most common problems caused by insulin resistance.
Type 2 Diabetes
When the cells in muscles, fats, and liver become resistant to insulin and the pancreas couldn’t excrete enough insulin to maintain blood sugar levels, it might eventually end up in type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease in which cells become resistant to insulin. A person must have a periodic medical check-up routine to cover this disease before it appears.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
Around 70-80% of obese and diabetic patients are dealing with this NAFLD. This condition generates due to lipid accumulation in the liver, caused by insulin resistance. The liver changes its shape and can certainly lead to liver cancer. Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are the biggest causes behind this disease.
Arteriosclerosis is a condition in which the arteries grow thick and stiff and blood flow is restricted to organs. High cholesterol level weakens the walls of arteries and is caused by a variety of factors like insulin resistance, smoking, and obesity. In the worst-case scenario, the condition might lead to a heart attack. A recent study about the effects caused by insulin resistance on arteriosclerosis.
Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin condition caused when epidermal skin cells start reproducing, resulting in the darkening and thickening of skin folds and creases. This unusual epidermal cell growth is triggered by unwanted insulin presence in the patient’s body.
Skin tags are small portions of skin projected out of the body. They can range in size from few millimeters up to 5 cm. They could be dark or flesh-colored with either smooth or rough surfaces. Mainly caused by insulin resistance, skin tags could be found on the neck, armpits, around the groin, or under the breast.
INSULIN RESISTANCE TEST
Although there isn’t any specific test for diagnosing insulin resistance clinically but there is a complicated test for this purpose which is only used for research purposes.
Most doctors use Fasting Plasma Glucose test or A1C test. Fasting glucose level over 100mg/dL is a concern for nondiabetic patients. Along with this test to confirm insulin resistance in a patient, a detailed patient history and symptoms of the patient should be monitored closely.
The main trouble in diagnosing insulin resistance comes when it is in its initial stages. At first, when cells resist insulin, the pancreas starts excreting an extra amount of insulin to balance blood glucose levels.
Later, when left un-treated, the pancreas becomes unable to release enough insulin, raising the blood sugar level. The rise in blood sugar level is then diagnosed through blood glucose tests.
Reversing Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance can be reversed in many cases through lifestyle changes. Having some slight changes in your diet, losing weight, exercise on daily basis, and medications can help to reverse insulin resistance. Prediabetes can also be controlled from turning into type 2 diabetes by these simple changes.
Reversing insulin resistance is possible but it needs sustained effort for a long period of time to get it to reversed completely.
Losing weight can be a good way to reverse insulin resistance. When you lose weight, unnecessary blood fat is drained out of the body, this release of fat is achieved through diet and exercise. Fat tissues are a source of different hormones which increase insulin resistance.
Lowering weight around the abdomen region is necessary because it not only prevents insulin resistance but is also beneficial against heart diseases. Weight loss also controls type 2 diabetes.
Exercise is one of the main methods for controlling blood glucose levels. When a person exercises, his body burns fatty acids and glucose into energy, thus helping in reversing insulin resistance. At least 30 minutes of exercise on daily basis is necessary to improve insulin resistance symptoms.
Eat These to Reverse Insulin Resistance
Having a proper diet plan can help you reverse insulin resistance. You must take care of what you eat and when you eat. You must add these into your diet plan;
Lots of Vegetables
Green vegetables are the best meal to have if you are looking to reverse insulin resistance. Green vegetables are loaded with nutrients and are low carbs. Vegetables like spinach also help you lose weight.
Plenty of Fruits
Shift your dessert choice from ice creams to strawberries, if you want to reverse insulin resistance. Add vitamin-enriched fruits to your diet and use more fresh fruits instead of frozen ones. Fresh fruits
High Fiber Diet
Research shows that high intakes of fiber rich food can help reverse insulin resistance and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating more than 50 grams of fiber a day, helps you balance blood glucose levels. You must add nuts, berries, whole grains, and beans to your diet for a fiber rich diet plan.
Fats are an essential element in everyone’s diet plan. To overcome insulin resistance, try to switch saturated fats with healthy ones. Healthy fats include olive, sunflower, and sesame oils.
Avoid These To Reverse Insulin Resistance
A Diet plan must be chosen carefully to avoid conditions like insulin resistance. These are some foods that might cause the worsening of prediabetes into type 2 diabetes;
Processed food usually has added fats and sugar to it, which are vulnerable to insulin resistance. Such food which comes in packaging or cans must be avoided.
Saturated fats are a big reason behind high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol and obesity play their part in producing Insulin Resistance; hence saturated fats must be avoided to reverse insulin resistance. Saturated fats are abundantly found in foods like beef, pork, high-fat dairy products, tropical oils, and dark chicken meat.
Sweetened drinks contain simple carbohydrates that are rich in glucose. These drinks play a big part in enhancing insulin resistance. Along with these drinks, a high level of simple carbohydrates is also found in candies, cakes, and sweeteners. Instead use different type of teas to reverse insulin resistance.
Exercise, yoga, including supplements, healthy diet plan using CICO(Calorie In Calorie Out) technique along with healthy KETO is the way not only to reverse insulin resistance but to reach your optimum health goal for a long healthy life.
My Personal Note to Reverse Insulin Resistance
I have personally found that Intermittent fasting with keto diet can do miracles within a very short period of time to reverse most of the problems of this modern life style because it promotes autophagy, in which human body starts consuming damaged tissues to use as energy for the metabolic process.