Insulin Resistance And Stress

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In my last email, I told you about the prevalence of insulin resistance, in this email I want to tell you about what causes it and how stress can exacerbate it. 

Here are the 7 common causes of insulin resistance: 

  1. Genetics: Insulin resistance can run in families.
  2. Obesity: Being overweight or obese is a significant risk factor for insulin resistance. Excess body fat can promote inflammation, which can impair insulin signaling.
  3. Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can reduce insulin sensitivity and increase the risk of insulin resistance.
  4. Diet: A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can lead to high blood sugar levels, which can promote insulin resistance.
  5. Age: As we age, our cells become less sensitive to insulin, increasing the risk of insulin resistance.
  6. Sleep disorders: Sleep deprivation and disorders such as sleep apnea can increase the risk of insulin resistance.
  7. Chronic stress: As mentioned in a previous question, chronic stress can also contribute to the development of insulin resistance.

Stress can cause insulin resistance through a complex interplay of hormones and physiological processes.

When the body experiences stress, the stress response system is activated, which releases a cascade of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can increase blood sugar levels and promote the breakdown of glycogen in the liver, which can lead to an increase in insulin secretion.

However, prolonged or chronic stress can disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. High levels of cortisol, which is released in response to stress, can lead to insulin resistance by decreasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. When this happens, the body may need to produce more insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check, leading to a state of hyperinsulinemia.

Additionally, stress can increase appetite and cravings for high-sugar, high-fat foods, which can lead to weight gain and further increase insulin resistance. Moreover, stress can also decrease motivation and energy levels, making it more difficult to engage in physical activity, which can exacerbate insulin resistance.

Managing stress through techniques such as exercise, relaxation techniques, and cognitive-behavioral therapy can help reduce the risk of developing insulin resistance and associated health problems.

If you’re struggling with stress and hormonal health, it would be a good idea to run functional testing to get an idea of your cortisol response and how it’s affecting your metabolic health.

Use the contact button above to apply for a free health assessment call with our team and we’ll see if we can help you.

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