Guide to Sugar #3: Insulin Resistance and Inflammation
We live in an inflamed world. Inflammation has a crucial and naturally beneficial process in our bodies, as I’ve previously talked about here, but nonetheless can give rise to a host of issues when chronic and rampant. Uncontrolled inflammation can cause cellular damage, disrupt hormone levels, and cause premature aging. One of the most important ways to regulate inflammation is through the diet, specifically through balancing blood sugar.
Chronically high levels of blood sugar (through a diet comprised of too much processed sugar and simple carbohydrates) leads to a condition called insulin resistance, in which the cells in your body fail to respond to insulin causing a buildup of sugar in the blood. In insulin resistance, inflammatory molecules called cytokines are secreted by the immune system causing a chronic, low-grade, inflammatory state. An excess of fat cells also produces more inflammatory molecules to circulate throughout the body from a process called lipotoxicity, in which these fat cells cause fatty acids to deposit into the bloodstream resulting in inflammation and tissue and organ damage. Strategic weight loss and stabilize blood sugar through a low glycemic diet can be hugely beneficial in controlling insulin resistance related inflammation.
Inflammation and insulin resistance go hand in hand. Anything that causes inflammation will cause insulin resistance, and anything that causes insulin resistance will cause inflammation. Those with inflammatory conditions in which pro-inflammatory cytokines are consistently secreted by the body such as rheumatoid arthritis and various autoimmune diseases may be more prone to type 2 diabetes. Anything that triggers cytokines will make the body’s cells more insulin resistant.
One of the most important ways to regulate inflammation is through the diet. Processed sugars and refined flours are the biggest triggers of cytokine production which initiates a wide array of biochemical reactions that turn on the genes that lead to chronic, low-grade inflammation. If insulin resistance is a concern for you, it’s important to moderate the levels of inflammation within the body. This could be through an anti-inflammatory and blood sugar stabilizing diet, healing leaky gut, decreasing stress levels, reducing toxins in the body and the environment, balancing hormones, eliminating exposure to allergic triggers, or reducing an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut.
As there is no one diet plan nor one healthy lifestyle perfectly suitable for everyone, it’s important to work with a health professional towards your health goals. Give Acubalance a call at 604-678-8600 to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to see how we can help you make the changes you need in your life to regulate insulin levels and inflammation.
The oxidative stress and inflammation caused by insulin resistance disrupt hormonal balance within the body. For more information about the effect of sugar on your hormones, check out my second post in this blog series HERE.