Insulin Sensitivity San Bernardino
Insulin sensitivity refers to how responsive the cells of the body are to circulating blood insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas necessary for blood sugar to pass from the blood into the cells. The more sensitive the cells are to the insulin, the more efficient the body is at processing blood sugar, getting it to the hungry cells where it is needed and not letting the sugar build up in the bloodstream which is toxic to the membranes and cells.
Low insulin sensitivity is termed insulin resistance and is characteristic in type 2 diabetes.
There are 3 types of insulin sensitivity, peripheral, hepatic and pancreatic.
- Peripheral sensitivity refers to glucose absorption in muscle and fat and is the most noted area for insulin resistance.
- Hepatic, or liver sensitivity has to do with the ability of the liver to interpret signals of when to produce glucose (or not produce it) so that the glucose pathways do not get overrun. Inflammatory factors so often present in both obesity and diabetes often prevent the liver from getting the signals to stop producing glucose and the glucose goes abnormally high.
- The last form of sensitivity is pancreatic sensitivity and these cells are likely to fail to be sensitive to insulin if damaged or not working properly. This last type of sensitivity is more prevalent in type 1 and 1.5 individuals with diabetes.
Increasing Insulin Sensitivity
Some factors that affect insulin sensitivity cannot be modified, such as age. Insulin sensitivity naturally decreases with age. However there are many diet and lifestyle factors that stimulate insulin sensitivity and these factors can be utilized to control blood sugar, prediabetes and diabetes in general.
Both aerobic and non-aerobic activity can increase insulin sensitivity. This increase in sensitivity can be seen with or without weight loss. For weight-lifting, more sets of an exercise tend to be more effective than single sets and higher intensities better than moderate. The entire concept is that you want a properly functioning muscle that can contract, move the blood flow and increase glucose uptake. The increase in glucose uptake post-exercise is 2-48 hours.
Just a loss of 10 lbs can make a difference in insulin sensitivity. Obesity and insulin resistance are strongly interrelated and combining a calorie restricted diet with an exercise program is the best plan to increase your insulin sensitivity, lower blood glucose, lose weight and gain control over prediabetes or diabetes.
The following supplements have all shown insulin sensitizing effects:
- Vitamin C
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid
- Gynostemma pentaphyllum
Improving insulin sensitivity through diet, exercise and supplements may help avoid a negative healthspan result. Always consult with your doctor before making changes.