Insulin Resistance – what it is and how to avoid or reverse it.

By Jen O’Sullivan, BCND

Do you have insulin resistance?

Prediabetes and diabetes happens when the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin to maintain blood glucose at normal levels. Think of it like bombarding your body with glucose and your pancreas cannot keep up. Insulin resistance occurs when cells in your body don’t respond well to insulin.

What are the symptoms of insulin resistance?
It can look a lot like diabetic ketoacidosis (life threatening) so please see your doctor if you are having any of these symptoms.

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger (or no appetite at all)
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Vaginal and skin infections
  • Cuts and sores that heal slowly

Insulin resistance can lead to the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Arthritis 
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s 
  • PCOS 
  • Migraine
  • Sarcopenia

How do you reverse insulin resistance?

  • Work to reduce visceral fat.
  • Focus on eating quality protein and veggies only.
  • Limit or remove all processed foods.
  • Limit or remove all grains.
  • Stop eating all sugar (added).
  • Keep all natural sugars (not added) to 6-11 grams per meal.
  • For women keep natural sugar to 6 or less grams per meal.
  • For men keep natural sugar to 11 or less grams per meal.
  • Consume more fiber and veggies.
  • Limit all fruit to only berries (one serving per day).
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
  • Take only a whole-food plant based multivitamin supplement.
  • Take a good plant based B complex, digestive enzymes, and probiotic.
  • Use a quality electrolyte stick pack (should have no added sugar or colors and should not have synthetic flavors).

Heart Disease – The #1 Cause of Death Globally

By Jen O’Sullivan, BCND

Even with many advancements in diagnostics and medical care, heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death – responsible for one third of deaths globally.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Leading risk factors for heart disease and stroke are high blood pressure, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, obesity, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.”

To identify potential weaknesses in the cardiovascular system, start by checking your comprehensive metabolic panel along with discussing your particular symptoms with your holistic practitioner to confirm areas of weakness. 

Your practitioner should work with you to help improve and strengthen your cardiovascular system and thereby help reduce your risk of developing heart disease. They should educate you on the importance of lifestyle changes as it pertains to improving your health foundations. 

Specific foundations I encourage my clients who have heart support needs is the following:

  • limit or remove all processed sugar
  • increase healthy fats
  • add garlic and fennel to their daily nutrition plan
  • include sweat-inducing exercise 3-5 days per week
  • get 7-8 hours of sleep per night
  • stay hydrated by drinking half their body weight in ounces (4-5 ounces every 30 minutes)
  • consider supplements such as CoQ10, turmeric, omegas, and digestive enzymes