Our bodies work miraculously. Every cell, tissue, organ, and system plays a role in the perfect functioning of the human body. The collaboration and networking that occur in our bodies would never happen without the command of God because He is our Creator and the maker of all living things. The way the human body works and functions is humbling.
With the plethora of foods all around us, come side effects that never occurred many years ago. Food allergies are on the rise and food-related diseases are among the top chronic diseases in the world today. Genetics also play a role when it comes to chronic diseases. For example, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease due to the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin.
According to Diabetes.co.uk, ‘insulin resistance occurs when cells of the body do not respond properly to the hormone insulin. Insulin is a hormone in the body that allows cells of the body to take in glucose to be used as fuel, or stored as body fat. It helps control blood glucose levels by signaling the liver, muscle, and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood.’ This helps cells take in glucose to be used as energy. When the role of insulin collapses, glucose is not distributed evenly around the body. Instead, it builds up in the blood and this can lead to too high blood sugar levels. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it tries to cope by producing more insulin and this can lead to hyperinsulinemia.
Insulin resistance can be caused by several factors such as being overweight, inadequate physical activity, unhealthy eating habits (high carbohydrate, high calorie, high sugar diet), taking steroids over a period of time, Cushing’s disease, polycystic ovary disease, and chronic stress.
At first, being insulin resistant might not be visible because there are no obvious symptoms. When the body starts to experience a high blood sugar level, then symptoms like hunger, unusual tiredness, poor concentration, weight gain, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure start to appear.
According to Sanaa Bhatti, a Registered Dietitian in Lewisville, TX, “insulin resistance is sort of a warning sign from the body to make changes before the development of more progressive conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.” She recommends seeking out support to help with weight loss, as even a slight reduction in weight can significantly improve insulin resistance. She said learning about nutrition to manage blood glucose levels, as well as incorporating more exercise and activity into one’s life, can produce positive changes and renewed form of energy.
The remedies for insulin resistance start by focusing first on eating smart and moving more. Choosing to eat a variety of healthy foods in moderation and staying physically active is a great way to fight insulin resistance. Reducing sugary foods, snacks, and drinks and substituting with whole fruits, vegetables, and grains, builds up immunity in the body and keeps the blood glucose stabilized. These low-calorie diets, coupled with adequate physical activity, help to reduce the body’s need for insulin and help people to lose weight.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. According to www.healthline.com, anything that reduces insulin resistance should help lower blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes. Thus, intermittent fasting helps lose weight and belly fat, which in turn, enhances hormone function. If this is the positive result that comes from intermittent fasting, then surely, the body is going through some great metabolism when we fast twice a week or three days a month. Fasting helps the body take a break from the extra glucose in the body. In conclusion, insulin resistance can be reversed with a healthy eating habit, consistent physical activity, and fasting, as long as your registered dietitian or physician give you the go ahead.
Maryam Funmilayo is a freelance writer and a certified food literacy educator. With a background in public health nutrition and health promotion, she is always fascinated with the Qur’ranic and prophetic teachings regarding food, health, and nutrition. She is the CEO and co-founder of Scholarship Plaza.