Even if you’re not diabetic, you may have insulin resistance. Insulin can develop into diabetes, and even if it doesn’t, it can be almost as hard on your cells, causing similar long-term damage.

Insulin resistance is the major cause of Type-2 Diabetes. Normally, insulin shepherds glucose (the form of energy your food is converted to) into cells. If you are insulin resistant, your cells stop accepting much of the insulin (and much needed glucose) causing your pancreas to produce more and more insulin. Over time, this process causes much wear-and-tear over the whole body.

Unfortunately, as with many precursor conditions, it’s hard to know if you have it because the signs are minimal, and not easily diagnosed. Fatigue/a lack of energy could be a sign, as could a general feeling of not being well—especially if either of those is accompanied by risk factors for diabetes: being over 40, being overweight, especially if the weight is carried in your middle, having a family history of diabetes, being sedentary, and, if you’re a woman, having a history of PCOS, gestational diabetes, or delivering a baby over 9 lbs.

The test for diabetes/pre-diabetes if pretty simple, and can be done by your family doctor. If you have any of the above risk factors, it’s worth getting tested.

The good news is if you are diagnosed as pre-diabetic/insulin resistant, or even just suspect you could be heading that way, lifestyle changes have an immediate and dramatic effect on improving your health.

-Eliminate body fat. Fat cells produce extra hormones that can contribute to insulin resistance.
-Exercise—any amount of exercise you can do daily will directly improve your insulin resistance. The more you do over time, the more you will improve your health (and energy, and well-being).
-Focus on healthy foods. If you become diabetic, you’ll have to be extra careful about eating sugar and processed carbs—luckily, you don’t have to be quite that careful yet. Just make sure you enjoy treats in moderation, and fill your diet with complex carbs, fruits and veggies, and lean proteins.
-Consider targeting your nutrition to support your body and pancreas to combat insulin resistance. One targeted multivitamin is Glycemic MGRx, which is formulated to promote healthy blood sugar levels.

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