Insulin resistance is a growing epidemic – it is estimated to affect 40% of American adults between the ages of 18-44. In addition, a third of people in the U.S. have prediabetes. Insulin resistance happens when the cells in your body become less responsive to insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, which regulates blood sugar levels. As a result, the cells can’t take in enough glucose for energy, and insulin builds up in the body. Blood sugar levels also increase. Insulin resistance can lead to a range of health concerns, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation and heart disease. In this blog post, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms of insulin resistance, as well as some nutrition tips to help manage it.

Signs and Symptoms

Insulin resistance often develops slowly, so it can be hard to notice in its early stages. The symptoms can be vague and similar to other conditions. However, some common signs and symptoms to watch for include:

  1. Hunger and cravings: Insulin resistance can cause your body to crave sweet and starchy foods because the cells are unable to take in adequate glucose, leading to overeating and weight gain.
  2. Weight gain: One possible cause of insulin resistance is excess body fat, which can be perpetuated by insulin resistance. Insulin resistance often leads to excess belly fat, which increases the risk of heart disease and other health complications.
  3. Fatigue: High blood sugar levels can cause fatigue and sluggishness, making it difficult to stay active and alert. You may notice fatigue especially after eating meals.
  4. Hormonal imbalance: Insulin resistance can affect the balance of hormones in your body, leading to irregular periods, infertility, and other reproductive health concerns.
  5. Skin tags: some people develop small skin growths as a result of this condition.

Testing for insulin resistance

The most accurate insulin resistance test, the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique, is very rarely administered by a primary care provider. This test is mainly utilized only for research purposes. A fasting blood glucose test, an A1C (average blood glucose over the span of 3 months), or an oral glucose tolerance test can also be indicative of blood sugar concerns. 

Nutrition Tips

A healthy diet is crucial for managing insulin resistance. Here are some nutrition tips to help regulate your blood sugar levels:

  1. Focus on fiber: Aim to incorporate plenty of high-fiber foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, into your diet. Fiber slows down the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream, which can help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
  2. Choose healthy fats: Consuming unsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds, can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation in the body.
  3. Limit refined carbohydrates: Processed and refined carbohydrates, like white bread, pasta, and sugary snacks, can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and contribute to insulin resistance. These are considered high glycemic index foods – in other words, these foods have a large impact on blood sugar. Aim to choose whole grain options instead, which are lower glycemic index.

While this is a great guide, if you feel that you need a more personalized approach for your unique body, including specific foods and amounts to eat, contact us today!

Other Lifestyle Changes

In addition to nutrition, there are other lifestyle changes that can help manage insulin resistance. Here are a few to consider:

  1. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity, like walking, can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other health complications.
  2. Manage stress: We’re all stressed out in today’s world, but it is a major contributor to insulin resistance and other health concerns. It’s essential to find ways to manage stress, like meditation or yoga, can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation.
  3. Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can affect insulin sensitivity and increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night to support overall health and wellness.


Insulin resistance is a complex condition that requires ongoing management. By making healthy nutrition choices, adopting other lifestyle changes, and seeking appropriate care, those with insulin resistance can minimize their risk of developing serious health complications. 

If you think you have insulin resistance, we can help! Reach out to us today to schedule a free discovery call.

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