What conventional medicine and mainstream treatments do is this: they look at the surface and try to take a shortcut to get your problem “fixed.” But unfortunately, most of the time that’s like trying to fix a broken arm with a bandaid.
The critical first step to unlocking lasting, vibrant health is diving deeper. It’s getting to the root cause.
And for many women in perimenopause and menopause especially (even though it can happen at any age), insulin resistance is one of those critical factors that’s just driving your misery.
WHAT IS INSULIN RESISTANCE?
Insulin is one of those critical hormones that you NEED to pay attention to, especially during perimenopause and menopause.
You know the sexy hormones estrogen and progesterone, but the reality is that these are downstream hormones. And one of the major drivers of their function is insulin.
Insulin is made in your pancreas to help move sugar out of your blood and into your cells for use or storage. When you become insulin resistant, your cells start to reject the messenger. Insulin isn’t allowed into your cells, which leaves the sugar circulating in your bloodstream.
What follows is constantly elevated blood sugar and a whole lot of other potential issues down the road.
Insulin resistance has been pegged by researchers as a driving force and root cause behind many different serious health concerns, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, PCOS, thyroid dysfunction, muscle loss, obesity, a fatty or sluggish liver, certain cancers, and Alzheimer’s.
But beyond these long-term factors, insulin resistance can really derail your daily success by causing symptoms like:
- Heavy bleeding during your period
- Uterine fibroids
- Fatigue, especially mid-day
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Acne or other skin irritations
- Stubborn belly fat or inability to lose weight (despite exercising or dieting)
- Getting sick often
- Pelvic pain or frequent urinary leaks
- And other worsened perimenopause symptoms
Correcting your insulin resistance is 100% possible, safely and naturally.
This is a driving root cause that your doctor may have missed, but it truly has the potential to flip the switch toward re-establishing balance in your body quickly!
For women in perimenopause and menopause: If you ignore insulin, it will be impossible to lose weight and eliminate menopausal symptoms. Again, it’s a high-level hormone that affects all of your other hormones. You can’t rebalance estrogen or progesterone without first getting your insulin back in check.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE INSULIN RESISTANT?
Women with a BMI that is over 29 or who have a family history of diabetes are more likely to become insulin resistant. But it can develop in anyone with any BMI or medical history, at just about any age.
If you’re facing the symptoms I mentioned above, it is highly likely that addressing your insulin will absolutely bring you relief.
If you want to know for sure, you can get a fasting blood glucose test or glucose tolerance test with a trusted functional practitioner.
But with the changes and steps, I outline below, there is no need for a medical diagnosis… these are things that are guaranteed to help your hormones and your body so you can get relief from your symptoms and live a vibrant, healthy life!
MY 5 KEY STEPS TO REVERSING INSULIN RESISTANCE
#1: Address your sleep & stress
High levels of stress hormones in your body increase insulin resistance. This is because of the way our bodies were made to adapt to stressors—if you were facing a threat thousands of years ago, it would require some physical exertion to get to safety. So the sugar stays in your bloodstream as ready energy to fight off that tiger or outrun that caveman.
But the threats of today are different (and more constant). The constant pinging on your phone. The boss that keeps you on your toes all day long. The constant rushing from one thing to the next, day-in and day-out.
It never ends.
Your body stays in hyper-vigilance, high-stress mode all the time, and insulin resistance becomes your normal.
In turn, this deeply affects your ability to sleep. And research shows that even ONE interrupted night of sleep disrupts your insulin sensitivity. (1)
So you get caught in the stressed-all-day, can’t-sleep-at-night cycles that are constantly wearing down your body’s ability to handle insulin and energize your cells in a healthy way.
Addressing your stress is always going to be the #1 step of healing, no matter the root cause. And that is because stress literally affects every other area of your body!
Self-care is not selfish. It is the only way to fight back against stress and start the journey to health. Along with your daily self-care stress-reducing practices, check out this post for my top tips to improve sleep during the perimenopause and menopause years.
#2: Invest in your health with daily exercise
Since the risk of insulin resistance increases with weight, it can be helpful for some women to lose a few pounds to restore insulin sensitivity. Even just 5 pounds goes a long way in helping your body get back to balance!
How you know if your weight is affecting your insulin sensitivity is where the weight sits: if it is primarily on your belly or midsection, it is a sign of the hormone shifts of perimenopause that are driven and made worse by insulin resistance. (2)
This can be a tough cycle, I’ll be honest because insulin resistance also makes it harder to shed those pounds.
Instead of working out with the goal of losing weight, doing daily or multiple-times-per-week resistance training interspersed with occasional aerobic workouts is typically the most successful way to reverse insulin resistance and get your body back in balance. (3) (4)
Working out harder is not always better! Even daily, gentle movement can turn the needle to help get your body back in check.
#3: Make a few critical food switches
The typical western diet that includes lots of carbs, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine is setting your body up for an insulin disaster.
While cutting out these foods may seem daunting, it is an important step to take.
But I don’t like to tell you to just eliminate things… I know how harsh that can feel. Instead, while you’re working to take these things out of your daily routines, here are a few additions that can make improving your insulin sensitivity fun and easy:
- Add some spice! Things like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon are great at helping your body become more efficient at responding to insulin. (5) (6)
- Swap your coffee for a Matcha latte. The EGCg in green tea lowers inflammation and improves your insulin sensitivity, among MANY other health benefits! (Click here for my favorite, go-to brand of Matcha).
- Eat more fiber. Research shows that increasing daily fiber intake reduces insulin resistance in women. (7) Most women get only half of the fiber they need in a day. You can work to increase your veggie intake to meet this need, and adding a fiber supplement (like this one) is a simple way to get this into your day with no effort at all!
- Use apple cider vinegar daily. ACV is a great superfood that lowers your blood sugar and improves the effectiveness of insulin in your body. (8) Just drinking a tablespoon or two in the morning along with some lemon juice will kickstart your metabolism for the day and improve insulin function!
#4: Practice intermittent fasting
Research shows that intermittent fasting can be helpful for women to reduce insulin resistance along with many other powerful protective benefits. (9)
The way I intermittently fast is usually a 16:8 fast. This means I eat all my meals for the day within 8 hours (usually 11 AM – 7 PM) and then fast for the remaining time. What this does is allow your body to truly digest the food, store it as helpful energy, and complete an entire digestion cycle.
There are times where I feel the need to stretch the fast even longer to experience even more benefits, but you can play with what feels good for your body.
Constant snacking and late-night eating are major contributors to making insulin resistance worse, so keeping your eating more strictly to certain hours of the day will help your body heal!
#5: Love up your body with supplements
Your body needs supplements.
There is NO way to get all the nutrients you need through diet, especially if you’re already in the depths of dealing with hormone imbalance.
Upping your intake of critical nutrients and minerals through supplementing is the easiest and fastest way to reverse hormone chaos and protect your health long-term.
Here are a few supplements that—in the seconds it takes each day to take them—can help your body get back to handling insulin more appropriately:
- Magnesium has been found to be super powerful at reversing insulin resistance in women. (10) I recommend magnesium for ALL women, but especially for those of you in perimenopause and menopause because of its many hormone-supportive and protective benefits!
It’s also a great option to help with the sleep & stress issues that are making your insulin resistance so much worse!
- Combining magnesium with other key nutrients including chromium and taurine can make its effects even more powerful. (11) That’s why I created my Metabolic Restore supplement blend. This key blend of nutrients will work with your body to:
- Take your health beyond what your typical multivitamin can offer so you can actually feel better (instead of just maintaining base levels of key nutrients)
- Improve your insulin sensitivity to allow your body to come back into balance
- Restore stability to your blood sugar levels to prevent spikes and dips that leave you exhausted and imbalanced
- Support healthy inflammatory responses, immunity, and more with key antioxidants
HOW TO TAKE THESE 5 STEPS AND PUT THEM INTO ACTION
Insulin resistance, especially during perimenopause and menopause, can be hard to grapple with.
You’re tired. You don’t feel like yourself. You’re wondering if you really have it in you to make these changes.
I 100% understand. But I can say honestly that the greatest healing miracles are right around the corner if you’re ready to take that first step.
In The Essential Oils Menopause Solution, Part III is an all-inclusive 21-day program that is designed to reset your body’s insulin levels, reduce inflammation, and incorporate all of the things that I have walked you through today.
This is just the beginning—the book goes into much more detail about how insulin resistance is driving each major symptom, and how you can get quick relief on the journey to healthier hormones and more balanced life!
This book is a must-read for all women over 35. It combines groundbreaking research with simple explanations to make sure you always have what you need to feel your best.
Get the book today and start on the journey to a vibrant, energized body through menopause and beyond!
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