Signs of Insulin Resistance

Women who suffer with polycystic ovary syndrome often have to put up with a lot of different symptoms that come with PCOS. One of these symptons is insulin resistance, which can be difficult to manage on a day to day basis.

But what are the signs of insulin resistance, and what can you do to reduce the effects that PCOS symptoms have on your daily life?

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance can be found in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, meaning that PCOS-sufferers are more likely to develop other life-changing diseases like diabetes. The Center for Young Women’s Health state that, ‘if your body is resistant to insulin, it means you need high levels of insulin to keep your blood sugar normal,’ which results in symptoms that can start happening to your body. Unfortunately, insulin resistance tends to be hereditary, so if your mother or grandmother had it, you’re susceptible to the condition too.

Having high insulin is not just a sign of PCOS; it is also a main driver of PCOS because of the impairment it can cause to regular ovulation. This means the two are closely linked, with each fueling the other.

What are the Signs of Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance develops slowly and the symptoms of it may not be noticeable at first. Two of the earliest signs of insulin resistance are fatigue and low energy levels. However, many individuals would not identify this as sign of the condition because tiredness can be put down to lots of different reasons like lack of sleep or overworking.

Insulin resistance can result in weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, all of which affect your regular, hormonal cycle. Other signs of insulin resistance include frequent urination, constant thirst, darker or drier patches of skin (mostly around the armpits or neck) and heart disease.

Being tested for insulin resistance is really helpful in ruling out other conditions that are often misdiagnosed as polycystic ovary syndrome. So, if you have some of the symptoms mentioned, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor.

Can I Reverse the Symptoms of Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance can be reversed in small steps. Eating healthier foods and having a balanced diet is one way to start reducing the symptoms of insulin resistance. This means avoiding starchy and sugary foods and opting for a diet with more fibre and fewer simple carbohydrates. Healthline recommends lean protein, such as tofu and fish, high-fibre vegetables like broccoli, and anti-inflammatory foods and spices, like turmeric, kale and tomatoes.

Physical activity and exercise can not only ease the effects of PCOS for a woman, but also reduce the symptoms that insulin resistance causes too. At least sixty minutes of exercise a day can contribute to lower blood pressure and a decreased resistance to insulin.

Weight loss is one of the best ways to maintain and even prevent the progression of insulin resistance, but it can be hard to kickstart the reversal because of the fatigue and lower energy levels the condition can produce. Thus, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and participate in some form of physical activity every day to fight insulin resistance as much as possible.


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