Monday, February 26, 2024
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Insulin hormone: is this the real key to losing weight? – Times of India


Being overweight increases the risk of developing diabetes. The link between weight and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) is very strong – weightloss has been shown to improve glycemic control in patients with established diabetes and has delayed the onset of diabetes in those at risk for the condition.

Insulin, the hormone that plays a key role in regulating blood sugar (glucose), is known to affect metabolism and, by extension, weight control. While it may not directly affect weight loss, insulin does control glucose regulation, fat storage and regulation of appetite.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the connection between insulin and fat. When the body gains weight around the abdomen, it creates a buildup of fat around organs such as the liver and pancreas. This can cause insulin resistance. The increase in insulin levels in our body makes us gain weight. High blood sugar levels are mainly caused by sugar and grains (along with most processed foods) which increase insulin levels. In response to an increase in blood sugar, the pancreas repeatedly releases insulin. When a cell does not respond to insulin, it becomes “insulin resistant.”

Therefore, having adequate insulin levels is crucial for having a healthy body weight. For T2DM, a rapid weight loss program whereby patients reduce 5% of their body weight has been shown to dramatically improve their ability to process insulin.

For long-term insulin control, patients need other dietary and health interventions. The first step is to eliminate refined sugar and reduce the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. While it’s best to get the nutrients your body needs through foods, supplements can also help to some extent.

A word of warning: supplements are not cures. Medical professionals agree that supplements may not protect against diabetes, but they can help patients with deficiencies of certain vitamins. It is recommended that you follow your healthcare provider’s instructions before self-medicating with supplements. That said, certain nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin C are seen to be deficient in people with diabetes. Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from disease and improves insulin sensitivity, is also decreased in diabetics.



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Apart from supplements, there are certain new-age treatments that have become buzzwords, especially in the context of diabetes. For ex. Intravenous vitamin therapy is a way to deliver a higher concentration of vitamins into the body through a drip. Again, this may be a more efficient way for the body to absorb essential nutrients and can be opted for if recommended by your doctor.



Diabetic patients can also benefit from FIR sauna, which is a device that heats the body directly and is said to promote relaxation, detoxification, weight loss and relief from muscle pain, etc. If patients follow the use of FIR sauna belt, it can reduce their blood. pressure and waist circumference. These therapies can be opted for in consultation with medical professionals.



Medicine is still decoding diabetes even as it becomes a global epidemic. For example, researchers now know that there is a link between inflammation and diabetes, but there is no clear answer as to whether inflammation causes diabetes.
As scientists and medical professionals investigate this lifestyle disease, some simple changes can protect us from diabetes. Patients should sleep well, manage stress and exercise consistently for faster recovery and those at risk of diabetes to avoid its onset completely.

Finally, remember that each individual has his or her own medical history and genetic predispositions, so a detailed assessment of your medical history can only be made in consultation with a healthcare provider.

(Article courtesy of: Deepak Pal, sports and functional nutritionist, SENS Clinic)



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