The Key To PCOS: Insulin
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas involved in regulating your blood sugar levels.
Elevated levels of insulin, in turn, causing insulin resistance is believed to be a key link in the development of many PCOS symptoms and hormone imbalance such as an increase in androgens (male hormones).
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin Resistance is a condition which develops when insulin stops being effective in controlling your blood sugar levels. Consequently, even more insulin is needed for it to have its desired effects.
Having insulin resistance means you will experience problems with blood sugar health, androgen excess and estrogen dominance which are causes for PCOS in many women. This is why weight gain and PCOS often go hand-in-hand.
Diagnosis for insulin resistance
According to the International Diabetes Association, for insulin resistance to be present, a woman (men can also have this condition) will have excess tummy/belly fat plus may also have these following indicators:
- Low level of HDL (good) cholesterol
- Raised triglycerides (bad fat in the blood)
- High blood pressure
- Elevated blood sugar levels after fasting, or
- Type 2 diabetes
Why do I have insulin resistance?
If you consume a lot of sugary and high carbohydrate food, you will cause rapid spikes of insulin creating excess sugar in your blood.
Too much sugar in your blood is very toxic and over time can cause damage to organs such as kidneys, glands, nerves, veins and other body structures. This is why diabetics often encounter problems with their eyes, kidney health, circulation and skin.
Normally, when high blood sugar is in your blood stream in the form of glucose, your body’s protective response is to secrete insulin from your pancreas to remove the sugar from the blood to the cells for energy, or, worse, to be stored as body fat.
In simple terms, insulin becomes a fat storing hormone when there is too much sugar. And the main area this fat is stored is around your tummy. This is a serious risk for your overall health.
Stress Causes Weight Gain
Tummy fat is not just caused by insulin. Stress can cause tummy fat too. Stress is associated with an increase in a stress hormone called cortisol which contributes to fat accumulating on the tummy in many women with PCOS. This can be coupled with the desire to eat sweet and fatty foods during stressful times which further increases cortisol (and worsens insulin resistance) . This tummy fat is often coined by practitioners as the ‘cortisol belt’.
I am stressed out and crave sugary foods!
What can I do?
As you can see, because PCOS can directly linked to poor diet and lifestyle, it is essential for you to make changes to these areas in your life.
The best diet for PCOS needs to balance your blood sugars levels and hormones by:
- Maintaining a good balance of protein and carbohydrates – mainly from vegetables
- Reducing sugar and refined carbohydrate intake
- Optimising low glycemic foods
- Consuming healthy fats
- and more!
Weight gain and PCOS: want to know more?
The Natural PCOS Diet is your anwer!
The Natural PCOS Diet cotains everything you need to know to deal with insulin resistance, stress and the hormone imbalance associated with PCOS.
Find out how to lose that stubborn belly fat and overcome your other PCOS symptoms in The Natural PCOS Diet.
What’s more, the free bonus book, The Natural PCOS Cookbook takes the guesswork out for daily meal plans and recipes to follow!