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Blood Sugar Level Balance: Strategy to Reduce Belly Fat and Brain Fog

 

by Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, MS. DC, CCN, DACBN

(The Best Years in Life) Earlier, I posted articles about managing your stress and a very special type of exercise called Burst training. Third on the list of strategies for reducing belly fat and brain fog. is reducing excess insulin production and reversing insulin resistance. This is hugely important

Function and Dysfunction of Insulin

Insulin gets secreted in response to elevation of your blood sugar. This can be after a meal or as a result of stress. The relationship between cortisol and insulin is circular. Increased cortisol raises blood sugar which causes an increase in insulin which causes cortisol to go up.

Under normal circumstances, after a meal, the increased glucose and/or amino acids in the blood cause the pancreas to secrete insulin. The more glucose, the more insulin that’s produced. Insulin binds to the cell membranes and triggers glucose receptors in cell membrane to open up and let the glucose in. Glucose, amino acids, fats, magnesium and other nutrients are then transported into the cell, the mitochondria produce energy and everyone is happy. Once the nutrients are cleared from the blood, the pancreas stops secreting insulin.

Even under normal circumstances, insulin has some undesirable effects. But like most things in your body, it’s a double edged sword. It has its good side and its bad side. Insulin is absolutely necessary to get the sugar out of your blood and into the cells where it can be converted to energy. Without insulin, your blood sugar would skyrocket and you’d become diabetic.

The negative effects of insulin are

Preferential use of glucose over fat as fuel
Inhibits the burning of fat by the cells
Inhibits growth hormone
Slightly depresses thyroid effects by blunting conversion of T-4 to T-3.

Insulin is chronically elevated when you eat foods high in carbohydrates that stimulate a rapid rise in glucose, and when you eat your meals too close together. When this happens, you are in a constant state of inhibited fat burning, low growth hormone and, lowered metabolic. The end result is you can’t lose the belly fat.

Excess insulin can cause your blood sugar to get too low, leading to the brain fog, irritability and ravenous appetite caused by low blood sugar.

On top of everything else, after a while the insulin receptors on your cells get tired of the constant insulin stimulation and they basically put their hands over their ears and say: Enough!

 

When your cells become resistant to insulin, one of three things happens.

Insulin can’t keep up with the demand and your blood sugar starts to rise, leading to diabetes
Insulin gets really good at clearing the blood sugar triggering fat storage and your midsection grows steadily.
Insulin gets too good at clearing the glucose. Not only does your fat storage increase, your blood sugar plummets and you experience the symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia.

The problem happens when you eat a lot of foods that trigger insulin to be released or when you’re chronically stressed and cortisol causes your blood sugar to elevate. Then what happens is either the circulating insulin does not bind to the insulin receptors on the cell, or it binds, but its effects are deficient, and the nutrients are not efficiently cleared from blood. This causes your pancreas to continue to secrete more insulin causing high levels of insulin for a long period of time before nutrients are cleared. As a result you experience deficient function in insulin resistant cells, like your liver, fat, and untrained muscle due to insufficient energy production. It also results in the anabolic effects of excess insulin, namely increased body fat, especially around the middle.

Not all cells become insulin resistant. The cells lining your blood vessels don’t become resistant to excess insulin and thus suffer the adverse effects of excess insulin, namely oxidative damage to blood vessel linings. This can result in thickening, narrowing and plaque formation resulting in atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack.

Excess insulin can also result in the adverse systemic effects of inflammation, water retention, suppressed fat burning, blunted growth hormone and low thyroid hormone.

 

SO…what should you do?

First and foremost, get off ALL sugar and processed foods. That means no bread, even gluten free, no cookies, crackers (except raw dehydrated ones, made from vegetables, nuts and seeds) no cakes, pastries, candies and fruit juice. These foods trigger blood sugar spikes which trigger excess insulin release.

You also need to restore your cell’s receptivity to insulin. There are a number of nutrients like chromium, magnesium, glutamine and zinc that are important here.

I’ve had great results with a 30 day program for restoring insulin receptor sensitivity. I call it my IRS restoration system, short for Insulin Receptor Sensitivity Restoration System.

Insulin Receptor Sensitivity Restoration System

Remove all foods that trigger blood sugar spikes: sugar, all grains, potatoes, fruit juice, dried fruit and high glycemic fruits like bananas and grapes. I recommend my patients purchase a glucose meter and test the fruits to determine which ones they need to eliminate. I also recommend that whenever fruit is consumed it’s taken with green leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach and sprouts. Smoothies are the best way to eat fruit.

Supplement with the nutrients needed to restore regulation. In general these may be chromium, magnesium, glutamine, zinc and the B vitamins. It can vary from person to person.

Supplement with DHA, an omega 3 fat that’s vital for insulin sensitivity. This can be in a plant form, from algae or from fish.Insulin resistance and blood sugar level imbalance are not minor inconveniences that can be ignored. The long term consequences are serious and life threatening.

Retrain your tongue and get your blood sugar and insulin under control so you can live a long and happy life with a flat belly, clear head and a renewal enjoyment of your life.

Love, Health, and Joy,



Dr. Ritamarie

References:

Bellisle F, et al. Meal Frequency and energy balance. British Journal of Nutrition. 1997; 77:(Suppl. 1) s57-s70.
Byron, J. Richards, CCN. Mastering Leptin.
Clark, Dr. Dennis. PhD. Belly Fat Book: 5 Steps to a Slimmer and Healthier You.
Halberg N, et al. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. Journal of Applied Physiology 2005; 99:2128-2136.
Heilbronn LK, et al. Alternate-day fasting in non-obese subjects: effects on body weight, body composition, and energy metabolism. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005; 81:69-73.
Moller N, Jorgensen JO. Effects of growth hormone on glucose, lipid and protein metabolism in human subjects. Endocrine Reviews. 2009; 30:152-177.
Pilon, Brad, MS. Eat, Stop, Eat.
Verboeket-Van De Venne WPHG, et al. Effect of the pattern of food intake on human energy metabolism. British Journal of Nutrition. 1993; 70:103-115.
Vogels N, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Successful Long-term weight Maintenance: A 2-year follow up. Obesity: 15 (5); 2007 1258-1266.

See also:

Natural Help for Diabetes

About the author

Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo holds a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree with Certification in Acupuncture, and is a Diplomat of the American Clinical Nutrition Board. She is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, with a Master of Science in Human Nutrition. She also holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from New York University. She is also certified as a living foods chef, instructor, coach and teacher.

Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Nutritional Perspectives, Natural Awakenings, Purely Delicious, and many other national magazines as well as countless online publications. She is in great demand as a speaker at conferences nationwide. She is the founder of the International Association of OnLine Holistic Nutrition Professionals (AOLNP) and the author of several books.

Be sure to visit her main website at: http://drritamarie.com/

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