PCOS and Insulin Resistance

One of the biggest things I learned when I discovered that I had PCOS was that I am Insulin Resistant. Sounds scary doesn't it? Well it did to me. I had to basically relearn to eat. After eating high carb, highly processed meals for 26 years of my life I had to change everything I knew about eating.

According to Women to Women "All the food we eat-fats, proteins, carbs- is broken down during digestion into proteins, micro nutrients, and glucose. The body uses the proteins and nutrients  in cellular metabolism, immune function, and cell replacement. The body uses glucose as it's basic fuel, which is carried by the bloodstream into individual cells. Our demand for fuel varies moment to moment, but our brain needs are blood sugar to remain stable. So getting the cells the energy they need is a critical function - and that's the role that insulin plays. Insulin signals the cells to absorb glucose from the blood stream. The body monitors what we've digested, blood sugar levels, and cell demands, and releases insulin in just the right amounts." Otherwise known as a insulin sensitive.

For someone who is insulin resistant the normal response to a given amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to have it's proper effects. Which can at some point over work the pancreas--leading to heart disease and diabetes.

At this point in my quest for more knowledge I don't yet know if the insulin resistance came first or if the PCOS did. Sort of like the chicken and the egg theory. Good news is that while there is no cure of PCOS, there are ways to manage the Insulin Resistant part of my life.

The main ways that insulin resistance is controlled is through diet and exercise. Sticking to foods on the low end of the glycemic index will help prevent your blood sugar from rising to fast, which causes the pancreas to overwork, then experiencing that crash and fatigue afterwords. Fruits like berries, apples, pears etc. You can find great information at diabetes.org about low glycemic foods.

Here's a cheat list I found earlier today::
(photo credit in photo)

Here are also a few good tips for managing that pesky insulin resistance.

  • Eat wholegrain foods instead of processed, refined foods. Also, whole fruit instead of fruit juice will maintain insulin and blood sugar levels.
  • Eat foods that are high in fiber as they will also cause a slower, more controlled rise in blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • Incorporate legumes and vegetables in your diet as they’re high in fibre and nutrients and will manage your sugar levels.
  • Combine protein and carbohydrates as protein helps to regulate the blood sugar spike caused by the carbs.
  • Eat small, healthy meals more frequently to manage cravings and hunger pangs and NEVER miss breakfast!
Oh my gosh yes, NEVER miss breakfast! As well as more meals. The biggest thing I learned from my Ms. Fitness was smaller more frequent meals. Not 3 meals and 2 snacks but actual meals! (I'll post my meal plan for this week on Friday or Saturday.) I'm feeling better and I feel guilty about eating every few hours when I know it's healthy food! 
As I stated yesterday there seems to be somewhat of an under lying link for pro-inflammatory food and PCOS and how it exacrebate our symptoms. With a PCOS/Hypothyroid/Insulin Resistant diet it's best to stick to whole foods. Foods that have short ingredient lists, when buying prepacked foods. Prepackaged foods are not SCARY! They just tend to sometimes contain things that aren't great for a diet like mine. They also tend to be higher in carbs.

Tomorrow I will do my best to post about gluten, Friday or Saturday I will post the different supplements and medication I take throughout the day, then I will post my meal plan this weekend.

Alright everyone, I am getting out of here, I will post again tomorrow!