Insulin resistance occurs when your cells stop responding properly to it. This can lead to high blood sugar, which could lead to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes over time. Fortunately, you could reverse insulin resistance naturally through diet or supplements. However, check with your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements. Also, see your doctor if you think you have prediabetes or if you develop the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Part 1 of 3: Make Changes to Your Diet
Step 1. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet to reverse insulin resistance
This diet will emphasize natural foods (preferably organic), complex carbohydrates, and foods high in nutrients such as lean protein and healthy fats. Many doctors recommend following an anti-inflammatory diet, which has been shown to cure obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Controlling your blood pressure through changes in your diet will be one of the most effective ways to cure insulin resistance. Diet improvements can prevent prediabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia, and obesity
Step 2. Do not eat processed foods, as they are usually high in sugar
Limit the amount of chemicals and additional sugars and fats that are often found in processed foods. Instead, eat plain or simply prepared foods. Cook your meals from scratch as often as possible and buy organic foods to avoid chemicals. If you're short on time, you can prepare staples (like rice, beans, or meats) ahead of time and freeze them. You can also cook your meals in a slow cooker.
Not much is known about the effect some chemicals might have on people; therefore, you should avoid them if your goal is to cure insulin resistance
Step 3. Eat more complex carbohydrates to regulate blood sugar
At least 90 to 95% of the carbohydrates you eat should be complex. These molecules are more complicated than simple carbohydrates, so it will take the body more time to break them down. This can help regulate your blood sugar levels. Aim to eat most of your complex carbohydrates at lunch and cut back on portions at other meals. Complex carbohydrates are found in unprocessed natural foods, such as the following:
- whole grains
Step 4. Lower your sugar intake to control your blood sugar levels
Read food labels to determine the amount of sugar they contain, and try to avoid processed foods that tend to have added sugars, but are not listed on the ingredient list. Consuming too much sugars (such as glucose, sucrose, fructose, and high fructose corn syrup) can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
Sugar alone will not cause diabetes; however, frequent consumption of sugary beverages is linked to higher blood sugar levels and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Step 5. Eat more fiber to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
Research has shown that increased consumption of insoluble fiber and whole grains can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Good sources of fiber include bran, beans, berries, whole grains, vegetables, and seeds. Some fiber foods (like flaxseed) also contain an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
To adopt this habit, you can add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to each meal. Have pre-ground flaxseeds in the freezer or grind them with a coffee grinder to prevent them from going rancid
Step 6. Eat lean meats and fish to meet your protein needs
Eat skinless fish and poultry, which are good sources of protein. When choosing fish, look for those that have been caught in the wild, such as salmon, cod, haddock, and tuna. These are good sources that will allow you to obtain the omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs, and they also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Limit your consumption of red meat and the skin of poultry. These can be high in animal fats and may have a higher content of added hormones and antibiotics
Step 7. Eat more fruits and vegetables to increase your nutrient intake
Don't think you should avoid fruits because they are sweet. In reality, you will need to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to get the nutrients your body needs. The sugars in the fruits will be combined with the fiber; therefore, the body will absorb them slowly. Eat fruits and vegetables with their skins for more fiber, and choose fresh versions over dried ones (which have a higher concentration of sugar).
You will also need to increase the amount of water you drink. The United States National Academy of Medicine recommends drinking 1 to 2 liters of water a day (about 6 to 8 8 oz or 240 ml glasses)
Part 2 of 3: Using Herbs and Supplements
Step 1. Cook with herbs that can control your blood sugar level
This will allow you to add flavor to a meal and control your blood sugar levels with ease. These herbs are hypoglycemic, so they can increase your insulin production and prevent the intestines from absorbing sugars. These herbs do not generate side effects if they are consumed as food in the amounts that are usually used, so you can use them whenever you want. Herbs can also help you overcome sugar cravings. You can control your blood sugar levels if you cook with the following ingredients:
- garlic and onions
Step 2. Try herbal supplements to control your blood sugar
Gymnema sylvestre is an herb that has been used for hundreds of years to treat diabetes and hypoglycemia, and it helps the pancreas produce insulin. To use it as a supplement, you should consume 1 g per day. You can also eat bitter melon, which lowers blood sugar levels and improves glucose tolerance. To use it as a drop supplement, you should consume 5 to 30 drops twice a day.
You can also use coptis chinensis. Studies have shown that it can reduce insulin resistance by increasing the body's response to insulin
Step 3. Take vitamin supplements to regulate blood sugar
Current research indicates that several vitamins and minerals are important for controlling blood sugar levels. Take a B-complex vitamin to get biotin, niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Biotin helps regulate glucose, niacin can lower cholesterol, and vitamins B6 and B12 prevent nerve damage from high blood sugar levels. You can also consume vitamin C to reduce insulin resistance and 600 IU of vitamin D to improve your sensitivity to it.
Get 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12 and 50 to 100 mcg of vitamin B6 every day. These ingredients are likely to be part of a supplement along with many other vitamins, so you'll need to follow the manufacturer's directions on dosage
Step 4. Use mineral supplements that can help keep your blood sugar stable
There are several minerals that can maintain your blood glucose levels. Choose a supplement that contains magnesium, zinc, 50 to 5,000 mcg of chromium, 200 to 800 mcg of vanadium, potassium, manganese, and selenium.
Many of these minerals will combine with others, so you should always follow the manufacturer's directions on dosage and doctor's recommendations. Do not consume additional doses of any mineral. These are trace elements; therefore, they can be toxic if consumed in high amounts
Step 5. Take antioxidants to improve your overall health
Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant that keeps blood glucose levels stable. It also promotes blood flow and can reverse nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels. Consume 300 to 1000 mg of alpha lipoic acid every day.
L-carnitine is another antioxidant that can heal nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels and can also relieve nerve pain. To take it as a supplement, you should consume 1 to 3 g per day
Step 6. Take a Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplement to boost your levels
This is an antioxidant that is found in all cells of the body. People with diabetes tend to have lower levels of this coenzyme; therefore, its consumption in supplements could improve blood sugar control. This also participates in the production of energy.
You can treat type 1 diabetes by consuming 100 mg every day for 12 weeks. To treat type 2 diabetes, you will need to consume 100 mg twice a day, every day for up to 12 weeks
Step 7. Eat healthy fats to improve your insulin sensitivity
Your body will need fat to function effectively. Healthy fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids, evening primrose oil, and flaxseed) can reduce inflammation caused by high blood sugar levels. Omega-3 fatty acids can improve insulin sensitivity. Take a fish oil supplement or eat fatty fish several times a week.
- Evening primrose oil can lower blood sugar levels, but it can interact with other supplements, so you should consult a doctor before using it.
- Research has found that consuming 40g of flaxseed per day for several months can reduce insulin resistance.
Part 3 of 3: Determining When to Seek Medical Care
Step 1. Check with your doctor before using herbs and supplements
Supplements are generally considered safe, but they are not suitable for everyone. These can trigger an allergy and interact with your medications. Tell your doctor that you plan to use herbal supplements and ask if they are safe for you.
- If you take medication, your pharmacist can also help you determine if an herb or supplement is safe for you.
- Read the package directions and always follow the manufacturer's directions for dosages. You should follow your doctor's advice on how long to take the supplement.
Step 2. Have your blood sugar levels checked if you are concerned about having prediabetes
Insulin resistance could lead to prediabetes, which means you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. To determine if you have prediabetes, see your doctor for a fasting blood test or A1C test, which can show your blood sugar levels for the past 3 months. Talk to your doctor about the results to determine if you have prediabetes.
If you have prediabetes, your doctor can help you identify changes in your diet and lifestyle that could help you remedy the condition. Mention the changes you have made so far
Step 3. See your doctor if you develop symptoms of diabetes
Over time, insulin sensitivity can lead to type 2 diabetes, which is a serious medical condition. You will need to receive the proper treatment in order to control your diabetes, so see your doctor if you notice the following symptoms:
- increased thirst
- frequent urination
- excessive hunger
- weight loss for no apparent reason
- blurry vision
- slow-healing wounds