Reversing Insulin Resistance Naturally – Addressing the True Cause, Not Just the Symptoms

Insulin resistance has become the most common and deadly disease in the world today. Unfortunately, it remains poorly diagnosed and misunderstood by most. Conventional wisdom states that insulin resistance is an irreversible condition that can only be managed through medications to lower blood sugar.

Conventional Treatments Worsen Insulin Resistance

  • Focus only on lowering blood sugar, not the underlying cause
  • Medications like metformin provide temporary help
  • Eventually insulin injections prescribed, but these further increases insulin levels that were already too high
  • Vicious cycle of worsening resistance and weight gain

However, a deeper look reveals that this metabolic disorder is in fact an adaptive response by the body, and potentially reversible through natural means.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance refers to cells throughout the body progressively losing sensitivity to the hormone insulin. As a result, higher levels of insulin are required to facilitate the transport of blood sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. Unmanaged over years, insulin resistance can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels, resulting in type 2 diabetes.

When investigating insulin resistance, most mainstream sources focus heavily on elevated blood sugar as the primary marker and manifestation of this condition. However, this narrow viewpoint fails to recognize elevated blood sugar as simply a late-stage consequence of insulin resistance, not the root cause. To understand insulin resistance, we must broaden the focus to the entire metabolic process.

Why Insulin Resistance Progresses over Time?

Insulin resistance develops as an adaptive response to prolonged metabolic overload. The primary driver of this overload is excessive carbohydrate consumption, well beyond what the body requires or can healthily manage.

Carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down into glucose molecules that enter the bloodstream. The resulting surge in blood glucose triggers the pancreas to secrete insulin. Insulin’s role is to facilitate the movement of glucose out of the blood and into body cells. However, the capacity of the bloodstream and cells to handle glucose is quite limited.

  • High carb intake -> high insulin -> insulin resistance as a protective mechanism
  • Happens at two levels:
    • Species level – allows storing extra energy as fat
    • Cellular level – cells resist further intake when overloaded
      • Glucose gets converted to fat and stuffed into fat cells
      • Fat cells resist further insulin signaling when overloaded

To illustrate, the entire blood volume contains only about 5 grams of glucose at any given time. Yet a single meal may provide 75-150 grams of carbohydrates that must be rapidly absorbed. The body relies on insulin to quickly clear this glucose influx and prevent dangerous elevations in blood sugar.

Beyond Blood Sugar – A Holistic Approach to Reversing Insulin Resistance

Under acute overload, insulin expedites glucose uptake into muscle and liver cells for short-term storage as glycogen. Once glycogen stores are saturated, the remaining excess is converted into fatty acids and stored in the adipose tissue. These fat cells have nearly unlimited storage capacity and serve as an energy reserve.

When subjected to chronic overload through frequent carb-heavy meals, the system is overwhelmed. The adipose tissue accumulates excessive fat and the fat cells begin to reach their expansion limits. To prevent overfilling, the fat cells start to become resistant to insulin’s signaling to take up more glucose. This adaptive response then spreads to other tissues as systemic insulin resistance.

The body heroically increases insulin secretion in an attempt to overcome this resistance and maintain normal blood sugar levels. This state of hyperinsulinemia can persist for years before blood sugar finally rises. Thus, focusing narrowly on blood sugar belies the underlying problems that have been brewing for a long time.

Common Misconceptions

Fat Does Not Cause Insulin Resistance

So, insulin resistance develops from prolonged overload of carbohydrates. We assume that fat, especially saturated fat, is the culprit behind insulin resistance. However, the truth is quite the opposite.

Fat cells are simply an innocent bystander that gets overloaded due to the high insulin from excessive carb intake. Low carb diets high in saturated fat have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.


  • Fat does NOT cause insulin resistance
    • High carbs and insulin cause fat storage and overload fat cells
    • Saturated fat may actually lower insulin and reduce resistance
  • Sugar and alcohol are the biggest culprits
    • Fructose overloads the liver similar to alcohol
    • Sugary foods lead to fatty liver & insulin resistance

Sugar and Alcohol Are the Biggest Culprits

While carbohydrates in general contribute to insulin spikes, sugar plays an especially damaging role. Table sugar contains equal parts glucose and fructose. Glucose directly raises blood sugar, while fructose is metabolized in the liver.

Dumping fructose from high sugar diets into the liver mimics alcohol toxicity. Just as alcohol can cause fatty liver, so too can sugar overload. Thus, sugary foods and beverages are primary drivers of insulin resistance today even in children.

Conventional Treatments Worsen Insulin Resistance

When insulin resistance progresses to elevated blood sugar, the medical solutions aim to treat the symptom rather than the root causes. Oral medications like metformin can provide mild short-term improvement in blood glucose control.

Why Conventional Treatments Worsen Insulin Resistance

  • Focus only on lowering blood sugar, not the underlying cause
  • Medications like metformin provide temporary help
  • Eventually insulin injections prescribed, but this further increases insulin levels that were already too high
  • Vicious cycle of worsening resistance and weight gain

However, the go-to solution once metformin becomes inadequate is to directly inject additional insulin. This may lower blood sugar temporarily, but further escalates the hyperinsulinemia that has been worsening the insulin resistance for years.

The result is a vicious cycle where patients require ever-increasing doses of injected insulin just to maintain some semblance of blood sugar control. However, the continual insulin excess also promotes weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and other complications.

The Solution – Reverse the Chronic Overload

The key to overcoming insulin resistance is to address the upstream factors that created this metabolic disruption in the first place. Rather than injecting insulin to temporarily force blood sugar down, strategies should aim to reverse the insulin resistance at its roots.

The body is infinitely wise and always strives toward optimal homeostasis and health. Insulin resistance manifests because we have chronically overloaded the body’s metabolic capacity through improper modern lifestyles. But the body has not broken or failed. It has intelligently, though imperfectly, adapted to the stimuli it receives.

The solution to insulin resistance

  • Understand the root cause is chronic overload from high carb intake
  • Address the insulin resistance, not just the elevated blood sugar
  • Allow the body to reverse the adaptive resistance and regain balance
  • Avoid treatments that further increase insulin levels

By removing the factors inducing the overload and allowing the body to rest and recalibrate, insulin sensitivity may be restored.

This requires rethinking our dietary patterns of frequent carb-dense meals and excessive sugar intake. Through wholesome, low glycemic nutrition, fasting periods between meals, exercise, stress management, and other lifestyle factors, the body can relax out of a state of insulin resistance back into homeostasis.

Patience and persistence are required, as insulin resistance developed over many years and will not disappear overnight. However, by collaborating with our body’s natural intelligence rather than overriding it with drugs, insulin resistance can often be reversed through natural means.

Insulin Resistance Demystified – In summary

conventional medicine has insulin resistance backwards. Hyperinsulinemia and overloaded fat cells are the primary drivers of metabolic dysfunction. Elevated blood sugar is merely a late downstream consequence. Correctly recognizing insulin resistance as an adaptation rather than a disease provides a path to reversing this disorder holistically at its roots through nutrition, lifestyle, and respecting the body’s inherent wisdom.

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