Insulin resistance bordering on diabetes
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
Wendy came to see me as she had recently been to her doctor who said she was a borderline diabetic and may need to go onto medication soon if she couldn’t get her blood sugar balanced. The doctor also said she had insulin resistance.
Not knowing much about these things, Wendy did some research and discovered that diet and exercise could play a big role in preventing and treating insulin resistance so she organised to see me.
When Wendy first came in she was quite overweight, especially around the middle of her body. Wendy had previously lived a life of eating whatever she pleased without putting on weight or having any adverse health conditions.
This changed after a car accident had her off her feet and resting in hospital for a few weeks. When back home she couldn’t walk very far, so she just sat in front of the television and ate her favourite foods – chips, chocolate and red wine with corn chips (on top of her normal meals). These foods had never been an issue before, but because of inactivity and the stress of the accident and insurance claims, things were now different for her body.
After a few months, Wendy’s rehabilitation had progressed to the point where she could exercise, but was too tired to do anything else. Meanwhile she had put on weight and diagnosed with insulin resistance.
The first thing we discussed was the importance of changing her diet to have more stable blood sugars. I advised Wendy to go off all sugars and starches including alcohol, corn chips, potato chips and pasta – which she frequently ate for dinner. I recommended to eat foods that were low GI, low sugar impact and higher in protein, with small amounts of good fats.
I encouraged Wendy to get back to the gym and work out a good regime with a trainer with exercises she needed that would not aggravate her injuries until she was more motivated to get outside and do some walks.
Within a few weeks with the new diet and exercise, Wendy’s energy levels returned and she was exercising at the beach, riding her bicycle and going on bushwalks regularly. She even joined a walking group.
Wendy said her diet changes were hard initially, but after a couple of weeks, because of the withdrawal, all sugar cravings had gone and even though she was eating about the same number of calories/kilojoules, she felt satisfied (full enough) and was losing a couple of pounds (a kilo) each week.