50% of People Have Insulin Resistance, Do You?

By Miles Price, Functional medicine specialist


Insulin is one of the master hormone regulators of the body, it controls your weight, your appetite, your menstrual cycle and its levels influence your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. No other hormone has this influence on the body. In China over 500 million people are suspected of having Insulin-resistance, that equates to near 1 in 2 Chinese people.

Insulin’s role is to control your blood glucose regulation within a tight band in the bloodstream. Blood tests range from 3-25 uU/mL in western adults, however a fasting insulin high than 6 is indicative on insulin resistance starting to occur. When your blood glucose is too high, insulin kicks in to lower your blood glucose. Things go wrong when your cells are full of glucose, and insulin is produced even more to try and get more glucose out of the bloodstream into the cells.

Various lifestyle factors contribute to the rise in insulin. These include a sedentary lifestyle, excessive consumption of alcohol and carbohydrates. Continued high insulin triggers a chain of reactions which include: weight gain, immune suppression, cravings, menstrual disturbance, inflammation and nutritional deficiencies. Excessive glucose will damage various tissues.

Symptoms of insulin resistance: only occur when it’s at an advanced stage, this is when insulin resistance (or prediabetes) becomes diabetes. At this advanced stage symptoms include urinating often, feeling thirsty, fatigue and feeling tingling, pain in hands and feet.


Are you at risk?

  • Are you eating a lot of carbohydrates or sugary foods (rice, noodles, bread, pasta, snacks, desserts)?
  • Are you sedentary in your lifestyle?
  • Do you drink alcohol?
  • Are you stressed?
  • Are you overweight?

If you answered yes to more than 2 of these answers, then it would be wise to check out your fasting insulin score.


Checking whether you have insulin resistance is a critical first step, this is done by doing a fasting insulin test. It is best to complete with your fasting glucose and HBAC1 test to obtain a full picture of your glucose metabolism.

The next step is to interpret the fasting insulin test using our functional medicine specialists at Life Clinic. A fasting insulin score of below 5 is desired for optimal health. Anything above 6 and we’re moving towards insulin-resistance. We can provide guidance on dietary change, supplemental support and exercise prescription. All effective at managing your insulin levels to be optimal.


What can I do now to improve my insulin levels?

The following general guidelines are a start to help you:

  1. Drink – freshly squeezed lemon/lime, water, brewed green tea. (You must take sips of the drink every 10-15 minutes throughout the day). This will help manage your blood sugar levels.
  2. Limit the following foods: Breads, pastries, cakes, pastas, dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, soya products, peanuts, corn, tomatoes.
  3. Eat more vegetables, healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil).


For more specific dietary advice? Please contact our functional medicine specialists by call us : 2881 8131 or email to: reception@lifeclinic.com.hk

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