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Unlocking Metabolic Health: Probiotics and Berberine for Managing & Reversing Insulin Resistance

Updated: May 22

Following my thyroidectomy, I noticed an immediate weight gain. It was baffling—I hadn't changed my eating habits, yet my body seemed to have a mind of its own.

Food became less about enjoyment and more about fear. I found myself constantly worrying about what I could eat without piling on the pounds. Over the years, the scale kept creeping up, adding an extra 80 pounds to my frame. Despite seeking medical advice, I was met with generic suggestions like "lose weight" or "cut back on carbs and sugar." No one bothered to understand my unique situation or delve deeper into the root causes of my weight gain.


Then, I crossed paths with a nutritionist from California who asked me a simple question: What did I eat in a day? Her response was eye-opening: "You're not eating enough." It was ironic, given my weight. She identified that I was severely calorie and nutrient deficient, worsened by my low stomach acid—a condition that can wreak havoc when coupled with metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome—characterized by high insulin levels—leads to a host of health issues, from high blood pressure to elevated blood sugar levels. And when your body struggles to digest protein and carbs due to low stomach acid, excess sugar floats around your bloodstream, thickening it and promoting fat storage. It's a vicious cycle, especially for thyroid patients like myself.


Despite years of frustration, none of my doctors thought to conduct comprehensive blood work to uncover the underlying issues. It took the insistence of my new dietitian to request a battery of tests, revealing elevated insulin levels, metabolic syndrome, and inflammation.

Sadly, many doctors opt for symptom management rather than addressing the root cause. But armed with the right information, I embarked on a tailored nutrition program that included supplements with higher bioavailability, collagen gummies, and apple cider vinegar gummies to support digestion and weight loss.




Insulin resistance, a condition where the body's cells become less responsive to insulin, can lead to various health complications and side effects:


1. High Blood Sugar Levels: Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes if left unmanaged.

2. Weight Gain: Insulin resistance often contributes to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen, due to the body's inability to effectively use glucose for energy.

3. High Blood Pressure: Insulin resistance is associated with hypertension, as elevated insulin levels can constrict blood vessels and increase blood pressure.

4. High Cholesterol Levels: Insulin resistance can lead to dyslipidemia, characterized by high levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

5. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Insulin resistance is a common feature of PCOS, a hormonal disorder in women that can cause irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, and other symptoms.

6. Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Insulin resistance contributes to the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

7. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): Insulin resistance can lead to the accumulation of fat in the liver, potentially progressing to NAFLD, a condition that may lead to liver inflammation and scarring.

8. Skin Changes: Insulin resistance can manifest in skin changes such as acanthosis nigricans, characterized by dark, velvety patches of skin, typically on the neck, armpits, or groin.

9. Fatigue and Brain Fog: Fluctuations in blood sugar levels associated with insulin resistance can result in fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and brain fog.

10. Increased Risk of Certain Cancers: Some studies suggest that insulin resistance may increase the risk of certain cancers, including breast, colon, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers.

 

Overall, thyroid patients should be vigilant about monitoring their metabolic health and addressing risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome. Lifestyle modifications, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, weight management, and stress reduction, are crucial for preventing and managing metabolic syndrome in individuals with thyroid disorders. Additionally, optimizing thyroid hormone levels and addressing any underlying thyroid dysfunction can help mitigate the risk of metabolic syndrome and its associated complications.

Additionally, Probiotics and Berberine and Collagen Gummies have gained popularity as potential interventions for managing insulin resistance and improving metabolic health.

“When compared to an active control group, subjects receiving collagen peptides displayed significant reductions in FBG and HbA1c while showing significant improvements in insulin sensitivity." Learn more


While research on their efficacy is ongoing, several studies have shown promising results in improving insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism, and other markers of metabolic syndrome. However, individual responses may vary, and these interventions should be used as part of a comprehensive approach to managing insulin resistance, including diet, exercise, and medical supervision. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.Probiotics support gut health by balancing microbiota, reducing inflammation, and enhancing gut barrier function, potentially improving insulin sensitivity. 

Managing insulin resistance through lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, weight management, and medications prescribed by a healthcare professional can help mitigate these side effects and reduce the risk of associated complications.

If you find yourself in a similar struggle, don't lose hope. Advocate for yourself, seek comprehensive testing, and find a healthcare team willing to explore beyond surface-level solutions. With the right support, you can regain control of your health and reverse the effects of metabolic syndrome. 

 

 

REFERENCES:

  1. High Blood Sugar Levels: American Diabetes Association. (n.d.). Insulin Resistance & Prediabetes. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/insulin-resistance-prediabetes

  2. Weight Gain: Schwartz, M. W., & Porte Jr, D. (2005). Diabetes, obesity, and the brain. Science, 307(5708), 375-379. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1104344

  3. High Blood Pressure: Reaven, G. M. (1988). Banting Lecture 1988. Role of insulin resistance in human disease. Diabetes, 37(12), 1595-1607. https://doi.org/10.2337/diab.37.12.1595

  4. High Cholesterol Levels: Goldberg, I. J. (1996). Clinical review 124: Diabetic dyslipidemia: causes and consequences. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 81(12), 4226-4232. https://doi.org/10.1210/jcem.81.12.8954018

  5. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Dunaif, A. (1997). Insulin resistance and the polycystic ovary syndrome: mechanism and implications for pathogenesis. Endocrine Reviews, 18(6), 774-800. https://doi.org/10.1210/edrv.18.6.0318


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