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Holistic Insulin Resistance Treatments

What is Insulin Resistance? 

Insulin resistance is a complex and multifactorial condition that is broadly characterized by impaired insulin signaling and loss of tissue specific sensitivity to insulin. The pathophysiology of insulin resistance is mediated through multiple processes, including genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

One of the primary mechanistic drivers of insulin resistance is impairments in glucose metabolism. In metabolically health individuals, insulin binds to receptors on the surface of cells and initiates intracellular signaling pathways that ultimately lead to the uptake and utilization of glucose within the cell. However, in insulin resistance, the insulin receptors on the surface of cells that meditate glucose uptake become resistant to the actions of insulin.

Another mechanism that contributes to insulin resistance is the accumulation of lipids in tissues, particularly skeletal muscle and liver. Excessive levels of free fatty acids (which are often a result of higher glycemic diets) can lead to the formation of lipid metabolites, which can impair insulin signaling and lead to the development of insulin resistance.

Other factors that contribute to insulin resistance include chronic inflammation, hypercortisolemia(high cortisol), and alterations in the gut microbiome.

In summary, insulin resistance is a complex condition that involves multiple mechanisms and pathways. Dysregulation of glucose metabolism, lipid accumulation, chronic inflammation, stress induced high cortisol, and alterations in the gut microbiome all contribute to the development of insulin resistance. Understanding the pathophysiology of insulin resistance is essential for the development of effective treatments and interventions for this condition.

Insulin receptor inactivated (left) and activated (right) after

The Insulin Resistance Continuum 

Physiological insulin resistance condition can be viewed as initial metabolic stage that precedes a continuum of pathophysiological changes associated with the genesis and progression of prediabetes and subsequent type II diabetes.

Untreated insulin resistance is often followed by a condition called compensatory hyperinsulinemia. At this stage, fasting insulin levels are elevated, and glucose metabolism may begin to dysregulate, leading to elevated blood glucose readings either post prandially or fasting. If hyperinsulinemia is left unchecked, this metabolic continuum has finally reached the threshold of prediabetes. 

Prediabetes is a condition in which glucose levels are consistently elevated but have not reached the diagnostic criteria of Type II. Most individuals can infer what happens if prediabetes is left untreated…

Diabetes mellitus type 2



 Holistic Treatments for Insulin Resistance in Kansas City, Lawrence, Overland Park, Wichita 

In order to effectively treat and reverse insulin resistance a personalized and multi-faceted approach is imperative to maximize clinical outcomes. Here are some of the treatments that I currently utilize with patients at EvoHealth Kansas Functional Medicine:

1.) Dietary Modifications: Diet plays a crucial role in the development and management of insulin resistance. I will often recommend a diet that is low in processed carbohydrates and refined sugars, and high in nutrient-dense whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. In some cases, I will also recommend a trial of cyclical nutritional ketosis. 

2.) Time Restricted Feeding: TRF is a dietary approach that involves consuming all calories within a defined window of time, typically 6-8 hours per day, and fasting for the remaining 16-18 hours. TRF has been studied extensively and has the demonstrated the ability to improve insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis. 

3.) Exercise Prescription: Exercise is perhaps the most efficacious therapy we have for targeting and reversing insulin resistance. In my practice, this usually includes a personalized blend of Zone 2/Zone 5 aerobic sessions with a healthy dosage of resistance training.

4.) Lifestyle Modifications: Sleep optimization and the use of stress management tactics like biofeedback and breathing protocols are also valuable therapeutic interventions that I commonly use with patients. As both chronic stress and impaired sleep architecture can have deleterious effects on insulin signaling.

5.) Exogenous Compounds: Berberine HCL, EPA/DHA, Myo-Inositol, and  L-Carnitine are also natural compounds that have been clinically studied to confer beneficial effects on insulin signaling and glucose metabolism. However, for some patients I will often refer out for pharmacological treatments. Always talk with your medical provider before starting any supplement.


Affordable Functional Medicine in Kansas

At EvoHealth – Kansas Functional Medicine, we want to help you do more than just live; we want you to live your best life! Certified Functional Medicine Doctor Tanner Wilson offers evidence-based care for people who want to take a more proactive role in managing their Insulin Resistance. Using a telehealth approach, we provide in-depth, effective care to patients throughout Kansas City, Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Wichita, Topeka and Lawrence—and you don’t even have to leave your home! Our goal is to make functional medicine accessible to all, regardless of where you live or your financial situation.



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