Is it perimenopause or insulin resistance? Why insulin resistance may be making your perimenopause worse

Alison Tehan Nutrition / bloating  / Is it perimenopause or insulin resistance? Why insulin resistance may be making your perimenopause worse

Is it perimenopause or insulin resistance? Why insulin resistance may be making your perimenopause worse

I’ve been seeing more and more women in the clinic who are dealing with insulin resistance, and a lot of them aren’t even aware of it. Its usually the stubborn weight gain and skin tags that are obvious clues for me. If I suspect insulin resistance, I usually refer them for some blood tests to get a clearer picture.

Insulin resistance happens when insulin levels are consistently high. The hormone insulin helps control the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. With insulin resistance, the body’s cells don’t respond normally to insulin. Glucose can’t enter the cells as easily, so it builds up in the blood. This can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes. This reduced ability to respond to insulin affects metabolic flexibility, making it harder for our body to create energy and to burn fat.Insulin blocks our ability to burn fat and lowering insulin is key to gaining metabolic flexibility and losing weight.

Interestingly,perimenopause can make us more prone to insulin resistance, and at the same time, insulin resistance can worsen perimenopause symptoms. You see, estrogen and progesterone usually protect us from insulin resistance, but when we start losing estrogen, things can shift, leading to insulin resistance and weight gain around the abdomen.

Insulin resistance can contribute to heavy periods because it stimulates the growth of the uterine lining and can decrease progesterone (which lightens periods).

It can also contribute to brain fog, hot flushes and more.

If you notice that you’ve got some weight gain around your middle or upper body (some call it “bra-strap weight gain”), along with fatigue, sugar cravings, high triglycerides, or skin tags, it might be worth checking for insulin resistance. A specific test for insulin, not glucose, can give you the answer, so don’t hesitate to ask your GP about it.

The good news is that insulin resistance can be reversed! It might take some time and effort, but with a tailored diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and maybe some nutrition supplements, you can make a big difference. Plus, addressing insulin resistance can also help reduce the risks of other health issues like heart disease, osteoporosis, dementia, and hair loss.

Key Points

  • The main sign of insulin resistance is weight gain around the waist and symptoms like sugar cravings, skin tags,  high cholesterol (triglycerides) and fatigue.
  • Insulin resistance can worsen any symptom of perimenopause and menopause.
  • There is a connection between insulin resistance and high androgens: relatively high androgens (including testosterone) increase the risk for insulin resistance and in turn insulin resistance can increase androgens.
  • Reversing insulin resistance and balancing blood sugar can improve nearly all perimenopausal symptoms.

Just reach out to me if you need support to take the necessary steps to feel better. You can book in here for a free 15 min chat.

You’ve got this! 😊