The road to chronic disease — from arthritis to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism — is paved with sugar and refined carbohydrates. It’s a freeway that leads straight to insulin resistance syndrome, given the right conditions, most notably being overweight and inactive.
The devastating chain of events that leads to chronic diseases such as Hashimoto’s goes like this:
- Carbs and sugar break down in the digestive tract to glucose that the body uses for energy.
- Beta cells in the pancreas make and secrete insulin to ferry any glucose you don’t use to muscle, fat, and liver cells for storage.
- Given the right conditions and more glucose than your cells can manage at the moment, the call goes out for even more insulin.
- Beta cells keep the insulin flowing but eventually the body’s cells can’t absorb it or the glucose building up in your blood stream. That’s called insulin resistance.
- Eventually the beta cells can’t keep up and insulin levels plummet. Now your bloodstream is flooded with glucose, which damages nerves and blood vessels, causes inflammation, and leads to a host of autoimmune and chronic diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, heart disease, and dementia.
Chronic diseases linked to insulin resistance
Here’s a short list of what may lay ahead for you if you fail to reverse insulin resistance:
- Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Prediabetes and diabetes Arthritis Alzheimer’s disease
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Take the first exit
The sooner you give those beta cells a rest, the better your chances of avoiding insulin resistance and diabetes. This will go a long way to helping you better manage your Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. The intervention is simple but not easy if you’ve spent a lifetime eating processed foods and drinking sodas.
Here are some tips to stabilize your blood sugar and better manage Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism:
- Clear your cupboards and fridge of processed foods and those that contain sugar, even if they seem to be “healthy,” like packaged granola, energy bars, and even yogurts with fruit.
- Eat whole, “real” foods made with ingredients you recognize and without pesticides, additives, or any ingredient you can’t pronounce.
- Eat seven to 10 servings a day. A serving is a half cup or, for lettuce and leafy greens, a cup.
- Avoid simple carbs like sugar and white flours and eat complex ones found in high-fiber foods. These digest more slowly and don’t cause a surge in glucose.
- Regular exercise, particularly high intensity interval training, makes muscles more sensitive to insulin.
- Sleep well, night after night. Sleep deprivation promote inflammation and obesity.