In the last few posts, I have been discussing triglycerides as a marker of cardiovascular disease, perhaps the most reliable sign of underlying danger. Last week, I reviewed the sugar overload which is virtually universal in our highly processed diets. (i.e. not real food) This excess sugar leads to insulin resistance and from there a host of blood vessel damaging consequences. So let’s look at 3 of the dysfunctions which cause so much disease.
1. Elevated insulin levels:
- Insulin is a life sustaining hormone without which we die. When it is chronically high, however, it causes serious trouble.
- Elevated insulin leads to high blood pressure in several ways. It directly constricts blood vessels and also causes sodium retention. When insulin directs the kidneys to retain sodium, they also hold onto water which increases blood volume and leads to high blood pressure. When we reverse this process with diet, one of the earliest results is that sodium is excreted followed by retained fluid. The blood pressure will drop rapidly which means we often have to stop high blood pressure medications ahead of time.
- Insulin is the “storage hormone”. Imagine extra fat being produced and floating around along with lots of insulin which is always eager to stuff it into fat cells and block it’s exit. This leads to obesity and the inflammation which comes with it.
My next post will cover the mirror image of insulin resistance which is glucose intolerance with it’s chronically elevated glucose levels.