1

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Insulin Resistance on low carb?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 04, 2012 at 4:08 PM

My wife just was diagnosed with insulin resistance despite she does low carb paleo. We were shocked with the results... She is pretty lean and apparently healthy. Any other causes than bad eating habits??

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on April 06, 2012
at 12:51 AM

Thanks, Korion. It's courtesy of Travis. It seemed to have become the pejorative term du jour for a while there. I like it. It tickles me. Being incredibly healthy is its own HUGE HUGE reward. Being really, really healthy and having fun, well, that's nirvana.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on April 05, 2012
at 06:07 PM

When I answered the question, I didn't realize it was diagnosed via an OGTT. I thought that if it was diagnosed via high fasting insulin levels, then that indicated something more pathological than IR as a result of dietary choices.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on April 05, 2012
at 05:53 PM

What's the difference? Really. Muscle IR is also caused by eating a high fat diet or overeating for a few days. So just don't do that and you're good as gold, eh? It seems to me that insulin has far more functions in the body than just glucose transport. If "physiological IR" is chronic ... what's the difference vs. pathologic IR? There's none. Obviously physiologic IR is beneficial to the person in the short run, but where's the evidence that it's any different in the long run?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 05, 2012
at 07:51 AM

Love your username.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:29 AM

igel, probably best to use the Comment option in future for comments & leave the Answer option for actual answers to the question....just saying

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:26 AM

igel, probably best to use the Comment option in future for 'comments' & leave the Answer option for actual answers to the question....just saying

45df437145adda20a789d07ddd79e30c

(18)

on April 04, 2012
at 11:59 PM

Apparently not, right?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:44 PM

When I first went VLC I made the mistake of eating 1/2 a pineapple with no ramping. Was really jittery, nauseous, almost started crying. Weirdest thing I ever felt. I suspect I almost killed myself.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:23 PM

I gotta go with Beth on this one. An OGTT for a low carber is a retarded test. Did the Doc know you were LC? Me - I would just ignore this - I don't see any point in trying to "pass" an OGTT test even if you're not low carb. And if the Dr. knew you were, either he is stupid or trying to trap you. Use the search function for PCOS or ask for more help if you don't find what you need. The idea of carbing up to pass an OGTT makes no sense to me. (I'm not a doctor, I'm not a doctor...)

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on April 04, 2012
at 05:10 PM

Ugh, OGTT while LCing is a bad, bad idea. Many folks recommend eating at least 150g of carbs for the 3 days before an OGTT so that peripheral IR is not an issue. I don't know enough about PCOS; I'd ask another question .. I'm sure there are some LCers here with PCOS who could advise you!

45df437145adda20a789d07ddd79e30c

(18)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:45 PM

Yes, I can show the results if you like...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Was this an oral glucose tolerance test? (OGTT)

45df437145adda20a789d07ddd79e30c

(18)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:33 PM

The problem is that it is causing PCOS. Then we need to pickup the carbs and raise physical activity, right?

45df437145adda20a789d07ddd79e30c

(18)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:30 PM

Thank you! We will do the retest and update on the results.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:19 PM

+1 Beat me to it.

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6 Answers

best answer

8
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on April 04, 2012
at 04:15 PM

This is probably a feature, not a bug. Let Peter@HyperLipid explain:

Well, the first thing is that LC eating rapidly induces insulin resistance. This is a completely and utterly normal physiological response to carbohydrate restriction. Carbohydrate restriction drops insulin levels. Low insulin levels activate hormone sensitive lipase. Fatty tissue breaks down and releases non esterified fatty acids. These are mostly taken up by muscle cells as fuel and automatically induce insulin resistance in those muscles. ...

This is patently logical as muscle runs well on lipids and so glucose can be left for tissues such as brain, which really need it.

Whether or not your wife's IR is physiological or pathological is for you and your doctors to determine, but it's not necessarily a problem.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on April 05, 2012
at 05:53 PM

What's the difference? Really. Muscle IR is also caused by eating a high fat diet or overeating for a few days. So just don't do that and you're good as gold, eh? It seems to me that insulin has far more functions in the body than just glucose transport. If "physiological IR" is chronic ... what's the difference vs. pathologic IR? There's none. Obviously physiologic IR is beneficial to the person in the short run, but where's the evidence that it's any different in the long run?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:19 PM

+1 Beat me to it.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on April 05, 2012
at 06:07 PM

When I answered the question, I didn't realize it was diagnosed via an OGTT. I thought that if it was diagnosed via high fasting insulin levels, then that indicated something more pathological than IR as a result of dietary choices.

best answer

4
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:18 PM

A low carb diet will tend to put you into a state of physiological (or muscular) insulin resistance. This is not the same as true (diabetic) insulin resistance. It's caused by a higher level of free fatty acids in the blood. Three days of eating more carbs (say >100 grams) should allow a healthy (non-diabetic) person to reverse this state. You could have the doctor retest after that and see what's going on.

Peter has a great post on this:

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/search/label/Physiological%20insulin%20resistance%20%281%29

45df437145adda20a789d07ddd79e30c

(18)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:45 PM

Yes, I can show the results if you like...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Was this an oral glucose tolerance test? (OGTT)

45df437145adda20a789d07ddd79e30c

(18)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:30 PM

Thank you! We will do the retest and update on the results.

45df437145adda20a789d07ddd79e30c

(18)

on April 04, 2012
at 04:33 PM

The problem is that it is causing PCOS. Then we need to pickup the carbs and raise physical activity, right?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:23 PM

I gotta go with Beth on this one. An OGTT for a low carber is a retarded test. Did the Doc know you were LC? Me - I would just ignore this - I don't see any point in trying to "pass" an OGTT test even if you're not low carb. And if the Dr. knew you were, either he is stupid or trying to trap you. Use the search function for PCOS or ask for more help if you don't find what you need. The idea of carbing up to pass an OGTT makes no sense to me. (I'm not a doctor, I'm not a doctor...)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:44 PM

When I first went VLC I made the mistake of eating 1/2 a pineapple with no ramping. Was really jittery, nauseous, almost started crying. Weirdest thing I ever felt. I suspect I almost killed myself.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on April 04, 2012
at 05:10 PM

Ugh, OGTT while LCing is a bad, bad idea. Many folks recommend eating at least 150g of carbs for the 3 days before an OGTT so that peripheral IR is not an issue. I don't know enough about PCOS; I'd ask another question .. I'm sure there are some LCers here with PCOS who could advise you!

3
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on April 05, 2012
at 06:20 AM

PCOS can occur in both overweight and not-overweight women. The insulin resistance is part of the disorder. It is one of the prominent constellation of symptoms of PCOS. Low carb is the diet of choice for her treatment. Insulin resistance is not the cause of her PCOS.

Read and self educate about PCOS carefully and take in information given to you by others carefully.Always include in questions concerning your wife's health that she has PCOS. Upping carbs in the belief that low carb eating is causing your wife's PCOS will not be helpful.

I believe the following series will be helpful to you. The disease progresses and is serious. Weight gain which may not have originally been an issue can become an issue.

http://women.webmd.com/tc/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos-symptoms

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 05, 2012
at 07:51 AM

Love your username.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on April 06, 2012
at 12:51 AM

Thanks, Korion. It's courtesy of Travis. It seemed to have become the pejorative term du jour for a while there. I like it. It tickles me. Being incredibly healthy is its own HUGE HUGE reward. Being really, really healthy and having fun, well, that's nirvana.

1
5ab25aa10d3fa108999121d8b43d9789

on December 02, 2012
at 10:46 AM

Insulin resistance can be hereditary in a small number of cases and not caused by diet. She may have been IR all along and not had noticeable symptoms for whatever reason. I would seek out an endocronologist who specialises in PCOS.

1
A7925ab8ea44e6d4d5d7c6f202632c6c

(404)

on April 04, 2012
at 11:43 PM

isn't it a common knowledge that you should carb-up for some days prior to such tests?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:26 AM

igel, probably best to use the Comment option in future for 'comments' & leave the Answer option for actual answers to the question....just saying

45df437145adda20a789d07ddd79e30c

(18)

on April 04, 2012
at 11:59 PM

Apparently not, right?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:29 AM

igel, probably best to use the Comment option in future for comments & leave the Answer option for actual answers to the question....just saying

1
B23318c968ac589b87131d5b489d6e16

(1294)

on April 04, 2012
at 07:37 PM

You can go higher carb to re-do the test, but then go back on a low carb diet for PCOS. The higher carb is only temporary to make the docs happy. That test is based on the "average" diet of higher carb.

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