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A Connection Between Insulin Resistance and Heart Health

There is no downplaying that your heart is one of the most crucial organs of your body. Consider your body to be a computer. Your brain serves as both the CPU and the hard drive. It stores and programs data and operations and transmits messages across the body.

Something that you can do on your own is keeping track of your health indicators. For example, keeping a check on weight, blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, and heart rate would give you a great insight into your overall health. In addition, regularly evaluating your cardiometabolic health might provide helpful information for enhancing your overall wellbeing.

Your heart here is the primary source of power. Nothing else functions without a power source. So actual electoral pulses are running through your body. If there is trouble in this power supply, there will naturally be problems with other systems. 

Not only is your heart responsible for pumping oxygenated blood through your body, but it also carries certain hormones, compounds and waste of metabolic processes. So if your heart fails to function normally, other vital bodily processes would also cease.

Metabolic health is the absence of metabolic diseases. A properly functioning metabolic health prevents you from health concerns like high blood sugar, high blood pressure, heart conditions, strokes, obesity, fatty liver, kidney issues, cholesterol, etc.

Glucose Monitoring

Whether your metabolic health is at its best, you can assess it through continuous glucose monitoring. A simple wearable device like BIOS can help you monitor your body’s response to different foods and activity levels. Real-time glucose monitoring is a start point.

A solution like HealthifyPRO 2.0 can make you think about health differently. The fact that food and activity levels are the start point to several life-long conditions makes it very easy for us to incorporate healthy modifications.

Real-time blood glucose monitoring can help you arrest weight gain and metabolic health disorders and understand and create a food and activity plan. Finally, with help from the coaches, that will take you a step closer to your desired fitness level and closer to ideal metabolic health.

This article discusses the critical link between your heart health, metabolism and insulin resistance. It will help you understand how your heart health is related to diabetes. It would also help you learn ways to have good heart health and improve overall health. 

A healthy metabolism ensures that your body processes your food without causing disturbance to your sugar levels, cholesterol, insulin and inflammation.

Also, this prevents you from developing lifelong conditions that can not only alter your body’s functions but also your body’s relationship with food.

Metabolic syndrome is a series of conditions that increase one’s risk of developing cardiovascular ailments, type 2 diabetes, and strokes. Unfortunately, most signs of metabolic syndrome are usually not taken seriously.

Some of those include:

Increased levels of blood sugar, borderline diabetes, diabetesHigh blood pressure High levels of triglyceride and bad cholesterolBeing overweight or obeseEnlargement of waistline

The symptoms of metabolic syndrome in themselves will disturb metabolic functioning and make your body vulnerable to metabolic diseases like diabetes. In addition, research suggests poor metabolic health can be a determinant of diabetes. 

Metabolism involves life-sustaining processes that provide your body with the energy required to function. It has much to do with your food and its conversion to specific proteins and other compounds like lipids. Furthermore, the hormone secreted by the pancreas is called insulin. This hormone facilitates the body’s use of sugar as fuel and aids cell absorption. As a result, your blood glucose levels maintain relatively steady when insulin works efficiently.

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body uses insulin ineffectively, making it more difficult for sugar to reach the areas of the body where it is needed for cellular energy production. If you have insulin resistance, your cells don’t react to insulin as they should and instead fight its effects. A rise in blood glucose levels results from this. 

Insulin resistance in Type 1 diabetes makes one’s body attack beta cells of the pancreas responsible for insulin secretion. Also, this is why people with Type 1 diabetes get prescribed insulin outwardly, usually injections. Therefore, it becomes crucial to inject this insulin in time without fail.

In Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance occurs when your cells do not respond to the insulin released, or there isn’t enough of it released into the bloodstream or both. Here your blood sugar levels stay much elevated than the range they should be in. 

Research also draws connections between being overweight and obese as risk factors and a symptom of diabetes and cardiovascular ailments. In addition, increased blood sugar levels and obesity are sure to flunk your metabolic health, making you vulnerable to metabolic syndrome.

Insulin Resistance and Heart Health

Increased Inflammation

Cardiovascular disease occurs due to many metabolic changes that occur with insulin resistance. For example, persistent hyperglycemia brought on by insulin resistance can create an imbalance in glucose metabolism.

According to a study, this excessive blood glucose may cause inflammation that gradually damages the inner lining of the arteries. It might also set off oxidative stress and an inflammatory reaction that could damage cells. 

Plaque Built-up

People with diabetes often have high cholesterol. The Low Density of Lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol is the kind that can more easily slip through blood vessel walls. Also, this causes plaque to build up in your arteries and thickens the artery walls. Also, this then would most likely induce blood pressure. 

Weight Gain

Studies have shown that people gain unwanted weight due to insulin resistance. Weight gain and obesity are known to strain your heart, making it difficult to pump blood in and out. Those with higher waist-to-hip ratios are more likely than those with lower waist-to-hip ratios to develop fat deposits in their blood vessels. 

Fat in your midsection plays an active role in the secretion of inflammatory proteins, further increasing fat deposits in your blood. Also, this implies that having a larger waist size puts you at greater risk of heart disease, irrespective of whether you are obese. 

Sudden Strokes or Attacks

Well, suppose you know that you have insulin resistance or a specific type of diabetes. In that case, it becomes easy to manage things. But unfortunately, some people fail to recognise that they suffer from insulin resistance.

Untreated insulin resistance can be even riskier. It increases the chance of having sudden strokes and heart failure. In addition, it could be a disorder that occurs in cancer, kidney issues, or vision problems. Research says preventing insulin resistance in young adults could prevent 42% of the comorbidities due to heart failure. 

Cardiovascular Ailments and Diabetes

Research suggests that the link underlying insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart failure is well-established. Diabetes is associated with the possible prediction of Coronary Heart Disease or CAD. 

As per evidence, there is a double increase in the chances of a heart attack in people with diabetes compared to non-diabetics. In addition, numerous epidemiologic investigations have revealed that diabetes and insulin resistance are independent clinical signs of heart failure.

Parameters of Good Heart Health 

Maintaining a healthy heart is essential for an active and satisfactory life. Everything you do requires physical activity and burns calories. Activities as simple as walking your pet or biking to work are good for heart health. 

There are specific parameters of heart health you could observe to keep your heart health in mind:

Breath Patterns

A good indicator of heart health is your capacity to breathe normally and regularly during activities like walking, swimming, dancing, etc. It indicates that your cardiovascular processes are operating correctly and giving your body the oxygen required.

Another indication of a healthy heart is the capacity to return rapidly to your regular heart rate following intense exercise. Take your heart rate immediately after working out and one minute later to test yourself. Your heart rate should have slowed down by at least 20 beats.

Energy Levels

When your body receives the oxygenated blood it needs, your heart is functioning correctly. Also, this means that your body’s metabolism is fit enough to provide you with the energy required to function. 

Suppose your energy levels have been lower than usual. In that case, it might be time to check your blood samples, especially for insulin resistance. Persistent fatigue may arise from a particular cardiac condition. 

Pulse Rate

Your pulse rate should typically range from 60- 100 beats each minute. However, this might vary from age to age. Your heart rate might drop to as low as 40 beats per minute if you exercise consistently, which is usually a sign of strong physical health. It might be beneficial for you to know your target heart rate range for an optimal workout.

Waist Circumference

For males, a waist circumference of more than 40 inches and a waist circumference of more than 35 inches in females are both considered risk factors for metabolic diseases like diabetes and cardiac conditions. 

Cholesterol Levels

Less than 70 mg/dL would be the ideal LDL level for people with terminal heart or blood vessel conditions. For people with metabolic syndrome who are at extremely high risk of heart disease, less than 100 mg/dL is advisable.  

It is essential to have LDL below the 130mg/dL mark. Research says that the prevention of determinants of Coronary Artery Diseases like hypertension, high levels of LDL Cholesterol and triglycerides can reduce the risk of heart failure by 10-16%. 

Blood Glucose and Blood Pressure Levels

The healthy range for blood pressure is less than 120/80. Therefore, the first figure measures your arterial pressure, 120, while the second figure determines the relaxed heart muscle pressure, 80.

An individual’s blood pressure is too high if it goes above 130/80, increasing your risk of a stroke or heart attack. The blood pressure cutoff for metabolic syndrome is 130/85.

Most functional doctors want the fasting glucose values to be at approximately 70 or 80 mg/dL. Fasting blood sugar below 100 mg/dL is commonly considered normal.

Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy 

Metabolic diseases and metabolic syndrome is undoubtedly something of great concern. However, prevention would also work equally to keep you from reaching such a condition. Nevertheless, there are certain things you could do and tips you could follow. First, be mindful of attaining a properly functioning metabolism and good heart health. 

Be Mindful with What You Eat

A diet rich in whole grains, pulses, legumes, cuts of lean meats that are not very fatty, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts would not just do good, but it might also feel good. Such a diet is rich in dietary fibre, keeps you full longer and helps with insulin resistance in various ways. Research shows that a higher dietary fibre intake has multiple health outcomes for patients with cardiovascular issues and type-2 diabetes.

Eliminating foods high in fat and sugar would help you manage insulin resistance. However, you need not resist your craving. Substitution with healthier alternatives might work just fine. Sometimes moderation is the key. Limiting packaged food, alcohol consumption, and overly sweet or salty foods would be the best. 

According to a study, adding antioxidant-rich foods like green tea, berries, beets, and lemons to your meals could help you prevent coronary heart diseases. Research has also suggested a lower morbidity and mortality rate in people consuming sufficient amounts of antioxidants in their diet and supplements. 

Movement is a Must

Working out regularly can help your muscles absorb oxygen more quickly out of your bloodstream. It aids in reducing stress hormones like cortisol, reducing the extra burden off your heart. When your body gets used to regular physical activity, it functions well with blood pressure and a lower heart rate. 

Regular exercisers are also less likely to get sudden strokes or another potentially fatal cardiac episode. Although there are advantages to exercise on its own, a healthy diet plus exercise are the most significant ways to prevent heart disease. In addition, long-term weight loss can sometimes happen by exercise alone. Also, the research emphasises that exercise is a physiological stressor and has numerous advantages on cardiovascular health.

Refrain from Smoking

Smoking causes havoc upon your heart and many other organs. It contributes to one out of four mortalities due to cardiovascular ailments. In addition, research shows that cigarette smoking is among the significant risk factors for high blood pressure, cholesterol problems and heart diseases.

It can lead to increased triglycerides and a decrease in the levels of High-Density Cholesterol (good cholesterol). In addition, it can thicken your blood, putting more pressure on your heart while it pumps blood. All these complexities won’t take long to turn into a heart scare. So the earlier you decide to quit smoking, the earlier your risks of developing cardiovascular ailments revert.  

Deal with Stress Effectively

Chronic stress directly increases the risk of Coronary Artery Diseases. Also, it gets linked to bad health habits that cause CVD and the body’s adverse stress reactions. Such as increased blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, and reduced blood supply to the heart.

For instance, stress gets linked to weight gain, insufficient sleep, alcohol consumption, smoking, a bad diet, and a lack of exercise. All of these tips, though they get mentioned differently, overlap constantly. 

According to a study, stress pathways correlated to all types of heart failures due to muscle dilation. Some methods to relieve stress are to talk to your friends or family, engage in activities you enjoy, work out, listen to music or go for a walk. 

Weight Loss Might Help

Diabetes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome are all linked to obesity, which raises the risk of CVD. If you are overweight or obese, decreasing up to 5-10 per cent of your body weight could lower your chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for heart health; this does not imply that you are underweight. 

Research proves that obesity is linked to coronary heart disease as the BMI rises. It also has to do with how fat gets distributed along your body. Long-term longitudinal studies show that obesity affects both males and females and predicts coronary atherosclerosis.

Conclusion

The leading cause of death in people with insulin resistance is cardiovascular disease. Metabolic health and heart health are closely related. Therefore, measures for heart health can also improve by the same actions that help with metabolic health metrics. 

Regular resistance and aerobic exercise, a healthy diet, stress management, and adequate sleep all help to improve insulin sensitivity and heart health. However, consulting a physician would give a much better picture of your heart health.

They could explain that it would require you to prioritise your health and take specific steps to improve it. You could also talk to a reputed dietician and fitness coach and discuss with them what would work the best for you in terms of diet, work out and general health.

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