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Glucose Intolerance vs Insulin Resistance: How to Understand The Difference

Have you ever wondered what the difference was between glucose intolerance vs insulin resistance.  If you have then you have come to the right place.  This article will detail the difference between glucose intolerance vs insulin resistance.  It will also outline the causes and symptoms of both.  As well as ways to reduce the occurrence of both.  

If this sounds interesting then hop ahead the glucose express as we learn to understand the difference between glucose intolerance vs insulin resistance.  

What is Glucose Intolerance 

Glucose Intolerance is when there is an abnormal glucose reading.  Normal glucose levels should be between 130-80mg/dL.  

Causes of Glucose Intolerance

What causes glucose intolerance?  There are many different reasons why glucose may be higher or lower than usual. Including: 

  • Lack of exercise 
  • Excess weight 
  • Dietary choices 
  • Age 

Symptoms of Glucose Intolerance

Some symptoms of glucose intolerance or high blood sugar include:

  • Blurred Vision 
  • Excessive Urination 
  • Frequently Thirsty
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss
  • Irritability  

Reducing Glucose Intolerance

The best way to reduce glucose intolerance is to change your eating habits, exercise more, reduce stress and get adequate sleep.

To optimize your eating habits, focus on a whole food plant based diet lower in fat. Aim to move your body at least 30 minutes/day with strength training 2x/wk. Reduce stress with deep breathing, yoga or meditation. Aim for 7-8hours/night. 

Seems like a lot right.  Focus on one area and take the next 3 months to develop better habits in that area until it is routine.  Then you can focus on the other areas. But remember, done is better than perfect. You do not need to be perfect in all of these areas.  

What is Insulin Resistance 

Insulin Resistance occurs when insulin is not able to effectively do its job of transporting the glucose/sugar into our cells.  

Cause of Insulin Resistance

The cause of insulin resistance is the excess fat around the cell which blocks insulin receptor sites.  

This can be difficult to measure because there is no test that shows you how much of your insulin cells are blocked by fat and therefore not working efficiently. 

One indirect way to measure insulin resistance is to monitor how much insulin you use for the amount of carbs you eat.  Otherwise, monitoring your insulin to carb ratio.  The downside is that not everyone with diabetes takes insulin so it can’t be used by everyone with diabetes.  

Symptoms of Insulin Resistance

There are no direct symptoms of insulin resistance other than high blood sugar. 

Reducing Insulin Resistance

The best way to reduce insulin resistance is to first change your diet and start eating a more whole food plant based diet lower in fat. Second, lose any excess weight that you may have. Easier said than done, am I right.  

Difference Between Glucose intolerance vs insulin resistance

To sum all of this up, glucose intolerance is glucose that is too high or too low in our bloodstream.  Insulin resistance is when insulin is unable to transport glucose into the cell due to a blocked receptor sight. These are not the same and are different.  I hope this clarifies the matter at hand for you. 

Final Thoughts 

Glucose intolerance is influenced by many different factors such as dietary choices, exercise, stress, sleep and age. Most of these we can control.  Insulin resistance is caused by excess fat blocking most of the insulin receptor sites on the cell. 

A person with glucose intolerance can be irritable, fatigued, need to urinate excessively, or lose weight excessively.  While a person with insulin resistance will have high blood sugar. 

The best way to reduce glucose intolerance is to create better food habits, exercise more, reduce stress and sleep at least 8 hrs.  The best way to reduce insulin resistance is to eat a predominantly whole food plant based diet lower in fat. 

Are you worried about glucose intolerance or insulin resistance? If so, then review your food habits and start making small changes to eat more plant based.  Add 1 new fruit or vegetable to your diet this week.

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