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19 Apr 2006

Insulin
Hi Doc

Sorry to ask you this but what effect does insulin have on the female body for instance can it be the reason for heavy periods etc. I am about 20kg overweight and mainly live of carbs (bread) and tea with sugar. I've been reading up about this but are getting so many different views. Do you know if weightlifting and cardio can help with insulin restance. I've read that it can and others say you should only do things like yoga etc.Any advise would be really appreciated.
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Expert
DietDoc
DietDoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Confused
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that influences blood sugar levels, weight gain or loss, energy levels, etc, but it is very unlikely that this hormone would cause heavy periods. Heavy periods are usually caused by disturbances in female hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) and/or conditions such as endometriosis. There is a link between a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (a gynaecological condition) and insulin resistance. For assistance with the heavy periods you need to see a medical dr - your gp or a gynae. If you do suffer from insulin resistance (and the only way to find out, is to have tests done), then it is essential to consult a clinical dietitian, because the correct diet is one of the most important factors in treatment. Check the List of Dietitians on this Website or phone 082-593-0276 or send an e-mail to sscharf@nhcltd.com or look in your local telephone directory or Yellow Pages, to find a dietitian in your area. The dietitian will take your insulin resistance and other conditions such as overweight, into account when working out a diet for you, which will be based on foods with a low glycaemic index (GI). Click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'The right approach' and read the articles on the GI. Also click on ‘Food as Medicine' on the Diet Site and then on ‘Type 2 diabetes'. Cardio exercises do help to lower raised insulin levels and control weight. Because you are rather overweight I would recommend that you join Walk for Life or go for a walk for 30 min or more every day. Start out gently, but increase how fast and far you walk as you lose weight and get fitter.
Best regards
DietDoc
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