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Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells within the pancreas. Insulin is released into the blood stream and travels throughout the body. It is an important hormone that has many actions within the body. Most of the actions of insulin are directed at metabolism (control) of carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins. Insulin also is important in regulating the cells of the body including their growth.

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin, that is, the normal response to a given amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to have its effects.

Causes

There are probably several causes of insulin resistance and there is thought to be a strong inherited component. Some medications can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is seen often in the following conditions:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Oestrogen
  • Menopause and the years thereafter
  • The Pill
  • HRT
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Infection or severe illness
  • Stress
  • Steroid use

A combination of raw vitamins, minerals and amino acids mixed daily with some fruit juice not only ensures the insulin response works at its optimum level, but also boosts energy and assists with weight loss. And, it’s not too disgusting to drink either!

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The link between progesterone and the menopause is highlighted by the fact that women in industrialised countries have a hard time with menopausal symptoms compared to women in rural societies. Dr. P. Ellison of Harvard University studied oestrogen levels in various ecological and cultural populations and found that oestrogen levels in western women are abnormally high. This can be due to a number of factors:

  • the food consumed (particularly animals fed oestrogen to fatten them)
  • the crops sprayed with pesticides (most of which are oestrogenic)
  • the Pill and HRT
  • drinking recycled water which has not had the oestrogen removed
  • using cosmetics which are made with liquid paraffin and oestrogenic antioxidants.

An understanding of the effects of a lack of progesterone is vital to understanding that progesterone can play an enormously beneficial role in helping to go through menopause without too many adverse affects. By naturally opposing the action of oestrogen, the symptoms of oestrogen dominance are lessened and in some cases eliminated. The easiest method to apply progesterone is in a cream form.

New research conducted by Wallace and Kelsey published in “Human Reproduction”, indicates that it might be possible to show the approach of menopause by a scan of the ovaries. Currently blood hormone levels are used to try to determine this, but these are notoriously inaccurate as it is common practice to only check oestrogen levels, not progesterone. The patient generally needs to specifically request this despite the fact that progesterone and menopause are inextricably connected. As the symptoms of menopause are caused by a lack of progesterone and too much oestrogen, the standard ‘oestrogen only’ test is of little help.

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