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When you’re insulin resistant, that is, you’ve got metabolic syndrome, pretty much every chemical in the body is NOT QUITE RIGHT. Some are up. Some are down. Few are actually at physiologically NORMAL levels.
Traditionally the focus is on the big guns.
- And cholesterol
In this series, we take a look at some of the other players.
Who they are, what they’re up to and how they’re part of the state of insulin resistance.
This week, we’re not actually looking at a chemical per se, instead we take a look at the behaviour of tiny little pressure receptors, called baroreceptors, which are embedded in the blood vessels, that leave the heart.
Baroreceptor sensitivity in the insulin resistant
Baroreceptor sensitivity is reduced, which in a nut shell, means, your heart is not able to roll with the punches, quite as well as it should.
What should happen….
If your situation changes, let’s say for example, you have to stand up quickly, what you need / want your heart to do will change.
Lying down is a walk in the park – because there is NO GRAVITY.
Standing up…….. NOT SO MUCH.
The blood goes rushing to your toes and if your heart is caught napping, you should feel a little whoozey, in the moment.
But you don’t.
Thanks to your baroreceptor sensitivity…….
Little pressure receptors, keep tabs on the blood pressure. The drop is quickly noticed……………. a message is sent up to the brain stem, hinting at a looming crisis. The brain stem responds, instructing the blood vessels to narrow and the heart to beat a little faster……………….
And, the problem is solved.
Of course, if your next move is to RELAX – then the reverse happens.
The little pressure sensor notices that the pressure is a tad on the high side. It shoots a message to the brain stem, reporting on the situation. The brain stem, makes the necessary adjustments.
Blood vessels widen, the heart rate slows.
It’s so quick, you never notice.
But, how quick it is………………ends up being a reflection of your metabolic status.
Slow on the uptake
If you are insulin resistant – the speed at which you make the adjustment is slower. Now, this is not really a BIG deal, in the moment.
YOU MAKE THE ADJUSTMENT.
But, it is a sign that the system is OFF balance….
Specifically the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic system is compromised. Since these nerves, collectively known as the autonomic nervous system, run your body, behind the scenes, think autoMATIC, it has implications for your health across the board.
So, reduced basoreceptor sensitivity is NOT the ideal……
A compromised response
It means, your body’s ability to respond to situations, is compromised.
The question is why ? Is it the cause or the consequence.
The short answer. We don’t really know. I suspect, it’s probably a little of both, changes in sympatho-vagal balance are since, very early on in metabolic syndrome.
High insulin, morning, noon and night, is probably a BIG part of the problem.
Watch this video to understand learn more.
So, if you want to improve your baroreceptor sensitivity…….
REIN IN INSULIN.
For tips and strategies, to help you do this, download the WILLPOWER REPORT, it’ free.
Control sympatho-vagal balance
The sympatho-vagal balance is more than just a major controller.
IT CAN BE CONTROLLED !
Now the lifestyle habit, that will bring a lot of bang for the buck, is physical activity…..
It’s a case of PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.
People who move more, need the system to be tuned in, to avoid DISASTERS.
But, when it comes to lifestyle and behaviours, physical activity is the tip of the iceberg, literally, everything you do…………. tips the balance, one way or the other.
It’s a lever YOU CAN PULL.
It’s a matter of figuring out, what works for you and DOING it. I’ll be looking at these in an upcoming series.
NOTE : It’s not like diet and exercise, which are often quite challenging. Many of the factors that move the needle, are “nice” to do. If you’re NOT DOING THEM, it’s often because you don’t appreciate their value.
Contribution of insulin resistance to decreased baroreceptor sensitivity & cardiometabolic risks in pre-obesity & obesity. Indian J Med Res (2018) 148 : 151-158. Jagadeeswaran Indumathy, Gopal Krushna Pal, Pravati Pal, Palakkad Hariharan Ananthanarayanan, Subash Chandra Parija, Jayaraman Balachander & Tarun Kumar Dutta.
Enhancing cardiac vagal activity: Factors of interest for sport psychology. Prog Brain Res (2018) 240 : 71-92. Sylvain Laborde, Emma Mosley, Lea Ueberholz.
Volunteering might be just the thing you need to loosen up those “tight” blood vessels. Not metaphorically speaking, literally.
So get tralla lala laling. Singing together means breathing together. And breathing is good for the nerves, which is good for the heart.
If you put on the running shoes and jiggled up and down, you would get the blood flowing but a good laugh does the same thing without the sweat and tears.