Lung function in insulin resistance

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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.

  • Sugar.
  • Insulin.
  • 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.

Lung function when you’re insulin resistant

Now, when you’re insulin resistant, your lung function is diminished. Don’t panic, not enough to stop you from breathing, in fact, you’re unlikely to notice it.

The reason, it turns out, we have BIG LUNGS.

lungs the size of a tennis court

So breathing problems only become an issue, when around 50 % of the lung is “gone”.

At this point, EVERYONE knows, you have a problem and at this point, your days are numbered. But long before this happens……………your lungs are taking strain.

So how would you know ?



You blow in a tube and how well your blow, is calculated. Two measures that are commonly used to access lung function are :

  • forced vital capacity (FVC) : this shows the amount of air a person can forcefully and quickly exhale after taking a deep breath.
  •  forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) : this shows the amount of air a person can forcefully exhale in 1 second of the FVC.

Now these will measure what your lungs are up to, on the day.

But, lung capacity is going to depend on how big your lungs are, how old they are and your gender, so your lungs performance, is then compared to other sets of lungs.

If yours are under performing – you have decreased lung function.

And if, you have metabolic syndrome, odd are, your lungs will not be star performers.

Too fat for your lungs

too fat for your lungs

It’s NOT  simply a fat thing, although being obese, can cramp you lungs style.  Even normal weight people, with metabolic syndrome have impaired lung function.

This potentially leads to oxygen “shortages”, particularly when there is a high metabolic demand. These oxygen shortages impact oxidative capacity i.e. the ability to burn “things” to get energy.

No oxygen means no fire

This ends up, impacting energy metabolism – not in a good way.

Since cells burn less, they are not keen to take up sugar deliveries, leading to increased levels of, unburned fuels.

So what does it take to breath better ?

Well, your lungs are not going to be immune, to bad body chemistry, so if you want to breathe better, you need to..

Fix the body chemistry !

I know, I know…………you’re trying, that’s why you’re here.  If you’re new to the blog,  start by downloading the free, Willpower Report, it will help you get started. 

Other things you can do, to keep your lungs in tip, top shape.

  • Protect them from noxious chemicals, as much as you can.
  • And give them a work out

Lung workouts…………..

Maybe you’re thinking, lungs don’t workout. Hearts do, muscles do, but lungs…………. not so much !

Actually they do.

lung workouts elaborated

Many activities can an do, give lungs a workout.

Singing, playing a musical instrutment, swimming, yoga and blowing bubbles or a balloon, are all activities that put your lungs through their paces. Or you can put you lungs on a formal respiratory training programme.

The benefits of better breathing

Numerous studies show, if you give your lungs a work out, you will not only improve your lung function, you will improve your body chemistry, because you blood vessels WORK better.

So if you’re insulin resistant, consider implementing a respiratory training regimen.

I have two suggestions as to how to do it. The first involves getting your hands on some fancy equipment, which can be a bit pricey, the second, costs pennies, and is equally effective.

respiratory training programmes

The high tech option

Invest in a respiratory training device eg. SpiroTiger®. These devices are marketed to asthmatics, you can programme the device to change the amount of resistance, it offers, when you blow into it. Over time, you can adjust the workload, as you get stonger.

The low tech solution

Blow up a balloon, doing so, lying on your back, will maximize the resistance. For more details, download the pdf, you can find the link in the description.

Create better body chemistry

By putting your lungs through their paces. It will be pretty painless and have lots of benefits.

NOTE :  Lung function, just one of hundreds of things in the body that are amiss when you’re suffering from metabolic syndrome.  To learn more about some of the other players, go to our “Ups and Downs” of Insulin Resistance page

Respiratory muscle training positively affects vasomotor response in young healthy women. PLoS ONE (2018) 13(9): e0203347. Angela Valentina Bisconti, Michela Devoto, Massimo Venturelli, Randall Bryner, I. Mark Olfert, Paul D. Chantler, F. Esposito

Pulmonary Function and Sleep Breathing:  Two New Targets for Type 2 Diabetes Care.  Endocrine Reviews (2017) 38: 550 – 573.  Albert Lecube, Rafael Simo, Maria Pallayova, Naresh M. Punjabi, Carolina Lopez-Cano, Cecilia Turino, Cristina Hernandez, and Ferran Barbe

Metabolic health is more closely associated with decrease in lung function than obesity. PLoS ONE (2019) 14(1): e0209575.  Hea Yon Lee, Hae Kyung Yang, Ho Jin Song, Hee Jae Chang, Ji Young Kang, Sang Haak Lee, Solji Han, Young Kyoon Kim.

Further reading

burned fat exiting the body

Where does all the fat you burn while on diet, actually GO

When fats are burned, they’re consumed by FIRE, generating heat. It makes sense. But, this picture of fat burning, is not scientifically accurate…..

tree cleaing up the air

Trees are deluxe super sucking vaccum cleaners clearing the air

Trees lining the streets of London, are hoovering up around 2000 tonnes of particulate pollution from the air, every year – you need a tree air filtering system.

compression stocking helping relieve sleep apnea

A cheap way to breathe easier if you suffer from sleep apnea

Wearing compression stockings during the day, reduces fluid build up in the neck at night which results in fewer apneas per hour of sleep in sufferers of sleep apnea.

Want to discover more ways to create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY ?