For most women, menopause is a transition that holds extraordinary significance in terms of its physical, mental and emotional ramifications. Add into that mix insulin resistance and the whole thing can become beyond overwhelming.

Like many of the women in my community, you may be going through perimenopause or maybe have already been through it. Either way, you may find this article helpful as it may answer many of your questions.

The Hormonal Piece of the Puzzle

Menopause is a time in a women’s life when her hormones are naturally changing in a big way. Interestingly, insulin is a powerful hormone itself. It is part of a complex system of communication that makes everything work in your body during your transition towards menopause.

Think of your hormonal system as email system, one that facilitates communication and balance in your body. Hormones command the actions that organs, the body’s systems and the various parts of the body need to take in order to keep the body in balance.

Menopause and insulin can do something to the body that every woman dreads: weight gain! Let’s explore how this happens.

Insulin’s Role in the Body

Your digestive system breaks down all the carbs and the sugar that you consume into glucose, the simplest form of sugar. Your body uses glucose as fuel so you can move your body and your organs can function. Your liver stores a limited amount of glucose for use as needed.

The message that insulin sends is that the amount of glucose in the blood should be reduced. Your pancreas produces insulin that travels throughout your body, instructing your cells to absorb the glucose from your bloodstream, thus lowering the level of sugar in the blood. At a given time, your body can handle around five teaspoons of glucose in your bloodstream.

What Causes Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance occurs when insulin essentially stops being able to do its job as effectively. The message still goes out, but the blood sugar levels don’t start to go down as they are supposed to.

There are a number of things that insulin reacts to, and here are a few of them that you should be aware of:
Inability to integrate emotions, specifically if there is trouble integrating the emotion of love, and fear starts to take over, stagnating the energy of the body.

• Excessive carbohydrate intake
• Protein (5% to 10 % of carbohydrate)
• Sedentary lifestyle and lack of activity
• Medications: SSRI, steroidal anti-inflammatories

What Does Insulin Resistance Cause?

Insulin resistance has some serious consequences. It prevents glucose from entering cell, but also raises estrogen. Here are some other issues that you’ll want to be aware of:

• Thyroid can convert thyroid hormone
• Muscle loss
• Fat gain
• Hormonal imbalance
• Fatty liver
• Alzheimer’s
• Type 2 diabetes

Menopause and Insulin

The GOOD NEWS about menopause and insulin resistance is that insulin resistance can be controlled AND reversed.
Menopause in and of itself doesn’t cause insulin resistance, but rather insulin resistance is the consequence of overall poor hormonal health. And poor hormonal health is almost always the result of poor dietary habits.

Positive dietary and lifestyle changes are far more effective than drug therapies, and that’s something based on research! You can actually eat your way to fixing insulin resistance.

Your One Simple Solution: Diet!

It’s not even as hard as you might think it is. Changing our habits and our mindset at age 50 might be a bit more difficult than it would be at age 20, but on the other hand we’ve also got the experience and self-control to do so many more things than we often give ourselves credit for. You can do this!

By reducing your intake of carbohydrate, you will automatically reduce your insulin output. By reducing your insulin output, your will reduce and potentially reverse the side effects of having too much insulin in your body.

That’s an easy and free solution to some of the side effects of menopause!

You can do this girl!

Some of us are in the habit of beating ourselves up or of making excuses. Those are things that you have to face and put behind you, choosing to start fresh and to approach these things as solutions rather than as obstacles.

What do you have to lose? What could be negative about having a better diet, sleeping better, and most importantly having a positive mindset and a better mind – body relationship? Is better diet going to make you unhealthier? Or aggravate your symptoms? Is sleeping more going to make you watch less TV?

The key to this process is to look at the whole thing with open eyes, to be transparent with yourself about what’s going on both within and without. The solution to insulin resistance in menopause truly is simple, wonderfully and almost frighteningly so. You simply have to choose to change your diet and lifestyle.

But you don’t have to do it alone! You can find support and guidance in my private community or sign up for one of my programs. I have seen it time and time again in my practice and my programs, with women in their fifties and sixties reversing type 2 diabetes and defeating insulin resistance. You can do it, too!

Author's Bio: 

Stephanie Dodier is a Clinical Nutritionist, Author, and Host of The Beyond The Food Show podcast. She has dedicated herself to helping women overcome food cravings, optimize their relationship with food, and achieve their health goals. To learn more about her work and get access to her free resources, visit