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Dayton, Ohio • Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it properly.

When excess glucose builds up in the blood, this sets the stage for diabetes. Many people with insulin resistance have high levels of glucose and insulin in their blood at the same time.

Physician, health advocate and author of The Blood Sugar Solution, Mark Hyman maintains insulin resistance is the biologic cause of obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes.

In The Blood Sugar Solution, available Tuesday, Feb. 28, he describes and explains his belief that preventing obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia and cancer lies with balanced insulin levels.

His seven keys to wellness:

Boosting nutrition • Our current American diet is a problem for what it contains — too much sugar, processed fats, salt, additives, hormones, pesticides and genetically altered inflammatory proteins— and for what it doesn't contain: omega-3 fats, fiber, magnesium, zinc, B and D vitamins, antioxidants, and more.

Regulating hormones • All our hormones — insulin hormone, sex hormones, adrenal or stress hormones, and thyroid hormones — are interconnected, he explains. They interact with one another "like a big musical symphony." When this symphony is out of tune, problems arise.

Reducing inflammation • Anything that causes inflammation will, in turn, cause insulin resistance. And anything that causes insulin resistance will cause inflammation.

Optimizing digestion • This highly processed, high-sugar, high-fat, low-fiber diet has substantially altered the bacteria that historically grew in our digestive tracts, and the change has been linked to weight gain and diabetes. Moreover, modern inventions such as antibiotics, acid blockers, steroids, anti-inflammatory medicines and more all injure the gut, alter our gut flora and lead to systemic inflammation.

Enhancing detoxification • Scientific data show that environmental toxins interfere with blood sugar and cholesterol metabolism and cause insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Maximizing energy metabolism • Our metabolism turns calories and oxygen into the energy that fuels every cell in our body. This energy is made in little factories in our cells called mitochondria. When these are not working properly, you suffer all the symptoms of low energy: fatigue, slow metabolism, weight gain, memory loss, pain, rapid aging and more.

Soothing your mind • In the face of chronic stress, our levels of insulin, cortisol and inflammatory compounds called cytokines all increase. This drives the relentless metabolic dysfunction that leads to weight gain, insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes.

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