- Reproductive health and Metabolic health
- Insulin Resistance
- Introduction to Feel Great System
- Science Behind Feel Great System
The intimate link between insulin resistance and fertility
Hello I’m Dr. Mijin Brown, my background is pediatric endocrinology. I will be talking to you about how your reproductive health and your metabolic health are linked and how your future maternal metabolic health can affect the overall health of your baby.
What do I mean by metabolic health?
We usually define it using 5 markers: fasting glucose, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, abdominal obesity and blood pressure. We are diagnosed as having Metabolic Syndrome if we have any of the three or more: elevated blood sugars, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, abdominal obesity and hypertension. This syndrome is linked to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. But what many people don’t know is that poor metabolic health is also linked to infertility. I want to go deeper into metabolic health… Metabolic syndrome has a more accurate name and it’s called insulin resistance. It’s a better way to describe metabolic health as it defines the root cause of what is going on and that problems are occurring in our body long before we have Metabolic Syndrome or a diagnosis of diabetes.
Insulin resistance is the impaired biological response to insulin. One of the main causes is chronically elevated insulin levels or hyperinsulinemia. Just like when you hear the same loud music in the background all day long you will eventually tune it out, that is what our bodies do with insulin if it is chronically elevated. The most famous role of insulin is its role in sugar metabolism and when someone has insulin resistance this can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes. What many people don’t know is that the insulin hormone affects every cell in our body and therefore any problems with insulin will lead to a big list of symptoms and diseases including infertility.
Insulin resistance is the biggest epidemic in the world and yet most people don’t know about it. It affects more than half the population in the US, Mexico, China, India, Middle East and a third in Canada and Europe. Unfortunately, in medicine we don’t focus on insulin; we mainly focus on glucose. Type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance that has gone on for many years (up to 10 – 15 years) where the body needs to make more and more insulin to deal with glucose in our body from our diet. Eventually the pancreas can’t keep up with the insulin needs and our glucose levels stay elevated and we are diagnosed with diabetes. But before the diagnosis of diabetes, the insulin levels are becoming more and more elevated and we are becoming more and more insulin resistant. As mentioned, since insulin affects every cell in our body, this hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance will cause many problems with our health.
The other issue with insulin resistance is that some cells become resistant to insulin while other cells remain sensitive to it. The cells that remain sensitive to insulin are now bombarded with too much. One example is the cells of our ovaries and hence the connections between insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia and infertility. PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility affecting more than 10 million woman globally. PCOS is a disease of too much insulin. It is insulin resistance of the ovaries.
How does too much insulin cause symptoms of PCOS?
The female reproductive hormones are a highly complex dance of different sex hormones all working together to induce ovulation. It’s surprising for many people that the insulin hormone has a vital role in this. Too much insulin in our ovaries disrupts the conversion of androgens/testosterone (precursor to estrogen) to estrogen via the enzyme aromatase. If this is disrupted we are left with too much androgens and not enough estrogen. That is why we get the symptoms of acne, male pattern baldness, and hirsutism (facial hair). When you look at the ovaries, many females with PCOS have multiple cysts/follicles. These follicles are eggs that were not fully developed and released for ovulation. High Insulin levels are the culprit. As we discussed when insulin is too high it decreases estrogen production. We need elevated estrogen to happen mid cycle for the brain to release a hormone (LH) to tell your ovaries to release an egg (ovulation). So if insulin disrupts estrogen production then there is not enough estrogen released to signal to the brain to release LH and for ovulation to occur. As a result, all of these follicles remain in the ovaries. And since there is no ovulation, infertility becomes an issue. This disruption in hormone production will also disrupt the menstrual cycle, leading to irregular cycles. There are other hormonal disruptions involved which I will not go into here but includes relative estrogen dominance and elevated cortisol. As well, because females with PCOS are insulin resistant they may have many of the other symptoms I will discuss below. Some include weight gain, abdominal obesity and pre-diabetes or even diabetes.
Insulin is also at play with male reproductive health. Insulin resistance in men is linked with low testosterone. Low testosterone inhibits spermatogenesis. Men with insulin resistance have a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction occurs when your blood vessels do not dilate adequately. There can be many factors at play for ED, but how is insulin involved? Insulin acts on the blood vessel endothelium to produce NO (nitric oxide) which is necessary for blood vessel dilatation. If a male is insulin resistant, NO production is decreased and therefore vasodilation in the penis is decreased. This is also the same mechanism for the relationship between insulin resistance and hypertension.
How can you tell if you have insulin resistance?
If you answer yes to one of the following questions, you likely have insulin resistance and if you answer yes to two of the questions, you most certainly have insulin resistance:
- Do you have abdominal obesity?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- Do you have a family history of heart disease?
- Do you have high levels of triglycerides?
- Do you retain water easily?
- Do you have dark patches around your neck or underarms or skin tags?
- Do you have a family history of insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes?
- Do you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in women or erectile dysfunction in men?
Here are some other symptoms or signs of insulin resistance: feeling hungry all the time, cravings, difficulty losing weight, poor mood, brain fog, migraines, and low energy.
Insulin resistance is associated with obesity, heart disease, fertility problems, dementia/Alzheimer’s (Type 3 diabetes), cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and of course diabetes.
Improving insulin resistance and increasing insulin sensitivity has positive effects on fertility and effectiveness of fertility treatments. As well, good metabolic health will have a positive effect on the health of the pregnancy and very importantly on the health of your future baby. Let me discuss this further. In pregnancy, we have physiological insulin resistance, what I mean by that is it is advantageous for our pregnant bodies to be somewhat insulin resistant/high insulin levels as this will promote growth of our reproductive bodies, the placenta, breast tissue, and the baby. But too much insulin resistance leads to complications in pregnancy, the most notable one being gestational diabetes. This happens when you have become so insulin resistant during the pregnancy that insulin production is not enough and your sugar levels start to rise. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include pre-pregnancy weight, family history of diabetes and ethnicity (Hispanics, Asians and Middle Eastern highest risk). Gestational diabetes is associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. But even more concerning is that gestational diabetes increase the risk of insulin resistance in your child. The other complication of insulin resistance and gestational diabetes is pre-eclampsia. I won’t go into the possible mechanism of insulin resistance and pre-eclampsia here. This too has very concerning implications for the mother and baby in pregnancy.
Good metabolic health is vital for fertility, will improve the effectiveness of the fertility treatments and has longstanding implications for the health of the mother and baby during the pregnancy and beyond.
Poor metabolic health is a silent epidemic that is affecting billions of people globally. We are learning more and more that the driver of poor metabolic health is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the root cause of all the lifestyle related diseases affecting most of us. Lifestyle related diseases like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, dyslipidemia, cancer, hypertension, fatty liver, neurological diseases (migraines, Alzheimer’s, also called type 3 diabetes), hypertension, and in men, erectile dysfunction and in women, PCOS. The relationship between insulin resistance and diabetes is clear but how is it the root cause of all these other diseases and how does it affect your reproductive health?
Most of us know that insulin is the hormone responsible for sugar metabolism. What many people don’t know is that insulin acts on every cell type in our body and has many other functions. So a problem with insulin has huge implications for our overall health.
Insulin resistance is the impaired biological response to insulin. There are many reasons this occurs but the main reason and one we can actually do something about is hyperinsulinemia. Too much insulin. Because of our modern food environment, our insulin levels are chronically elevated and our cells become resistant. However in the ovaries, our cells remain highly sensitive to insulin and it is this hyperinsulinemia that causes the problem. PCOS is also called insulin resistance of the ovaries. I won’t go into how insulin resistance drives PCOS here. But essentially, in order to improve PCOS and help your fertility treatments work better, we must control insulin.
I’m very excited to offer a simple, natural, food grade solution to do this. It’s called the Feel Great System. It’s two products. One product helps you intermittent fast. When you are fasting, insulin levels are low, and that is a good thing. The other product is a patented blend of soluble fibres. This does many things including adding a variety of fibre to our diet which is vital to good gut health. The other functions include reducing glucose and insulin spikes, and helping you eat less and keep you full longer.
Ask your clinic for more information and how this can help you!
If you are struggling with cravings, low energy, brain fog, for men erectile dysfunction and low testosterone, for women PCOS, if you have lots of excess body fat, if you have high cholesterol, if you have metabolic syndrome, if you have insulin resistance, or any of the problems that the Feel Great System helps address, this video is for you.
Right now in the US, only 12% of American adults are metabolically healthy. When one kid is failing the class, it may be an individual problem, but when all the kids are failing the class, it’s not an individual problem, it’s a systemic problem. And that’s what we are dealing with. 50 years ago, we didn’t have these problems, we didn’t have an obesity epidemic, a diabetes epidemic, we didn’t have a lot of metabolic syndrome, thyroid problems, but now we do. And so what changed?
Everybody in the world is familiar with white rice. But what many people don’t know is that wild rice actually looks like this. Around the grain of rice is something called the bran, that’s the fiber. We removed the fibre and only eat the white part. Food makers are taking things like this, removing all the fibre, so they can make us products like this. Show me any carbohydrate, any sugar in nature, I will show you that mother nature intended for that to be packaged in fibre.
Okay so we aren’t getting fibre, so what? Well it’s a big deal… If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, fibre is your friend because it helps with blood sugar control and weight management. It can also lower your risk of heart disease and some cancers. Fibre naturally reduces blood sugar and insulin spikes, fibre also protects your heart, fibre prevents your body from taking in some fat and cholesterol, lowering triglycerides and cholesterol levels to help you reduce your risk of heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer in America. Fibre is great for your digestive health. One out of five people in the United States have irritable bowel syndrome. This is very important for them. Fibre helps improve gut health. And fibre is extremely satiety. It keeps you feeling full and helps with weight management. Now what happens when you remove all the fibre?
Well, we get a diabetes epidemic, obesity epidemic, heart disease epidemic, IBS epidemic, mental health epidemic. We didn’t have all these problems 50 years ago but as we progressively removed the fiber from our diet, we do.
Now in a perfect world, we would all be making lush garden solids with fruits and veggies and herbs and seeds before every meal to get the fiber that we need to be metabolically healthy but because it is not always convenient or affordable the Feel Great System has a very great solution for this and that’s the Balance product.
12 years ago there was a very important study done at the University of Sydney. This is the home of the glycemic index. This was a study that everybody in the world should have heard about but guess what nobody did. In this study they looked at what happens when you eat carbohydrates like white bread. As expected it causes a blood sugar spike and an insulin spike. This is very bad for people who like carbohydrates and are trying to lose weight or reduce their blood sugar. However, just taking 1 packet of balance prior to eating reduced blood sugar levels by 20% and 2 packets reduced by up to 28%. A study like this is of critical importance for anyone struggling with their blood sugar control or their weight because if you can control blood sugar and insulin spikes everything changes. To get all the health benefits of this clinically proven blend of plant fibers prior to your meals you simply mix this with some water 5-15 minutes before you eat.
6-8 ounce cold water 2-3 shakes drink immediately!
By simply having the balance 5-15 minutes before your meal you are going to do a lot of things 1. It’s going to fill you up. Fiber is very very satiating. it helps people struggling with overeating not overeat. One of the great things about this is that there are no medications in it. It is a natural way to control glucose levels, insulin levels, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels. It is amazing for leptin signaling. Let me show you, this is the online version of the prescriber’s digital reference. This is the guide that doctors and medical professionals (in the US) turn to learn about prescription drugs and natural alternatives. If you search Unicity Balance you can read all about Unicity Balance. There is nothing magical about Balance it’s pure science.
The balance is much more than just a fiber supplement… I have yet to find it’s equal. The manufacture has 4 different patents on this one products so that nobody can copy it. There is no medication in. It’s a natural bend of plant fibers, nutrients, vitamins that are completely safe.
Balance is only ½ of the feel great system. So let’s talk about the other half. The Unimate. 1 of the reasons why 50 years ago we didn’t have any of the problems we had today was because 50 years ago we weren’t eating and snacking all day. 50 years ago when somebody came home from school and asked their mom and dad for a snack they would say absolutely not you’ll spoil your dinner. And then before bedtime if we asked for a snack they would say absolutely not you should have eaten your dinner. But in the last 50 years we have gone from 3 meals a day to more like 6 meals a day. We snack and we eat all the time.
There is a great doctor at University of Toronto by the name of Dr. Jason Fung. He wrote a book called the Diabetes Code. He also wrote a book called the Obesity Code and has done amazing things for people who struggle with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Listen to this, In his clinic at the University of Toronto most of the patients with type 2 diabetes have a complete reversal of the disease and are off all their medications in 3-6 months. Well that’s amazing. How did he do it? Through intermittent fasting. The modern diet is full of food. We eat and snack all day long. We also eat lots of refined carbohydrates, processed foods. Because of the modern diet we are on a blood sugar rollercoaster. That’s the blue line. The glucose is the blood sugar, it spikes and crashes all day long. The purple line is the insulin. When we have this type of an eating pattern our insulin levels are high all day long. When insulin is elevated for a long period of time we become insulin resistant.
Now when insulin levels are high and glucose levels are low, right here, we feel extremely hungry throughout the day. You notice there are periods of extreme hunger, we feel hungry all the time. Thousand and thousands of years before we were feeding and snacking all day we were fasting and feeding. When we are fasting insulin levels are typically low. That’s a message to the body to be burning stored fat for calories. And when we are feeding, insulin levels are typically high. That sends a signal to the body to be storing calories. So what Dr. Fung and several others figured out is that instead of eating and snacking all day long we simply need to condense into fasting periods and feeding periods. And when we are fasting we are not starving, we are just switching energy sources, we’re switching from food fuel over to fat for fuel. And this is the reason why our body stores fat in the first place so that it can be used for fuel when we are fasting. Once your body switches over to burning fat for fuel you actually don’t feel hungry all the time.
Now In order to keep burning fat for fuel we need to avoid snacking, snacking is the enemy. And this is the hard part right? There is actually a way to make this much much easier. When we are eating I like to enjoy good food. We all do. We do not want to feel like we are on a restrictive diet; however it is still important to avoid glucose and insulin spikes and to avoid overeating. Again that’s the hard part, but there is a way to make this much easier as well. This is what it looks like when you wake you fast through the morning. It keeps insulin levels low, when insulin levels are low, your cells can regain some of their insulin sensitivity. The unimate is used to help you extend your fast. In this fasting period you are burning fat for fuel. Then when it comes to mealtimes using the balance before meals helps reduce glucose and insulin spikes you would normally experience. The balance is also very satiating. It helps to avoid overeating. Between meals and overnight you can be back to burning fat for fuel. The balance helps us avoid glucose and insulin spikes and helps us avoid overeating. And the unimate is the most effective thing I’ve ever tried to help me avoid snacking. You could take the unimate hot or cold. I personally like it with lots of water and ice and I sip this once every 10 or 20 minutes and make it last a few hours. The unimate is extremely good at helping you extend your fast. The unimate has a bunch of health benefits. And it is also in the physician’s desk reference. The unimate comes from hand picking Yerba Mate leaves, fire roasting, extracting the Chlorogenic acid, concentrating it, and purefying it. Right now there are 100s of studies being done on the effects of chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid is a dietary polyphenol, it’s antidiabetic, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity. Chlorogenic acid is also fantastic for naturally lowering blood pressure. If we know that fiber addresses many of the health problems we face today and intermittent fasting also addresses many of those, why not combine the 2 and that’s what the Feel Great System is.
When you order the Feel Great System you get 2 packs of balance and 1 packet of unimate and the cost is about $6 per day. However most people find that they actually save money on the Feel Great System. That’s because they are usually fasting through one meal a day and cutting out snacks, diet soda with the unimate. One thing people worry about is I’ve tried lots of different things in the past. They haven’t worked for me. What if this doesn’t work for me? We hear that from time to time. And I agree that $179 is a lot of money to waste on something if it doesn’t work but because the protocol and the products are 100% science based the manufacturer offers a 90 day money back guarantee. Use it properly, be consistent and it won’t let you down. If you are unsatisfied for any reason get a refund. When you go to order there is a lot of information here about the product and the protocol. When you click buy now it will take you to a page where you can select your flavor of unimate and setup your order. There should will be a discount code applied and this can allow you to take advantage of the monthly subscription benefits where you get free shipping, an additional $5 off. You can cancel any time and there is usually a free gift. Right here next to the cart you can read all about the 90 day money back guarantee. I personally followed the protocol and I was super impressed with the results. There are hundreds of millions of people all over the world that are struggling with these problems and the Feel Great System is a guaranteed science based approach at addressing these problems at their root.
We want to thank Dr. Alkurdi for everything she has done for us and helping us finally have our dreams of starting a family
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