Jun 2021

How Insulin Plays A Role In Endometriosis

  • By: Samantha Denäe

Sugar. It’s everywhere and in everything. It often provides us with a burst of energy to help us throughout our day, but for women living with Endometriosis, sugar is not our friend. 

The endocrine system rules our hormones. Glucose essentially feeds the entire body and the systems that function within it, so when the blood sugar levels are not balanced, the body will view this as a stressor and turn on the stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. 

Sugar causes an effect on the insulin hormone and after consuming foods that contains a lot of sugar, including bread and pastas, the amount of insulin within the body will increase. When the insulin levels are high, most likely the SHBG levels will decrease. SHBG is a protein that will bind excess estrogen and testosterone. If/when it is low, will cause an increase in sex hormones. Interestingly enough, testosterone levels will also increase by way of insulin and converts to more estrogen. This will cause fat tissue in the belly. Additionally, this disturbs the estrogen to progesterone ratio thus making it higher taking moods from calm and happy to irritable, anxiety, insomnia and more. If you are insulin resistance, your body's cells are not responding normally to insulin. Glucose is not entering cells as easily, building up in the blood. This can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance typically has no symptoms and can be controlled and reversed with weight loss and exercise. 

But, when living with Endometriosis, high levels of insulin boosts the growth of Endometriosis tissue due to the estrogen-dependent nature of the disease, so reducing estrogen levels helps. Progesterone balances out the estrogen and goes hand in hand with cortisol, therefore, if the body needs cortisol, then the levels of progesterone decreases causing estrogen levels to increase. When the body becomes too dominant on estrogen as well as imbalanced from blood sugar levels, it effects the entire body and can cause other womb related issues like PCOS and ovulation. 

If you are having issues with insulin/blood sugar levels, contact your doctor on ways to treat it in order to get your Endometriosis in order. 

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