Thursday, August 9, 2012

Insulin sensitivity!

So, as some of you may know, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome last November. Following that diagnosis, I went on an androgen blocker/birth control pill. The excess of androgens that my body was producing had a number of effects. For me, most notably, was:
1. very infrequent menstruation, maybe 4x a year?
2. the decreased sensitivity of insulin

My body simply did not respond as well when I consumed pure sugars, and it would require quite a huge blood glucose spike for the insulin to even begin working. I'm surprised I wasn't overweight or diabetic, most PCOS-women are! Again it was probably countered by the fact that I have adored exercising since I was born (soccer at the age of 4 up until 20, yoga, martial arts, gym kid and now this swim-bike-run thing). I'm pretty sure that saved my life!

Although I was never overweight (I weighed 115 lbs (52-53kg), at 5'4"(162cm), I could tell that the excess weight was hanging around weirdly; that is, mainly around the midline torso area.

So, after a couple months now of taking this androgen blocker, I am quite surprised with the results. First, by the numbers: I am still 5'4" (duh!), but am now 105-108lbs (48-49kg), which "fits" given my moderately high level of training. Secondly, my insulin sensitivity has sky-rocketed to what I would call "normal".

As a comparison, I remember ironman training 1-2 years ago and I would come home quite smashed after a 6+ hour ride. I would consume about 1 kilo of very sugary yogurt. I'm pretty sure that's excessive, but my body constantly CRAVED sugar and never seemed to be satisfied. Now, if I do the same training effort, my body will definitely crave simple sugars post-ride, which is natural, but the moment I get enough of it, my body tells me "Okay, that's good, I don't need anymore".

In short, my body has gone from incessantly craving highly processed sugars, unable to effectively utilize them given low insulin sensitivity to... craving just the right amount of sugars when I need them, and craving far more REAL FOODS. That is, vegetables and complex carbs and protein sources. My palate has changed rather drastically. Huzzah!

(NERD ALERT! This weight change also means that I can be pushing ridiculously low wattage, like 80-100W, and still be easy-cruising at 32kph (20mph). Double huzzah!)

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