Did you know that there’s a close link between stress and how your body responds to insulin? We know that insulin resistance is linked to weight gain, premature ageing, fatigue and more. One of the biggest underlying contributors to the development of insulin resistance is chronic stress.

How stress leads to insulin resistance

When you’re under stress, your body releases stress hormones to manage the situation.

One action that they take is to flood your bloodstream with stored sugar (glucose) so you have access to energy and can protect yourself (remember, this used to be back when stress meant a bear attack!)

Unfortunately, this leads to lower insulin sensitivity and therefore increased insulin resistance. Your cells will ignore insulin’s message to take up the sugar and utilise it.

There are also indirect ways that stress contributes to insulin resistance. For example, increased stress means that you’re more likely to experience:

  • Sweet/carb cravings

  • Increased appetite

  • Desire for comfort foods

  • Emotional eating

  • Poor sleep

  • Hormonal fluctuations

All of these can further add to a picture of insulin resistance.

How insulin resistance increases stress

Now let’s look at how the cycle continues. The big issue here is that insulin resistance causes inflammation – our biggest source of physical stress! Inflammation feeds into not only stress, but also insulin resistance itself.

Insulin resistance can also influence your sleep. Those with insulin resistance and diabetes often wake in the night when their blood sugar levels peak, leading to a broken night of sleep. Poor sleep is a form of physical stress, and the body will produce more stress hormones in response.

Then there is the psychological impact of insulin resistance and its symptoms. For example, weight gain or difficulty losing weight can be very stressful if your goal is to lose or maintain your weight. Other symptoms such as constant fatigue, brain fog and uncontrollable sweet cravings can also cause you to feel like you don’t have control of your body anymore.

So where do I start to break the cycle??

What comes first – the insulin resistance or the stress?

The truth is that it really doesn’t matter which way the cycle goes. What we want to do is make sure that we’re using methods to address both – that way, you have a better chance of stopping it.

So that means we want to:


Now obviously, we can’t avoid every form of stress forever. And small, acute doses of stress can actually be good for us! But in this modern age, we’re surrounded by physical AND psychological sources of stress that can leave us depleted.

So while you can’t get rid of stress completely, you can work on including stress management techniques. Some of my favourite ways to combat stress include:

  • Moving your body

  • Mindfulness and meditation

  • Getting out into nature

  • Spending time with loved ones and furry friends

For some more science-backed ideas around how to reduce your stress naturally, make sure you give this a read.


To get results and relief of your symptoms sooner, it’s also important to take steps to manage your insulin resistance.

One simple step you can take starting today? Eat 3 square meals every day and minimise your snacking.

Until recently, health practitioners thought that the best way to manage glucose and insulin levels is to have small frequent meals during the day. But now research has uncovered that better glucose control in diabetic patients is achieved with 3 meals a day. The reason? When we eat frequently, insulin is continually being secreted by the pancreas and doesn’t have a chance to return to a baseline level.

Stay tuned for a full article on methods to manage insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity.


Ideally, you’ll include steps that can address not only your insulin resistance, but also the underlying stress. Diet, exercise, stress management techniques and improving sleep are a few ways to do this.

You could also consider an evidence-based supplement. That’s why I created my innovative new product, Energy Glow NR.

Energy Glow NR helps to support healthy blood glucose & metabolism of carbohydrates, both of which play a critical role in insulin resistance. It also contains ingredients that:

  • Support a healthy stress response in the body

  • Support brain function and memory recall

  • Are traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to support healthy mood balance and relieve symptoms of stress

Learn more about Energy Glow NR here.

Susie Garden

I help women feeling stressed, flat and older than they’d like regain their youthful energy and glow using a proven method so their natural beauty and confidence shines through.