Dr. Benjamin Bikman
Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D. is an associate professor of physiology and developmental biology at Brigham Young University, just down the road from me. Dr. Bikman has a passion for helping people overcome insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, among many other insulin-related issues. Because of that passion, Bikman has developed insulin resistance coaching and patient education resources that benefit patients and (now) healthcare providers.
I reviewed Bikman's best-selling book, Why We Get Sick a while back. Watch my video book review on YouTube for a brief synopsis that will make you want to read it for yourself.
Why do we get sick?
Bikman's answer: "It's insulin resistance."
Bikman contends that insulin resistance causes (or at least contributes to) modern diseases, including:
I won't re-hash the details of how insulin resistance contributes to our declining health since they're all in his book. You can read some of the same principles from another well-known insulin resistance authority.
Dr. Jason Fung
Bikman's approach to insulin resistance is similar to nephrologist and diabetes expert, Dr. Jason Fung's. I've posted video reviews of 2 of Jason Fung's books on my YouTube channel.
The Obesity Code explains "calories in, calories out." Fung shows this concept to be a miserable failure over the past 4 decades. The idea that people just need to "eat less, move more" in order to lose excess weight hasn't stopped our society from becoming the fattest and least healthy in history. This is especially true in the US.
Dr. Fung makes a strong case for the "hormone theory of obesity." That's the concept that weight is regulated by hormones, especially insulin. Hormones have a greater influence than the calories we eat or the calories we burn through exercise. To be sure, calories have a role to play. But the role of calories has been oversimplified.
Adding to The Obesity Code, Fung's book, The Diabetes Code dives deep into insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. In the same way Bikman singles out glucose metabolism, Fung points to insulin resistance as a major cause of disease.
If you buy the idea that insulin resistance is one of the biggest health problems we face, the next question should be . . .
What can we do about insulin resistance?
Both Bikman and Fung promote a low-carb lifestyle with an emphasis on whole foods. They recommend avoiding processed foods, grains, and inflammatory fats. Both promote intermittent fasting (or time-restricted eating) to reduce insulin resistance.
What can we do to reduce insulin resistance?
The simple answer to that question is: reduce the amount of carbohydrates we eat.
Fung and Bikman both point out that government-sponsored dietary guidelines since the mid-1970s have encouraged all of us to eat a diet low in fat. The reason for this was because research had apparently shown that high fat diets lead to more heart disease. The American public has embraced the low-fat concept. The unintended consequence of low-fat eating is that we now eat much more sugar and carbs than we ever did before the 70s.
Fung and Bikman have argued that sugar, not fat, is the real culprit behind the explosion of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes over the past 4 decades.
Diet Is The Hardest Thing To Change
I heard a dietician at a conference a few years ago say, "The hardest thing to do is to get people to change their diet."
That's because we get comfort and security from food. We all hold tightly to what we've grown comfortable eating. It's difficult for all of us to let go of our eating patterns. That's even true when we recognize those patterns aren't helping us get healthy.
Patient Education & Health Coaching
The problem is insulin resistance.
The root of insulin resistance is that we're eating too many carbohydrates.
Along with carbs, we also eat foods that disrupt the gut microbiome and encourage inflammation.
Mainstream medicine has assumed diabetes is a progressive disease. The assumption has been that a person who develops type 2 diabetes will get worse and worse until they eventually die, usually from heart disease that's associated with diabetes.
A growing body of evidence shows that insulin resistance and even type 2 diabetes can be reversed. Based on that evidence, the most effective interventions for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are:
- Patient Education - helping patients understand insulin resistance and the impact of their diet on metabolism
- Health Coaching - having an empathetic guide to walk patients through the difficult, confusing, and emotionally challenging process of changing their diet and lifestyle
I posted a YouTube video about the evidence that video health coaching can make a difference for patients with insulin resistance. What that looks like is often a Zoom call with a health coach and an individual coaching client or group of coaching clients. Health coaching can help patients make diet changes that stick. The support and encouragement patients receive from a health coach can encourage lasting changes.
Easy-To-Understand Patient Education
My passion is providing easy-to-understand patient education resources to both patients and healthcare practitioners. Most of what I teach is about optimizing hormones. I do that through my free resources on YouTube. In addition, I also provide Simple Hormones. That's my paid subscription service for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physicians' assistants.
The providers I work with all agree that optimal hormones are one of the major keys to symptom relief and long-term wellness. One of the most important hormones that must be optimized in order to maintain health is insulin. Optimizing insulin is about preventing huge insulin spikes that come from high glucose intake.
I've mentioned insulin resistance in several of my YouTube videos. I've also included some references to insulin resistance in my patient education course about PCOS. I also mention insulin and glucose metabolism in several courses included in my subscription programs.
Because insulin resistance is such a major problem . . .
And because so many of my subscribing practitioners are interested in helping patients reverse insulin resistance . . .
I'm adding an entire course to my patient education program called:
Simple Hormones for Insulin Resistance
This brand new program incorporates both of the evidence-based strategies for reversing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes - patient education and health coaching.
Simple Hormones & Insulin IQ
I'm excited to announce my partnership with Dr. Ben Bikman and his startup company, Insulin IQ. We're looking to work together with Simple Hormones subscribers. We want to provide life-changing education and coaching resources to as many patients as we can reach.
As I was doing research, preparing to create my own course on insulin resistance, I ran across Dr. Bikman's patient education resources. I was blown away by the quality, the production values, and more importantly, the content in Insulin IQ's course. Because it was so impressive, I knew I had to reach out to Dr. Bikman and his team to see if we might be able to work together to get these resources to my subscribers and their patients.
As a result of my experience with Dr. Bikman's work, I wanted to be able to offer my subscribing practitioners access to the thorough, informative patient education course taught by the Insulin IQ team.
In addition, I wanted to be able to offer an affordable, patient-paid health coaching opportunity* to patients of my subscribers. (The health coaching component is completely optional. But patients can enhance their progress with help from a trained, experienced coach.)
With Simple Hormones for Insulin Resistance, both of those dreams are now a reality!
Simple Hormones Resources
The suite of patient education programs in Simple Hormones already includes 5 programs to reach patients at every life stage:
Lifestyle Coaching + Patient Education
By subscribing to Simple Hormones, hormone optimization providers can now give their patients access to both:
- Dr. Bikman's outstanding evidence-based video and written patient education material
- expert health coaching from Dr. Bikman's empathetic and enthusiastic team
Simple Hormones for Insulin Resistance features several benefits beyond instructional video and coaching. Coaching client interview videos highlight people who have had success following the protocols and beating insulin resistance. Encourage healthy habits with optional physical products like protein powders, electrolytes, and monitoring devices . . .
60-Day Free Trial
For a limited time, I'm offering a 60-day trial subscription to Simple Hormones. Providers can give patients access to all 6 Simple Hormones programs - at no charge. Take a test drive and find out how Simple Hormones can save you time and frustration in educating your patients, especially those in danger from insulin resistance.
Click the link below to get started.
Simple Hormones Subscribers
If you're a hormone specialist and you've already subscribed to Simple Hormones, I'll be setting up your patient portal to include Simple Hormones for Insulin Resistance. There's already a link to the program on your portal, I just need to activate it.
*NOTE: For providers with a health coaching program in place - Simple Hormones for Insulin Resistance includes built-in promotion of Insulin IQ paid coaching, paid memberships, and physical products. At this time, it's not possible to take advantage of the patient education course without allowing patients to receive offers for additional products and services, via email and within the course itself. It is possible to subscribe to Simple Hormones without the insulin resistance module.