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BEN BIKMAN 1 | HEARING LOSS…not old age!! insulin resistance & hyperinsulinemia
presents episode 364 | Dr Ben Bikman
Dr Casey Means Levels podcast

Dr Casey Means: How does insulin resistance relate to
Ear, Nose & Throat issues?
-Dr Bikman:
-problems of energy production & blood flow
-insulin resistance will impact both
-cells of the ear are high metabolic rate
-high demand for energy
-part of that demand is met by glucose
-when body becomes insulin resistant
-those cells become less capable of using
glucose for energy

Normally, when cells become insulin resistant, they can
-shift over to fat oxidation for energy
-but, elevated insulin precludes fat burning!
-net result?
-cell produces much higher levels of reactive oxygen species
-because of forcing cells to rely on
mitochondria for energy production

Higher levels of reactive oxygen species
-can activate apoptosis (programmed cell death)
-and insulin resistance compromises blood flow
(which happens throughout entire body)
-but is very relevant in cells with high metabolic rate
-high demand for oxygen & nutrients
-as blood vessels become insulin resistant…
-they should have been dilated, but
become constricted, reducing flow,
blood pressure goes up damaging
fine capillaries in ear tissue

Dr Means: when you can’t get blood to a tissue, it is not going
to work properly
-in cochlea (inner ear involved in hearing & balance)
-small perturbations in blood flow can have
massive, massive impact
-ischemic cell death
from lack of blood
leads to early
hearing loss

Dr Means: having seen so many ENT (ear, nose, throat)
patients with hearing loss…a huge change in quality of life
-most think this is something to do with aging
-but to know that there is a possible modifiable factor
that the patient can control!
-can be empowering


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