Insulin Resistance

When cells do not correctly respond to insulin, causing high blood sugar content causes insulin resistance. The pancreas produces insulin, which aids in blood sugar regulation by allowing glucose absorption into cells. When cells become resistant to insulin, they do not respond properly to its signals, increasing blood sugar levels.

Insulin Resistance Link To Other Health Conditions

Insulin resistance can have several negative health effects and is often associated with other health conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes type 2, hypertension, and fatty liver disease. Insulin resistance can be a prime factor for having type 2 diabetes, as the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to compensate for the cell. Insulin resistance may trigger the body to hold onto excess fat, which can lead to weight gain.

Insulin resistance may lead to several health issues.

  • Blood vessel injury
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Cancer.

Key Cause Of Insulin Resistance

One of the key causes of insulin resistance is a sedentary lifestyle and a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. When the body is constantly exposed to high glucose and insulin levels, cells can become overwhelmed and less responsive to the hormone. This can lead to insulin resistance over time.

How To Know You Have Insulin Resistance?

There are typically no specific symptoms of insulin resistance, but several signs exist. These signs may include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Fatigue: When cells cannot use glucose effectively, the body may not be able to produce enough energy, causing fatigue.
  • Increased hunger: Because the body’s cells cannot use glucose effectively, they may signal to the brain that they need more fuel, leading to increased hunger.
  • Weight gain: Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain, particularly around the belly, causing obesity and diabetes.
  • Darkened skin patches: It can cause darkened patches of skin, usually on the neck, armpits, or groin.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must speak with your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Treatment Of Insulin Resistance

  • Treatment for insulin resistance typically involves changes in lifestyle, such as boosting physical exercise and eating a healthy diet. Regular exercise can improve insulin resistance. The American Diabetes Association suggests spending around 150 minutes weekly in healthy, light exercise such as brisk walking or cycling (source).
  • Exercise can improve insulin resistance, allowing cells to respond better to the hormone insulin. Eating food rich in fibre, less in carbs, and healthy fats, non-sugary and refined carbohydrates can also help to cope with insulin resistance. The American Diabetes Association recommends a diet emphasising non-starchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein sources that may help those who want to improve their condition.
  • In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help manage insulin resistance. These medications, such as metformin, reduce the amount of glucose the liver produces and improve insulin resistance. However, medication is usually only prescribed in cases where lifestyle changes alone are insufficient to manage insulin resistance.