Insulin is a hormone that regulates various processes in the body. Insulin resistance occurs when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver do not respond well to insulin i.e. becomes resistant to it and are unable to easily absorb glucose from your blood. As a result, your pancreas produces more insulin so as to cope up for your body to utilize sugar.
A large amount of blood sugar in the bloodstream is extremely harmful to the body and must be transported into cells. High amount of insulin tells the liver and muscles cells to store blood sugar in the form of glycogen.The remaining blood sugar is delivered to fat cells by liver, where it is stored as body fat and results in weight gain, which can lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, if not treated. Changes in the body that are not visible happen long before a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. One of the most significant unnoticed change is Insulin resistance.
The exact causes of insulin resistance are not fully understood, but several factors may contribute to its development. These include genetics, obesity, physical inactivity, a diet high in processed foods and added sugar, high alcohol consumption, high cholesterol levels and disturbed sleeping pattern.
Insulin resistance can be diagnosed through blood tests that measure fasting blood sugar levels and insulin levels. A fasting blood sugar level above 100 mg/dl and an insulin level above 15 micro units/mL are typically indicative of insulin resistance.
To manage insulin resistance, lifestyle changes are recommended which include regular exercise including strength training and a healthy diet. Additionally, medications may be prescribed to manage blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Healthy diet includes foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Avoid processed foods and added sugars, and focus on weight loss, if necessary. Exercise helps to improve insulin sensitivity by increasing the uptake of glucose into the muscles and improving the body’s ability to use glucose for energy.
In conclusion, early diagnosis and management of insulin resistance with a healthy lifestyle can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and improve overall health and wellbeing.