The body produces insulin but doesn’t use it correctly- is the simplest explanation for insulin resistance. However, there are more specific details to the body’s response in people that are insulin resistant.
Our bodies’ breakdown food into a substance called glucose. Glucose is also known as blood sugar. After eating the blood glucose rises. Our body’s response to this rise is the pancreas increases insulin levels to allow cells in our body to take the glucose and use it for energy. This is what occurs when the body is healthy and not diabetic.
When a person is identified as insulin resistance, insulin is not used correctly in their body to make energy in the muscle, fat and liver cells. The body responds by requesting or needing more insulin to make these cells work correctly. The pancreas that makes insulin incorrectly produces more insulin as a result of the muscle, fat and liver cells response that they don’t have enough insulin. However, the additional insulin not only goes to these cells but to all cells in the body. The body will respond to these abnormal levels by beginning to develop diabetes.
If your body is insulin resistant chances of you becoming diabetic and having heart disease increases dramatically. There are other complications that can occur with development of diabetes such as blindness, deafness, amputations and kidney failure.
Several factors can contribute to patients that become insulin resistant. Obesity, lack of physical activity and a genetic factor have been identified as aspects contributing to this condition. Many of these patients also have other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess weight around the middle of their body.
Insulin resistant and pre-diabetic people usually don’t have any symptoms that can be identified by their physician or that they report to their physician. Insulin resistant disorder/syndrome can only be detected by measuring the insulin in the blood. Most physicians’ offices don’t carry out the test that can determine if a patient is insulin resistant because of the cost. The test is called euglycemic clamp and it is very costly and complex. Your physician may send you to a health care facility such as a hospital to have the test performed. Some physicians will verify if a patient is pre-diabetic. The pre-diabetic test is a more reasonably priced test that can be performed in the office. The information your physician receives back from the test(s) performed will determine further medical care. If the test reveals the patient has a higher than normal blood sugar level, he may request the more expensive test performed. However, the medical recommendations and treatment for insulin resistance and pre-diabetes are very similar.
You can reverse insulin resistance with physical activity and weight loss. By doing both of these insulin resistant patients can avoid becoming a type 2 diabetic or delaying it for quite a while. Physical activity is especially important because it makes your muscle cells use blood sugar for energy. Therefore, all of the excessive insulin in your body is being used with physical activity and exercise. In addition, a diabetic diet can also be of great benefit. Foods that cause your blood sugar to rise rapidly should be avoided and other foods that don’t should be increased.
With the diabetic diet foods that should be increased are those that include flour. For example, bread, spaghetti, macaroni, bagels, rolls, crackers, cookies and pretzels. Also it’s a good idea to eat processed corn products and white rice. Eat fruits and root vegetables only with other foods.
Through modification of your diet and physical activity the hope is you can avoid medication to control your insulin irregularities in your body. Some patients are able to modify these two things enough to address other diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A good diet and physical exercise is great for treatment of all sorts of diseases and disorders in addition to a great preventative measure for avoiding diseases. It helps your body maintain good health or become healthier to fight or sometimes even cure diseases.