Insulin is a hormone used and created by the pancreas and to be insulin resistant is a condition where the body does not or cannot use the insulin properly. Insulin is an extremely important hormone that helps the body use the glucose as energy. Glucose is a form of sugar that gets broken down in your bloodstream and utilized as a form of energy when the process works correctly. When people have an insulin resistant syndrome, their fat, muscle and liver cells do not respond properly to the insulin and as a result more insulin must be created in order to get the glucose into the cells. Eventually your pancreas will not be able to keep up with the demand and shut down. From here glucose will build up in the blood stream, creating high blood sugar levels and therefore the onset of diabetes.
Insulin resistant, what is it?
Excess weight and lack of physical activity are considered in most medical journals to be the number one reasons a person may become insulin resistant. High blood pressure and heart disease are also common causes of this condition. As you can see a person’s chosen lifestyle can have a big influence on their overall health as they get older. Tests such as the glucose tolerance test and fasting glucose will be administered in order to get proper diagnosis without mistaking this condition for diabetes when it may only be pre-diabetes. Weight loss will always be a required form of treatment for anyone suffering from this condition as well. As you read on you will see that glucose tolerance and metabolic syndrome go hand and hand we are here to explain why.
Metabolic syndrome is a term that was coined to describe a patient with a combination of several conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and yes of course insulin resistance. From here you will likely find yourself at a condition termed pre-diabetes. What this means is that your blood glucose levels are too high but not high enough to be considered diabetes. It is at this point in your health where you have the opportunity to fix things. Weight loss should be among the first forms of self-treatment you administer. Excess weight on a person is not good for their health in many ways but it puts strain on the body and actually makes your blood sugar levels more volatile, putting you in a vulnerable situation.
How do I know if I am Insulin Resistant?
Even if you have not been diagnosed as diabetic yet, assuming a diabetic diet is the best thing you can do to lose weight and decrease your blood glucose levels naturally before you become insulin resistant type 1 diabetic. While you begin your lifestyle changes, you will likely be asked to take part in a fasting glucose test or glucose tolerance test, sometimes both. Because your glucose levels are already out of order, you are at a higher risk to develop diabetes than the average person and these tests become necessary.
The fasting glucose test is done after you have fasted for 8hours. The test will measure the remaining glucose in your blood stream to determine if you are pre-diabetes are diabetic. The glucose tolerance test is the same when it comes to the 8 hours of fasting but 2 hours before the test you will have to drink a sugary beverage. The point of this test is to see how your body deals with glucose and if it is the glucose that is the problem not the insulin.
Whenever a person is diagnosed as insulin resistant or pre-diabetic their first question is always, can this be reversed? The answer is yes in some cases it can be reversed. With physical activity and weight loss you are helping your body respond more actively to the production of insulin and therefore taking the pressure off the pancreas. Walking 30minutes a day, 5 days a week is a giant activity increase for someone who previously may have done no exercise at all. In conjunction with this by cutting calories and fat intake you are greatly aiding in your weight loss goals as well. By losing 5-7% of your current body fat can actually reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 60%.
The small changes that need to be made in order to correct your insulin resistance and reduce your risks of it advancing to type 2 diabetes are well worth it. The great thing about this diagnosis is you have time to fix the problems in your life and make a change before it is too late. Watch your med levels, and any metabolic syndrome that may show, this way you can avoid being insulin resistant.