Many people know what diabetes is and understand that those with diabetes need to take insulin. However, what many people don’t know is what insulin resistance actually is, which is usually the main problem for people who have diabetes.
First off, what is insulin? It’s a hormone produced by the pancreas that essentially works as a gate and key to take sugar (glucose) from the foods we eat to the right cells to produce energy. This is a critical part of making sure your body is working properly, so any problems with it should be seen to immediately.
There are two ways people’s bodies with diabetes deals with insulin. Either it simply doesn’t produce enough for the person to function properly, or they’re insulin resistance. What exactly does this mean and what does it entail? Basically, this means that the person’s body is producing too much insulin and the pancreas will be working overtime because it can’t deal with that much insulin since it has no need for it. The body’s cells are resistant to the effects of insulin, so although there’s lots of insulin in the bloodstream it’s not penetrating the cells and isn’t creating energy.
Typically insulin resistance is a symptom of type 2 diabetes, but it can also be associated with other medical issues such as arteriosclerosis or skin tags. Insulin resistance can also increase your risk of heart disease or having a stroke. In addition, someone who is overweight or was diagnosed with gestational diabetes or had a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds are more susceptible to having insulin resistance than someone who is healthier and never had any of these conditions or issues in the past.
What are the symptoms for insulin resistance?
• Excessive thirst or hunger
• Feeling hungry even after eating
• Frequent urination
• Tingling sensations in your extremities
Can you prevent insulin resistance? The answer to this is complicated. In a way, yes, because you can help prevent diabetes through exercising daily, having a healthy diet and keeping your weight at a healthy point. However, preventing insulin resistance directly is not possible. However, as we mentioned, having a healthy lifestyle can reverse your course toward having insulin resistance.
If you think you might be insulin resistant, you can be tested for sure by a doctor through a blood test. If you experience any of these symptoms it’s best to visit a doctor and be tested. It’s not always easy, or possible, to tell if you’re insulin resistant, so if you have any of the symptoms or have the qualities that make you a higher risk, be sure to check with your doctor. Because there are potential ways to prevent yourself from getting insulin resistance, it’s best to know early so you can make the necessary lifestyle changes in order to achieve that.