A to Z of Insulin Resistance

by Rishabh

What is Insulin?

Insulin can be termed as that hormone which acts in the form of a key, which opens your cells so that glucose (a type of sugar) from your blood can make energy. It sometimes happens that this lock-key process does not works properly. Due to this glucose increases in one’s blood, in turn making more insulin. Scientists have little ideas about why do the cells stop giving response.

Insulin Resistance


Generally, there are no clear symptoms of this. A person might be suffering from this condition for a long duration and he may not even be aware of it. In case of serious insulin resistance, sometimes dark patches of skin might appear on a person’s knees, neck, armpits, hands and elbows.

Risk factors

A person might become insulin resistant if he is overweight, has high blood pressure, doesn’t indulge in enough exercise or if he smokes.

Problems with Blood and Heart

If a person has a problem with his blood system, he might be prone to insulin resistance, including high level of triglycerides (a type of fat) in blood, low HDL cholesterol, heart disease, blood vessel ailment in legs or neck and a former stroke.

Role of Family History

If a person’s parent, sister or brother are suffering from type 2 diabetes, he is at higher risk. If a person’s mother suffered from gestational diabetes that is she had diabetes when she was pregnant with that person, the risk again goes high.


The test for diagnosing insulin resistant is uncomfortable and complex, thus, the doctor sometimes first conducts a test for pre-diabetes wherein he checks that whether a person’s blood sugar is higher than it should be. This can be done either by checking glucose level in one’s blood before eating anything or average level of blood sugar can be determined for the past recent months. High numbers than the usual indicate a person has insulin resistant.

Turning to Diabetes

It becomes difficult for the pancreas to break down the added insulin in order to get the glucose inside the cells of a person’s body. Ultimately, cells making insulin get burnt out completely, resulting in conditions like pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. If the condition of insulin resistance is caught at an initial state and alterations are made in one’s lifestyle, further damage can be stopped.

Eating Right

Reduce the intake of animal fats, refined grains and sweets. It is best to consume whole grains and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. If a person eats right, he would be able to maintain a healthy weight. Because of this the cells are also able to use insulin in a better way. DASH Diet for people with problem of high blood pressure is one such example. Cutting down intake of salt also lowers insulin resistance, make you slimmer and active. Also, with low Vitamin D, the body doesn’t uses insulin properly.

Physical activity

Indulging in exercising and physical activity helps a person fighting insulin resistance in long run. This also helps a person in losing excess weight. With this your cells and muscles are able to use insulin. Try to exercise for at least half an hour on a daily basis, on most of the days of the week. During exercising, one’s should breathe a little harden and his heart should beat faster.


While changes in lifestyle are extremely important but in the case of type 2 diabetes, the doctor the sometimes also suggests medicine intake, delaying or preventing type 2 in younger and heavier people who are at high risk. This can also be done in the case of females suffering from gestational diabetes.

Metabolic Syndrome

Insulin resistance comes as a part metabolic syndrome. Those who are suffering from this condition, they carry at least 3 of the following signs- high blood pressure, high triglycerides, a huge waist, high blood glucose than normal and low HDL cholesterol. Conditions like Heart disease, stroke and diabetes come with this condition.

Interconnected Diseases

Those who are suffering from insulin resistance are frequent sufferers of somewhat higher inflammation levels in their bodies. Other related problems are connected to blood vessel and heart disease, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, blood clots in arteries and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

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