Insulin, a hormone secreted from the pancreas, facilitates the entry of blood glucose into the liver, muscle, and fat cells, where it is converted to cellular energy. The pancreas produces insulin in the blood when blood sugar levels, also known as blood sugar levels, increase after eating. After that, insulin reduces blood glucose to maintain it within the usual range.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance is the inability of the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver to readily absorb glucose from your blood. In order to facilitate glucose absorption into your cells, the pancreas produces more insulin. Your blood glucose levels will stay within a safe range as long as your pancreas can produce enough insulin to counteract your cells’ inadequate response.
According to recorded estimates from the World Health Organization, 19.4 million people in India had diabetes in 1995. By 2025, this figure is expected to rise to 57.2 million, or one-sixth of the global total.
By 2030, the estimates will be revised to 80.9 million. According to studies, Type 2 diabetes was more common in migrating Indian communities than it was in European populations, regardless of variations in anthropometry, nutrition, socioeconomic status, or migration patterns.
Prediabetes is more likely to develop and rise in those with genetic or lifestyle risk factors. Risk elements consist of:
- Being overweight or obese
- Being 45 years of age or older
- Having a parent, brother, or sister who has diabetes
- Not exercising
- Having health issues, including high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels
- PCOS, also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Prediabetes is more prevalent in those with metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by high blood pressure, excessive cholesterol levels, and a obesity.
General Information about Insulin Resistance
What are the Causes?
Although scientists are unsure of the exact origins of resistance and prediabetes, they believe that being overweight and being inactive are the main reasons.
- Inactivity: Insulin resistance and prediabetes are associated with inadequate physical activity. Your body undergoes changes as a result of regular exercise that improves its control over blood glucose levels.
- Excess weight: Scientists once believed that fat tissue was exclusively useful for storing energy. However, research has revealed that belly fat produces hormones and other chemicals that might fuel chronic or persistent inflammation in the body. Insulin resistance, diabetes type 2, and cardiovascular disease may be impacted by inflammation.
This condition may be caused by being overweight, which might contribute to the emergence of certain fatty liver diseases.
What are the Symptoms?
Prediabetes and insulin resistance typically have no symptoms. However, some observed insulin resistance symptoms are:
- Acanthosis Nigricans: This can cause people with prediabetes to have darker skin under their arms or on the back and sides of their neck.
- Skin Growth: Several tiny skin growths known as skin tags frequently form in the exact locations.
- Eye or Retinal Problems: Some prediabetic individuals may already have early alterations in their eyes that can develop into retinopathy. According to a few studies, even if blood glucose levels are not high enough to trigger symptoms for most people, retinopathy affects them.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Resistance from Insulin Symptoms?
When determining if a patient has prediabetes, doctors employ blood testing; however, they seldom check for resistance. In order to identify prediabetes, doctors often utilize different tests to identify the condition in an affected person.
Some insulin resistance tests include the Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test or the A1C test. Doctors employ the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) less frequently since it is more costly and more challenging to administer.
The A1C test shows your three-month blood glucose average. The OGTT and FPG display your blood glucose level at the time of the test. A1C testing is less sensitive than other tests. The OGTT can detect abnormalities in fasting blood glucose levels before they become apparent by determining how the body processes glucose after a meal.
Frequently, medical professionals utilize the OGTT to look for gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that appears during pregnancy.
How does Insulin Resistance Progress to Type 2 Diabetes?
Since diabetes is a progressive disorder, the initial management strategy might not be sustainable over the long run. Diabetes results from the pancreas’ beta cells’ inability to generate enough insulin to prevent dangerously high blood sugar (blood glucose) levels.
Difference between Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
Insulin resistance can occur in anybody, either temporarily or permanently. If untreated or not managed, persistent resistance can eventually result in prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is a preliminary condition of diabetes in which the blood glucose levels are heightened but not high enough to be declared as diabetes. People with this condition are already more likely to develop prediabetes.
The most prevalent form of diabetes, Type 2 diabetes (T2D), can result from prediabetes. When your body experiences resistance to insulin or your pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, T2D manifests as elevated blood glucose levels.
When the insulin-processing cells in the pancreas are attacked and destroyed by the immune system for an unidentified reason, type 1 diabetes (T1D) results.
A transient form of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy is gestational diabetes. It is brought on by resistance, which is conducted by hormones produced by the placenta. After giving birth, gestational diabetes disappears.
Complications of Insulin Resistance
The development of vascular difficulties causes a variety of insulin resistance issues.
- Peripheral neuropathy, nephropathy, and retinopathy are the symptoms of microvascular illness caused by resistance.
- Dementia, stroke, mood disorder, and gait instability can all arise in the central nervous system.
- Angina, coronary artery spasms, and cardiomyopathy are a few symptoms of cardiac microvascular problems.
- Dialysis and chronic renal failure are both significantly influenced by renal microvascular disease.
- One of the main causes of vision loss is ophthalmological small vessel disease.
- Insulin resistance is a secondary cause of macrovascular disease, which results in PAD, CAD, and CVA.
What are the Treatment and Prevention Options for Insulin Resistance?
The best way to inhibit the growth of type 2 diabetes is still being researched. Numerous pieces of data suggest that it could be reversible. However, investigations have shown that this often doesn’t last forever. After controlling blood sugar without the use of lifestyle changes or medications, blood sugar levels frequently rise once more.
The human body may respond to insulin better if engaged in physical exercise and, if necessary, lose weight. Making modest changes, such as eating better, and having a carbohydrate and starch-free insulin resistance diet, is the best way to keep health in check. In persons with prediabetes, reversing resistance, and increasing physical activity can help to postpone or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a study supported by the National Institutes of Health, established that weight loss by 5 to 7 percent of one’s initial weight lowered the chances of getting diabetes in those who are at high risk. By altering their diets and increasing their physical activity, participants in the research lost a noticeable amount of weight.
The DPP also showed how taking the diabetic medication metformin might postpone the onset of the disease. Younger adults, obese patients, and women with a past record of gestational diabetes benefited most from metformin treatment. Consult your doctor to see if metformin is a good choice for you.
Creating an action plan, keeping updated on the progress, and gaining support from the doctor, family, and friends can all help alter your way of life and potentially avoid or treat resistance and prediabetes.
Insulin resistance is a complicated illness that has a variety of negative effects on your health. The condition doesn’t show any signs until it develops into prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. So, the best way to prevent and treat it is by keeping a healthy body weight, exercising frequently, and eating a nutritious diet. Unfortunately, not all causes may be avoided or addressed. Speak with your healthcare practitioner if you have any concerns about your risk of developing resistance to insulin or the illnesses that it is linked to the condition.
Get in touch with Santokh Hospital to secure your consultation with the city’s best healthcare experts and receive effective care.