Many people usually suffer from insulin resistance completely unnoticed. It is often noticed only when the signs of type 2 diabetes come to the fore. So often it is only then noticed that something is wrong with your own body.
Often an incipient insulin resistance is also associated with the fact that the body must take more and more food in order to continue to be able to take enough energy. Nevertheless, this symptom usually goes unnoticed, since the increased appetite is attributed to everything, but not an incipient insulin resistance.
However, it is often too late for a successful treatment, and despite the fact that insulin resistance is actually quite treatable.
The following article will give you an overview of the topic of insulin resistance and raise awareness in your mind that insulin resistance can be treated as long as it is discovered in time. In doing so, I’ll show you why exercising and reducing your excess weight can radically help you stay safe from the disease of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.
- Insulin is responsible for lowering blood sugar levels
- With insulin resistance, the body cells no longer respond so well to the insulin signal
- Obesity, lack of exercise and an unbalanced and high-fat diet contribute significantly to the formation of insulin resistance
- In most cases, one does not notice that one suffers from insulin resistance, as the symptoms often go unnoticed.
- Undetected insulin resistance can lead to long-term development of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.
- Insulin resistance can be treated if detected in time. However, the treatment is associated with a radical change in one’s lifestyle.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for lowering blood sugar levels. In other words, this is also called blood sugar regulation. Insulin resistance now occurs when hormone insulin no longer works as it should.
Insulin resistance, if left unnoticed for a long period of time, leads to an increased chance of diabetes. In diabetes you have to differentiate between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes, the body no longer releases diabetes at all. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in adolescents and is therefore often diagnosed in children.
Mostly, type 2 diabetes can be considered as a consequence of insulin resistance. In type 2 diabetes, the body does not release as much insulin as it actually needs for the body’s energy production.
In short, it comes to the following situation. For the release of insulin is mainly glucose, i. Responsible for sugar.
Increased glucose levels now cause the pancreas to produce more insulin and release it into the bloodstream. In the case of insulin resistance, there is now a limitation in the sensitivity of the cells to insulin.
Therefore, the muscle, liver and fat cells also absorb less sugar. In short, the body cells no longer respond properly to the insulin signal.
To compensate for this deficiency, the pancreas now spills more insulin. This should counteract the high blood sugar level.
At this point, however, the body is no longer able to absorb these amounts of insulin and there is an increased blood sugar level (hyperglycemia). In the long term, this can trigger type 2 diabetes and other consequential diseases.
Certain factors play a key role in increasing the risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes. This is particularly the case of obesity (belly fat) as well as increased blood lipids and low HDL cholesterol levels.
Obesity can be classified as the main cause. The location of the fat pad plays a decisive role.
People with fat deposits on their stomach are at increased risk of developing insulin resistance. With a fat pad on the stomach it comes to the fact that the free fatty acids concentrate on the belly.
This concentration of free fatty acids on the stomach causes the liver to break down less insulin. As a result, the insulin concentration on the abdomen increases and there is a reduction in insulin receptors.
Once this happens, skeletal muscle must oxidize more fatty acids to continue to gain enough energy from the diet. This gradually leads to a deterioration in the utilization of sugar (glucose).
Subsequently, there is an increased glucose concentration, which ultimately leads to less and less glucose being able to be absorbed into the muscle cells. There is resistance to insulin.
It should also be noted at this point that not only overweight can trigger insulin resistance. In our modern and globalized world, lack of exercise and an unbalanced and high-fat diet also contribute to insulin resistance.
Sedentary activities, in particular, increase the risk of insulin resistance. This is because the body sitting consumes very little of its carbohydrate fuel.
This in turn ensures that your own sugar storage within the muscles and liver basically remains almost permanently filled. Over time, the muscles and the liver increasingly dull against the insulin signal.
In short, only a change in dietary habits can help here. Those who neglect this and continue to consume sugary and carbohydrate-containing foods are, in the long term, surely faced with the fact that the pancreas can no longer cope with insulin production and the release of insulin.
Insulin resistance usually develops completely unnoticed. It leads to no or too often unnoticed complaints.
Often you only realize after a long period of time that you are suffering from certain symptoms. But most of the time it is already too late and there is already a type 2 diabetes.
This means that symptoms often occur only when diabetes mellitus has developed from insulin resistance. Nevertheless, it can be said that the first signs of insulin resistance can also be found.
For example, if the absorbed energy of food in the form of carbohydrates and glucose no longer reaches the body cells sufficiently. This is usually noticeable with the urge to have more and more food to cover his daily energy needs.
If insulin resistance remains undetected for a long time, it will increase the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. There are certain indications that this is diabetes type 2. The following are these signs:
- frequent urination
- Growth disorder, bedwetting, weight loss (in children)
- Fatigue, weakness, dizziness
- Vision deterioration, changing eyesight
- dry skin, itching
- alternating loss of appetite and hunger attacks
- Erectile dysfunction / loss of libido
- muscle cramps
- nerve disorders
- badly healing wounds, especially on the feet
- Nausea, abdominal pain
- Urinary tract infections
- Menstrual disorders, decreased fertility in women
- Mental changes like aggressive behavior
Insulin resistance is considered to be the main factor triggering the symptoms as well as the sequelae of the metabolic syndrome.
The metabolic syndrome involves several (at least three) metabolically relevant factors such as vascular disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and loss of own thinking capacity.
Components of the metabolic syndrome are obesity, an elevated blood sugar level (hypertension) and disturbed blood sugar levels which can also be described as prediabetes. So if at least three metabolic diseases coincide at the same time, this is called metabolic syndrome.
Above all obesity and lack of exercise disturb the effect of insulin. Essentially, two tests are used to determine if you are suffering from metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. These are the oral glucose tolerance test and the insulin tolerance test.
Note: metabolic syndrome = metabolic disorders
The oral glucose tolerance test checks whether the body is still able to process and degrade the sugar taken in a certain period of time.
The oral glucose tolerance test is used when the blood sugar in the blood plasma is between 110 and 125 mg / dl. For clarification in healthy people, the regular blood sugar level is between 80 and 100 mg / dl in the fasted state. That means in the morning before the increase of food.
If the blood sugar is now between 110 and 125 mg / dl, it is usually only temporarily and not permanently increased. It is important that in the three days before the examination, you eat normally and above all with enough carbohydrates.
As the test day approaches, it is especially important to appear sober for the test. This means that you must have taken no food in the 10 hours before the glucose tolerance test.
The test is as follows. First, blood is taken. Then you drink 75 grams of glucose which is dissolved in 250 to 300ml of water. Now you wait two hours and then it comes to a renewed blood loss.
The doctor can now on the basis of the blood sugar, which has formed in the two hours, recognize whether diabetes is present or whether a pre-diabetes (pre-diabetes) or just diabetes is present.
In addition to the use of the oral glucose tolerance test, the insulin tolerance test can also be used. Here, blood is also taken on an empty stomach.
Depending on the body weight, a certain amount of insulin is now injected into the vein. After 30 minutes, you now measure the insulin content in the blood.
If the proportion of ingested insulin is still 80 percent or more, insulin resistance is present.
If insulin resistance is present, the body can process less insulin. The body is now trying to replenish its insulin storage. For sufferers suffering from obesity, they are eating very calorie-dense food.
This in turn leads to the fact that the number of insulin receptors decreases and that the insulin concentration in the blood increases (hyperinsulinemia). The whole thing leads to a cycle that ends in the formation of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.
Therapy and treatment
The most important finding about insulin resistance is that it can be successfully treated. But for this to happen, a radical change in one’s own way of life is necessary.
It is important that you try to lose weight. Physical exercise contributes decisively to this.
This is because metabolic parameters improve as a result of regular physical activity and blood pressure drops.
The goal is to get rid of the adipose tissue hormone resistin. This is made of fatty tissue.
In other words, it means nothing more than being overweight really contributes to the formation of this hormone. If one succeeds in reducing the concentration of the resist, for example, by reducing the body weight, this leads to the blood glucose level sinking and the insulin again being intensified.
Tip: It is advisable to stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
In summary, insulin resistance leads to the metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by high blood sugar, obesity, high blood pressure and high blood lipids. This in turn can trigger civilization diseases known to us like:
- heart disease
Insulin resistance also leads to disorders of glucose balance and is responsible for the development of dyslipidemia, hypertension and atherosclerosis.
- Formation of the metabolic syndrome
- Promotes the emergence of a prediabetes
- If insulin resistance goes undetected, it can become type 2 diabetes