Insulin Resistance – Causes And Risks

Glucose is your body’s main fuel source. To release the energy entrapped in the glucose molecules, a hormone known as insulin is needed for metabolizing glucose. The beta cells present in the pancreas are associated with the function of insulin secretion. Occasionally, despite adequate production of insulin in the body, the body cells do not respond to the hormone, leading to a condition known as insulin resistance.

People suffering from insulin resistance need large quantities of insulin to produce the desired effects. If left untreated, insulin resistance could develop type 2 diabetes.

Causes of insulin resistance
People with a family history of insulin resistance and diabetes have a greater risk of developing this health disorder. You can develop insulin resistance if you inherit genes linked to this health problem.

Metabolic syndrome
A person is said to suffer from metabolic syndrome if his/her fasting glucose level in above 100 mg/dL, blood pressure level is above 130/85, triglyceride level is above 150 mg/dL, HDL level is below 40 mg/dL and the waist measures more than 40 inches.

Obesity could make you vulnerable to insulin resistance.

Gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes is characterized by elevated blood glucose level during pregnancy. Insulin resistance developing during pregnancy is a reversible condition that subsides naturally after delivery.

Prolonged stress can cause insulin resistance. The elevated level of stress hormones obstructs proper utilization of the insulin hormone. Scientists have observed that lack of sleep could prevent the body from using the hormone associated with sugar metabolism.

Side effect of medicines
Insulin resistance can develop as a side effect to steroid intake. Researchers have found that indiscriminate use of glucosamine, a dietary supplement prescribed for treating arthritis, might cause insulin resistance.

Health problems from insulin resistance
Insulin resistance is the precursor of several health disorders. People with type 2 diabetes usually have a history of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can produce fatty liver. Arteriosclerosis or hardening of the artery wall is also associated with insulin resistance. Women suffering from insulin resistance could develop polycystic ovary disease and reproductive abnormalities.

Managing insulin resistance
Once a person is diagnosed with insulin resistance, the condition could be kept under control through changes in the lifestyle. Diet comprising of foods with low glycemic index and regular physical activities could increase insulin sensitivity of the body cells.