Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance injection

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview of insulin resistance

A recent statistic says that around 50% of India’s current population suffers from Type 2 Diabetes. A large percentage of this population suffers from different types of insulin imbalance as well. A widespread form of insulin imbalance in the body is due to “insulin resistance”. It affects mainly the elderly people. But recent statistics show that the young population also suffers from different diseases related to insulin problems. The population-wide mortality and morbidity tolls in different countries are largely attributable to insulin resistance.

What is the role of insulin in the human body?

Insulin resistance pancreasInsulin is an essential hormone released by the pancreas. It plays the following crucial roles in the human body-

  • Body insulin helps in the absorption of blood-glucose by the liver, muscles and fat cells
  • Insulin helps in the storage of reserve glucose in the liver in the form of “glycogen”
  • Insulin helps regulate blood-glucose levels by inhibiting the generation of glucose in the liver

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is a serious medical condition in which the production of insulin in the body much higher than normal. This condition is also known as “Hyperinsulinemia”. In this disease, much more quantities of insulin are necessary to supply an adequate amount of glucose to the body cells. The body cannot effectively utilize the huge quantities of insulin produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Henceforth, the concentration of blood-glucose rises abnormally due to the lack of absorption of glucose by the respective cells. This leads to Prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes. Insulin resistance may also give rise to other systemic complications in due course of time.

What causes insulin resistance?

Several factors predispose the body to insulin resistance. The main factors are as follows-

  • Obesity: Presence of excess adipose tissues, particularly around the waistline (and viscera) has detrimental effects on the overall health of a person. Harmful immune cells are attracted to the areas of excess fatty tissues. These cells elicit a chronic inflammatory response in those regions. This triggers insulin resistance.
  • Physical inactivity: People engaged in regular physical activities do not have extra glucose stored in their muscles. This is because during workouts, the muscles are actively involved and they burn out the extra glucose. Later, their muscles draw glucose from the blood, thereby reducing the blood-glucose level. But in people leading an absolutely sedentary life, the absence of muscular activities can lead to the build-up of excess glucose in the muscles and blood. In future, this surplus glucose can contribute to insulin resistance. Very often, people avoiding physical activities can become obese and that might aggravate the existing medical conditions.

Insulin resistance injectionThe general factors behind insulin resistance are as follows-

  • Sleep disorders due to night shifts or medical illnesses (Eg: Sleep apnea, Insomnia)
  • Poor dietary habits (absence of essential vitamins and minerals in daily diet)
  • Addictive habits like tobacco smoking and alcoholism
  • Hormonal imbalance (Eg: presence of excess hormones after long periods of hormone replacement therapies)
  • Presence of excess LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and less quantities of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in the body
  • Clinical conditions like high pressure and high uric acid
  • High concentration of two primary molecular peptides in the blood namely- Leptin and Adiponectin (common in obese patients)
  • Reduction of insulin sensitivity with age
  • Functional abnormalities of the beta cells due to mutations in the Peroxisome Proliferator Activating Receptor Gamma (PPAR-ɤ) gene
  • Overuse of medications like steroids, growth hormones and nicotinic acid that reduce insulin sensitivity
  • Accumulation of excess ectopic lipid and its metabolic by-products in the body
  • Occurrence of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in women
  • A familial history of Type II diabetes

What are the symptoms of insulin resistance?

The most alarming fact about insulin resistance is that there might not be any visible symptoms or complications for years. Hence it often becomes too late to diagnose and treat the disease properly. In the late stages, a few patients may exhibit the following symptoms-

  • Appearance of dark patches of skin usually at the back of the neck
  • Formation of a dark ring around the neck
  • Appearance of dark spots and patches on the elbows, knuckles, armpits and knees

Patients who have dark patches on different areas of the skin due to insulin resistance are said to suffer from “Acanthosis Nigricans”.

What are the complications of insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance gives rise to the following systemic complications-

  • Abnormal glucose homeostasis: Hyperglycemia or postprandial hypoglycemia occurs in the patients who have defective insulin receptors.
  • Ovarian dysfunction: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome occurs in many women suffering from Insulin Resistance. Multiple peripheral cysts are present in the ovary. In due course of time, these cysts may become prone to torsion or haemorrhage. Surgical intervention may become necessary in such cases.
  • Acanthosis nigricans: This syndrome is characterised by a change in skin texture at different spots such as- groin, axillae, nape of the neck. The skin in these regions turns velvety and become abnormally thick. Dark spots and irregular brownish patches appear on the skin. In the late stages, acrochordons or skin tags may also appear.

Some other associated complications are listed below-

  • Dyslipidemia
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Abnormal adipose development
  • Growth disorders
  • Sexual dimorphism

Diagnosis

Doctors usually recommend the following diagnostic tests for the evaluation and proper treatment of insulin resistance-

  • Fasting serum insulin (should be less than 20)
  • C-peptide level (greater than 4.6 indicates risks)
  • Euglycemic clamp test
  • A1C test
  • Fasting plasma glucose test
  • Oral glucose tolerance test
  • Post prandial blood sugar level

Management and Prevention

Insulin resistance sugarThe management of insulin resistance mainly involves the following:

Healthy diet- Intake of a healthy diet is essential. The diet should be high in fiber content and low in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates. The diet should comprise of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

The diet should be devoid of sweets, artificial sweeteners, processed food, and animal fat.  Foodstuffs with a low glycemic index (such as soy, beans, milk, fruits, honey etc.) should be preferred.

Regular exercise- A regular physical activity in the form of aerobic exercise, sports, walking, jogging, dancing, weight lifting etc. is essential to maintain a healthy body weight and burn the extra calories.

Blood sugar monitoring- Based on the treatment plan, the blood sugar level is usually checked 1 to 4 times in a day. The A1C levels are usually checked in order to evaluate the average blood sugar levels in the past 2 to 3 months. As compared to the regular blood sugar level tests, the A1C test is considered as better indicators of the effect of the diabetes management plan. An elevated A1C level indicates changes should be made in the oral medications, insulin dose, diet etc.

Diabetes medication or insulin therapy- Some of the medications given in type 2 diabetes are metformin, sulfonylureas, meglitinides, DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 receptor agonists, and SGLT2 inhibitors. Insulin is given in some patients in order to control the blood sugar levels.

Bariatric surgery- It is an option considered for patients with type 2 diabetes having a body mass index (BMI) higher than 35.

Management of weight, intake of appropriate diet, and regular physical activities are some methods to reverse prediabetes and prevent the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid sugary or artificially sweetened drinks.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet are essential for controlling blood sugar levels. The diet should be low in saturated fats and carbohydrates and high in fiber content.
  • Follow an exercise routine. Regular physical activity is essential for keeping the blood sugar levels under control and maintaining a healthy body weight. Encourage outdoor games to prevent childhood obesity in your children.
Don'ts
  • Ignore symptoms such as increased thirst, urinary frequency, increased hunger, fatigue, weight loss, blurred vision etc.
  • Do smoking. Smoking can augment the ill effects on the body that are caused as a result of diabetes.
  • Miss the dose of insulin. Consult your doctor in case you are planning to fast. Taking a regular dose of insulin when you fast, might cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), which is life-threatening.

 

 

 

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Spinach: The ultimate way to boost health with this green superfood! Spinach is a green superfood that ranks high in both taste and nutrition. Read more to discover how…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to the Himalayas may…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin. Find easy and…
cystatin C
Cystatin C Test Cystatin C is a specific single-chain protein that is found in body fluids and is a biomarker for…
hYdroxycut pills
Hydroxycut: How safe are these so-called weight loss supplements? Hydroxycut is a blend of several different ingredients formulated to promote weight loss; powered by a key weight…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Oil of Oregano: The one-stop essential oil you’ve been looking for Are you plagued by a weak immune system? High body inflammation accompanied by pain and infections? Why not…
Period sanitary napkin-menstruaion-blood-colors
Period blood – what it says about your health Your period blood color and consistency indicate what is happening in your body. Is your blood bright red…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
Fibromyalgia fatigue
HCG Diet: The dangers of using this diet to lose weight HCG is a natural hormone produced by both men and women that corresponds to fertility. But how is…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
cytomegalovirus iGG
Cytomegalovirus (CMV)- IgG Test The cytomegalovirus IgG is the immunoglobulin protein produced by our immune system when the body is infected by…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
Turner syndrome and infertility
Infertility profile (women) The infertility profile tests in women are conducted to form a complete picture of the hormonal balance and…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…
Diabetes blood test
Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
Bronchoscopy procedure
Bronchoscopy Bronchoscopy is a procedure where in a scope is inserted into the lung pathway to observe any growth…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too! Read on to…
Echocardiogram
Echocardiography – ECHO Echocardiography (commonly known as ECHO) is an imaging modality (similar to ultrasonography) used to visualize the interior of…
creatinine
Creatinine Test The level of creatinine in the blood is a significant indicator of the health of your kidneys. This…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
beta hcg test
Beta hCG Test A Beta hCG test measures the level of human gonadotropin hormones present in the blood that is primarliy…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main theme of general…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket Dragon fruit is packed with nutrients but low on calories. It is the dream food that can help…
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
C-Reactive Protein Test A CRP or c-reactive protein blood test is an important diagnostic tool used to determine the risk of…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause chemical and structural…
chloride test
Chloride Test A chloride test of the blood checks the level of chloride in body, an important factor governing the…
kidney stones
Kidney stones Kidney stones are solid substances made up of crystals. They can be of various sizes. Treatment depend on…
tonometry
Tonometry Tonometry uses a device called tonometer to measure the pressure inside the eye. This pressure is depends upon…
Okra: How can this nutrient-dense vegetable help you fight diabetes? Okra is a food which is rich in nutrients and minerals which are extremely essential for a healthy…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
valproic acid test
Valproic Acid Test Valproic acid test is performed to generally check for psychiatric and even neurological conditions such as bipolar disease…
Anti-Inflammatory foods: 18 foods to a disease-free you Anti-inflammatory foods are the foods which are known to reduce the inflammation as well as the pain from…
The Shepherd's diet
Facts about the Shepherd’s diet Kristina Wilds promoted Shepherd's diet, a Christian-based diet that highlights Jesus Christ's diet as mentioned in the Bible.
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the vulva, vagina, and…
Graston technique: A faster way to accelerate your rehabilitation after injury Graston technique is designed in such a way that any pain related to the soft tissue can be…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk of cancer, and…

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