WHAT IS INSULIN RESISTANCE?
Insulin resistance is a state or condition where there is an abnormal response of the cells in the body to insulin. Insulin is a hormone which helps with the uptake of glucose into the cells of the body to be used for energy. Insulin resistance can lead to higher blood glucose levels which can lead to prediabetes and diabetes.
HOW DOES INSULIN RESISTANCE OCCUR?
Some possible causes of insulin resistance include obesity, some genetic factors, sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, some medications such as steroids, inflammation, pregnancy, and abnormal metabolic functions. Some symptoms of insulin resistance could include low energy, hunger, darkening of the skin in certain areas, irregular periods, and frequent urination. It can be diagnosed by blood tests that measure your blood glucose and insulin levels.
“WHY” IS THIS IMPORTANT FOR YOU?
Insulin resistance is important because it can affect your risk of some medical conditions such as prediabetes, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian disease, cerebrovascular disease, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers e.g., colorectal, pancreatic, breast cancer to name a few. Exercise training, (especially aerobic exercise, but also other forms of exercise such as yoga and Tai-Chi), is associated with improvement in fasting insulin levels and so could reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Weight loss increases insulin sensitivity. Intermittent fasting as well as rationing your macronutrients in your diet are associated with improving insulin resistance. Pharmacological treatments also improve insulin sensitivity.