You have likely heard of diabetes, but have you ever heard of insulin resistance? This condition increases a person’s risk of developing prediabetes. As a result, it also increases their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Keep reading to learn more about insulin resistance and its impact on the body.
What is insulin?
The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin. This hormone plays an important role in converting sugar, or glucose, from the food we eat into energy that our cells can use. Our bodies utilize sugar for energy, but sugar cannot get to our cells on its own. That is why insulin is so important. The pancreas releases insulin after we eat so that these hormones can allow the cells to absorb sugar.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance occurs when the body is unable to properly use insulin to help the cells absorb glucose. This happens when there is excess glucose in the blood, which makes the cells unable to utilize it for energy. The causes of insulin resistance are not completely known, but medical experts believe the process starts when insulin stops affecting the cells as much so the pancreas starts producing more. The pancreas is then unable to keep producing higher levels of insulin. If left untreated, this can eventually lead to diabetes.
What are the risk factors?
There are a few different risk factors that can increase a person’s chance of developing insulin resistance. Obesity is a risk factor, especially for people who hold a lot of weight around their midsections. Related to that, a sedentary lifestyle is also a risk factor for this condition. Smoking, high blood pressure, and sleeping issues have also been linked to insulin resistance. Speaking with a doctor can help you learn how to reduce your risk and maintain your health.
Vail Medical Center and Weightloss specializes in the management of many different illnesses, including diabetes mellitus. We can help you learn more about insulin resistance and what you can do to protect your body from weight gain and diabetes. Get the information you are looking for by calling us at (520) 762-1557.