What is Insulin Resistance

Signs of Insulin Resistance

What is Insulin Resistance?

First, allow me to explain the role of insulin.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. Small amounts of it are normally released after each meal to help transport glucose into the body's cells, where it is needed for energy production. It is the key that opens the door to your cells allowing glucose to enter. Once the cell has received the amount of glucose needed for the red blood cells, the retina of the eyes, a small amount for the brain and storage in the muscles and liver, the glucose is refused and the insulin will transport the glucose back to the liver to be converted to fat for storage for energy needed later.

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is a decreased ability to respond to the effects of insulin, especially by muscle and fat (adipose) tissues. Since cells must have glucose to survive, the body compensates for insulin resistance by producing additional amounts of the hormone and a growth hormone at that. This results in a state of hyperinsulinemia in the blood and over-stimulation of some tissues that have remained insulin sensitive. Over time, this process causes an imbalance in the relationship between glucose and insulin and can cause an unhealthy downward spiral effect in the body potentially leading to Type II Diabetes.

Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance can negatively affect the proportion of the body's lipids (cholesterol), significantly increasing the amount of triglycerides and LDLs (low density lipoproteins) in the blood and decreasing the amount of HDL (high density lipoprotein, the "good cholesterol"). It may also increase a person's risk of developing a blood clot, cause inflammatory changes, and increase a person's sodium retention, which can lead to increased blood pressure.

What is Insulin Resistance and how is it related to Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic Syndrome and insulin resistance are two terms that have often been used interchangeably to characterize some of the abnormalities associated with increased resistance to insulin and increased production of insulin, and to recognize these changes as risk factors for future disease.

The cause of insulin resistance is not fully understood. It is thought to be due partly to genetic factors, including ethnicity, environmental effects and a great deal due to lifestyle. Most with insulin resistance do not have any obvious symptoms – they do not realize that this process is taking place in their bodies. In most cases, the body is able to keep pace with the need for extra insulin production for many years.


When asking what is insulin resistance and how do you identify it, some obvious insulin resistance signs include:

  • Extreme Hunger (even after eating)
  • Weight Gain-Insulin is a growth hormone
  • Inability to Lose Weight
  • Fatigue After Meals
  • Low Blood Sugar(The cells are resistant therefore the body puts out more insulin to compensate for circulating blood glucose causing a roller coaster effect)
  • Acanthosis nigricans is a cosmetic condition strongly associated with insulin resistance in which there is darkening of the skin in areas where there are creases such as the neck and arm pits
  • Skin tags are also seen with increased frequency in some with insulin resistance. Skin tags can vary quite a bit in appearance. They may be smooth or irregular, flesh colored or more deeply pigmented
  • PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Fatty Liver

If or when the body's insulin production fails to keep up with demand, then hyperglycemia will occur. Once glucose levels reach a high enough level, diabetes is present; the high glucose levels can damage blood vessels in many organs, including the kidneys. Insulin resistance that is associated with these high glucose levels is a risk factor for developing type II diabetes, a disease with a myriad of side effects including heart disease, cancer, amputation, dialysis, and potentially an early death.Your best step in reversing insulin resistance is to follow the Phase I plan avoiding at all costs refined sugars, breads, pastas, cookies, crackers, high fructose corn syrup all starchy vegetables and exercise. Exercise can help the cells become more insulin sensitive normalizing your body.

What is insulin resistance and how does your Dr. treat it?

Physicians generally prescribe the medication Metformin. What does Metformin do? Metformin prevents the liver from releasing glucose into the blood, and it increases the sensitivity of muscle and fat cells to insulin so that they remove more glucose from the blood. Because of these actions, Metformin reduces blood insulin levels. If you don’t have to take Metoformin, you are better off.

As mentioned above, the insulin resistant have a high likelihood of a fatty liver so why burden the liver even further if we can reverse this with diet and exercise?

If you found this page searching what is insulin resistance and suffer some of the above signs of insulin resistance, you’ve found your answers!

Unfortunately, a low fat approach such as Weight Watchers will only waste your time and potentially assist you in putting on more weight and developing diabetes.

Give it 30 days because you owe it to yourself!

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