In the normal person, your food is absorbed into the bloodstream in the form of sugars. The food is broken down by the digestive system in order to do this and the glucose and fat that results, as well as other basic substances, are then spread throughout the body. The increase in glucose in your blood then sends a signal to the pancreas to increase the amount of insulin produced by the organ. Insulin then attaches to the blood cells and removes the glucose so that the body can use the glucose for energy.
When a person is resistant to insulin, the body does not have the ability to respond to the insulin hormone. To compensate for this, the pancreas will release even more insulin. Over time, people with this type of resistance develop what we know as diabetes. The high insulin levels in the body is no longer able to compensate for the high level of sugar as well.
There are several components to Insulin Resistance Syndrome, including:
·Impaired glucose tolerance or Type 2 Diabetes - This occurs because the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to overcome the body's resistance causing blood sugar levels to increase.
·High blood pressure -It is believe that the worse the person's blood pressure, the worse the resistance is to insulin.
·Heart Disease - Insulin resistance can cause the hardening of the arteries, which puts the person at a risk for blood clots and heart attack.
·Obesity - Abdominal obesity in particular is a major factor in insulin resistance. Obesity has a negative impact on the insulin response in a person.
·Abnormal cholesterol levels - An individual with insulin resistance will usually have low good cholesterol and high triglycerides.
•Kidney damage - Protein the urine is often a sign that kidney damage has occurred.
There is not a single test that can be used to test for insulin resistance. Although, those individuals who have a family past with Type 2 diabetes are often at risk. As are those whose family's have a history of heart disease and hypertension, as well as obesity. Individuals who are members of specific ethnic groups, such as Native America, African-American and Latino are often at risk as well.
There are several drugs that are commonly used to treat insulin resistance when it occurs with Type 2 diabetes. Many of these drugs make the person sensitive to the insulin and may help to lower cholesterol as well as reduce hypertension. Additionally, keeping check on your weight gain throughout your life and exercising on a regular basis can help to prevent the onset of insulin resistance.
If you're interested in learning more about ways that you can help prevent the development of insulin resistance, visit Martha Vineyard Holistic Retreat. They feature a number of solutions that can assist you in losing weight and will help to reduce the onset of insulin resistance.
By Dr. Roni Deluz RN, ND, PhD
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