Insulin Resistance

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Insulin resistance is defined as a decreased response to insulin. This is usually found early in type 2 diabetes. It is first important to understand what insulin is and the role it plays in your body. Your pancreas is responsible for making insulin. The food you eat is broken down into sugars in your intestine and carried by the blood stream through out your body.

Insulin is what allows the sugar from the blood to move into muscle and fat cells. Your cells require this sugar to provide you with the necessary energy for everyday activities. The presence of sugar in your blood signals the pancreas to produce more insulin. When you have insulin resistance, your muscles and fat cells are resistant to your body's insulin. This means your body's cells will not be able to use the sugar they need.

The pancreas will try to keep up with the demand for insulin by producing more. Eventually, the pancreas cannot keep up with the body's need for insulin, and excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream. Many people with insulin resistance have high levels of blood glucose and high levels of insulin circulating in their blood at the same time. Approximately 90% of type 2 diabetics have insulin resistance.

Causes of Insulin Resistance

Because insulin resistance tends to run in families, it is thought that genes are partly responsible. Excess weight also contributes to insulin resistance because too much fat interferes with muscles' ability to use insulin. Lack of exercise further reduces muscles' ability to use insulin. Many people with insulin resistance and high blood glucose have excess weight around the waist.

Insulin and the Diabetic Diet

If you have insulin resistance, your doctor will most likely recommend a combination of medicine, weight loss, diet, and exercise. It will be so important that you follow your doctor's guidelines as you work toward managing your diabetes. There are many resources available to help you with your dietary and exercise needs. At "life with diabetes" we will always provide you with the most up to date resources available through our partnerships. Remember to consult with your doctor prior to making any major dietary changes or undergoing a new exercise regimen.

At "life with diabetes" we understand that diabetes is a very serious disease. We strive to provide you with valuable information and resources to help make living with diabetes easier and healthier.

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