Insulin Resistance: Defined & Explained
Insulin resistance has been arbitrarily defined as the requirement of 200 or more units of insulin per day to attain glycemic control and to prevent ketosis.
There are a number of factors that may cause or lead to Insulin resistance. These range factors anywhere from environmental toxins, mental stress, to a simple lack of sleep. Insulin resistance is a condition that is the result of the hormone, insulin, becoming less effective at lowering blood sugar levels.
Blood glucose (BG) levels rise above the normal range in this condition. In prolonged situations this may lead to diabetes if one is not already a diabetic. It can certainly be the cause of damaged health. Fat and muscle cells must have insulin to absorb glucose. When these cells do not get it the BG levels rise.
Physiologically the body's response is for the liver to reduce production of glucose in the presence of the insulin. This does not happen in people who are insulin resistant.
Persons considered to be "pre-diabetic" (Metabolic Syndrome) experience high levels of insulin and glucose.Â As this condition continues, more insulin needs to be secreted by the pancreas. When this does not occur, BG concentrations increase dramatically.
Causes of Insulin Resistance
Â Some causes may include diet, cellular, molecular, genetic, and disease.
Insulin Resistance & Diet
One major cause is increased amounts of fructose, saturated fats and excess calorie intake - this creates overweight and obesity conditions, this can especially be a problem when a large amount of fatty tissue is located in the abdomen.
Insulin Resistance & Cellular Anomalies
Excessive insulin in the body also appears to be a contributor. This is due to prolonged and repeatedÂ increases in blood glucose. High carbohydrate intake is usually the cause.
The insulin drug itself can lead to this; when the cells are exposed to insulin, the production ofÂ glucose receptors , including the production of these receptors growing inside the blood vessels, on the cellular membranes decreases somewhat.
This decrease in the receptors signal the body to increase the need for insulin. Exercise reverses this process in muscle tissue, but if it is left unchecked, it can contribute to insulin resistance.
Also the body sometimes fights against the insulin drug by the production of antibodies which then leads to lower-than-expected glucose level reductions after a specific dose of insulin.
Insulin Resistance & Disease
Certain disease can make the body resistant. A couple of examples include infection or acidosis. TreatingÂ insulin resistance includes exercise and weight loss and a decrease in high carbohydrate diets.Â
Â Several studies have shown that exercise and diet were almost twice as effective as some pharmacological remedies for effectively reducing the risk of an insulin resistant person progressing to Type-2 diabetes.
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Â© Donald R. Houston, PhD, 2006-2012 All rights reserved.