2021 March 25 4 min read

Insulin resistance is one of the most well-known diseases in our modern society, yet many of us know little about it and are not sufficiently informed. Unfortunately, many people do not know what this metabolic disorder means and what are its most typical symptoms. In this article, you can find out everything you need to know about IR and the recognition and causes of diabetes. Our D-life team tries to help you in everything!

What does insulin resistance mean?

Insulin resistance is often confused with type II diabetes and prediabetes, so it is first important to clarify the difference between the three diseases:

  • INSULIN RESISTANCE (IR) is a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism. Our cells are unable to absorb the glucose necessary for their functioning, because insulin has difficulty connecting to the insulin receptors on the surface of the cells. The task of insulin is to ensure that glucose is incorporated into the cells and provides them with energy. Insulin is an anabolic building, storage and control hormone that affects all our cells.

  • During PREDIABETES, the blood sugar level is higher than average, but it cannot yet be called diabetes. This condition can be reversed by developing a new and healthy eating habit, and it is important to start playing sports and exercising. During the long-term existence of prediabetes, the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke increases, and type II diabetes can easily develop.

  • TYPE II DIABETES is also called adult-onset diabetes, which develops as a result of an incorrect lifestyle and nowadays appears more and more often at a younger age. It is most often based on the fact that the insulin produced by the body cannot exert its blood sugar-lowering effect to an adequate extent. The development of this type of diabetes can also be a consequence of insulin resistance, so patients with already diagnosed insulin resistance are more likely to develop type II diabetes later. Many people are not even aware of its development, since it does not always produce symptoms in the body or we cannot connect the signs of the body to diabetes, such as : frequent urination, menstrual disorders, frequent feeling of thirst, blurred vision.

In summary, during IR the cells involved in carbohydrate metabolism become insensitive and the blood sugar level remains permanently high. When hyperinsulinemia occurs, the pancreas produces more and more hormones to break down sugar. The beta cells involved in the insulin-producing process, on the other hand, get tired after a while, and diabetes develops as a compensatory process. This is also why insulin resistance is often referred to as the anteroom of diabetes.

Among the causes of diabetes, genetic predisposition and an unhealthy lifestyle have a significant impact. People with a family history of diabetes are more likely to develop IR. But obesity, one-sided eating and a sedentary lifestyle also play a role in the development of diabetes.

IR symptoms:

  • Overweight and ineffective weight loss are the most common.
  • Frequent headaches and migraines.
  • Increased sweating and hair growth.
  • Pimple oily skin.
  • Nausea and dizziness and hunger after meals.
  • Restless sleep, malaise and depression.
  • Menstrual disorders in women, development of gynecological cysts, hair loss
  • Erectile problems, baldness in men.

IR is often the background of other diseases. For example:

  • Hypothyroidism.
  • High blood pressure
  • In women, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and infertility are the biggest comorbidities of insulin resistance.
  • In addition to endocrinological disorders, insulin resistance can also be a cause of cardiovascular diseases: reduced insulin sensitivity of cells can also be associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and thrombosis.

What is the method of diagnosis?

The insulin level in the blood can be determined by several test methods, the sugar load test is most often used in medical offices. During the measurement of the insulin level, a certain amount of sugar must be consumed in the form of a solution on an empty stomach. During the laboratory test, it can be shown from the blood to what extent the amount of sugar ingested raised the blood sugar level, as well as by how much the insulin level in the blood increased as a result of the sugar load. Blood must be taken from the patient 3 times: before drinking the solution, 60 minutes, and 120 minutes after the sugar load. This is also why the screening test is called a 3-point sugar load.

Treatment of insulin resistance

An upset insulin level can be effectively remedied mainly by radically changing your lifestyle. The experts primarily recommend regular, moderate-intensity aerobic, cardio and strengthening forms of exercise at least 3-4 times a week, which can be used to control carbohydrate metabolism disorders and it is very important to develop a suitable special diet!

In our next article, you can find out what you need to pay attention to when creating a new and safe IR diet. Find out everything about the basics of the IR diet!

Sincerely, D-life team