Insulin resistance is the name given when the body’s cells don’t respond properly to the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance is the driving factor leading to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. This condition is also closely associated with obesity, although people may be insulin resistant without being overweight or obese.
While genetics, aging and ethnicity play roles in developing insulin sensitivity, the driving forces behind insulin resistance include excess body weight, too much belly fat, a lack of exercise, smoking, and even skimping on sleep. As insulin resistance develops, your body fights back by producing more insulin. Over months and years, the beta cells in your pancreas that are working so hard to make insulin get worn out and can no longer keep pace with the demand for more and more insulin. Years after insulin resistance silently began,your blood sugar may begin to rise and you may develop prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. You may also develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a growing problem associated with insulin resistance that boosts your risk for liver damage and heart disease.
Insulin resistance is usually caused by a combination of factors linked to weight, age, sedentary lifestyle, genetics, and if the patient is a smoker. A few signs and symptoms can include:
Losing weight, getting regular exercise, and getting enough quality sleep can all help improve insulin sensitivity. Physical activity and weight loss help the body respond better to insulin. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and other large studies proved that people with prediabetes can often prevent or delay diabetes if they lose a modest amount of weight by cutting fat and calorie intake and increasing physical activity—for example, walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Although weight loss is not easy, it’s possible. The experts at Ogden Clinic Medical Weight Loss have the tools and training to help you lose weight and keep it off. Learn more about Medical Weight Loss at Ogden Clinic by visiting utahmedicalweightloss.com, or give our Layton office a call at 801-397-6150.